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Nazi Germany: 1933-1939
Transcript of Nazi Germany: 1933-1939
How was Hitler and his Nazi Party so triumphant in their rule over Germany?
Because of their control of the following key aspects of German society:
System of terror
Youth & Education
Germans were scared into submition to support the party
First the Nazis had to win over the German People. They did this by rebuilding the economy.
Four key policy aims
1. Full Employment
2. General Labour Front
Hitler succeeded in providing near full employment by 1939 and therefore furthereed his control over the german people as they relied on the party for their employment. The stratergy employed was defecit spending on public works and infrastrucuture. This expenditure, which by 1938 had reached 30 million reichmarks directly corrolated in the drop of unemployment experienced in Nazi Germany. A great example of an infrastructure project employed by the Nazis to create jobs was the Autobahns, which employed 80,000 people.
This was the Nazi organisation that replaced all trade unions so that the Party had complete control over the workers. The Nazis tried to win over workers, who would have been former supporters of the Social Democratic Party or the Communist Party. They did this by having schemes such as the Strength of Joy and the Beauty of Labour. The Strength of Joy was to provide entertainment to the workers whilst the Beauty of Labour movement advanced the working conditions in German factories beyond any other in the world at the time. A symbol for the prosperity of the workers at the time was the Volkswagen Beetle, or the "People's Car". The production of the cars provided employment but under the Beetle scheme no worker was never able to afford one before production was stopped with the onset of the war in 1939. Ironically through nazi rule wages went down and working hours went up for labourers.
As Hitler blatantly disregarded the Treaty of versailles, he was building up a new German military, that would need the huge amounts of munitions and equipment.
This process was started in the reoccupation of the Rhineland and the once again starting conscription for the German army. At times throughout the Nazi rule rearmament cost comprised 60% of all expenditure. Expenditure in rearmament was such that after 1936 it exceeded all combined civilian investment in Germany. This was achieved by the Four Year Plan. Herman Goering implemented the plan when he was appointed Reich Minister of Economics in 1937, replacing Hajman Schacht.
The plan meant Goering took total control of industry and with this he put emphasis on industry needed for war and rearmament. Through rearmament and mass government spending German unemployment had fallen from above six million in 1933 to below one million in 1938.
Hitler set about creating an economically self sufficient Germany through the ecomics schemes, especially the four year plan.
Ultimately it failed though because Germany never became totally self sufficient.
So what was life like for the average German?
It was pretty average actually. Eventhough unemployment had fallen from 30% to reaching near capacity, workers no longer had the right to quit, they had no unions and actual wages had fallen by 25% to what they were in 1928. The real beneficaries of the nazi regime in terms of economics were the big businesses because they could decrease wages, increase hours and not have to worry about Unions. For this reason small businesses found it hard to compete with the big corporations. These large corporations became state funded during the regime as only 10% of all investment during the regime was public. Therefore the Nazis controlled people's employment and many Germans went along with or supported the Nazis because of fear of loss of employment.
Economic revival of Germany was not the only the only reason people supported the Nazis and life under the regime was not as perfect as the employment figures show because of the...
Set up in 1925, by those fanatically loyal to Hitler and led by Heinrich Himmler (below), the SS were the embodiment of extreme Nazi policy. Their primary objective was to enforce Nazi racial policy and dispell all opponents within Germany and its territories of the party. The SS also had many other departments such as the Reich Security Office, Waffen SS (Military Branch), Office for strengthening Germanhood, Ordinary Police, Race and Resettlement office and Death's Head Units (concentration Camps)
The point of the Nazi racial policy was to protect the "Volksgemeinschaft" or national community of Aryan Germans. This meant removing the undesirables of society, Jews, Gypsies, Homsexuals, Mentally and Physically disabled persons.
Nazi Police State
The SS turned from Hitler's guard into the police of Germany and created an environment of fear in Germany. On the 17th of Febuary 1933 the SS and SA became auxillary police units. This would continue throughout Nazi reign and the police would become a component of the SS. The SS had the implicit thereat of violence on those who opposed the party, together with controlling the concentration camps encited fear amongst all Germans.
Led by this man, Josef Goebbels (made Minister of Propoganda March, 1933)
The triumph of Nazi propoganda was its use of both negative and positive forms of medium. The succes of positive propganda was that people took pride and pleasure in the Nazi Party. The great example of this success was the Nuremerg Rally, which's vasity shows the passion of Nazi support.
Positive propoganda was wholy patriotic propoganda designed to associate Nationalism with the Nazi Party and for people to enjoy the Nazi influence and German culture. People succumed to the lies through the pomp and ceremony.
The 1936 Olympics is an example of positive propoganda used by the Nazis not only to convince the outside world but the German population of how good life was under the regime.
Germans were also controlled by the...
Negative Propoganda was Nazi control of media mediums, which they used to soley belittle and devalue opponents and to reafirm their own idealologies and policies.
The Nazis controlled all journalistic media with the German News Bureau. All news was censored to give an only Nazi point of view to the news, Jews were forbidden to work for the DNB. “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” - Josef Goebbels
Above, a Der Sturmer front page. It was a newspaper run by the DNB an was extremely antisemetic, the article above says that Jews wanted Germany to go to war.
The People's Receiver was an extremely cheap radio receiver that could only pick up German radio signals. It was put into production at request the of Josef Goebbels and subsequently German radio ownership quadrupled during the regime.
German Film Industry
All films were censored and had to have a pro-Nazi message. The newsreels that preceeded a film were full of Nazi propoganda. Films such as the imfamous Eternal Jew, promoted anti-semmitism to the masses.
This negative propoganda desensitised and saturated the German People to Nazi policies and convinced them that it was right because there was nothing to the contrary. Goebbels throughout his propoganda seized the love of Hitler and tried to make his presence greater.
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” - Adolf Hitler
"Never has their been a more loved statesman in history"
Hitler reignited Imperialism in the German psyche, for which he was adored. By combining the roles of Chancellor and President, he became Fuhrer and effectively Emperor of the Third Reich. Germans for this saw hope in him, as he was bringing back the glory days of the Kaiser.
Hitler brought with him to power traditionalism and order to German society, "The sight of discipline in a time of chaos, the impression of energy in an atmosphere of universal hoplessness...won [Germans] over" - Albert Speer, Source 38, p153. Throughout the campaign into power and the regime Hitler was always associated to be the reason for this order and revival of Germany.
Hitler was a great orator and used this to convince Germans of his policies. Mostly the speaches were nationalistic slogans but they attracted admiration from Germans because of shared hatred amongst Germans and negative cohesion toward Hitler.
Hitler used his great orating skills and the nationalism associated with the nazi party to integrate the German youth into the party.
Hitler used Nazi youth organisations such as the Hitler Youth and the German League of Maidens to gain support from German children. These were the only youth organisations, as all else were banned by the Nazis and most of all they seemed enjoyable to young Germans. They taught traditional german culture and outdoor skills, especially in the Hitler Youth, which's main aim was to produce perfect German soldiers.
Throughout their education children in nazi Germany would have been fed nazi propoganda and stating it as fact. History class would have been to indoctrinise the children into the Nazis political stnace. The children would have none no alternative to a propoganda run education system and media, they would have more actively participated in the Nazi party such as the Hitler Youth for this reason. Also in biology children were being brainwashed to Nazi ideals of eugenics, which applied darwinism to man. Nazi teachings would have portrayed German Aryans as the master race and jew and other undesirables as inferior.
A policeman not loyal to the Nazi Party gets arrested by the SS
In 1934 the police state was heightened with the creation of the Gestapo. The Gestapo were complemenatry organisation to the German security services as well as the national state police and were made above the law in 1936. They could arrest on suspicion and had the authority through suspicion to make lists of people who could be "potential enemies of the state" and then send them to concentration camps. Through enciting this fear amongst the German People the Gestapo created a society of informers and one which would not dare speak out against the Nazi Party. The Gestapo would not have been able to function to its level of power without so many informers, for example in the city of Wurzberg, where there was 1 million poeple there were only 28 Gestapo officers.
In the Nazi regime people were scared into submition so not to oppose the Nazis and all other political parties were banned in July 1933. After the Reichstag Fire the SS and SA arrested 4000 communists and incited physical violence against all communists
This paved the way not only for the fanatical Nazis being the police but also the one party state of Germany.
The first conentration camp, Dachau was opened in 1933, exclusively for political prisoners. Dachau had an accommodation for 5,000 persons. All Communists and ...Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated there". Between 1933 and 1945 3.5 million Germans were imprisoned in concentration camps for political reasons. Through the imprisonment of its own people the Nazi Party acheived full authority as no one was willing to politically oppose the Nazis.
Nuremburg Race laws
Under the 1935 Nuremburg Race Laws Jews lost full citizenship status and lost rights to marry non-jews or employ German women under the age 45. In 1936 Jews were banned from all professional jobs and from the public school system. This racial policy along with propoganda divided Jews out of German society and made them hated by other Germans. Nazis hated Jews because of Jewish success and control of industry and the belief the Jews caused the loss of World War One and the Treaty of Versailles but the Nuremburg race laws reflected the Nazis' view of eugenics. Eugenics was the application of darwinism to the human race and Nazis justified that Jews were sub-human.
Night of the Broken Glass
The Night of the Broken Glass on the 9th of November, 1938 was an example of Nazi brutality toward the Jewish community as it was carried out by members of the SA and SS, where 250 synagogues and 7000 Jewish businesses were destroyed and 30,000 Jewish men arrested and put in concentration camps for being Jewish. The arrests and riots were caused by the murder of German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath by polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan.
The Final Solution
The plans for The Final Solution were fully implemented in 1942 and started the mass eradication of all Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Prior to 1942 one million Jews had already been massacred by the Nazis.
"Action T4" was the Nazi scheme for forced euthanasia of those "judged incurably sick, by medical examination". According to the Nazi Party under the scheme 72,273 physically and mentally handicapped people were murdered but the program was continued unofficialy by concentration camps during the war, the current estimate is that a total of 275,000 people were slaughtered.
The Nazi propoganda poster reads; "60,000 Reichsmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime..." Nazi justification for the program was that these people were parasaites and eliminating them would not only help the community but stop their suffering.
Nazis believed in the "traditional balance" of German society, where women only worked domestically as a mother or to suppport their husband. This idea was enforced by schools, German League of Maidens and propoganda. When an actress appeared in a film wearing trousers Nazi newspapers said "No true German woman wears trousers".
Nazi Birth Rate
Hitler offered financial incentives for those with at least four children and community incentives to those whom reached eight. Hitler acheived his aim, in 1930 the birth rate was 14.7 per thousand and in 1939 it was 20.4 per thousand.
During the war
The Nazis had to contradict their traditional values by allowing women to work for the war effort, as labour was desparately needed to sustain war demands.
Women in Nazi Germany did not hold professions and did not serve in positions of power within the party. There were som famous Nazi women though, such as Leni Reifenstahl, director of the propoganda masterpieces Triumph of Will and Olympia.
Hitler at the opening of the Autobahn, 1935.
Hitler inspecting a new Beetle in 1938, with designer Ferry Porsche standing outside
Panzer Tank assembly line, 1940.