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Impact of WW1 on Germany. Lacked a labour force because about 1,700,000 German men had died in WW1. Short of raw materials that were needed to rebuild because: Loss of the Rhineland No country would trade with them. Isolated.

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impact of ww1 on germany
Impact of WW1 on Germany
  • Lacked a labour force because about 1,700,000 German men had died in WW1.
  • Short of raw materials that were needed to rebuild because:
    • Loss of the Rhineland
    • No country would trade with them. Isolated.
  • Food shortages meant that people were not physically fit enough to work long hours.
  • Reparations were crippling the economy. Any money they did make was being paid to the Allies.
  • They had spent more money than any other nation on the War.
  • No jobs. 7 Million unemployed.
  • Hyper Inflation – Prices began to rise uncontrollably.
inflation hyper inflation
Inflation & Hyper Inflation
  • 1920 – Half a dozen eggs = 1 Mark
  • 1921 Half a dozen eggs = 3 Marks
  • Jan 1923 Half a dozen eggs = 250 Marks
  • Sept 1923 Half a dozen eggs = 15million Marks
  • Oct 1923 Half a dozen eggs = 2 billion Marks
blame game
Blame game
  • Many blamed the old political leaders for getting them into the War
  • Others blamed the new leaders for agreeing to peace so easily. ‘Stabbed in the back’.
  • Some blamed the Communists or the Jews.
  • Unhappiness & resentment lead to Mass suspicion & blame.
hitler s beliefs
Hitler’s beliefs
  • Lebensraum- the need for 'living space' for the German nation to expand.
  • A strong Germany - the Treaty of Versailles should be abolished
    • All German-speaking people united in one country. Self-determination. Where there German peoples?
    • Should be allowed a strong army
  • Führer - the idea that there should be a single leader with complete power rather than a democracy.
  • Autarky - the idea that Germany should be economically self-sufficient.
  • Herrenvolk- 'Master Race‘. The idea of a superior or Aryan race.
  • Untermensch - 'subhuman'. Jews, gypsies, Slavic peoples.
  • Germany was in danger - from Communists and Jews, who had to be destroyed. Used fear and anger very effectively.

Prolonged extreme pressures

Desperation & Unhappiness

Increased the appeal extreme political beliefswith radical solutions to Germany’s problems.

rise to power
Rise to Power

Hitler’s extreme Political ideas appealed. People supported him.

Very charismatic speaker.

Gained rich and influential supporters.

Failure of the government to control him.

Was able to ‘deal’ with the competition through the SA.

Gradually the Nazi Party gained more seats in Parliament.


1921 becomes leader of the Nazi Party.

1923 leads a Putsch (revolution) which fails. Hitler sent to jail. Writes Mein Kampf(My Struggle).

1925 Comes out of jail and restarts the party.

1930-33 Nazis steadily increases their seats in parliament. Manipulate democracy. Keep forcing G.Es.

January 1933 – Hitler becomes Chancellor.

February 1933 – Reichstag fire. Gives Hitler emergency powers.

March 1933 – Enabling Act – Gave Hitler complete power. Nazi Party become the only political party permitted in Germany.

1934 – Night of the Long Knives.

german recovery
German recovery
  • Infrastructure was largely intact. Most of the fighting was in France and Belgium
  • USA lent huge sums of money to Germany
  • Hitler defied the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations by:
    • Refusing to pay the reparations
    • Occupying the Rhine Land.
  • Therefore they had the money and resources to rebuild