Paragraph: 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.21, 2.22, 2.23, 2.25, 2.28, 2.29
2.17 Hitler comes to power
• After being released from prison for his part in the Munich Putsch Hitler reformed the Nazi party and announced to take control of Germany , by standing for elections to the Reichstag (parliament) even do he did built up a private army ( called the Sturmabteilung / SA or Brownshirts)
• Because of the economic crisis there were a lot of people unemployed. There was a lot of disagreement in the government, which was run by a coalition of several political parties, so few steps were taken to help the people.
• In the 1930 elections Hitler and the Nazis campaigned hard, stressing that the government was failing they promised the Germans bread and work. They won some seats but were still a long way from controlling the government.
• In the 1932 elections Hitler stood for president Lost to Hindenburg but was made chancellor.
• The Nazis used the fire in the Reichstag which some people suspected that they caused, to suspend the Reichstag. Hitler used the emergency powers he banned the Communist Party, ( who were blamed for the fire) and sent opponents to concentration camps. He also made the SA into an official auxiliary police force.
• After to have won 233 seats in the 1933 elections the Nazis still did not have a majority Hitler proposed the Enabling Law, allowing him to rule without the Reichstag for four years The law was passed because few members were afraid to oppose because of the threat of the SA and the camps hanging over them.
• In 1933 Hitler banned all political parties except the Nazi’s. The only person who could have stopped him was Hindenburg but he died. after this Hitler made himself president ( Fuhrer) and called his government the Third Reich Hitler and the Nazis had complete control of Germany.
2.18 Life in Nazi Germany
• The Nazis tried to control all aspects of German life: It was a totalitarian state. Nazi officials, police, and the Gestapo ensured that people obeyed the government, the punishments were harsh.
• The ministry of propaganda censored books, radio, plays music and produced propaganda to ensure that the only correct message was heard.
• Children had to join Nazi Youth groups and the school curriculum was changed so the children only learned what the Nazi’s approved of. They learned for example that the Germans were Ayrans, a pure race destined to dominate the world.
• All organizations which might influence people’s thinking in an non Nazi way were banned.
• The Nazis introduced government programs and other measures to reduce the unemployment.
• Mentally ill, Gypsies, homosexuals and Jews were all targets of Nazi hatred sent to concentration camps.
• Anti- Semitism: a hate towards Jews: The Nazis gained support by being anti Jewish, they blamed the Jews for most of Germanys problems.
• 1934: the SA led a boycott of Jewish shops. 1935: The Nuremberg Laws took away the rights of Jews to vote and to marry non Jews, they were separated from the rest of the population 1937: The Jewish businesses were Aryanised taken from the Jews and given to non Jews.
1938: Kristallnacht: all over Germany there were attacks on Jewish shops, synagogues and homes. Thousands of Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
• The Nazis did not obey the Treaty of Versailles, once in power they began to break it step by step. rearming: -Hitler built up an army, introduced conscription and had an army a lot larger than the treaty allowed. – stated building warships and submarines.
• Appeasement: That France and Britain were making concessions to Hitler in order to avoid the horrors of another war. Hitler took the following steps:
- Reoccupying the Rhineland ( against the treaty of Versailles)
- Signing the Rome-Berlin Axis with Italy ( So Germany had a major Ally)
- Anschluss , that Austria would join Germany ( decided after an invasion of Hitler who organized a referendum, the Austrians voted for the Anschluss)
- The Sudetenland ( an area of Czechoslovakia on the German border with 3 million Germans living there ) was returned to Germany.
- Germany had built up a huge army threatened war if his demands were not met.
• The Munich Agreement: The British prime minister , Neville Chamberlain tried to stop the war. Sep 1938 he returned from Munch saying GB, FR, IT and Germany had signed a peace treaty that guaranteed peace in our time. The price of peace was that Germany was given Sudetenland
• The Nazis did not stick to the Munich agreements: March 1939 the German army occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia Now the Germans were taking over land that not had once been part of Germany, where the people were not mainly German and did not want to be a part of Germany
• The next step for Germany was the Polish Corridor, the land which divided Germany ( see the map on page 55) it was taken away from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles and The city of Danzig
• GB and FR signed an agreement to help Poland if it was attacked, they began to prepare for a war.
• Stalin had a hard choice, he knew that both the allies and Germany were trying to use the SU, all of them hated communism.
• The Allies thought The SU would be against the Nazis because of their anti-communist views and would stop the Nazis attacking Poland GB and Fr held talks with SU hoping for an anti German Alliance these talks broke down.
• The talks with Hitler ended in a non-aggression pact ( an agreement not to fight each other ) there was also a secret agreement they would invade Poland and divide it between them.
• The Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact was what Hitler was waiting for now he was safe in the east ( No two front war )
• The first of September 1939, the German army marched into Poland. On 3 September, GB and FR and their colonies, declared war on Germany The world was at war again.
• The Nazis had various ideas about empire and race:
- Empire: - The third Reich needed to build a new empire, - they needed Lebensraum ( living space) – This land would be taken from weaker inferior neighboring countries
- Race: The third Reich needed strong, healthy, Aryan citizens , Aryans were superior and had to stay racially pure. – The Third Reich must get rid of non- Aryans and other undesirables to make a perfect state
• Phoney war: a phase early in WWII, in the months following GB and FR declaration of war on Germany, in which there was little fighting in the west Germany wanted to have complete control on Poland first ( than there would be no distraction in the east while they attracted the west.
• Blitzkrieg (lightning attack that relied on rapid movement. – German planes bombed the area to be occupied, driving civilian refugees onto the road and causing chaos. – Than tanks moved in rapidly and captured the area. – The infantry took over while the plans and tanks moved on. – these attacks were unexpected, terrifying and very effective.
• The Nazis invaded Poland from the West and the Russians from the East. On 29 of September 1939, Poland surrendered, Germany and the SU divided it between them.
• On 9 April Germany invaded Norway and Denmark, without Germany first declaring war on these countries ( both neutral countries) both surrendered.
• Operation Yellow: The invasion of Western Europe The allies had expected a German attack on FR through the Maginot line of defense along the FR/German Border Instead the Germans attacked through neutral Lux, B, and NL and pushed into FR through the Ardennes Forest. ( the Allies had not thought any army could march through this forest )
• Surrendering: Lux 11 May, NL 14 May after the bombing of Rotterdam. Belgium 28 May, Fr 25 June. Britain was the only allied country left unoccupied. Britain’s new Prime minister Winston Churchill refused to; accept Hitlers control over Eur and to make peace.
2.23 Why did Hitler invade to Soviet Union
• The Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact of 1939: Hitler invaded Poland while Stalin invaded Finland, the Baltic States and Eastern Poland. Hitler seemed focused on expanding westwards.
• On 22 June 1941 Germany invaded SU. Stalin did not expect this and was unprepared.
• Huge areas of SU territory was captured, however the SU was a huge country. Both sides concentrated on the siege of Stalingrad. After terrible fighting Hitler insisted on fighting. But on 2 February 1943 the last 90.000 Germans surrendered.
• After Stalingrad came a tank battle at Kursk in the summer of 1943 which was the largest battle of the war again the Russians won the German army had suffered a defeat and with heavy losses was forced into a long retreat all the way to Berlin
• Why did Hitler repeat the decision that began Napoleon’s downfall when he invaded Russia?
Hitler must had felt he could succeed where Napoleon had failed.
2.25 The Holocaust
• From April 1940 the Jews were isolated in Ghettos ( the most run down parts of the cities ) mostly in occupied Poland as a result thousands of Jews died in the ghettos of sickness and starvation.
• In the SU, Jews suffered even worse treatment, Einsatzgruppen ( killing squads) were sent to shoot all the Jews in newly-captured areas
• The final solution an aim of the Nazis to kill all the estimated 11 million Jews living in occupied lands.
• Sending people to transport, putting them into concentration camps (where they worked and some starved to death) or into death camps where they worked until the Nazis killed them.) It is still unclear how many people the Nazis killed in what is now called the Holocaust. Most estimates are between 5 and 6 million.
2.28 Bombing Civilians
• Throughout history civilians had been safe from attacks during wars ( unless their country was invaded) This changed in WWII.
- The German Blitzkrieg: deliberately bombing civilians to spread terror and disrupt the roads with refugees.
- The Germans later on 1940 when attacking GB by air, they mass bombed industrial centers, docks, railway hubs, all in cities
- Bombing to break the civilian moral, by general bombing of cities. 43.000 Londoners were killed.
• The allies later on in the war bombed German cities: to hit industrial centers, disrupt transport and break civilian morale ( the bombing of Dresden killed up to 100.000 people )
• 6 June 1944 D Day the allies landed in France, the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe
• Most of the South of the Netherlands was liberated in the autumn of 1944, the failure of operation Market Garden ( an allied attempt to take control of a crossing of the Rhine at Arnhem ) brought the allied advance to a halt
• The parts of the Netherlands still under the Nazi rule had to live through the worst winter in living memories ( very cold and shortage of food, thousands of people died of starvation )
• On the 5th May 1945 Amsterdam was liberated.
• The SU was advancing from the East
• 8 May 1945 Germany surrendered
• Problems after the war:
- many Jews who had survived had no place to go, no home or family,
- Europe had millions of homeless refugees.
- food shortage
- war damage
- trying to get the economy going again
• Social problems: rebuilding trust in communities:
- Some people had worked in the resistance
- Some people had collaborated (worked together with the Nazis)
- Many people had tried to co-exist with the Nazis without resisting or collaborating