Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Class 9 History Chapter Notes by Ajeet Sir: Nazism was based on extremely undemocratic ideology of Racial-exclusion and imperialism. Hitler ruled as Chancellor if Germany from 1933 to 1945 till his suicide. His propaganda to portray him as the saviour of Germany and the holocaust and mass torturing and killing of Jews and the people considered by Hitler as undesired inferior people render him the most hated and bloodiest dictator of his time. Here are given the Notes of the chapter ‘Nazism and the Rise of Hitler.
Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Chapter-Notes Class 9 History
World War I and the defeat of the German Empire
- World War I lasted from July 1014 to November 1918.
- It was Faught between the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, USA) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria and Turkey)
- Imperial Germany surrendered on 11 November 1918.
- The emperor Wilhem II abdicated and Monarchy ceased to exist.
- Germany was declared a Federal Republic (Weimer Republic)
Birth of Weimar republic
- Imperial Germany was declared a ‘Republic’ after the abdication of Kaiser Wilhem II.
- A ‘National Assembly’ was constituted to draft a democratic constitution.
- The ‘National Assembly’ met at Weimar (a city in Germany) and drafted a constitution that became effective from August 1920.
- Germany became a republic with a federal structure.
- German Parliament (Reichstag) was elected on equal and universal votes.
- The ‘Weimar Republic’ was not successful among people and lasted from 1918 to 1933.
Treaty of Versailles 1919
The Treaty of Versailles was designed by allied powers to cripple Germany militarily, economically and territorially as well as turn an imperial Germany into a republic. Germany was made to feel her ‘war guilt’. Main provisions of the Treaty of Versailles 1919:
- Germany lost her overseas colonies (Chinese ports, Pacific Islands and African Colonies were taken back)
- German military power was reduced.
- Army was reduced to 100,000.
- No Air-force and modern weapons allowed
- Large battleships building was not allowed.
- Resource-rich Rhineland was demilitarised by Allied armies.
- Germany lost 13% of her population in territories in Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, and Poland.
- War guilt clause – Germany was made to accept the blame of world War I.
- War indemnity and reparations-
- Germany was forced to pay for war damage amounting to £6 billion pounds.
- Germany s was to supply coal too France, Italy and Belgium for ten years from the Ruhr region.
Effects of World War I
- The entire Europe was badly affected psychologically and financially. A continent of creditor turned into one of debtors.
- The German faced war guilt and suffered from national humiliation and crippled economy.
- Supporters of Weimar Republic (Socialists, Catholics, Democrats) were mockingly called ‘November Criminals’.
- The mindset of people was getting closer to nationalistic conservative forces and dictatorial politics.
- Soldiers came to be placed above soldiers.
- Media glorified trench life of soldiers in war fields.
- Need for masculine, aggressive and string men was stressed and publicised
Political Radicalism and Economic Crisis
The success of Russian Revolution in 1917 had inspired the workers of Germany to establish Bolshevik Revolution type communist government. The Spartacist League was ahead in such attempts. Militant nationalists sought radical solutions. Economic Depression also played its role in radicalising politics.
- The Weimar Republic faced revolutionary uprisings of the Spartacist League which was trying to bring Bolshevik type revolution.
- Demand for Soviet-style governance was raised in Berlin.
- The Weimar Republic crushed the uprisings with the help of ‘Free Corps’ an organisation of war veterans.
- Communist Party of Germany was founded revolutionaries.
- The economic crisis heightened the radicalisation if politics.
Economic Crisis 1923
- Germany was had fought war on loans.
- War reparations were paid in gold and reserves of gold depleted soon.
- In 1923, Germany refused to pay for war reparations.
- France retaliated by occupying coal-rich Ruhr to get reparations.
- Reckless printing of paper money brought the value of German Mark as bellow as trillions of German Marks to one US Dollar.
- Falling German Mark led to hyperinflation i.e. phenomenal increase in prices of goods and foodstuffs.
- The image of cartloads of currency notes to buy a loaf of bread showed and evoked sympathy worldwide.
- America came to help Germany with Dawes Plan.
The Years of Depression
- Workers lost their jobs or were paid reduced wages because industrial production was reduced to as low as 40% by 1932
- Unemployment touched unprecedented 6 million.
- Absence of jobs made the youth take to criminal activities.
- Middle class salaried person and pensioners suffered due their diminishing savings when German Mark lost its value.
- Businessmen, retailers and shelf employed suffered as their business were ruined.
- Fear of proletarianisation worried the middle class.
- Peasantry suffered due to fall in agricultural prices.
- Women were filled with despair when they were not able to feed their children.
Defects of Weimar Republic
The Weimar constitution had some inherent defects that were responsible for weak and unstable governments making situation vulnerable to dictatorship. defects are as below:
Proportional Representation: This system of electing candidates weakened or made impossible for any party to get majority. Only coalition governments were possible. On an average a ministry lasted for 249 days.
Article 48: It gave the President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree. This article was used by Presidents.
Failure of Weimar Republic: It failed to get faith of people. Democracy was new to the Germans and they found it the cause behind the economic crisis, national humiliation due to war guilt and the Treaty of Versailles. People looked for alternatives that paved way for the rise Hitler.
Hitler’s Rise to Power
- Hitler was born in Austria on 20 April, 1889.
- He became a corporal in the army during WWI. He earned medals for his bravery.
- He joined the German Worker’s Party in 1919 and later assumed its leadership in 1921 and changed its name to National Socialist German Worker’s Party also known as Nazi Party.
- In 1923, Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria but failed and was jailed in Feb1924.
- He wrote ‘Mein Kampf’ (My Struggle) while in jail. He was released in Dec 1924.
- The Nazi party got 2.6 % votes in 1928 elections to Reichstag (German Parliament).
- During the Great Depression, the Nazism became a massive movement mobilising massive public support.
- In 1932, the Nazy Party became the largest party with 37% of votes.
- in 1933, Hitler was appointed the Chancellor of Germany.
A Powerful Speaker
(i) Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved people.
(ii) He promised to build a strong nation.
(iii) He also promised to undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of
(iv) He promised employment for those looking for work and a secure future for the youth.
(v) He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign conspiracies against Germany.
Use of Rituals and Spectacles
(vi) He understood the significance of rituals and spectacle in mass mobilisation. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people.
(vii)The red banners with the Swastika, the Nazi salute, and the ritualised rounds of applause after the speeches
were all part of this spectacle of power.
Destruction of Democracy
- On 30th January, 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg.
- The Fire Decree of 28th February, 1933 suspended the democratic civic rights of people like Freedom of Speech, Press and Assembly.
- On 3nd March, 1933, the famous ‘Enabling Act’ was passed. This Act established dictatorship in Germany. It gave Hitler all powers to bypass parliament and rule by decree.
- Special surveillance and security forces were created to implement Nazi ideology in the society. Besides existing regular police in green uniform and the SA or the ‘Storm Troopers’, these included the Gestapo (Secret State Police), the SS (The Protection Squads), Criminal Police and the Security Service (SD). These forces were made immune with extra constitutional powers. People feared them.
Reconstruction of Germany and WWII
- Economist Hjalmar Schacht was appointed to revive German economy.
- State-funded work-creation programme produced the famous German superhighways and the people’s car – the Volkswagen.
- Hjalmer Sachet was removed when he advised to invest less in armament to reduce deficit financing.
Foreign Policy to acquire German Speaking regions
- Hitler got quick success abroad.
- He pulled out of the League of Nations in 1933, reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, and integrated Austria and Germany in 1938 under the slogan, ’One People, One Empire and One Leader’.
- Annexed Sudetenland and then the whole of Czechoslovakia.
Expansion through Attack on Poland (199) Starts World War II
On 1 September 1939 Poland was invaded.
France and England attacked Germany to side with Poland.
Tripartite Pact among Axis Powers
- This pact was signed between Germany Italy and Japan.
- By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the pinnacle of his power.
Attack on Russia
- He attacked Russia (The Soviet Union) in June 1941.
- After initial successes the German Army was crushed by the Red Army of Russia at Stalingrad.
- The Russian forces chased the German army back to Berlin and acquired the entire Eastern Europe.
Entry of America in the WWII
- America did not want to join WWI.
- America entered the War when Japan bombed the US base at Pearl Harbour.
- The war ended in May 1945 with Hitler’s defeat.
- Japan surrendered after atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities of Japan.
The Nazi Worldview
The Nazi ideology was responsible for the WW II, genocide and holocaust of around 11 million people. In short, we can say that what Hitler thought and the type of political practises he adopted is termed as Nazism. The racism and expansionism (Lebensraum) were the two core features of Nazism. Nazism hated Jews and considered The Aryan race the finest which deserved survival, growth and domination over inferior races.
Main Features Nazi Germany
- Hitler borrowed his racism from Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘natural selection’ and Herbert Spencer’s concept of ‘Survival of the fittest’.
- Blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were the finest race while Jews were at the lowest rung.
- Jews were considered anti-race and arch enemies of the Aryans.
- There was also a category of ‘inferiors’ and ‘sub-humans’ put between the healthy Aryans and the Jews.
Geopolitical Lebensraum (Expansionism)
- Hitler believed in acquiring new territories to concentrate all the Germans geographically in one place.
- Acquiring territories would enlarge the area of the mother country.
- New material resources would be available for economic prosperity and food supplies.
- He aimed eastward for expansion and Poland became the laboratory for this experiment.
Establishment of the Racial state
Nazism had categorised people into categories- ‘desirables’ and ‘undesirables’. The undesirables were considered as threat to biological purity of the ‘desirables’.
- Nazism wanted Germany of ‘Pure and healthy Nordic Aryans’ were considered ‘desirable’. Only they were seen as worthy of prospering and multiplying against all others who were classed as ‘undesirable’.
- Jews classified as ‘undesirable’. many Gypsies and Blacks living in Nazi Germany were considered as racial ‘inferiors’.
- Even Russians and Poles were considered subhuman, and hence undeserving of any humanity.
- Jews remained the worst sufferers in Nazi Germany. They had been stereotyped as killers of Christ and usurers. They lived in separately marked areas called ‘Ghettos’.
- From 1933 to 1938, the Nazis terrorised, pauperised and segregated the Jews, compelling them to leave the country.
- The next phase, 1939-1945, aimed at concentrating them in certain areas and eventually killing them in gas chambers in Poland
- Genocide and War became two sides of the same coin. Poland was divided and much of North-Western Poland was annexed to Germany.
- People of Poland were forced to leave their homes and properties.
- Members of the Polish intelligentsia were murdered in large numbers, Polish children who looked like Aryans were forcibly snatched from their mothers and examined by ‘race experts’.
Youth in Nazi
Hitler felt that a strong Nazi society could be established only by teaching children Nazi ideology. This required a control over the child both inside and outside school. He wanted the youth to be indoctrinated with Nazi ideology from the early childhood. Schools were used for this purpose with other youth organisations.
Nazi Schooling System
(i) All schools were ‘cleansed’ and ‘purified’. The politically unreliable Jews teachers were dismissed.
(ii) Racial Segregated – Germans and Jews could not sit together or play together.
(iii) The undesirables thrown out of schools – Jews, the physically handicapped, Gypsies were thrown out of schools.
(iv) Nazi schooling of ‘Good German’ children – They were subjected to a process of Nazi schooling, a prolonged period of ideological training.
(v) School textbooks were rewritten – Racial science was introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race.
(vi) Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler.
(vii) Even the function of sports was to nurture a spirit of violence and aggression among children. Hitler believed that boxing could make children iron-hearted, strong and masculine.
Different Organisations for Youth Training
- Youth organisations were made responsible for educating German youth in the ‘The Spirit of National Socialism’. Ten-year-old had to enter Jung Volk.
- At 14, all boys had to join the Nazi Youth Organisation – Hitler Youth – where they learnt to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy, and hate Jews, Communists, Gypsies and all those categorised as ‘undesirable’.
- At the age of 18, the youth had to serve in the Armed Forces and enter one of the Nazi organisations. The Youth League of the Nazis was founded in 1922.
Nazi Cult of Motherhood
In Nazi Germany, children were told women were different from men.
Boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel-hearted and girls were told to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children.
Girls had to maintain purity of the race, distance from Jews, look after their home and teach their children Nazi values. But all mothers were not treated equally.
Honouring Productive Mothers – Crosses were awarded to those who encouraged women to produce more children. Bronze Cross for four children, silver for six and gold for eight or more.
Punishing Women – Women who maintained contact with Jews, Poles and Russians were paraded through the town with shaved heads, blackened faces and placards hanging around their necks announcing ‘I have sullied the honour of the nation’.
Art of Nazi Propaganda
Deceptive Names of Nazi Programs to Treat ‘Undesirables’
- Nazis termed mass killings as special treatment, final solution (for the Jews), euthanasia (for the Disabled), selection and disinfections.
- ‘Evacuation’ meant deporting people to gas chambers. Gas Chambers were labelled as ‘‘disinfection-areas’, and looked like bathrooms equipped with fake shower heads.
- Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets.
- Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked and were referred to as vermin, rats and pests.
- The Nazis made equal efforts to appeal to all the different sections of the population.
- They sought to win their support by suggesting that Nazis alone could solve all their problems.
- Many saw the world through Nazi eyes and spoke their mind in Nazi language. They felt hatred and anger surge inside them when they saw someone who looked like a Jew.