Gustav Stresemann was Germany's Chancellor in 1923-1924 and Foreign Secretary afterwards.
He improved Germany through:
1. Economic measures: the Rentenmark, the Dawes Plan 1924 (800,000,000 mark loan from the USA), the Young Plan 1929 (reduced Reparations payments by 67%)...
2. International relations: the Locarno Treaties (1925), Germany joining the League of Nations (1926), and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.
This was an age of cinema, clubs, sex, modern art and architecture, industry, radios, cars.
- Many urban people loved it; many rural people deeply disapproved.
Germany appeared to be doing well, however there were problems:
1. Germany was dependent on foreign loans
2. Germany was not making enough money
Children were encouraged to be anti-semitic.
German: language and literature work was carefully chosen to show examples of German military success, of sacrifice for the Fatherland and the long traditions of the German people.
e.g. An extract from a reading book for 14 year olds, The Battle of Tannenburg: "A Russian soldier tried to get in the way, but Otto's bayonet slid gratingly between his rivs, so that he collapsed groaning. There it lay before him, simple and distinguished, his dream's desire, the Iron Cross."
Glorification of the Military Service
- All subjects were taught to glorify military service
- Chemistry developed knowledge of chemical warfare, explosives, etc.
- Math taught the young to understand artillery, calculations, and ballistics.
- Instilled a sense of militarism, arianism, anti-semitism, acceptance of destruction and warfare
- Every subject the children learnt had some sort of relation to the jews
- Used biased, anti-semitic reading material
- Made to point out the superiority of the Aryans
German Jewish children were often forced to stand at the front of the class as the teacher pointed out they were 'different'
- Texts/reading materials were anti-semitic: e.g. The Poison Mushroom: "Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and a criminal"
- Treaty of Versailles robbed the German people of their rightful lands
- German-speaking people in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland desired to join the Reich and work towards the restoration of German power and the creation of a German empire in Europe.
- We must overthrow the illegal rulings of the Treaty of Versailles and achieve Anschluss, reunion with Austria.
The German people also need land to expand into, the lebensraum must be taken from Countries to the East.
- Hitler stated he wanted boys who could suffer pain: "a young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather and has hard as Krupp's steel."
- P.E. took up 15% of a school's weekly timetable. Boxing became compulsory for boys.
- Boys considered more able were sent to schools for physically stronger schools: The Adolf Hitler schools, where they were taught to be future leaders of Germany.
six years of tough physical training and they left at aged 18, either going to the army or to university.
- The best pupils went to Order Castles. They brought pupils to the limits of physical endurance. War games used live ammunition and many pupils were killed at these schools.
- Those who graduated from Order Castles could expect to attain a high position in the army or the SS.
The Swing movement met to dance and listen to forbidden jazz music, and welcomed Jews into their clubs.
The Edelweiss Pirates or Navajos, helped army deserters and Jewish refugees during the war
- 12 of their leaders (teenagers) were hanged in Cologne in 1944 for attacking the Gestapo.
- no central leadership, loosely affiliated with groups/cities
- As the war dragged on, the Edelweiss pirates began sabotaging German railways, helping Jews flee from the Nazis.
- some were sent to concentration camps or executed
The White Rose Movement
1941-1942: Siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl begin by handing out pamphlets at their school, Munich University, challenging the German people to resist atheism and aggression of the Nazis.
1943: after returning from military service, Hans and his friends decide to step up their game. They begin vandalizing the streets of Munich at night with "down with Hitler" and "Freedom!" in large letters. As a result they catch the attention of the Gestapo.
- Jan 1943: The Scholls openly participate in a student demonstration against the regime on the streets of Munich: the only occurrence of its kind in the Third Reich
- Feb 18, 1943: Early in the morning, the Scholls drop leaflets around the university calling for the German youth to rise up against the Nazis. A caretaker at the uni told the Gestapo and the four were arrested The four are tortured and interrogated, Sophie's leg is broken in the process.
- Feb 22, 1943 AM: At their trial, the White Rose group speak openly of what they have done. The Scholls are found guilty of the offenses against the state and are sentenced to death by the guillotine.
- Before Sophie is executed she prophesies that their deaths will have made a difference, however, by the end of the day, the students in Munich show their loyalty to the Nazi party.