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HIST2134 The Third Reich through Documents, 1933-1945 Spring Semester 2013 Lecture: Tuesday 3.30-4.20 (CPD-3.22) Seminar (5 Feb-): Tuesday 4.30–5.20 (CPD-3.27). http://www.history.hku.hk/undergraduate/ hist2134course.html. HIST2134 The Third Reich through Documents, 1933-1945.

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HIST2134The Third Reich through Documents, 1933-1945Spring Semester 2013Lecture: Tuesday 3.30-4.20 (CPD-3.22) Seminar (5 Feb-): Tuesday 4.30–5.20 (CPD-3.27)

http://www.history.hku.hk/undergraduate/

hist2134course.html


HIST2134The Third Reich through Documents, 1933-1945

Lecture 2:

Adolf Hitler and the Rise of Nazism, 1889-1933

29 January 2013


Adolf Hitler: Youth

  • * 20 April 1889, Braunau am Inn (Austria)

  • 1892 in Passau (Bavaria, Germany)

  • 1895 in Linz(Lower Austria)

  • 1903 in Vienna

    ►Hamann, Brigitte, Hitler’s Vienna (1999)

    = His Anti-Semitism probably acquired in Vienna, hotbed of religious prejudice and racism


Hitler: Soldier

  • 1913 in Munich(Bavaria, Germany)

  • 1914 War volunteer in World War I with Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16

  • 1914 Iron Cross Second Class

  • 1916 Wounded in Battle of the Somme

  • 1918 Temporarily blinded by mustard gas

  • 1918 Iron Cross First Class

    = Embittered over collapse of war effort


  • 1919 Appointed intelligence agent of Reichswehr reconnaissance commando to infiltrate DAP (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei = German Workers’ Party)

  • 1919 Attracted by DAP in Munich: Member No. 55 (Oct), not member no. 7

Forged copy of Adolf Hitler's membership card in the German Worker Party (DAP), which would later become the NSDAP. His membership number was actually 55.


Anti-Republicans on the Right

German National People’s Party (DNVP)

Early German People’s Party (DVP)

Propagated stab-in-the-back legend

Saw war defeat as Jewish/Leftist/Bolshevist conspiracy

Wanted back monarchy

Demanded strictly revisionist foreign policy

Opposed to fulfilment of Versailles Treaty


Adolf Hitler: Party politician

  • 1920/21 DAP renamed in NSDAPNationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

    = National Socialist German Workers’ Party:

    Swastika (Hakenkreuz) as party emblem

    + Völkischer Beobachter (Racial Observer) as party organ

  • 24.2.1920: Twenty-Five Point Program:

    A combination of nationalist, socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-Semitic ideas

  • 29.7.1921: First chairman of NSDAP →Wide powers → Important group of supporters: Rosenberg, Hess, Göring, Amann


Hitler Putschor: Beer-Hall Putsch, 8 Nov 1923

  • Unsuccessful attempt of Hitler & Ludendorff to seize power for NS party

  • Amazing achievement of political nobody

    = Sentenced to 5 years imprisonment

    = Released after 8 months only

    = Wrote first part of autobiography Mein Kampf (My Struggle)


NSDAP’s ‘new founding’ (1925)

3 new principles after Hitler’s come-back :

  • Legal tactics instead of putsch to achieve mass mobilisation of voters

  • Centralised structure to be distinct from competing rightist parties + to place party army SA (Storm Troopers/Brown Shirts) fully under Hitler

  • Absolute obedient tool of Hitler

    = Hitler as NSDAP dictator called Führer


Crisis of Democracy, 1929-32:3 factors

 Mass unemployment (≥ 6 million)

 ‘Presidential government’: Art. 53 of Weimar Constitution

► First step into authoritarian regime

► Shift of power from parliament to government

► Democracy already at stake

 NSDAP election wins

= Gradual demise of Weimar Republic


Hitler’s Way to Power:8 explanations

  • Political: Versailles Treaty

  • Economic: Economic crises

  • Institutional: Weimar constitution

  • Sociological: Lower middle class

  • Ideological: Authoritarian tradition

  • Marxist: Necessary crisis of capitalism

  • Mass psychology: Propaganda

  • Personality: Hitler


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