1933-1945 Nazi Germany: The Big Questions..... - bedstone

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, US History, World Wars And The Great Depression (1910-1945), Adolf Hitler
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1933-1945 Nazi Germany: The

Big Questions.....

How did Hitler become dictator of Germany? • Reichstag Fire Feb 1933 • Enabling Act March 1933: makes Germany a one party state • Regional governments abolished • Trade unions removed • Secure relationship with Army • Propaganda • Terror • Weakness of opposition • Death of Hindenburg • Gleichschaltung

How did Hitler prepare Germany for war? • Four Year Plan: 1936: Germany must be prepared for war, increase production of raw materials, develop ersatz (substitute) products, increase agricultural production • Guns vs Butter debate • Autarky • Increase military expenditure

Social Policy: Traditional or Radical? • Traditional: gender roles • Traditional view of women, appearence • Stressed in education • Radical: removal of non-Aryans

Image vs Reality • Image of Hitler as a strong leader • Reality: badly organised, lazy, focus on foreign policy • Image of Gestapo as all seeing all powerful body • Reality: few Gestapo officers, bogged down in bureaucracy

Image vs Reality • Image: Strong, Organised government • Reality: Chaotic, over lapping ministries, Four Year Plan// Ministry of Economics. Polycracy: system of overlapping ministries. Cabinet meetings became more infrequent. 72 times in 1933, 4 times in 1936. After 1938 it didn’t meet at all.

Was the style of government intended? • No: evidence of Hitler’s lack of organisational skills • Yes: belief in Social Darwinism would reward the most committed. Hitler wanted to keep leading Nazis on their toes: Goering kept out of policy meetings after 1941, Hess adopted deputy because he wasn’t a threat to Hitler.

Intentionalists vs Structuralists • Intentionalists: Polycratic nature of the Third Reich was deliberately extended by Hitler, partly in order to ‘divide and rule’. “Hitler was the master of the Third Reich” • Structuralists: Hitler was indecisive, lazy and easily manipulated. As a result, the chaotic nature of National Socialism spiralled into criminal brutality and lawlessness. “ Hitler was a weak dictator”

How did the Holocaust happen? • Anti Semitism existed in Germany before 1933 1. 1933 April: Boycott, removal of Jews from teaching posts, lawyers. Anti-Semitic propaganda and education 2. 1935 September: Nuremberg Laws: Reich Citizenship Act and Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour 3. 1938 November: Kristallnacht 4. 1939: Creation of the Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration 5. 1942 January: Wannsee Conference: Final Solution. Chaired by Eichmann

How did the Holocaust happen? • Initial arrangements were haphazard and the Nazis did not have any clear programme to deal with the Jewish question until 1941 • No written order for killing the Jews from Hitler has ever been found. • Probably around autumn 1941 it was decided by the top Nazi leadership to launch an extermination policy, this was agreed at Wannsee.

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