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Hitler& Nazi Germany Review
Terms in this set (45)
Friedrich Ebert (1871-1925)
Friedrich Ebert was a socialist leader who took over government
in November 1918 after the Kaiser's abdication. As elected president of the Weimar Republic from February 1919, he faced political instability, the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles, economic problems resulting from the war, the invasion of the Ruhr and hyperinflation.
Treaty of Versailles
This was the peace treaty imposed on Germany after the First World War by the victorious allies - Britain, France and the USA.
This term refers to the right of racial groups to be settled in a country of their own race and ruled by their own people.
This is the term used to refer to the joining together of Austria and Germany. Hitler carried this out in 1938 to create the greater
German Reich (state).
Under this system of elections, electors vote for a party rather than
a candidate. Parties can then choose deputies from a list, according to the number of votes cast for that party. The number of deputies in the Reichstag would therefore correspond proportionately to the number of votes that party received in the country as a whole.
Led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacus League was a radical socialist group. Its members were the founders of the KPD (German Communist Party), which was set up at a congress in Berlin held from 30 December 1918 to 1 January 1919. The group remained committed to violent revolution until about 1923, whereafter it contested Reichstag elections with some success. The KPD and SPD (Social Democratic Party) refused to work together, which was
one factor that allowed the Nazis to come to power.
This is the name given to traditionally rightwing aristocratic landowners, industrialists, senior army officers, judges and civil servants.
an attempt to overthrow the
These were volunteer groups of demobilised soldiers who continued to fi ght for right-wing values.
This term refers to a fine for war damage that was payable to Germany's former enemies.
This term refers to a refusal to work - in the Ruhr, for example, a refusal to work for the occupying troops of France and Belgium.
This term is used to describe a very high rate of inflation, when money is so devalued that prices rise constantly and excessive amounts are needed to buy everyday items. Effectively, the currency becomes worthless.
(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) This is the full
name of the Nazi Party. Members were called 'Nazis' in the same way that the socialists were known as 'Sozis'. Nazi came from the NA of National and ZI of sozialistische.
This term refers to the period between 1925 and 1929 when the Weimar economy flourished with the help of US loans.
This refers to a co-ordination process whereby all German institutions were to conform to Nazi ideals.
Supremacy of the state and Volksgemeinschaft
the belief that loyalty to the state is more important than any other loyalty; people should feel bound together by blood as a single community.
the acceptance that life is a constant struggle and, without interference, the strongest will always win; this was indirectly derived from Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest
the right of the superior German race to acquire living space for its peoples
Pan-Germanism - Herrenvolk
the supremacy of the German Aryans as the master race
a conviction that democracy gives undue weight to weaker peoples and mediocrities
the principle that the leader's will is the source of all political authority; from this developed the 'cult of the leader'
the belief that a woman's role is as the bearer of future Aryans
hostility to Marxism as an international creed that weakens nations
a belief that Jews are the lowest race in the social hierarchy and should be persecuted
Blut und Boden (blood and soil)
the belief that the blood of the community is rooted in the soil
This term refers to a set of beliefs and ideas that characterise a political movement and provide the principles from which its policies
This term describes the German state (literally empire) in the years 1933-1945. It was known as the 'Third Reich' because Germany had known two former empires. The Holy Roman Empire (962-1806)
was referred to as the First Reich and the German Empire, which was established by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1871 and lasted until 1918, was known as the Second Reich.
This is the term used to describe features from the Nordic/Anglo-Saxon racial heritage, which the Nazis claimed was superior to any other.
This term refers to an ancient religious symbol in the form of a cross with the arms bent at right angles. It had been used by right-wing groups in Austria and was associated with Aryanism even before Hitler chose to adopt it. It became the best-known symbol of the Nazi party and was used on flags, arm-bands and badges.
This is the name for the separate states within Germany. These
had power over local domestic policy at the time of the Weimar Republic, which had a federal structure.
Heinrich Himmler (1900-45)
Himmler became the head of the Schützstaffel (SS) in 1929 and head of all German political police outside Prussia in 1933. He helped organise the Night of the Long Knives and in 1936 took over the Gestapo (the secret police). In December 1940, he established the Waffen SS. During the war, the SS Death's Head Units were put in charge of the concentration camps. In June 1944, Himmler took over the Abwehr (the military intelligence organisation) but his attempts to seek peace with the allies led to his arrest. Himmler committed suicide at the end of the war.
Paul von Hindenburg (1847-
Paul von Hindenburg was commander-in-chief of Germany's
forces on the Eastern Front from 1914. He retired from public life in 1918, but returned in 1925 to stand as president. He held this post until his death but grew increasingly senile and may not have appreciated the consequences of his decisions in 1930-33 to allow the use of article 48, which undermined parliamentary democracy and allowed Hitler to come to power.
Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-
Goebbels joined the Nazi movement in 1924 and became director
of Nazi propaganda in 1929. In 1933, he became minister for enlightenment and propaganda. He committed suicide shortly before Hitler, in Hitler's bunker in Berlin in 1945.
The SS - and its subsection the SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the security
service - was a highly trained and élitist Aryan organisation with extensive powers as a military force and as political police. The SS ran the concentration camps, beginning with Dachau in March 1933. They joined with the Gestapo (see below) in 1934 and in 1936 Himmler became Reichsführer SS. By 1939, the SS Death's Head Units guarded the concentration camps and SS men ran racial superiority and genetic programmes, controlled labour supplies and factories and by 1940 had their own fighting units, the Waffen SS, to rival the regular army.
The Gestapo was the state secret police force, established by Goering in April 1933. It served to root out and intimidate potential opposition. However, the number of Gestapo officers was limited
and many were engaged in routine bureaucratic work, so the regime had to rely on spies and informers. This has led to the conclusion that the survival of the Nazi regime rested on the compliance of the public, who were prepared to betray their colleagues and neighbours, rather than on an atmosphere of terror. For example, Robert Gellately put forward the theory that surveillance was dependent on the reports provided by ordinary German people rather than a ubiquitous force of the Gestapo.
Hermann Goering (1893-
Goering joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and after 1933 became
minister of the interior and prime minister of Prussia, taking control of
the Gestapo. He helped establish the concentration camps, arranged (with Himmler) the Night of the Long Knives and ran the 1936 Four-Year Plan. He was also behind the purge of Werner von Blomberg and Werner von Fritsch in 1938. In February 1938, he became head of Germany's armed forces and in 1939 Hitler's deputy and heir. He was in charge of the Luftwaffe (air force) during the war and found guilty at the Nuremberg Trials of German war criminals in 1945-46. He committed suicide before he could be hanged.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45)
Bonhoeffer was an academic theologian who strongly opposed
Nazism. In 1940, he was banned from preaching and publishing. He joined the underground resistance, working with other opponents such as Ludwig Beck. He was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1943 and executed in 1945.
This is a system of government made up of overlapping bodies such as ministries, party organisations and special agencies.
This is the process whereby policies and actions become more extreme.
Reich Food Estate
This was an organisation that controlled food production and sales, setting targets, quotas and prices.
A cartel is an agreement between companies to work together
to reduce production costs and improve efficiency.
guns and butter
This phrase had been used by historians writing about the Nazis' preparations for war. The Nazis could not invest heavily in rearmament (guns) while maintaining standards of living (butter). There was also literally a shortage of fats in Germany - both for consumption (butter, margarine and lard) and for industrial purposes (grease).
This term refers to the practice of spending more government money than is received. The difference is made up by borrowing.
This term refers to 'lightning warfare' - an attack conducted with such speed that the enemy is overwhelmed even before it can put all its forces into action.
Literally 'race comrade', this term refers to a person who was racially pure and was therefore considered worthy of German citizenship
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