Higher HistoryGermany: The Rise of the Nazis Why did the Nazis come to power in 1933?
We are learning to… Explain why the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933 I can… Build up notes on the topic Plan a 20 mark essay Pass a 20 mark timed essay
Introduction • In January 1933 Austrian born Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany • However, until 1923 he was insignificant and unknown in Germany • Historians debate the reasons whythe Nazis were the biggest party in Germany by 1933 • It is your job to explain all of the reasons; but also to judge which are more important than others
Background (need for intro) • In November 1918, Germany lost the First World War, the Kaiser abdicated and the days of the German Empire were over • A new democratic government was elected and it became known as the ‘Weimar Republic’ as it met at the town of Weimar • It was a socialist led coalition government and the first chancellor was Friedrich Ebert • Although it was probably the fairest and most modern democracy in the world at the time, the Weimar government was unpopular and experienced many crises between 1918 and 33 • During this time, the right- wing anti-democracy Nazi party led by Adolf Hitler gradually gained support in Germany
The arguments for the Nazis coming to power‘The Factors’ • Weaknesses of the Weimar Republic • Resentment toward the Treaty of Versailles • Economic difficulties • Appeal of the Nazis after 1928 • Weaknesses and mistakes of opponents You should aim to cover 4 of these in your essay; but you must know all of them in case it is the isolated factor.
Weaknesses of Weimar: Knowledge Weakness 1 - The Stab in the Back myth Even from the moment of it’s birth, the Weimar government was unpopular • On 11th November 1918, the German generals and Weimar politicians signed an armistice which effectively meant Germany surrendered and lost the war • A myth developed, particularly in right wing and conservative circles, that this surrender was unnecessary as Germany had not yet been invaded and could have fought on to won the war • The myth supported the view that Germany had been forced to surrender by ‘traitors’ within Germany – Jews, Socialists and Communists
Stab in the Back: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because the stigma of being the ‘November Criminals’ (the politicians who signed the armistice) hung like a giant shadow over the Weimar government and it would be difficult to gain the respect and trust of the German people • Analysis (+) • However, the myth was exactly that – a ‘myth’ and in actual fact the German army was close to collapse in November 1918 had Germany not surrendered
Weaknesses of Weimar: Knowledge Weakness 2 - Revolutions & Uprisings The Weimar government experienced a number of threats to its government 1918-1933 • In January 1919, a group of Communists known as the Spartacists tried to start a revolution and overthrow the government to establish a Communist Republic. The government had to use ex-soldiers – The Friekorps – to put down the revolt. 700 were killed in the violence. • In March 1920, the Kapp Putsch was when a right wing Journalist Wolfgang Kapp with a number of the Friekorpswanted to establish a new right wing anti Versailles government. Kapp managed to seize Berlin and proclaimed a new government with him as chancellor while the Weimar government fled.
Revolutions: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because the Weimar government was unstable – they relied on help from unofficial ex soldiers The Friekorpsto maintain control which suggests they were not strong enough to put down a challenge to their government • This helped the Nazis because there was widespread opposition to the Weimar government from both the left and right wing which backs up the argument that Weimar were very unpopular in Germany
Revolutions: Analysis Analysis (+) • However, it is important to remember that both of these revolts ultimately failed. Ebert successfully put down the Spartacist revolt using the Friekorps, the leaders were killed and order returned to Germany and the revolt actually made people fear the Communists • In addition, Ebert was able to organise a general strike in Berlin and put the Kapp Putsch down which showed that Ebert did have the support of those in Germany’s capital
Weaknesses of Weimar: Knowledge Weakness 3 - Democracy was unpopular The Weimar constitution has been called a ‘perfect democracy’ – on paper – meaning it had some flaws in reality • All Germans over 20 had the right to vote in elections using proportional representation, meaning 15% of the votes earned 15% of the seats. This led to the growth of many small, extremist parties. In some elections there were almost 35 parties to choose from. • The PR system made it almost impossible for one party to gain a majority vote. Two or more parties tried to form coalition governments which were weak and often argued, causing the government to collapse. There were 9 elections between 1918-28.
Democracy: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because the political system in Weimar Germany was confusing to many German people who didn’t understand what all the parties stood for or how a government was elected, causing democracy to become unpopular • This helped the Nazis because these problems highlighted the weaknesses in the Weimar system, such as coalition governments which often collapsed, and Hitler promised a return to strong and stable decision making by one man.
Democracy: Analysis Analysis (+) • However, although PR helped smaller parties like the Nazis it also helped extremist parties on the left like the Communists into the Reichstag who were the Nazis biggest opposition so it didn’t only help the Nazis • However, it is important to remember that many liberal Germans supported a proportional democracy and did not want to return to the autocratic Kaiser years of pre 1918
Paragraph 1 plan: Weaknesses of Weimar TS: The Weimar government had many weaknesses which the Nazis exploited. K: Stab in the Back Theory – when/ what was it, who was responsible etc. A: This helped the Nazis because… A+: However… K: Uprisings and Revolutions: when/who/ result A: This helped the Nazis because… A+: However… K: Problems with Democracy – describe system A: This helped the Nazis because… A+: However…
Resentment towards the Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles • On 28th June 1919, Germany was forced to sign what is probably considered one of the harshest peace treaties in history – the Treaty of Versailles – which the German government were allowed no say in – it was nicknamed ‘The Diktat’ • Germany lost 13% of it’s land – to France, Poland and others • Germany had to reduce it’s army to 100,000 and could have no tanks or air force • Germany had to pay £6.6 billion in reparations • Germany had to take full responsibility for the war • 3 million German-speaking settlers now lived in Czechoslovakia • Germany lost all her colonies
Why did Germans resent it? • Was dictated upon them – Germans had no say in negotiations • Too harsh • Separated/ isolated German speaking people from the rest of the country • Crippled German economy • Created mass unemployment • Humiliating – had to take entire blame for war – damaged pride
Treaty of Versailles: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because every German held the Weimar government in contempt for signing it and some historians have described the treaty as a ‘dark shadow’ or a ‘curse’ on the Republic • This helped the Nazis because destroying the treaty became a central part of the Nazi party’s policy and propaganda and Hitler exploited the treaty to gain support and votes from German people
Treaty of Versailles: Analysis Analysis (+) • However, some Historians have pointed out that the Weimar government survived for more than a decade after the signing of the treaty and that the treaty was more of a ‘blow’ to the government rather than the end of it
Paragraph 2 plan: Resentment over the Treaty of Versailles TS: The Weimar government was deeply resented for their acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles. K: Treaty – when was it signed/ where/ why – describe terms (at least 3) K: Describe German reaction – why was it hated so much? A: This helped the Nazis because… A+: However… Extension A: This helped the Nazis because…
Economic Difficulties: Knowledge Economic Difficulty 1: Hyperinflation 1923 • Paying £100 million per year for 66 years under the Treaty of Versailles crippled the German economy and they defaulted on their repayments in 1922, causing Belgian and French troops to occupy the industrial Ruhr • Workers in the Ruhr went on strike and the Weimar government continued to pay them by printing more paper money which caused the Germany mark and the economy to collapse as money became worthless. • In January 1922, $1 was worth 80 marks but by November 1923 $1 was worth 4.4 million marks. A Kolbicabbage cost 50million marks. • Life savings became worthless, middle class people lost everything, people on set salaries and pensions now earned nothing, poverty and starvation increaed and bartering replaced cash exchanges.
Hyperinflation: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because Weimar were held responsible for the collapse of the German economy due to their acceptance of Versailles and poor management of the Ruhr crisis • This helped the Nazis because many Germans, particularly the middle class, never forgave the Weimar government for the humiliation that was forced on them due to hyperinflation and it was these people that turned to the Nazis • Extra point - Hyperinflation also had political consequences as Adolf Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria in an attempted revolution where he capitalised on the misery of 1923
Hyperinflation: Analysis Analysis (+) • However, it is important to remember that the Weimar government quickly recovered from hyperinflation and took swift action to end the crisis –Stresseman was appointed chancellor, money was borrowed from America under the Dawes plan and a new currency was introduced • By 1924, Weimar was experiencing a ‘Golden Age’ of prosperity and wealth and support for democracy grew with the economy – showing that the effects of hyperinflation were not long lasting
Economic Problems: Knowledge Economic Difficulty 2 - The Great Depression 1929-33 • With the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange (The Wall Street Crash) in October 1929, the USA immediately demanded the repayment of their loans to Germany, causing the German economy which was reliant on US loans to collapse • Unemployment rose, businesses collapsed, banks closed. The socialist-led coalition resigned as they couldn’t deal with the problems and the President had to operate under Article 48 The Emergency Decree, giving him extra power. • Unemployment rose to 3 million in 1930 and by 1932, 6 million Germans were unemployed. 30% of the German population had no employment or income. Homelessness and hunger rose.
The Great Depression: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because the Weimar government had now led Germany into financial ruin twice and Germans blamed the crash on their over-reliance on US loans and inability to manage the crisis. Support for democracy collapsed. • This helped the Nazis because Nazi propaganda went in to overdrive during the Depression and they promised jobs to every unemployed German, gaining them support and votes across Germany. The Nazi vote went up to 13.7million in July 1932.
Great Depression: Analysis Analysis (+) • However, more recent research has suggested that not all unemployed people voted for the Nazis – that Catholics remained loyal to the Centre party and many unemployed working men continued to support the socialists • However, It is also important to remember that the Communist vote rose during times of misery too, and they were also able to exploit the Depression to their advantage; not just the Nazis.
Economic Problems – Para Plan TS: The Weimar government suffered a number of economic problems during its time in power. K: Hyperinflation – what happened K: Hyperinflation – effects on German People A: This helped the Nazis because… A+: However… K: Great Depression – what happened K: Great Depression – effects on people A: This is important because/ this helped the Nazis because… A+: However… (at least once)
Appeal of the Nazis: Knowledge The Nazi Party Policies The Nazi Party had policies with a broad appeal which were popular across every sector of society – they appealed to the masses after 1928 • They promised jobs for the unemployed • To the conservatives they promised to rip up the Treaty of Versailles and rebuild the German army • They offered farmers higher prices for their goods • They offered businessmen the destruction of Communism & Jewish banks • The young were offered hope and jobs for the future • Women were promised a return to family values
Policies: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because they gained support and votes from every sector of German society – rich and poor, young and old, with their broadly appealing policies whereas other parties focused on one demographic, for example the Communists only received support from poorer Germans Analysis (+) • However, the Nazi party policies were clearly contradictory – i.e. better wages for workers but also restricting the power of trade unions – and many Germans were able to see through the Nazi’s unrealistic promises. • However, the Nazis needed economic crises for people to listen to their promises – they had the same policies during the Golden Age of 1924-29 yet were gaining only around 800,000 votes in 1928 showing policies alone were not enough for them to gain votes
Appeal of the Nazis: Knowledge The Nazi Party Organisation • Propaganda was key to the Nazis success, Joseph Goebbels was vital in helping to spread the Nazi message through posters, speeches, leaflets, rallies and new media like radios and cinema which always presented the Nazis as the saviours of Germany • Hitler’s alliance with Alfred Hugenbergwho had a monopoly over German newspapers and cinema allowed the Nazis to reach a mass audience as during the 30s most people went to the cinema twice a week • Their election campaigns were run with military efficiency and Hitler had perfected his campaigns during the 1920s; Hitler had oustanding public speaking abilities, the swastika was plastered everywhere • Nazi party members were controlled strictly, the uniformed SA protected rallies and meetings & The Yearly Nuremberg rallies were a massive show of strength and power which impressed many Germans
Party Organisation: Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because Goebbels in particular and Nazi propaganda was important in causing people to believe that voting for the Nazis would genuinely lead to an improvement in their lives • This helped the Nazis because Historians also believe that Hitler was the biggest asset to the Nazi party in elections and that they were the only party in the 1930s who had realised the persuasive power of cinema which gained them more votes than their competitors Analysis (+) • However, it is important to remember that in the last free election in November 1932 the Nazis won 196 seats and the largest proportion of votes ever won by the Nazis was 33% which shows that the Nazis were never appealing enough to voters to win a majority in the Reichstag.
Paragraph plan 4: The Appeal of the Nazis Topic sentence: The Nazis were able to appeal to the German public through a number of methods. K: Policies – promises (examples of 3) A: On the one hand…however on the other hand… K: Propaganda – Goebbels, posters, cinema K: Hitler/ SA image A: On the one hand…however on the other hand…
The Nazi Party had policies with a broad appeal which were popular across every sector of society; They promised jobs for the unemployed, they promised to rip up the Treaty of Versailles and They offered farmers higher prices for their goods. On the one hand, the Nazis gained votes from every sector of German society with their vague and appealing promises however on the other hand, they needed people to be in crisis before they were appealing i.e. the Nazis had only 810,000 votes in the ‘Golden Age’ between 1924-28. The Nazis had hugely effective propaganda organised under Joseph Goebbels and used posters, pamphlets and propaganda films in the cinema to promote Hitler as Germany’s saviour. On the one hand, propaganda made the Nazis stand out and many Germans genuinely believed voting Nazi would improve their lives however on the other hand, it was clearly not effective enough as the Nazis never won a majority in the Reichstag, with 33% of the vote in 1932 being their best result.
Weaknesses & Mistakes of opponents: Knowledge The other parties in the Reichstag cannot escape responsibility for the success of Hitler • The Socialists (SPD) and Communists (KPD)could have joined together to defeat the Nazis as they were both left wing parties, However the Spartacist Uprising in 1919 proved to be an issue as the Socialists wouldn’t forgive the Communists for starting an uprising and the Communists wouldn’t forgive the Socialists for them executing the Spartacists • The Centre partiessuch as Zentrum and the Democratic party should have opposed Hitler due to their belief in democracy but they had lost so many votes during the Depression they felt too weak to do so • The Right wing helped Hitler into power. Right wing politicians Von Papen and Von Schleicher convinced Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor in January 1933 as they were more concerned with setting up a strong anti-Communist government than preserving democracy
The Centre parties such as Zentrum and the Democratic party should have opposed Hitler due to their belief in democracy but they had lost so many votes during the Depression they felt too weak to do so • The Right wing helped Hitler into power. Right wing politicians Von Papen and Von Schleicher convinced Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor in January 1933 as they were more concerned with setting up a strong anti-Communist government than preserving democracy
Weaknesses & Mistakes of opponents: : Analysis Analysis (basic) • This helped the Nazis because no German parties were willing to work together to stand against the Nazis, making the Nazi Rise to power in the 1930s virtually unchallenged • This helped the Nazis because the German Right Wing convinced President Hindenburg against his own wishes to put Hitler in the position of German chancellor, the leader of the Reichstag in 1933 in the hope he would protect their own interests
Weaknesses & Mistakes of opponents: : Analysis Analysis (+) • However, Hindenburg’s decision to appoint Hitler as chancellor was a difficult one as there were few candidates for the job and the Nazis were causing parliamentary chaos by walking out of the Reichstag so that votes could not be passed • However, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor to ‘keep an eye on him’ and it was not until the Reichstag Fire in February 1933 that Hitler passed the Enabling Act which gave him the real authority to pass laws in Germany
Paragraph plan: Weaknesses & Mistakes of opponents Topic sentence: Due to a number of reasons, other parties in Germany were unwilling to cooperate to oppose the Nazis. K: Left wing parties KPD and SPD K: Centre parties i.e DDP(Democrats) and Zentrum K: Right Wing politicians Von Papen, Von Schleicher A: On the one hand…however on the other hand…
Consolidation • A good idea when you have taken all your notes for a topic is to create a condensed revision guide for the essay • This might be a mind map, picture map, bullet points etc. but should fit on one page • Do this for homework (example on next page)
Success Criteria • All four factors covered • 2 Knowledge points for each factor (min) • 4 examples of basic analysis • 2 examples of A+
Essay Questions • Rise of the Nazis is an example of an isolated factor essay – this means the SQA will ask you whether the Nazis came to power because of a specific factor (one of the 4 we cover) • You must talk about the factor in the question BUT you do not need to agree it is the most important • Examples To what extent was the rise of the Nazi party due to the appeal of the NSDAP? How far can it be argued that The Nazis came to power in 1933 due to resentment over the Treaty of Versailles ? ‘The rise of the Nazi party in German was largely due to propaganda’. Discuss.
Rise Nazis – Past Essay Qs • To what extent was the rise of the Nazi party due to the appeal of the NSDAP? 20 marks • How far can it be argued that The Nazis came to power in 1933 due to resentment over the Treaty of Versailles ? 20 marks • ‘The rise of the Nazi party in German was largely due to propaganda’. Discuss. 20 marks
Example Q How far can it be argued that The Nazis came to power in 1933 due to resentment over the Treaty of Versailles ? 22 marks
Introduction – 3 step plan • Background (give 2-3 sentences of what Germany was like around the end of WWI) ‘After WWI…’ – min 2 sentences • Factors (what are the factors in the essay?) There were many important factors in the rise of the Nazis such as… (describe each individually • Argument (what will you be arguing is most important?) It can be argued that the most important factor was …because… *RELATE TO THE ISSUE IN THE Q*
Conclusion – 4 step plan • In conclusion, there were many reasons why the Nazis came to power in 1933. • On the one hand… (you should take one less important factor here and explain why it was less important) • On the other hand… (now you should do the same with another more important key factor to balance your argument) • Overall, the most important factor was… because…This was more important than the other factors because… use solid evidence! Relate to the issue in the Q!