Q1. Who headed the SS camp network?
Q2. How many inmates were there in the camps in 1936 and in 1939?
Q3. Who was sent to the camps?
Q4. How were these camps portrayed in the media?
guarded prisons for the detention of dissidents and 'asocials'
A1. Theodor Eicke, appointed by Himmler to head the first camp at Dachau and later to head the whole SS camp organization, the Totenkopf or Death's Head formations.
A2. November 1936: 4,761 prisoners; September 1939: 21,400 prisoners.
A3. mainly leading Communists and a few other prominent political opponents in the mid-1930s; from 1937 there were increasing numbers of 'asocials'.
A4. they tended to be portrayed as rehabilitation centres - tough but fair.
Notes - The camps were brutal and the prisoners had almost no rights, being subject to the arbitrary violence of the guards. However, these were not extermination camps and the numbers involved were small compared to those incarcerated in Soviet Russia.
Dual state and competing empires
Q1. What does the phrase 'dual state' mean in relation to Nazi Germany?
Q2. Why is Nazi Germany sometimes regarded as a polycracy?
Q3. What was the role of the Gauleiters?
Q4. In what ways might the chaotic competition be regarded as suiting Hitler?
the Fuhrerprinzip in action
A1. in 1941 Ernst Frankel, a German exile, alleged that two German states existed side by side: the Nazi state with institutions like the SS, and the traditional state represented by institutions like the army.
A.2 there were many centres of power.
A.3 they were regional party leaders, directly responsible to Hitler; most were also appointed to the office of Reichstatthalter or Reich Governor.
A4. it accorded with his principle that natural leaders would emerge from competition; it enhanced his power as the supreme arbitrator.
Note - The structure of the Nazi regime became increasingly confused as agencies set up to accomplish a specific task clashed with existing ones that had lost the Fuhrer's favour. Historians disagree about how far the chaos arose from a deliberate policy of divide and rule, or whether it was simply due to Hitler's laziness.
Establishment of the Nazi dictatorship
Q1. How did the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933 stengthen the Nazi grip on power?
Q2. What measure was passed by the Reichstag on 23 March 1933?
Q3. What happened to the other political parties?
Q4. What happened to all the different state parliaments and governments?
the gradual consolidation of power by legal means
A1. the Nazi claimed it was the start of a communist uprising; President Hindenburg issued an emergency decree suspending personal liberties and allowing the temporary arrest of suspected revolutionaries.
A2. the Act for the Removal of Distress from the People and the Reich, better known as the Enabling Bill.
A3. they were either forced to disband (e.g. the SPD) or did so voluntarily (e.g. the Catholic Centre Party).
A4. their powers were gradually transferred to the central government in Berlin and they were formed abolished in January 1934.
Note - The gradual and essentially legal nature of these political changes made them much harder to resist. The improving legal nature of these political changes made them much harder to resist. The improving economic situation also contributed to their acceptance.
Q1. What does the word Gleichschaltung mean?
Q2. What happened to existing government officials?
Q3. How much control of the changes was exercised by the Reich government in Berlin?
Q4. Were recreational clubs like sporting associations affected?
the local dimension of the Nazi dictatorship
A1. political coordination or making the same - 'bringing into line' - in practice, it meant putting Nazis or their allies in charge of everything.
A2. 10% of civil servants outside Prussia and 20% inside Prussia were dismissed; most simply joined the Nazi Party.
A3. the purge of the civil service was instituted by Wilhelm Frick, the Nazi minister of the interior; but most acts of Gleichschaltung at local level depended on the energy and enthusiasm of local Nazi Party bosses.
A4. yes, but this was very much up to local Nazi parties.
Note - The reason that the process of Gleichschaltung was so effective and difficult to counter was the energy and enthusiasm of the local Nazi organisations, now backed up by the authority of the central government.
Q1. What battles did Goering win in 1934?
Q2. What battle did he lose in 1934?
Q3. What was his great achievement in 1936?
Q4. Why was the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair of 1938 both a success and a failure for Goering?
the power of the second man in the Reich
A1. he removed his most dangerous rival, Rohm, and established the Luftwaffe as an independent force outside of the control of Blomberg and the army.
A2. he lost operational control of the Gestapo to Himmler.
A3. Hitler named him head of the Four Year Plan to prepare Germany for war; he thus became economic supremo.
A4. he contributed to the removal of Blomberg as minister of war and Fritsch as commander-in-chief of the army; he hoped to succeed Blomberg, but Hitler appointed himself and compensated Goering with the rank of field marshal.
Notes - Goering brutally thrust aside arivals and launched initiatives, but never forgot his dependence on Hitler.
Himmer's SS empire
Q1 .What was the SS?
Q2. Why was 1934 such a crucial year in the growth of Himmler's empire?
Q3. Who was Himmler's most able henchman?
Q4. What additional task was given to Himmer and the SS in 1939?
Hitler's bodyguard that expanded rapidly under Himmler
A1. the Schutzstaffel (guard unit); originally HItler's bodyguard, it formed part of the much bigger Sturmabteilung (SA); Himmler was appointed to command the SS in 1929 and rapidly expanded it.
A2. he established the independence of the SS following the Night of the Long Knives and gained control of the Prussian police.
A3. Reinhard Heydrich; he was appointed head of the SD in 1932 and Himmler's deputy in the SS in 1933.
A4. Himmler was appointed Commissar for the Consolidation of German Nationhood and Heydrich was put in charge of 'the Jewish Question'.
Note - Himmler and Heydrich represent different but complementary aspects of the Nazi regime. Himmler was a fanatic, genuinely believing in the central articles of the Nazi faith, while Heydrich was a cynical and ruthless manager.
Intimidation and terror
Q1. How did Goering's control of the police of Prussia contribute to the Nazi grip on power?
Q2. How many people were arrested as political enemies of the Nazis in 1933?
Q3. How many political opponents were killed in 1933?
Q4. When and where was the first SS-run camp set up?
a real but limited supplement to establishing a dictatorship
A1. 50,000 SA auxiliaries were enrolled into the police in February 1933; the police were forbidden to interfere with the SA's intimidation of political parties.
A2. estimates vary but up to 100,000 may have been arrested and held in SA 'wild camps'; most had been released by the end of the year.
A3.500-600 is the accepted estimate.
A4. Himmler established Dachau outside Munich in March 1933.
Note - There was real intimidation of opponents but the scale was limited and the amount of violence varied, being greatest where the Communist pArty was at its strongest. Many rural areas and small towns witnessed minimal violence.
Master of the Third Reich
Q1. What official positions and powers did Hitler hold and exercise after August 1934?
Q2. Did the Third Reich have a written constitution?
Q3. What additional position did Hitler appoint himself to in 1938?
Q4. What is the origin of the phrase 'working towards the Fuhrer', and how has it been used by historians to explain Hitler's role?
Hitler increases his personal powers and sets the agenda
A1. chancellor and head of the government (from January 1933); president (i.e. formal head of state and the armed forces) after August 1934; Fuhrer from 19 August 1934
A2. only the Wemiar constitution, which was never formally replaced.
A3. Hitler assumed personal command of the armed forces after Blomberg's resignation as Minister of Defence.
A4. a minor Nazi official, Werner Willikens, used it in 1934; Ian Kershaw used it later to explain Hiter's role as the setter of a vague agenda rather than the master of detailed policy initiatives
Note - The key developments in Nazi Germany were clearly in line with Hitler's wishes (i.e. rearmament, anti-Semitism and the decision for war), although the detailed application of policy was often left to others or arose from circumstances.
Q1. How was the press controlled?
Q2. How was radio affected by the Nazi regime?
Q3. In which form of media did Goebbels have the greatest interest?
Q4. How did Goebbels differ from Hitler in his approach to propaganda?
Goebbel's use of the media to make people loyal to Hitler and the Nazis
A1. there were daily press briefings about what could and could not be printed; all owners had to belong to the Reich Press Chamber, run by Max Amann; he closed down or took over hundreds of papers
A2. Goebbels created a national network - the Reich Radio Company - under the control of his ministry; cheap radios were produced and by 1939, 70% of hall homes had one.
A3. film - he felt this was the most effective agent for influence.
A4. Goebbels preferred a more subtle approach.
Note - Goebbels believed that Hitler should not be over-exposed. He built up the image of HItler as a remote, god-like figure, watching over Germany. The most famous propaganda film, Triumph of the Will, made by Leni Riefenstahl in 1934, was commissioned directly by HItler.
Night of the Long Knives
Q1. Who were the chief victims?
Q2. Who planned and carried out the murders?
Q3. What did Hitler gain from it?
Q4. Who else gained from it?
the killing of Hitler's and Goering's rivals, 30 June 1934
A1. Ernst Rohm, head of the SA, was the most prominent victim, along with other leading SA men; other potential threats (eg General von Schleicher and Gregor Strasser) were also removed.
A2. Goering drew up lists of victims; Himmler's SS carried out the murders; the army under General von Blomberg provided arms and equipment.
A3. the support of the army for his assumption of the post of president as well as chancellor on Hindenburg's death.
A4. Goering removed his chief rival in the party; Himmler established the SS as an independent organisation by getting rid of his boss.
Note - This is san excellent example of the vicious infighting between the Nazi chieftains, all seeking to enlarge their empires at one another;s expense. It remains unclear how far Hitler was manipulated into it by Goering and Himmler.
Opposition to the Nazis
Q1. What was the membership of the Commnunist Party (KPD) and the Socialist Party (SPD) in 1933?
Q2. Name an underground opposition newspaper from these years?
Q3. Who led the resistance to the proposed New Reich Church an set up the Confessing Church in opposition?
Q4. What was probably the most dangerous threat to the Nazi regime in these years?
divided and ineffective
A1. KPD: 300,000 members; SPD: 1 million members.
A2. Red Shock Troop, set up in Berlin in 1933 but closed down by the Gestapo in December 1933; Socialist Action, set up in 1935 but closed down in the same year.
A3. MArtin Niemoller - he defeated the attempt to set up a pro-Nazi Protestant Church but was eventually sent to a camp.
A4. the army; a group of senior generals planned a coup against Hitler in 1938, if he took Germany to war over Czechoslovakia.
Note - The vision among the opponents of the Nazis were on of the regime's greatest assets. For example, the Communists hated the Socialists nearly as much as they hated the Nazis. But the genuine popularity of the regime was also a major problem for opponents.
Popularity of the regime
Q1, Why is it difficult for historians to assess the popularity of the Nazi regime?
Q2. How might the regime's use of the Gestapo and concentration camps indicate that it did not enjoy widespread support?
Q3. How might the regime's use of the Gestapo and concentration camps indicate that it did enjoy widespread support?
Q4. What is indicated by a study of the 'Reports from Germany' drawn up by agents for the exiled SPD leaders?
widespread but varying in intensity, geography and chronology
A1. there was no free elections or trustworthy opinion polls.
A2. the fact that such repression was necessary might be taken to indicate widespread opposition
A3. much of the information that the Gestao gained was supplied voluntarily by the public; the number of people actually in 'protective custody' was very small.
A4. these SOPADE reports indicate widespread support for the regime.
Note - Support varied from year to year and from area to area. Large cities like Hamburg and Berlin had always been more than anti-Nazi than small communities, but most historians accept that the Nazi regime enjoyed widespread toleration and even positive support. As one Jewish German wrote in 1933: 'All Germany prefers Hitler to the Communists'.
Hitler: a weak dictator
Q1. How many cabinet meetings did Hitler chair in 1935 and in 1938?
Q2. Who said, 'I often asked myself, didi Hitler really work'?
Q3. What is meant by the phrase 'cumulative radicalisation'?
Q4. Who first developed the concept of Hitler as a weak dictator
the structuralist position on Hitler's role in the Third Reich
A1. 12 in 1935; 1 in 1938; then Cabinet meetings ceased.
A2. Albert Speer, Hitler's personal architect and confidante, and minister for armaments during the war.
A3. It stresses that policy development owed little to Hitler's initiatives and more to the political rivalries and chaotic structures of Nazi Germany; Hitler's decrees were often retroactive, approving something already started.
Note - It can be argued that Hitler, with his lazy bohemian lifestyle, was not in control of day to day policy and that government structures in the Third Reich were chaotic. His lack of detailed control can be illustrated by the evolution of economic policy and anti-Semitic initiatives.
Rituals and rallies
Q1. Where and when was the greatest Nazi rally held each year?
Q2. What was celebrated on 20 April?
Q3. What name was given to the ritualised charity collection carried out each year?
Q4. What was the purpose of the frequent public events?
displays of the Volksemeinschaft
A1. Nuremberg in September; the rally of 1934 was the subject of Leni Riefenstahl's film, Triumph of the Will.
A2. Hitler's birthday
A3. Winter relief; all were encouraged to give to help the poor; in small communities those who were seen as mean could find themselves named on boards of shame.
A4. to create a sense of belonging to the new, unified racial state.
Note - These phenomena illustrate just how far National Socialism can be seen as a religion. Events like the Nuremberg rally had the added advantage of bringing Germans together, many of whom had never been out of their small rural communities.
The Gestapo and the SD
Q1. What was the Gestapo?
Q2. What was the SD?
Q3. What was the RSHA?
Q4. How did historians' perceptions of the Gestapo change in the 1990s?
twin pillars of Nazi security
A1. Geheime Staatspolizei (secret state police); it was established in Prussia by Goering, but Himmler gained control of it in 1934; it enjoyed wide powers of arrest.
A2. Sicherheitsdienst (security service); set up as part of the SS in 1932, it became an information-gathering service for the Nazi Party.
A3 the Reich Security Head Office; it was established under Heydrich in 1939 to coordinate the work of the Gestapo, SD and the Kripo
A4 research into the Gestapo archives, notably by Robert Gellatey into those at Wurzburg, emphasised how dependent the Gestapo was on information supplied voluntarily by the German public.
Note - The Gestapo was clearly feared, but it was overworked and most Gestapo officers were professional policemen, not Nazi Party fanatics.
Q1. Who was the anti-semitic Gauleiter of Franconia, and what was the name of his newspaper?
Q2. What was the first official action taken by the new Nazi government against Jewish Germans?
Q3. Who was responsible for the second official action against Jewish Germans on 7 APril 1933, and what was it?
Q4. What were the Nuremberg Laws of 1935?
marginalising the Jewish community
A1. Julius Streicher; Der Sturmer.
A2. a boycott of Jewish shops on 1 April 1933.
A3. Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior; the dismissal of Jewish civil servants.
A4. they deprived Jewish Germans of citizenship and criminalised marriages between Germans and Jews.
Note - The development of anti-Semitic measures seems chaotic and unplanned. The Nuremberg Laws were a last-minute improvisation by Hitler to keep Nazi Party fanatics like Streicher happy, but they disappointed the real anti-Semites by defining Jews as those with three Jewish grandparents.
Q1. How did the Third Reich acquire more Jews in 1938?
Q2. What took place on the night of 9 November 1938?
Q3. What further measures against Jews took place over the next week?
Q. What and who gained from the 'Jewish question' in January 1939?
increasingly violent persecution of the Jewish community
A1. by the occupation of Austria - there was a large Jewish community in Vienna.
A2. Kristallnacht ('Night of the Breaking Glass'); synagogues were attacked and many Jews were murdered.
A3. all Jewish children were expelled from state schools; a massive 1 billion mark fine was imposed on the whole Jewish community.
A4. the SS and special department under Himmer's deputy, Reinhard Heydrich.
Notes - The trigger for Kristallnacht was the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young German Jewish exile. Goebbels seems to have been the mind behind the attacks. The resignation of Schacht as economics minister in 1937 removed one restraining influence.
Beauty of Labour
Q1. What was the function of this organisation?
Q2. What did it claim to have achieved by 1939?
Q3. What were its chief means of achieving its aims?
Q4. Why were some workers cynical about its achievements
a subordinate organisation of the DAF which aimed to promote a happy workforce
A1. to persuade employers to improve working conditions in factories; to promote notions of equality between bosses and workers.
A2. a big increase in washing facilities and canteens and factories, and the provision of sports facilities.
A3. propaganda and factory inspections.
A4. many felt that the improvements were a substitute for a real increase.
Note - It was much more effective in pressuring small firms than the large ones that the Nazi relied on for the rearmament drive. It was probably less effective in winning over the working classes than Strenght Through Joy (KDF).
Four Year Plan, 1936
Q1. What is autarky?
Q2. Why was the Four Year launched in 1936?
Q3. What was the name of the largest enterprise developed under the plan?
Q4. In what sense did the plan fail?
a scheme to prepare the German economy for war.
A1. a policy of economic of self-sufficiency aimed at removing the need for imports.
A2. to deal with the economic crisis of that year.
A3. the Hermann Goering Werke - a huge plant to set up to produce steel from low-grade German iron ore rather than relying on imports.
A4. despite making great strides in producing oil from coal and making artificial rubber, Germany remained dependent on imports and vulnerable in war.
Note - The Four Year Plan shows Hitler's commitment to preparing for war. However; it encouraged massive bureaucratic controls and inefficiencies in many areas, and large numbers of bottlenecks in production had developed by 1939?
Q1. How many people were officially unemployed when the Nazis came to power in 1933?
Q. What public works were launched to provide jobs?
Q. Name a measure taken in 1933 in order to promote male employment.
Q. How rapidly did unemployment fall?
the great achievement of the regime
A1. the usual figure given is 6 million compared to 11.4 million in full employment; over 30 per cent were therefore officially unemployed.
A2. the most famous was the building of the autobahn, begun under a decree of 27 June 1933; 3,000 km had been completed by 1938.
A3. the marriage loan scheme of June 1933 offered loans of up to 1,000 marks to couples who get married and promised that the wife would give up work if the husband had a job.
A4. by January 1935 unemployment was just under 3 million ; by December 1936 it was 1.5 million.
Note - The official figures probably understate the scale of unemployment by a large factor. MAny self-employed people in effect had no income, but did not always show up on the official figures.
German Labour Front (DAF)
Q1. Why was the DAF set up in May 1933?
Q2. How large an organisation was it?
Q3. What was its principal function?
Q4. Was it given control of pay bargaining?
the biggest organisation in the Reich was set up for the workers
A1. to replace the trade unions, which abolished on 2 May 1933; their funds served as the basis of the new organisation.
A2. it had 44,000 full-time and over 100,000 part-time employers; by 1939 its income and assets exceeded those of all other agencies and organisations.
A3. to keep the workers content.
A4. no; it attracted many genuinely socialist Nazis who took the rhetoric of equality seriously; pay bargaining was entrusted to 'Trustees of Labour' who were nominated by the government.
Note - Robert Ley, the head of the DAF, seems to have taken the socialist side of the National Socialist PArty seriously, but he was notoriously corrupt.
Gypsies in Nazi Germany
Q1. How many gypsies were there in Germany?
Q2.How many gypsies affected by the Nuremberg Laws?
Q3. Which organisation was designated in 1938 to deal with 'the Gypsy Pest', and what did it do?
Q4. Where did the pressure to deal with gypsies come from?
silent victims of the Third Reich
A1. around 20,000
A2. they were included in the prohibition against mixed marriages and were therefore considered to be outside the Volksgemeinschaft.
A3. a department of the Kripo, Himmler's criminal police; in December 1938 all gypsies had to register with the police; 30,000 were arrested the next year.
A4. local police chiefs and local communities.
Note - The persecution of Roma and Sinti, as the gypsies called themselves, arose largely as a result of initiatives from Himmler responding to pressure form his subordinates. Hitler appears to have expressed no opinions on the matter and played no part in ordering the arrests and deportations in 1939. These were conducted by Himmler's SS.
Higher education policy
Q1. What percentage of university teachers were sacked by the new Nazi regime?
Q2. In what ways was the teaching of physics affected?
Q3. How did Britain and the USA gain from Nazi policies?
Q4. What policy, affecting students, was adopted to promote a sense of equality and to break down class barriers?
the finest universities in Europe were undermined
A1. 15 per cent
A2. there was an attempt to replace the 'Jewish' physics, associated with Einstein, with 'German' physics (i.e. a return to the ideas of the nineteenth century).
A3. many eminent scientists, including Einstein, emigrated.
A4. from 1933 all students had to serve 6 months in the Reich Labour Service before going to university.
Note - As with schools, the Nazi damaged the high reputation of German universities. An attempt to reduce the number of women going to university was initially successful, but had proved a failure by the early 1940s.
Q1. What positions did Schacht hold between 1933 and 1939?
Q2. What were mefo-bills?
Q3. What was the New Plan of 1934?
Q4. Why was there an economic crises in 1936 and how did it affect Schacht's relationship with Hitler?
a successful minister who became a dangerous critic of the regime
A1. president of the Reich bank from 1933-1939; minister of economics from 1934-37; in 1935 he was given charge of all aspects of the war economy.
A2. Schacht's device to fund rearmament without causing inflation; he used them to pay suppliers who used them later to pay taxes; they did not enter the economy as ordinary money.
A3. Schacht's scheme to aid rearmament and avoid a balance of payments crisis; it involved import controls and barter with foreign suppliers.
A4. there was a balance of payments crisis and shortages in the economy; Schacht wanted to slow down rearmament but Hitler would not agree; Schacht resigned as minister of economics in 1937?
Note - Schacht's moderate nationalist aims inevitably clashed with Hitler's more extreme ones. He was a restraining force on the development of anti-Semitic policies.
Impact of Nazi policies on women
Q1. Which women might be said to have gained under the Nazi regime?
Q2. Which groups of women might be said to have clearly lost out?
Q3. Why might female relatives of farmers be considered as losers?
Q4. What was the impact of Nazi policies on female doctors?
some gained and lost under the Nazis
A1. wives of the unemployed who found jobs; those who gained from family allowances.
A2. those senior professionals who were sacked of demoted; Jewish women; the 95,000 women were compulsorily sterilised.
A3. labour shortages placed a heavier burden on them as unpaid sources of supplementary labour.
A4. due to labour shortages, there were more female doctors in 1939 than in 1933.
Note - The Nazi regime failed to reverse the trend towards greater female participation in work. After 1936 labour shortages forced an increased reliance on women.
Middle classes and businesses
Q1. In what ways might the regime be said to have favoured big business?
Q2. Why did many of the middle classes feel less threatened?
Q3. How was consumption affected?
Q4. What aspects of the regime's policies might invite condemnation?
some gained and some lost under the Nazi regime
A1. trade union rights were curbed; profits increased at the expense of wages
A2. police action against criminals attracted widespread approval; most probably approved of the removal of the Communist threat.
A3. there was a decline in the range of imported goods available.
A4. many businessmen objected to increased govt controls and regulations; many objected privately to the racial policies and the treatment of the churches.
Note - Some areas of business did very well (e.g. those directly connected with rearmament), but others did less well (e.g. those dependent on exports). In making any assessment it is also important to remember the Jewish members of the middle and business classes, who were almost without exception losers.
Motherhood and women's employment
Q1. Name two incentives to encourage motherhood.
Q2. What was prohibited to encourage motherhood?
Q3. Which women were actually dismissed from their jobs?
Q4. What were the two main Nazi organisations for women?
breeding for Germany
A1. family allowances were introduced in 1935 and extended in 1938; the Mother's Cross was introduced in 1939 (women were awarded gold for eight children, silver for six and bronze for four).
A3. some university teachers, heads of schools and lawyers.
A4. Deutsches Frauenwerk (DF) was the umbrella organisation for all women;s groups; National Socialist Frauenschaft (NSF) was an elite organisation for committed female party members.
Note - The birth rate rose, but this may have had more to do with economic recovery than with Nazi social policy.
Nazi ideological agenda
Q1. What did Nazis aim to create in Germany?
Q2. What did Hitler see as the prime economic goal?
Q3. Did the regime seek to promote equality?
Q4. What was the Nazi view of the role of the individual in society?
a political philosophy combining racial conflict, community values and extreme nationalism
A1. a Volksgemeinschaft - a people's or racial community.
A2. to prepare Germany for war by producing a Wehrwirtschaft - a defence economy.
A3. yes, but only among the 'racially pure'; much of the language of the Nazi leaders stressed this and some of their actions promoted it.
A4. the individual must take second place to the needs of the community; but running counter to this was the belief that there were natural leaders whom the masses would follow.
Note - Most of the Nazi leaders genuinely believed that they were going to transform Germany into a 'racially pure' warrior state in the best interests of the community. But although ideological goals shaped policy, circumstances inevitably forced compromises.
Persecution of 'asocials'
Q1. Which people were categorised as being 'asocials'?
Q2. What evidence is there that the regime heightened the persecution of homosexuals?
Q3. Why were homosexuals persecuted?
Q4. In what year was the arrest of 'asocials' stepped up considerably?
attacking those outside the Volksgemeinschaft
A1. Himmler defined asocials in 1938 as 'those who demonstrate through behaviour which is inimical to the community but which need not be criminal that they cannot adapt themselves to the community.'
A2. arrests of homosexuals rose from 1934 to 8,562 in 1938.
A3. they were not considered suitable people's comrades (Volksgenossen) as they failed in their racial duty to procreate more people's comrades.
Note - There is little to suggest that the persecution of 'asocials' was unpopular - quite the reverse. Himmler and the police were responding to popular sentiments.
Problems in agricultural policy
Q1. In what sense was the Reich Entailed Farms Act harmful to German farming?
Q2. In what sense was the Reich Food estate damaging to German farming?
Q3. Did Darre arrest the drift from the land?
Q4. In what sense had Darre failed to contribute to the defence economy?
increased bureaucracy, labour shortages and technical backwardness
A1. it made it harder for progressive farmers to borrow to modernise, as they could not offer their farms as security.
A2. it introduced a vast bureaucracy that demanded endless form filling and hampered innovative farmers with regulations.
A3. no; over 1 million people left farming between 1933 and 1939, creating real labour shortages in the country.
A4. food production was vital in wartime, but was threatened by both labour shortages and the technical backwardness of German farming.
Note - Wives and daughters of farmers increasingly provided the labour needed by agriculture. The Reich Food Estate, like so many other agencies in Nazi Germany turned into a vast bureaucratic monster with 20,000 full-time employees and 113,000 honorary officials.
Racism and anti-Semitism
Q1. How many Jewish Germans were there in 1933?
Q2. In which areas of German life were Jews particularly prominent?
Q3. What developments between 1917 and 1929 had fuelled Nazi prejudices against Jews?
Q4. To what racial group did the Nazis consider that Germans but not Jews belonged?
a conspiracy theory out of control
A1. around 500,000o or 0.8 % of the population
A2. the learned professions and the arts - 16 per cent of lawyers and 10 per cent of doctors were Jewish.
A3. the Russian Revolution and the communist risings in Germany, where a high proportion of the leaders were Jewish; the influx of Jewish refugees from Russia and Poland after the First World War.
A4. Ayrans or Indo-Europeans.
Note - Racism and anti-Semitism were key ideas for Hitler and many of the Nazi leaders. They interpreted the whole world and human history in terms of race and racial conflict. However, there is not much evidence that anti-Semitism was a great vote-winner for the Nazis in their breakthrough to power during 1929-33.
Q1. What percentage of Germany's GNP was being spent on rearmament by 1939?
Q2. In what sense might rearmament have been seen as successful by 1939?
Q3. In what ways was rearmament not successful by 1939?
Q4. Why have some historians seen Germany as facing an economic crisis in 1939?
preparing the German armed forces for war
A1. 23 per cent
A2. it had contributed considerably to the fall in unemployment ; Germany was able to conquer most of Europe between 1939 and 1941.
A3. Germany was not prepared for a war in depth - there were no stockpiles of spare parts and production of aircraft was not really increasing as intended; Britain overtook Germany aircraft production in 1940.
A4. the economy was over-heating and there were shortages of all kinds, particularly of labour.
Note - In one sense, rearmament was a major achievement - Germany had rearmed a considerable extent, without really depressing living standards and largely with the consent of the German people.
Q1. What was agreed in the Concordat between the new Nazi government and the Roman Catholic Church in 1933?
Q2. What was the title of the letter of protest issued by the Pope in 1937, and what had led him to write it?
Q3. Who was appointed to lead the new Nazi-backed Protestant Reich Church?
Q4. What was the name taken by those German Protestants who rejected the Reich Church?
an attempt to reduce the influence of a rival-belief
A1. the Roman Catholic Church agreed to the dissolution of the Centre Party and the Nazi government agreed to respect the interests of the Church in education.
Mit Brennender Sorge ('With burning concern'); attempts to renege on the Concordat and weaken Catholic schools, and a series of high-profile prosecutions of monks and priests.
A3. Bishop Ludwig Muller
A4. the Confessional Church.
Note - some leading Nazis were particularly anti-religious, notably Martin Bormann, who constantly urged Hitler on to more anti-religious measures. Himmler encouraged the SS to develop a return to a kind of primitive German paganism with Yuletide replacing Christmas.
Q1. Who was appointed Reich minister of science and education in 1934?
Q2. How did the Nazi increase their control of education?
Q3. Which subject on the school curriculum was given a higher profile?
Q4. Which subject on the school curriculum was given a lower profile?
a rejection of liberal pluralist values
A1. Bernhard Rust.
A2. all teachers were 'encouaged' to join the National Socialist Teachers' League; Rust's appointment marked a real centralisation of control over education, which had previously been under the separate states (Lander).
A3. sport was increased to 5 hours a week.
A4. religious studies were reduced to one period a week.
Note - 'Truth' was taught and thought discouraged. Most historians agree that the Nazi regime damaged the quality of education in Germany, which before 1933 had possibly been the best in the world.
Social and racial 'hygiene'
Q1. What is the correct name for the science of producing fine offspring by the control of inherited qualities?
Q2. What measure was introduced in July 1933 to 'improve' the German race?
Q3. How many children with mental disabilities were murdered in 1939?
Q4. What was T4?
breeding and protecting the 'master race'
A2. the 'Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring' allowed for compulsory sterilisation.
A4. the headquarters of the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Serious Hereditarily and Congenitally Based Illnesses at Tiergarten Strasse 4 in Berlin, from where the secret murder of the disabled was organised.
Note - This policy is a good example of the total rejection of liberal values and the elimination of primacy of the individual in Nazi Germany. There was a frightening lack of respect for the rule of law, reminiscent of the behaviour of the Bolshevik regime in Russia.
Strength Through Joy (KDF)
Q1. What was the purpose of this organisation?
Q2. What did it provide?
Q3. What was the participation rate?
Q4. What was the impact of the movement?
a subordinate organisation of the DAF which organised workers' leisure
A1. to organise the leisure time of workers, promoting their health and relaxation to make them more effectively; to build the Volksgemeisnchaft by promoting equality and community.
A2. organised hikes, holidays in such areas such as the Black Forest, cruises, theatre and cabaret evenings etc.
A3. in 1938, one worker in 200 took a sea trip abroad, but one in three participated in a holiday away from home.
A4. there is some evidence from the SOPADe reports that it was one of the most popular aspects of the Nazi regime.
Note - White-collars workers and better-paid craftsmen tended to be those who went on the more exotic holidays, which although subsidised were still beyond the pocket of most workers.
Q1. In what circumstances did Darre become minister of agriculture?
Q2. How did Darre atempt to give German famers more security?
Q3. How did Darre attempt to promote the recovery of German agriculture?
Q4. What was done to assist agricultural labourers?
minister of agriculture, 1933-42
A1. he was appointed in June 1933 when Hugenberg of the DNVP resigned; Darre was a true Nazi closely associated with Himmler.
A2. the Reich Entailed Farms Act protected indebted farmers from losing their property; it applied to 600,000 small farms across Germany.
A3. the Reich Food Estate controlled prices and fixed production quotas.
A4. estate owners were pressured into improving housing; there was a rise in welfare benefits for large families.
Note - Farmers' incomes rose by an average of 41 per cent and the number of tractors in use trebled. however, large estate owners probably made the greatest gains.
Women in Nazi Germany
Q1. What famous phrase expresses the Nazi view of the role of women?
Q2. Why was there such concern with motherhood?
Q3. Name examples of role models of German womanhood.
Q4. Why were more women in paid employment in 1939 than in 1933 ?
different but of equal value
A1. 'Kinder, Kirche, Kuche' (Children, church, kitchen)
A2. there was a general concern about falling birth rates but also a specifically Nazi concern with racial fertility.
A3. Magda Goebbels, blond wife of the minister of Propaganda and mother of his six children; Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, head of the National Socialist Frauenschaft and mother of 4 children.
A4. despite the policies of the early years, when maximising male jobs was a priority labour shortages developed after 1936 and women had to be encourage back to work.
Note - The key principle of the Nazi attitude to women was 'separate spheres' - women were different but of equal value. However, many so-called Nazi views on women were simply those of the 1930s.
Working-class gains under the Nazis
Q1. What is generally considered the greatest gain under the Nazis?
Q2. By how much were holidays increased?
Q3. In what ways did the lifestyle of many workers improve?
Q4. In what sense might it be argued that the security of many workers improved?
a fall in unemployment, improved leisure and greater security
A1. the fall in unemployment
A2. this varied from industry to industry, but on average they increased from 3 paid years a year to between 6 and 12 days per year.
A3. more frequent visits to the cinema; holidays away from home; possession of a radio.
A4. there was much greater job security and crime declined.
Note - There are many features of this period in Germany which were replicated elsewhere in the developed Western world and mark the birth of the mass consumer society.
Working-class losses under the Nazis
Q1. How was the diet of working-class Germans affected?
Q2. What happened to trade unions?
Q3. In what sense were workers subject to greater regulations and control?
Q4. What happened to wage rates?
no trade unions, stagnating wages, less varied diet and compulsory military service
A1. in general the quality and range of food declined and there was a dramatic decline in beer consumption.
A2. they were abolished on 2 May 1933.
A3. young workers were compelled to serve in the Reich Labour Service for 6 months, and in the late 1930s were subject to compulsory military service.
A4. they tended to stagnate and certainly did not match the increase in profits enjoyed by the owners of companies.
Notes - There were wide variations depending on who and where you were. The unemployed felt better off even if there were fewer bananas in the shops. Some changes in consumption were part of a general trend towards a goods-orientated consumer society and were replicated in Britain and the USA.
Youth in the Third Reich
Q1. Who became head of the Hitler Youth movement in 1933?
Q2. When did membership of the Hitler Youth become compulsory?
Q3. What was the organisation for young boys aged 10-14?
Q4. What were the three Nazi organisations for girls and young women?
children of the Fuhrer
A1. Baldur von Schirach
A3. Deutsches Jungfolk
A4. Jungmadelbund for girls aged 10-14, Bund Deutscher Madel for girls aged 14-18 and Glaube und Schonheit (Faith and Beauty) for girls aged 18-21.
Note - The youth organisation sought to impress Nazi views of the roles of males and females on their members. Girls were taught to be good mothers and boys to be patriotic warriors. The attempt to control all youth groups produced a long quarrel with the Catholic Church, which resisted much more effectively than the Protestant churches.
Challenging Versailles, 1933-36
Q1. What was the first direct challenge to the Treaty of Versailles?
Q2. What was the response of Britain, France and Italy?
Q3. What was the boldest and riskiest challenge to Versailles?
Q4. Which part of the Versailles settlement had not been challenged by the end of 1936?
Germany seeks to overthrow the 1919 treaty
A1. the open repudiation of the disarmament clauses and the introduction of conscription in March 1935.
A2. the Stresa Conference and the Stresa Declaration, which condemned Germany's actions.
A3. the reoccupation of the Rhineland with groups in march 1936 at a time when the German army was incapable of fighting the French army with any prospect of success.
A4. most of the territorial settlement remained intact, particularly the much resented loss of land in the east to Poland.
Note - Hitler showed skill in 1934-5 in trying to divide his potential enemies, first with the non-aggression pact with Poland in 1934 and then with the naval treaty with Britain in June 1935.
Creating the Axis
Q1. In what sense might Italy have been counted among Germany's enemies in 1934-35?
Q2. What two concessions did Mussolini make to Germany in early 1936?
Q3. 'Mussolini I will never forget you for this! what led Hitler to send this message on 13 March 1938?
Q4. Which pact was signed on 22 May 1939?
improving relations with Italy
A1. Italy moved troops to the Austrian border in summer 1934 to counter the pro-Nazi coup in Vienna; it was a key member of the Stresa Front in April 1935.
A2. he withdrew Italy's guarantee of Austrian independence in January and agreed not to oppose the remilitarising of the Rhineland in February.
A3. Mussolini's acceptance of the Anscshluss (German takeover of Austria)
A4. the Pact of Steel, a 10-year military and political alliance between Italy and Germany
Note - Germany took advantage of favourable circumstances to improve relations with Italy, notably the split between Italy and the Western powers over Abyssinia in 1935-36 and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war in July 1936.
Crisis over Czechoslovakia, 1938
Q1. What were Hitler's public demands over Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1938?
Q2. What was his real objective?
Q3. Why did Hitler agree to the Munich Conference?
Q4. Did Hitler regard the outcome of the Munich Agreement as a diplomatic triumph?
appeasement denies Hitler a victorious wawr
A1. the safety and security of the German-speaking inhabitants of the Sudetenland by the transfer of their lands to the Reich.
A2. to destroy the state of Czechoslovakia by war.
A3. he hoped to keep Britain from war; he was under pressure from Goering and Mussolini; there was evident lack of support in Germany for war.
A4. no; he felt cheated of his war, which he remained convinced eh should have had in 1938?
Note - The outcome of the crisis contributed to the decline of Goering's influence with Hitler and the growth of Ribbentrop's. Strangely, both Hitler and Churchill felt it would have been better for their respective countries to fight in 1938 rather than 1939. They cannot both have been right.
Diplomatic developments, 1938-39
Q1. What was the name of the conference held in November 1937, in which Hitler outlined future diplomatic developments to senior figures in the Reich?
Q2. Who was removed from office in February 1938?
Q3. Why was Germany in a stronger position with regard to Britain and France in 1938?
Q4. What personal factors had a bearing on Hitler's increased diplomatic aggression?
German aggression increases
A1. the Hossbach Conference, named after the record of it kept by Hitler's military adjunct, Colonel Hossbach.
A2. General Blomberg, minister of war, and General Fritsch, commander-in-chief, resigned following scandals; Baron von Neurath was replaced as foreign minister by the Nazi, Joachim von Ribbentrop.
A3. it had achieved military superiority over the Western powers; Hitler had improved his diplomatic position through the pact with Italy.
A4. Hitler felt that he was at the height of his mental and physical powers and faced decline and possibly early death.
Note - These years mark a transition from a nationalist programme to a more openly Nazi one - the pursuit of war. But the territorial demands were still nationalist in seeking the overthrow of Versailles.
Legacy of Weimar
Q1. Which part of the Versailles territorial settlemnt was most resented in Germany?
Q2. With which European state had Germany negotiate a secret deal relating to military developments.
Q3. What important concessions had Stresemann won for Germany just before his death in 1929?
Q4. What major German grievance had been removed in 1932?
key changes in Germany's position between 1919 and 1933
A1. the loss of land to Poland and the transfer to that country of over 1 million Germans.
A2. Soviet Russia in 1922; Hitler ended the agreement when he gained power.
A3. the reduction of reparations under the Young Plan; the early withdrawal of all Allied troops from Germany in 1930, not 1935.
A4. reparations had been officially terminated at the Lausanne Conference.
Note - German bitterness at the treaty of Versailles may have assisted the Nazis in gaining power, but the treaty was already being dismantled. the disarmament clauses and territorial losses were the only outstanding issues in 1933.
Nazi ideology and foreign policy
Q1. In what ways might Nazi racist beliefs be said to have influenced German foreign policy in these years?
Q2. In what ways other than with regard to race did Nazi aims differ from merely nationalist aims in foreign policy?
Q3. Which diplomatic agreements most accorded with Nazi ideology?
Q4. Which diplomatic agreement was contrary to Nazi ideology?
expansionism fuelled by racism
A1. in the hostility to Bolshevisk Russia, which was seen as heavily influenced in its communism by Jews; in the positive view of Britain, which was seen as a fellow Germanic state.
A2. to nationalists, war might be necessary; to Hitler, war was a good in itself.
A3. the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, June 1935; the Anti-Comintern Pact with Italy, November 1937.
A4. the Nazi-Soviet Pact, August 1939.
Note - Up to 1938 nationalists and Nazis could agree on the need to overturn Versailles, but for the Nazis this was only the precursor to a racist war of conquest in the east to achieve Lebensraum.
Q1. Who was the German foreign minister responsible for negotiating the pact and for persuading Hitler of its advantages?
Q2. What were the major advantages to Germany of the pact?
Q3. What clauses of the treaty were secret and what was their importance to Germany?
Q4. Why did Stalin accept the pact?
a non-aggression agreement which paved the way for the invasion of partition of Poland.
A2. it deprived Britain and France of a potential ally; it guaranteed Germany vital raw materials in the event of a British blockade of Germany.
A3. the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union; this made POland's already difficult military situation impossible.
A4. Stalin calculated that the pact would buy time while Germany fought the Western powers; his would leave all these 'capitalist' countries weaker, to the Soviet Union's ultimate advantage.
Note - the pact was distasteful both to Hitler and to many old party members, and was always intended to be temporary. Ribbentrop was much more enthusiastic and driven by hatred of Britain. The pact brought Germany enormous benefits over the next 2 years.
Outbreak of the Second World War
Q1. When had Britain offered a guarantee to Poland?
Q2. Why might the German demand for Danzig be considered reasonable?
Q3. Why on the evening of 25 August 1939 did Hitler withdraw the order to attack Poland.
Q4. What was Hitler's response to Goering's suggestion on 29 August that they should compromise and not 'go for broke'?
German demands in Poland lead to war
A1. 31 March 1939 - this had encouraged the Poles to reject German demands for territorial concessions.
A2. 90 per cent of the population of Danzig were Germans
A3. he was afraid that Britain would honour its guarantee to Poland, which had just been reinforced with a formal alliance on that day; he realised that Italy would not fight.
Q4. 'In my life I've always gone for broke.'
Note - Hitler clearly hoped that Britain would stand aside and was somewhat shocked on 3 september 1939 when war was declared.
Reasons for success in challenging Versailles
Q1. Which country did Britain blame for the break-up of the Geneva Disarmament Conference in 1933?
Q2. Widespread hostility to which country aided Germany?
Q3. Why did the Stresa Front break up?
Q4. What did the US Congress pass in 1935-37 which weakened the ability of the US government to intervene in Europe?
a combination of caution and boldness in a favourable international climate.
A1. Russia, which was often perceived as a bigger threat than Germany; this was particuarly true in Poland.
A2. Russia, which was often perceived as a bigger threat to Germany; this was particularly true in Poland.
A3. Italy invaded Abyssinia; Britain and France condemned this invasion in 1936.
A4. the Neutrality Acts.
Note - The divisions among Germany's potential enemies were Hitler's greatest asset. his greatest failure was to drive the USA, the Soviet Union and the British empire into alliance by 1941. In Britain there was widespread sympathy for Germany and a sense that the Treaty of Versailles should be revised in Germany's favour.