-Half Austrian and half German. Serves with distinction, wounded returns to Bavaria after war (served in a Bavarian regiment). -German nationalist+supporter of authoritarianism+ opposed to democracy and socialism + racially motivated (anti-Semitism v German Volk) -Pseudo spy for Bavarian govt and runs into the DAP (German Workers Party). Likes their anti-capitalist, anti-Semitic and nationalist message. Anton Drexler is founder/head; Hitler has energy, oratory and propaganda skills. -1920 – 25 Points authored by Hitler/Drexler. DAP>NSDAP. Hirtler in charge of propaganda: salute, uniforms,swastika. Also creates armed squads. -Drexler alarmed – power play but loses as Hitler offers to resign and instead becomes chairman and Fuehrer. -1921-23 party reorganization.
A) Armed squads reorganized into SA headed by Ernst Roehm: intimidation and violence. B) 1921 Newspaper – People’s Observer C) Julius Streicher gives Hitler support (rival right wing group in Bavaria) D) Hermann Goering joins party in 1922. Aristocracy/high society makes party “more respectable” 1923 – 20,000 members – powerful mainly in one part of Bavaria. 1923 – Beer Hall Putsch: successful example of Mussolini and weaknesses of Weimar: a) hostility of elites (top army brass, aristocracy, industry); b) limited popular support, and economic problems. c) Nostalgia for Kaiser and Imperial Germany, not used to democracy d) Economic problems: costs of WWI and debts, reparations, new welfare benefits provided by State (health insurance, housing), hyperinflation because of Ruhr crisis.
e) Association with defeat in war – Treaty of Versailles, November criminals and stab in the back myth. Hitler plots “March on Berlin” with Gustav von Kahr (ultra-conservative leader of Bavarian govt) and General von Lossow (local head of army). However, poor planning, not enough public support, too much reliance on General Ludendorff, Kahr and Lossow back out at last minute. Nov 8, Hitler announces a “national revolution” and next day marches into Muncih with 2000 SA. Easily crushed by police and 14 Nazis killed, Hitler arrested for treason. Consequences: Nazi party banned. Hitler gets onto national stage and attracts attention of other right wingers;
B) Muellers Grand Coalition (SDP, Center and Stresemann’s party). C) United Opposition: formed by media magnate Hugenberg – has DNVP, Pan-german league, Nazis, leading industrialists. Draft a “Law against the Enslavement of German People”. Referendum in 1929, but lose. D) Oct. 1929 Wall Street Crash and Great Depression – 32% unemployment (6 million) – industrial workers lose jobs for extended time, middle class and small businesses affected. 42% fall in GNP. World trade collapses (protectionism and tariffs). Peasants hit by collapse of agr prices; industrial workers are unemployed. 50,000 businesses collapse and banks fail. Loss of confidence and despair.
Nazi organization: use of modern propaganda techniques (Goebbels); exploitation of scapegoats; strong party structure and organization After 1930 –Presidential Government – and rule by Emergency Decree (art 48): every govt rules by emergency decree. Bruning (1930-32) Center Party; von Papen (May-Dec 1932) also Center but more right wing; General Kurt von Schleicher (Dec 1932-Jan 1933) no party affil. E) Muellers coalition collapses March 1930. Meissner, Gen. von Schleicher and Hindenburg are all conservative nationalists and get Bruning in. When Reichstag rejects his austerity budget, he invokes Art. 48. Calls for elections F) Reichstag elections 1930 on yield no mandates: 1930 Election – Nazis get 18.3% (2nd after Socialists)…800,000 to 6.4 m votes. Nationalists lose half votes to Nazis, middle class democratic parties lose the most and extremes gain, socialists lose ground to KPD. G) Bruning continues as Chancellor – Presidential Govt. May 1932 dismissed.
A monarchist, against democracy, anti- Socialist. Failed economic policy of balancing the budget, over-relied on Hindenburg and Art 48. Successes include Allies evacuate Rhineland; Hoover memo suspends debts and reparations; abolished by Lausanne Conference. H) 1932 Reichstag election – brutal street violence; Bavarian left-center govt removed by Papen. Nazis win 37.3% and are largest party; center parties collapse and only KPD gains (14.3%). Dec 1932, von Papen humiliated after no-confidence vote; fails to dissolve Reichstag. Schleicher now has doubts. Hitler, Hindenburg and Papen try to resolve impasse – Hitler wants Chancellorship and rebuffed. Nov 1932 new elections called and Nazis only get 33.1%. Schleicher insists von Papen be replaced; 2 month rule by Gen. von Schleicher. Wants to have left/trade unions join and to split Strassers from Hitler. Fails because trade unions doubt him, landowners and businessmen have no trust.
Hindenburg agrees to a Nazi-Nationalist coalition = Hitler appointed Chancellor. Papen, Hindenburg’s son oskar, landowners, industrialists and army support him. Why did Nazis succeed? 13 m voters; appeal to middle class and Protestants; high in north and east; peasants and farmers, Mittelstand (shopkeepers) and white collar workers; appeal to youth, “politics of anxiety”, becomes genuine people’s party by 1932 Political methods: propaganda, canvassing (posters and leaflets), technology, mass suggestion, scapegoats and unifying theme, violence. The Legal Revolution: 2/12 Nazis in Cabinet; no majority in Reichstag although the NSDAP is largest party; President can dismiss Chancellors at will. Plus side: has largest party; conservatives must choose between him and possibly Communists or civil war; he can use resources of the state. Calls for new Reichstag elections for March 1933 within 24 hours. Violence, intimidation, 69 people die Hitler’s “Appeal to the German people” – blames everything on communists and democrats, idea of a “national uprising” Promised 3 million reichsmarks from key industrialists.
Feb 27 – Reichstag Fire – a communist accused therefore play up fears of a communist led coup. Next day, Hindenburg signs “Decree for the Protection of the People and the State” – most civil and political liberties suspended (hundreds are arrested). Election results 5 March: Nazis win 44% but needs 52 seats won by nationalists. Changes in laws need 2/3 majority to pass. March 1933 – the Enabling Act – to give him and cabinet full powers for 4 years – a “legal dictatorship”. At vote, communists denied entry – Hitler promises to respect rights of catholics and gets ZP support; only SPD vote against and bill passes. Policy of Gleichschaltung: Nazification, a merging with German society during 1933-34. Revolution from below (the SA) and Revolution from above (leadership). Main focus on Federal States, political parties and indpt trade unions.
A.Federal States: violence and intimidation threaten to spin things out of control. 31 March 1933 law to dissolve regional parliaments, reformed with acceptable majorities and to be controlled by Nazis. 7 April – Governors posts created usually run by Gauleiters (regional party leaders). Jan 1934, regional parliaments are abolished. No more federalism. B.Trade unions: connects to socialism and Catholicism. May Day declared national holiday, SA/SS occupy offices, seize funds and leaders are sent off to camps. DAF (German Labor Front) set up and run by Robert Ley with 22 m. members. C.Political parties : need for a one-party state. Communists outlawed after Fire; Social Dems assets seized in June and they are banned; in late June most parties agree to self dissolve; July Catholic Center Party disbands. Chancellor to Fuehrer: 6 months in – Hitler is stronger position.
Calls for end of revolution 6 July 1933. Needs to stop free-for-all and violence. SA and Roehm call for a “Second Revolution” – SA more made up of unemployed youth.Had made the street revolution earlier but hadn’t benefitted. Roehm calls for National Socialist Revolution – SA has 3 m men in 1934, much larger than army. But army could do a coup, and has the military expertise to fulfiull foreign policy of Hitler. June 29-30, 1934 – Night of the Long Knives – Hitler before comes to agreement with Generals Fritsch and Blomberg. 200 murdered by SS, old scores settled (Schleicher and Strasser) Results: SA leaderless and powerless now. Army behind Hitler. Emergence of the SS. Hitler has firmed up own position August 2 – Hindenburg dies: Hitler merges two offices and takes title of Fuehrer.
RULE OF HITLER
Great Depression: Conditions in 1933
1)Collapse of trade and especially exports
2) Although an industrial powerhouse, many firms go bust in GD
3)Mass long-term unemployment.
4)In agriculture, food prices fall and farmers get poorer
5)In finance, collapse of banking sector
Given the huge problems – 3 choices
A.Anti-capitalist, socialist program embodied in 25 Points (profit-sharing, social security, nationalization)
B.Deficit financing (Keynesian economics)
Concept of Autarky = self-sufficiency
Focus on: Public works projects, Jobs for unemployed.
1) Schacht and the New Plan
President of Reichsbank and later Minister of Economy held a leading role in 1923 crisis and creation of new currency under Stresemann. Note: the economic low was reached in end 1932, early 1933 (but no one knew)
A.Banking- government moves to control capital and to set low rates B.Financial benefits given to groups such as farmers and small businesses also tariffs, subsidies, reduced debts, tax concessions, allowances, and grants C.Public works: reforestation, land reclamation, new roads, housing By 1936, emphasis shifts to rearmament
D.Bilateral trade agreements with focus on barter
E.New Reichsmark policy as only currency to be used
F.Mefo Bills – like t-bills
2 Problems remain: Fear of inflation, Balance of trade deficit.
2) The 4 Year Plan (1936)
– “Guns or Butter?”
– Deficit financing has been hidden by financial tricks
– Schacht proposes reduction in arms spending
– Hitler sides with the army: Military+Economymust be ready in 4 years.
– Goering made Czar of the 4 year plan
Goals: Autarky and rearmament, Nazi control of economy becomes much tighter.
3) War Time Economy
– Goering replaced by Speer in 1942
– Germany is on a total war footing
Ideology: 4 main tenets
A) Race : Aryanism, racial purity, Social Darwinism, anti-Semitism, euthanisa, eugenics
B) Authoritarianism – the Fuehrer principle
C) All Germans together : Lebensraum
One Volk, harmony, no social class divisions or distinctions Social Groups
– Industrial workers (very left): Trade unions closed down
Beauty of Labor (beautify working conditions)
Strength through Joy (vacations, sports, excursions, etc)
But – shortage of workers and real wages stay low as war starts, more women work and Labor camps set up. – Peasants and small farmers: Nazi sympathy for their plight. They are the Volk. Initiatives include: write-offs, cheap loans, land. But – after initial benefits, resentment and lower standard of living – Landowners: initially suspicious of low-born Hitler and his socialists; then buy in and support – Middle class: low rate loans and encouragement for their businesses – Upper Class and Big Business: prefer Hitler and Fascists to communism
Education and Youth
– Centralized: Indoctrinate, brainwash: no more individual choice
– One curriculum and one textbook
– Teachers trained the right way: Nazi Teachers League
– Understand what it means to be German
– Pride and nationalism
– Obedience and loyalty
– Emphasis on physical fitness and education
Hitler Youth compulsory in 1939
League of German Maidens: Teamwork and group work is a big feature But
– teacher shortages, anti-academic curriculum focus
Religion: Most Germans are Christian: 2/3 Protestant. Church is a powerful institution.
A) Conciliation; policy of coordination
Concordat July 1933: Features non-interference.
B) Aggressivenes 1935-45: Nazis become more anti-Christian. German Faith Movement: Never gathers strength.Teutonic paganism – a made-up religion. Anti-religious measures: Close churches, arrests, taking away funds, closing youth groups. → Pope speaks out against Nazis in 1937
Women and Family
Population growth falling, female employment expands, too many unmarried women. Nazis oppose emancipation and feminism. Goals: Kinder, Kuche, Kirche
– More children
– Care for husbands and kids
– Stop employment of women
Between 1933-36, married women debarred from work. Loans to young women to stop working and many need to get married. Some Nazi women’s organizations are used as covers. Economic necessity in 1937: Despite discrimination – need for more cheap labor
– loans, family allowances, taxes reduced, maternity benefits, anti-abortion laws, contraception restricted.
Racial purity, SS brothels.
Result: Births increase, divorces increase, marriages flat
Reich Chamber of Culture headed by Goebbels who is also Minister of Propaganda Burning of the books
Modern music, jazz, etc are degenerate
2500 writers leave Germany
Modern schools of art held in contempt
Degenerate Art v Great German Art
a)Ideological opponents (Communists, religious, military leaders)
b)Biologically inferior (sub-humans)
– sterilization – 350,000
– euthanasia – 70,000
c) Asocials (Homosexuals)
– Gleichschaltung – Policy of Coordination
– All political parties banned July 1933
– State parliaments abolished 1934
– Civil Service purged
– Gestapo established
– SS headed by Himmler established 1925 – elite bodyguards first , then run all police actions (incl. camps) – First camps established in 1933 for regime’s opponents: Labor > Concentration – Death camps after 1939
– Emigration for Jews and others encouraged/preferred up to 1939 – Steps against the Jews: Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), Poland, Final Solution decided on at Wannsee Conference.
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