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The World in the Interwar Period

The World in the Interwar Period

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The World in the Interwar Period

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  1. The World in the Interwar Period 1919-1939

  2. What problems followed World War I? • In addition to the many problems caused by World War I, new problems arose in: • Russia, due to Revolution • Italy, due to Fascism • Germany, due to Nazism

  3. How did Russia respond to the war? • The Bolshevik Revolution took place due to the corrupt monarchy and desires for “Bread, Peace and Land.” • The Communist takeover scared the rest of the world.

  4. How did Italy respond to the war? • Benito Mussolini in Italy rose to power as a fascist, a term used to describe right-wing dictators. His government was antidemocratic, anti-Communist and anti-Semitic but appealed to many people for its nationalism and stability.

  5. Describe the Weimar Republic in Germany. • Weimar Republic refers to 1919-1933 in Germany. • The Weimar Republic took power through a constitution written in August 1919, since Wilson refused to negotiate a peace settlement with a non-democratic Germany. • While the Weimar constitution granted civil liberties and provided for direct elections, it had flaws that allowed it to be overthrown by Hitler.

  6. What was the Weimar Republic? • Politically and economically, the nation struggled with the terms and reparations imposed by the Peace Treaty of Versailles (1919) that ended World War I, and endured punishing levels of inflation. • 1920s Berlin was at the hectic center of the Weimar culture– which showed the .time’s chaos.

  7. What was Weimar Culture like? • German artists made significant cultural contributions in the fields of art, literature, architecture, music, drama, dance, and the new medium of the motion picture. • Weimar culture focused on the reality of modern life, including problems. George Grosz’s The City

  8. Otto Dix’s Metropolis

  9. Otto Dix’s Invalides (Skat Players)

  10. Veterans:George Grosz’s Grey Day

  11. What events ended the Weimar Republic? • With Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, many German intellectuals and cultural figures fled Germany for the United States, and other parts of the world. Those who remained behind were often arrested, or detained in concentration camps.

  12. Describe Hitler’s origins. • Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) arrived on the German political scene around the time when the French occupation of Germany’s productive Ruhr valley (seen as Germany’s bread-basket) sent inflation soaring, and unemployment had spread throughout Germany. • Hitler affiliated with the extremist Christian Socialist Party in Vienna and absorbed much of its rabid German nationalism and anti-Semitism.

  13. Describe Hitler’s origins. • Hitler moved to Munich and became involved with a small, nationalistic, anti-Semitic party known as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazis. • In 1923, he and other Nazis led a coup against the Weimar government known as the Beer Hall Putsch. It failed; Hitler was enjailed, wherein he wrote Mein Kampf.

  14. Then the Great Depression hit.

  15. What was the Great Depression? • On October 29, 1929 the NYSE collapsed, beginning the Great Depression. • Other financial problems existed already: • Inflation due to postwar consumer demand, and a crisis in goods’ production and distribution worldwide. • Financial crises caused by WWI and the Versailles Peace Treaty--particularly reparations and war debts. • The American and European economies were tied together, so that when the U.S. economy collapsed, so did Europe’s. • When governments failed to act responsibly the crises worsened. • The final blow was that increasing agricultural productivity led to increased unemployment, exacerbating the crisis. The Depression grew on itself.

  16. Why was the Great Depression significant? • Overall the Depression’s significance was that it caused great fear in that capitalism and democracy would be destablized--leading to greater fear of Communist Revolutions. • Instead fear of communism would lead fascism to develop in 1930s Europe.

  17. How did Germany confront the Depression? • In Germany Depression led to the National Socialists’ rise to power due to financial crisis, economic stress and social anxiety. • As unemployment rose, the young Weimar democracy was unable to solve problems. Beginning in 1930, Germany was ruled by a chancellor through emergency decrees- creating an authoritarian regime before Hitler’s rise to power. • Fear of a Communist Revolution grew. In this climate Nazis attacked Communists in the streets with impunity. Support for the Nazi Party grew.

  18. What led to Hitler’s rise to power? • In 1932, Hitler ran for President and received 36.8 % of the vote in a runoff election. • The Weimar Republic’s government feared both Nazi or Communist takeovers. • As a result, being a Nazi was legalized. The ideas was that Nazis would be in the government, but lose external wealth and power. • Then, as civil war between the left and right became likelier, Hitler was named Chancellor. Significance: He gained power legally on 30 January 1933. Due to fear, many Germans supported him.

  19. How did Hitler consolidate power? • Hitler had gained initial power by mastering propaganda, and by promising: security against communism and economic woes, an effective government and a strong German nation. • On February 27, 1933 the German Reichstag (Parliament) was set on fire by a mentally ill Dutch communist. • By saying that communists were trying to take over, Hitler used Article 48 of the German Constitution to suspend all civil liberties and arrest and persecute German communists.

  20. How did Hitler consolidate power? • In March Hitler’s party gained control of the Reichstag in new elections. • Then they passed the Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler to rule by decree. This was legal, due to flaws in the Weimar Constitution. • In May 1933 Nazis arrested anyone against them- trade unions, their newspapers, banks and leaders were outlawed and arrested. • By July 14, 1933 all political parties but the Nazis were outlawed. • In August of 1934, after Hitler became president of Germany as well as its chancellor. He held all power.

  21. How did Hitler consolidate power? • Hitler kept consolidating control by: • Killing off the leaders of individual federal German states • Taking over all economic enterprise. Hitler adopted massive public works and spending programs to develop and rearm. • In 1935 Hitler renounced the provisions of the Versailles Treaty and began open rearmament. • Hitler then purged the Nazi Party of any possible rivals by murdering them and key SA officials to gain support of the German army officer core. • Afterward Hitler was supported by approximately 1 million SA storm troopers. • Hitler’s chief vehicle of enforcing the German police state were the SS (Schutzstaffel) - an elite 52,000 member paramilitary organization led by Heinrich Himmler entrusted to protect Hitler and enforced his policies.

  22. How did Hitler consolidate power? • A main part of Nazi rule was anti-Semitism: loss of citizenship, civil liberties and careers as well as persecution and harassment for Jewish Germans. • Shortly after coming to power in 1933 Nazis excluded Jewish Germans from civil service, and started boycotts of Jewish businesses. Humiliation of Jewish Germans became regular. • By 1935 the Nuremberg Laws passed, which took away Jewish Germans’ citizenship, their abilities to work in main professions, ability to intermarry and/or have sexual relations with non-Jews, and legally defined being Jewish.

  23. How did Hitler consolidate power? • Anti-Semitism under the Hitler worsened over time. • Using the pretext that Jewish Germans were forbidden from business careers, Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues were destroyed on November 9 and 10 1938- Kristallnacht. Afterward Jewish communities were required to pay for and clean up the destruction. • Further violence against Jewish Germans would follow in the “Final Solution”- a plan for genocide and the extermination of all Jews.

  24. How did Hitler consolidate power? • Finally, throughout the 1930s various organizations for men, women, boys and girls built popular support for Hitler. • An excellent example of the mass politics and propaganda that characterized Hitler’s Germany can be seen in Leni Riefenstahl’s film 1934 “Triumph of the Will.”