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Chapter 17: The West Between the Wars 1919 – 1939. Section 3: Hitler and Nazi Germany. Hitler and His Views: - Hitler was born in Austria, failed secondary school and was rejected by the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Adolf Hitler as an infant. Hitler as a young man.

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chapter 17 the west between the wars 1919 1939

Chapter 17: The West Between the Wars 1919 – 1939

Section 3: Hitler and Nazi Germany

Hitler and His Views:
  • - Hitler was born in Austria, failed secondary school
  • and was rejected by the Vienna Academy of Fine
  • Arts

Adolf Hitler as an infant

Hitler as a young man

- While in Vienna, Hitler developed his ideology –

racism was at the core of his beliefs; he was an

extreme nationalist and understood the use of

propaganda and terror

Adolf Hitler in Munich, August 1914

Hitler served four years during WWI, then entered
  • politics in Germany. In 1919, he joined and eventually
  • controlled the National Socialist German Workers’
  • Party (Nazi Party)

A young Hitler (left) posing with other German soldiers.

Nazi Party Flag

1923, Hitler staged an uprising in Munich – the Beer
  • Hall Putsch – which was quickly crushed; Hitler was
  • sent to prison

Hitler, Ludendorf, and Others After the Beer Hall Putsch

Hitler at Landsberg Prison

Hitler's Cell at Landsberg Prison

While in prison, Hitler wrote, Mein Kampf (My Struggle)

– in it he outlines his basic ideas and plans

His ideas combined:

▪ German nationalism

▪ anti-Semitism

▪ anticommunism

▪ in the book he also embraced the notion that

stronger nations should expand to obtain living

space and that superior leaders should rule over

the masses

Rise of Nazism:
  • ▪ Hitler realized that the way to power was through
  • legal means, therefore he worked to expand the Nazi
  • party throughout Germany; by 1929, the Nazi’s had
  • a national party organization and by 1931 was the
  • largest political party in the Reichstag.
  • ▪ Germany’s economic problems helped the Nazi’s
  • come to power; many people were in desperate
  • situations, which made extreme parties popular;
  • Hitler appealed to national pride and militarism to
  • gain support
Victory of Nazism:
  • ▪ After 1930, the Reichstaglost power and Hitler
  • gained power; industrial leaders aristocrats, military
  • officers, and high-level bureaucrats wanted Hitler to
  • lead the country
  • ▪ 1933, the Nazis pressured
  • President Hindenburg to
  • allow Hitler to become
  • chancellor and create a new
  • government

Hitler is appointed chancellor by Hindenburg

▪ March 1933, the Reichstag passed the Enabling

Act, which gave the government the power to

ignore the constitution and pass laws to deal with

the nation’s problems. The act gave Hitler a legal

basis to become a dictator appointed by the


▪ Nazis established control; Jews were purged from

the civil service, trade unions were dissolved,

concentration camps set up for Nazi opponents,

and all political parties except the Nazis were

abolished; when Hindenburg died, the Nazis

abolished the presidency and Hitler became the

only leader known as the Fuhrer (leader)

K. The Nazi State, 1933-1939:

Hitler’s goal was to develop an Aryan racial state to

dominate Europe and possibly the world; to reach

this goal Nazi’s used economic policies, mass rallies,

organizations, and terror; Hitler’s empire was called

the Third Reich

Hitler as Chancellor of Germany (30 January 1933)

- The State and Terror:

▪ While Hitler ruled absolutely

over the Nazi party, there

were internal struggles.

The SS or “Guard Squadrons”

were important for maintaining


▪ The SS controlled all the police

forces and was under the

direction of Heinrich Himmler;

Himmler’s goal was to further

the Aryan race; he used terror

tactics to achieve this goal

Heinrich Himmler as Reichsfuehrer SS

- Economic Policies:

▪ Hitler put people back to work through public works

projects and grants to private construction

companies. He also started a massive rearmament

program; unemployment dropped; depression comes

to an end helping the Nazis be accepted by the


The army went from 100,000 in 1933, to 1.4 million in 1939.

- Women and Nazism:

▪ Nazis believed women were to be wives and

mothers; their role was to bear Aryan children; Nazis

also controlled the types of work women could do

and strongly encouraged them to stay at home

The League of German Girls was a compulsory youth organization for German girls formed in the early 1930s. The purpose of the organization, along with the Hitler Youth for boys, was to indoctrinate young people into the politics and culture of the Nazi Party.