People and Power – Germany 1918-1939. Conditions in Germany at the end of WWI. Conditions in the country: lack of food, fuel, medicine, soap, clothing. Outbreak of Spanish flu: killed thousands of Germans in winter of 1917. Why did the Kaiser abdicate?.
The constitution made it weak…
Ebert blamed for signing the armistice – November criminals: army felt they had been “stabbed in the back”
Treaty of Versailles – Weimar government signed the treaty on 28th June 1919
Many enemies: political risings (Spartacists, Kapp Putsch) and murders of political figures showed Weimar republic was unpopular and weak
Caused hyperinflation in 1923
Held meetings in beer halls – comfortable surroundings encouraged people to attend.
Hitler was a good speaker
The SA intimidated people and impressed others with their discipline and smart uniforms.
The Beer Hall Putsch gave the Nazis publicity in rural areas that had never heard of them before and people felt sorry for Hitler when he was imprisoned.
Propaganda techniques, newspapers, posters and leaflets.
Promised to revenge the much hated Versailles
The Weimar Republic was unpopular due to the TOV and being unable to control the country.
Weimar Republic very unpopular when they did not help the people during the depression.
Hitler promised the people work, food, better pensions, profit sharing for the workers. To help solve their economic problems.
SA continued to intimidate and impress people.
Reichstag Fire he blamed this on the Communist and asked Hindenberg if he would pass the enabling law, this gave Hitler power to pass any laws without Reichstag approval to protect the country. This gave him the power of a dictator.
Hindenberg could not appoint a successful Chancellor. Within 9 months Von Papen and Schliecher had failed due to their unpopularity with the Reichstag. The only person who could now do this job was Hitler. Hindenberg had to appoint him as Chancellor in Jan 1933. He was now the leader.
Hindenberg died in August 1934 and Hitler combined the president and chancellor’s positions together to become the Fuhrer. He now had total power.
First he took control over the whole country, previously there was 18 states in Germany under independent control, he eventually combined them together under his control.
Got rid of Trade Unions in May 1933 – took over their buildings and funds and arrested and imprisoned the leaders.
Got rid of political opposition – May 1933 took over buildings and funds and again arrested the leaders. He passed a law to prevent any political opposition.
SS got rid of the SA when Rohm it’s leader wanted more power. This earned the SS the job of Germany’s police force when they got rid of the SA.
Hitler controlled his country using the SS. People would inform on you if you said anything against Hitler or the Nazis and the SS would come to your home and remove you permanently.
He also used the Nazi Party with it’s 5,000 members to control it’s people. Towns were divided into small areas (blocks) which were supervised by a Nazi block leader. If you spoke against the Nazis than you would disappear.
He also started the Nazi youth movements which brainwashed and controlled Germany's youth. They would also inform on their parents and friends if they said anything.
Before the Sa were wiped out they were brutal in their dealings with any opposition.
The SS removed any opposition.
The SA when Rohm wanted more power were wiped out by the SS in a night of terror. The night of the Long Knives.
He got rid of political opposition by removing their property and money and imprisoning their leaders. He also passed a law to make sure no one set up political power against him.
Eidleweiss Pirates and the White Rose were attacked. Their leaders were executed and sometimes imprisoned.
How he dealt with women, children and Jews.
How he dealt with the Church