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Nazi Germany. Hitler’s Rise to Power Hitler’s Fascist Dictatorship. Born in 1889 In Austria near Linz in the NW Middle Class family Dropped out of school at the age of 14 Moved to Vienna to become an artist. Vienna.

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nazi germany

Nazi Germany

Hitler’s Rise to Power

Hitler’s Fascist Dictatorship


  • Born in 1889 In Austria near Linz in the NW
  • Middle Class family
  • Dropped out of school at the age of 14
  • Moved to Vienna to become an artist
  • Sought to become an artist
  • Failed test to be admitted to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts
  • Mayor Karl Lueger
  • Hitler admired Lueger, a powerful politician, for his speech making skills and effective use of propaganda in gaining popular appeal. He also admired Lueger's skill in manipulating established institutions such as the Catholic Church. He studied Lueger carefully and modeled some of his later behavior on what he learned.

Hitler’s 1st Vienna Apartment

Hitler’s Art

hitler in world war i
Hitler in World War I
  • Hitler volunteered at age 25 by enlisting in a Bavarian Regiment. After its first engagement against the British and Belgians near Ypres, 2500 of the 3000 men in the Hitler's regiment were killed, wounded or missing. Hitler escaped without a scratch. Throughout most of the war, Hitler had great luck avoiding life threatening injury. More than once he moved away from a spot where moments later a shell exploded killing or wounding everyone.
  • Corporal Hitler was a dispatch runner, taking messages back and forth from the command staff in the rear to the fighting units near the battlefield. During lulls in the fighting he would take out his watercolors and paint the landscapes of war.

Hitler as a corporal

the german workers party
The German Workers Party
  • The German Army was worried that it was a left-wing revolutionary group and sent Adolf Hitler, one of its education officers, to spy on the organization. Hitler discovered that the party's political ideas were similar to his own. Although there as a spy, Hitler could not restrain himself when a member made a point he disagreed with, and he stood up and made a passionate speech on the subject.
nazi party
Nazi Party
  • He encouraged national pride, militarism, and a commitment to the Volk and a racially "pure" Germany. Hitler condemned the Jews, exploiting anti-Semitic feelings that had prevailed in Europe for centuries. He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, called for short, the Nazi Party (or NSDAP)

the sa
The SA
  • In 1921 Adolf Hitler formed his own private army called Sturm Abteilung (Storm Section). The SA (also known as stormtroopers or brownshirts) were instructed to disrupt the meetings of political opponents and to protect Hitler from revenge attacks. Captain Ernst Roehm of the Bavarian Army played an important role in recruiting these men, and became the SA's first leader.
  • The SA wore grey jackets, brown shirts, swastika armbands, ski-caps, knee-breeches, thick woolen socks and combat boots. Accompanied by bands of musicians and carrying swastika flags, they would parade through the streets of Munich. At the end of the march Hitler would make one of his passionate speeches that encouraged his supporters to carry out acts of violence against Jews and his left-wing political opponents.
beer hall putsch
Beer Hall Putsch

mein kampf
Mein Kampf

A State which, in an epoch of racial adulteration, devotes itself to the duty of preserving the best elements of its racial stock must one day become ruler of the Earth.

the nazi party s rise to power 1928 1933
The Nazi Party’s Rise to Power: 1928-1933
  • In 1928 Hitler’s Nazi Party were a small, insignificant party. They enjoyed little success in elections and were viewed as little more than thugs by the political elite. By 1933 however Hitler was the chancellor of Germany. The Nazi’s had risen from obscurity to power, total power.

Number of Unemployed

1928 2 million

1929 2.5 million

1930 3 million

1931 5 million

1932 6 million

why was hitler made chancellor
Why was Hitler made Chancellor?
  • Public demanded improvements
  • Nazi Party were largest party in Reichstag
  • Hindendburg and von Papen thought Hitler could be controlled
  • Hitler was a national figure after the 1932 Presidential campaign (he came second to Hindendburg but had a large proportion of the vote)



how did hitler consolidate power
The Reichstag Fire

Creates a climate that Hitler can manipulate for his on ends

The Enabling Act

Hitler uses Article 48 to create a State of Emergency. The act effectively ends democracy in Germany.

The Night of the Long Knives

Opposition from within the party is removed: violently. The SA is ‘purged’.

Hitler used his position, and the frailties and subsequent death of Hindendburg, to engineer a Nazi take over of government. He makes use of Article 48 to legitimise the end of democracy before radically altering the structure of government. Soon opposition is banned and Germany has a one party state. Pressure groups, such as Trade unions, are also banned. This Nazi ‘Revolution’ is secured as a result of the removal of all possible threats to nazi rule: the SA, the army and political parties are all ‘dealt with’ by the end of 1934.

How did Hitler consolidate power?

results of the night of the long knives
Results of the Night of the Long Knives

Hitler made himself President as well as Chancellor, a new role called ‘Der Fuehrer’.

He also made himself head of the armed forces, who had to swear an oath of loyalty to him.

He was now in complete control.

  • Over 1,000 opponents were killed.

In August, President Hindenburg died.

the fuehrer oath
The Fuehrer Oath

I swear by almighty God this sacred oath:

I will render unconditional obedience

to the Fuehrer of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler,

Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht,

and, as a brave soldier,

I will be ready

at any time

to stake my life

for this oath."


SS head Heinrich Himmler, SA Chief of Staff Viktor Lutze, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess and Adolf Hitler salute their followers.

impact of hitler s policies on unemployment
Impact of Hitler’s Policies on Unemployment

how did hitler put germany back to work
How did Hitler put Germany back to work?


how did the nazis establish a dictatorship

How did the Nazis establish a dictatorship?


joseph goebbels 1897 1945
Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945)
  • Suffered from polio as a child
  • 1925, joined Nazis
  • Responsible for electoral campaigns
  • 1933, Minister for Public Enlightenment & Propaganda
  • 1934, Night of Long Knives

Why did the Nazi authorities ban publication of this photo during the War?

  • 1933 there were 4,700 daily newspapers, 3% controlled by Nazi Party
  • 1944 997 daily newspapers, 82% controlled by Nazi Party

  • Cheap radios Volksempfänger
  • Between 1932-9 the number of families with radios rose from 25% to 70%
  • “the spiritual weapon of the totalitarian state” (Goebbels)

Workers listening to a Hitler broadcast. How useful is this picture to historians studying the impact of Nazi propaganda?

  • September 1933-38, Nuremberg rallies
  • Mixture of public spectacle, military parade & propaganda
  • Festivals and celebrations, e.g. Hitler’s Birthday, Munich Putsch Day

police state

Police State

heinrich himmler 1900 1945
Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945)
  • Former chicken farmer from Prussia
  • Headed SS (Hitler’s bodyguard)
  • Headed the Gestapo (secret police)
  • 1934, 50,000 SS members

What does Himmler’s background tell you about the Nazi party?

  • Used terror to intimidate and remove opposition
  • Concentration camps –for Jews, political opponents, racially impure, morally deviant

Jewish men and women in a Nazi concentration camp. What symbol are they wearing on their clothes? Why have they been made to wear this?

persecution of minorities
Persecution of minorities
  • July 1933, compulsory sterilization of mentally ill
  • Secret euthanasia program
  • ‘asocials’ homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses & criminals

Still from German propaganda film, Erbkrank (Hereditary Illness), made in 1935

  • Abolished right of trial before imprisonment
  • Judges replaced by Nazi supporters
  • By 1939, 162,000 Germans imprisoned without trial, 500 sentenced to death

What is the artist of this satirical cartoon trying to say?

nazi control of society

Nazi control of society


How can we tell this is a Nazi classroom?

  • Syllabus & textbooks changed to reflect Nazi ideas on race & German history
  • Compulsory membership of German Teacher’s League
  • Leadership schools (Adolf Hitler Schools)

Baldur von Schirach, Hitler Youth Leader

hitler youth
Hitler Youth
  • Established Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend, HJ)1925
  • 1939, 8 million members
  • Camping, hiking, singing folk songs, military training & physical fitness
  • By 1936 membership compulsory
  • German Girls’ League

This could be you 70 years ago!

the church
The Church
  • Many Nazis anti-Christian but unwilling to provoke conflict with Church
  • June 1933, Catholic Church signed ‘Concordat’ (understanding)
  • Protestant Churches combined into pro-Nazi Reich Church, ‘The swastika on our breast and the cross in our hearts”

Reich Church symbol

hitler targets jews
Hitler Targets Jews
  • In Mein Kampf Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s economic problems & its defeat in WWI
  • By the end of 1934, most Jewish lawyers, doctors, professors, civil servants, and musicians had lost their jobs and the right to practice their professions.

persecution of jews
Persecution of Jews
  • 1933, 500,000 Jews in Germany (less than 1% of population)
  • April 1933 boycott of Jewish businesses
  • September 1935, Nuremberg Laws banned mixed marriage & German citizenship for Jews, enforced wearing of Star of David

Why did the Nazis hate the Jews?


Member of Hitler Youth, drawing Star of David on Jewish shop window – 1933.

Jewish pupils intimidated by 'Aryan' classmates – 1933.

scientific determination of jews
“Scientific” Determination of Jews

Doctors measuring nose and eyes to assess hereditary racial type

nuremberg laws of 1935
Nuremberg Laws of 1935
  • Deprived Jews of all rights of citizenship, jobs, & property.
  • Jews were forced to wear a yellow star of David in the left side of their clothing

kristallnacht november 1938
Kristallnacht, November 1938
  • ‘Night of the broken glass’
  • German embassy official killed by Jewish youth
  • Goebbels ordered ‘demonstrations’ against Jewish community
  • 8,000 Jewish homes & shops destroyed, 400 synagogues set on fire, 100 Jews killed, 20,000 arrested
  • Jews ordered to pay 1 billion Reichsmarks in damages


europe falls to the nazis the holocaust

Europe Falls to the Nazis& the Holocaust

s s st louis may 13 1939
S.S. St. Louis May 13, 1939
  • 937 Jewish refugees boarded SS St Louis
  • Destination Cuba but turned away
  • Looked to US for help
  • US turned them back to Europe
  • Many of the passengers will become victims of the Holocaust

the holocaust

The Holocaust

The systematic murder of 11 million people across Europe; ~ 6 million were Jews.

final solution
“Final Solution”
  • Hitler’s desire to rid Europe of Jews
  • Genocide: deliberate & systematic killing of an entire population.
  • Wanted to purify Europe for his “master race” the Aryan race
  • The Targeted: Jews, communists, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, mentally/physically disabled, etc.
  • Hitler’s SS rounded up & imprisoned the “undesirables”

prelude to the final solution
In 1939, Germany invaded Poland which had a much larger population of 3 million Jews.

In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a population of 5 million Jews.

Prelude to the Final Solution


Why do you think that they located them here?


The work of the Einsatzgruppen

change of tactics einsatzgruppen
Change of Tactics: Einsatzgruppen
  • Himmler sent four specially trained SS units called “Einsatzgruppen battalions” into German occupied territory and shot at least 1 million Jews.
  • Victims were taken to deserted areas where they were made to dig their own graves and shot.
  • When the SS ran out of bullets they sometimes killed their victims using flame throwers.

change of tactics einsatzgruppen1
Change of Tactics: Einsatzgruppen

the final solution
The ‘Final Solution’
  • In January 1942, Himmler decided to change tactics once again and called a special conference at Wannsee.
  • At this conference it was decided that the existing methods were too inefficient and that a new ‘Final Solution’ was necessary.

the ghettos
The Ghettos
  • In 1939, the Nazis reintroduced to Europe a form of social control abolished in the nineteenth century: the ghetto.
  • Though the term is frequently used to describe an impoverished, segregated urban area, it originally meant the walled-in area of European cities to which Jews were legally restricted.
  • After the Germans conquered Poland, they reestablished Jewish ghettos, first in the city of Lódz.
  • Soon another was decreed in Warsaw, and eventually ghettos could be found in every Nazi-controlled city with a significant Jewish population.

and worse
And Worse
  • The ghetto was typically surrounded by a wall topped with barbed wire.
  • Entrances were guarded around the clock. Any movement in or out was strictly controlled.
  • Living conditions were vile: Average density per dilapidated room was 13 people. Plumbing and sewage facilities were overburdened, and the stench fouled the air.
  • Slow starvation was common: While a German in Warsaw consumed about 2,310 calories a day, the average for Jews was 184. Mothers often hid children for days after their deaths in order to get their food rations.
  • Before long, those who had not already perished of disease or starvation were carted off to death camps like Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Treblinka.

where were the ghettos located
Where were the ghettos located?

children dying of starvation in the warsaw ghetto
Children Dying of Starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto

concentration camps
Concentration Camps
  • Crammed into barracks & forced to work w/ minimal food
  • Many died of hunger & disease

wannsee conference
Wannsee Conference

Women, children, the old & the sick were to be sent for ‘special treatment.’

The young and fit would go through a process called ‘destruction through work.’

Shooting was too inefficient as the bullets were needed for the war effort

On arrival the Jews would go through a process called ‘selection.’

How was the Final Solution going to be organized?

Jews were to be rounded up and put into transit camps called Ghettoes

The remaining Jews were to be shipped to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East.

The Jews living in these Ghettos were to be used as a cheap source of labor.

Conditions in the Ghettos were designed to be so bad that many die whilst the rest would be willing to leave these areas in the hope of better conditions

what tactics did the nazis use to get the jews to leave the ghettos
What tactics did the Nazis use to get the Jews to leave the Ghettos?


New arrivals at the Death camps were given postcards to send to their friends.


The Jews were told that they were going to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East.

The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed a 1000 calories a day .


In some Ghettos the Jews had to purchase their own train tickets.

A Human being needs 2400 calories a day to maintain their weight


They were told to bring the tools of their trade and pots and pans.

The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or for any act of resistance

Hungry people are easier to control

ss tactics dehumanization
SS Tactics: Dehumanization
  • The SS guards who murdered the Jews were brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda.
  • The Jews were transported in cattle cars in terrible conditions.
  • Naked, dirty and half starved people look like animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi propaganda.
  • The SS used to train their new guards by encouraging them to set fire to a pit full of live victims – usually children.

tactics what happened to new arrivals
Tactics: What happened to new arrivals?

All new arrivals went through a process known as ‘selection.’

At Auschwitz the trains pulled into a mock up of a normal station.

Mothers, children, the old & sick were sent straight to the ‘showers’ which were really the gas chambers.

The Jews were helped off the cattle trucks by Jews who were specially selected to help the Nazis

Deception & Selection

The able bodied were sent to work camp were they were killed through a process known as ‘destruction through work.’

At some death camps the Nazis would play records of classical music to help calm down the new arrivals.

At Auschwitz the new arrivals were calmed down by a Jewish orchestra playing classical music.

entrance to auschwitz
Entrance to Auschwitz

Notice how it has been built to resemble a railway station

auschwitz orchestra
Auschwitz Orchestra

map of auschwitz
Map of Auschwitz

New Arrivals


‘Destruction Through Work’

auschwitz from the air
Auschwitz from the air

Notice how the Death camp is set out like a factory complex

The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the Jews and process their dead bodies

the gas chambers
The Gas Chambers
  • The Nazis would force large groups of prisoners into small cement rooms and drop canisters of Zyklon B, or prussic acid, in its crystal form through small holes in the roof.
  • These gas chambers were sometimes disguised as showers or bathing houses.

The SS would try and pack up to 2000 people into this gas chamber

the outside of the gas chamber

Notice the Ovens easy located near the Gas Chambers

The outside of the Gas Chamber

processing the bodies
Processing the bodies
  • Specially selected Jews known as the sonderkommando were used to to remove the gold fillings and hair of people who had been gassed.
  • The Sonderkommando Jews were also forced to feed the dead bodies into the crematorium.

the ovens at dachau
The Ovens at Dachau

dead bodies waiting to be processed
Dead bodies waiting to be processed

shoes waiting to be processed by the sonderkommando
Shoes waiting to be processed by the sonderkommando

Taken inside a huge glass case in the Auschwitz Museum. This represents one day's collection at the peak of the gassings, about twenty five thousand pairs.

was the final solution successful
The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million Jews at the Wannsee Conference in 1941

Today there are only 2000 Jews living in Poland.

The Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews.

Men like Schindler helped Jews escape the Final Solution.

Not all Jews went quietly into the gas chambers.

In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto, like many others revolted against the Nazis when the Jews realized what was really happening.

Was the Final Solution successful?

  • Lebensraum: Living space
  • Hitler needed room for his Aryan nation
  • Looks to expand

  • Following WWI it was a demilitarized area as a buffer zone between Germany & France
  • Under French control
  • March 7, 1936 Nazi troops reoccupied the zone
  • Ethnic Germans lived there
  • Living space/natural resources
  • Unopposed = appeasement

occupation of rhineland
Occupation of Rhineland

  • Ethnically German: similar culture, religion, language
  • Hitler “absorbed” Austria through Anschluss or union
  • March 12, 1938 troops invaded Austria unopposed


  • Policy by England & France to give into Hitler’s demands in order to keep peace
  • What was appeased?
    • Rhineland
    • Austria
    • Sudetenland
    • Rest of Czechoslovakia

sudetenland czechoslovakia
Sudetenland - Czechoslovakia
  • Sept. 30, 1938
  • Sudetenland portion of Czech. ethnic German (western side)
  • Munich Conference: Chamberlain (England) & Hitler made “peace in our time”
  • Hitler agreed Sudetenland last demand


“A Sudeten woman dutifully salutes parading Nazis, October, 1938. The Sudetenland was the portion of Czechoslovakia inhabited by over 3 million Sudeten Germans. Many of them became Nazis and strongly supported the acquisition of the Sudetenland by Hitler.” worldwar2/timeline/sudet.htm

rest of czechoslovakia
Rest of Czechoslovakia
  • March 15, 1939 German troops took over the rest of Czech.
  • No Germans – Living Space/resources
  • Appeasement

non aggression pact
Non-Aggression Pact
  • August 23, 1939
  • Between Germany & Soviet Union
  • Hitler sought to avoid a 2-front war
  • Agreed to not attack one another & to split Poland
  • Agreement surprised all – Hitler hated communists

invasion of poland
Invasion of Poland
  • Sept. 1, 1939 German air force (Luftwaffe) & tanks invaded Poland
  • Blitzkrieg: Lightning warfare
  • Britain & France vowed to protect Poland
  • Poland quickly overrun & split
  • Sept. 3, 1939 Britain & France declare war on Germany = WWII had begun

invasion of poland1
Invasion of Poland

who s at war
Who’s at War?

At this point:

  • Allies = England & France
  • Axis = Germany & Italy
  • Hitler begins his quest across Europe

  • Maginot Line (France): fortifications built after WWI as protection from invasion
  • Belgium & Neth. overrun
  • German surprise attacks overrun France - allies defeated – surrenders to Nazis
  • Britain next?

battle of britain
Battle of Britain

battle of britain1
Battle of Britain
  • Invasion planned but needed control of airspace 1st (Operation Sea Lion)
  • RAF (Britain’s Royal Air Force) met German airforce (Luftwaffe)
  • Invasion plan failed = terror-bombing
  • British cities “blitzed” by German bombers
  • Britains unwilling to give up – w/stand attack & bombing

battle of britain2
Battle of Britain
  • 900+ planes lost in 3 months
  • Fighter pilot life expectancy measured in wks