History: Germany 1919-1945

Georgia Stokes
Mind Map by Georgia Stokes, updated more than 1 year ago
Georgia Stokes
Created by Georgia Stokes over 7 years ago


gcse History Mind Map on History: Germany 1919-1945, created by Georgia Stokes on 06/09/2013.

Resource summary

History: Germany 1919-1945
1 Part 1: the rise to power
1.1 What were the strengths and weaknesses of Weimar Germany?
1.1.1 the nature of democracy The Weimar constitution: The President:-elected every seven years. -controlled the armed forces. - stayed out of the day-to-day running of the country. -In an emergency he could make laws without going through the government (article 48) appointed The Chancellor- responsible for the day-to-day running of the country. - chosen from the Reichstag by the president. - like a prime minister who needed more than half the support of The Reichstag:- voted on new laws. - members elected every four years, through a system called PR (proportional representation). This system gave small parties a chance to have a say in parliament. was elected by: The German people: - elected President and the members of the Reichstag -all men and women over the age of 20 could vote. - all adults had equal rights and the right of free speech.
1.1.2 Problems the Wiemar government faced Problem 1: Defeat in the first world war- 'the stab in the back' Within days of taking over the new government had to sign an armistice that ended the war. They had little choice- the German army was retreating and people at home faced starvation. Not all Germans saw it this way. The German army had been doing well only a few months earlier and the Kaiser had not announced any bad news to the German people. People were now very bitter and were looking for someone to blame. A simple explanation for defeat that spread was that the German army had been 'stabbed in the back' by the new government. known as 'November Criminals' for signing armsitice plus treaty of V. opponents used against them to weaken support. Problem 2:The Treaty of Versailles The first world war ended with the signing of the armistice in November 1918. However it took until June 1919 fro the Allies to agree on a peace treaty. The new German government was not invited to the discussions. Treaty of Versailles: terms L.A.M.B L. : Land: Germany lost 13% of its land. This lost land had important raw materials, such as coal. Germany was split in two. This was to give Poland access to sea. German troops were not allowed in the Rhineland. This was to make the French feel safe from German attack. All Germany's overseas colonies were taken away. A. Army: The German army was to be reduced to just 100,000. The navy was cut to only 15,000 sailors and only six battleships. Germany was not allowed submarines, tanks, or an air force. M. Money: Germany had to pay reparations. Most of the money would go to Belgium and France. At Versailles no sum was fixed. But in 1921 the Allies fixed the sum at £6600 million. B. Blame: In the 'war guilt' clause, Germany was to be blames for the war. This enabled the Allies to demand compensation for all the damage that had been caused. German reaction The German people felt humiliated. They hated the treaty and the people who made it. The German government did not like the treaty but they had little choice but to accept it. War was threatened if they did not sign. Opponents of the Wiemar republic now blamed the government for sigining. To the. the fact that the government had signed showed how weak they were and rienforced the view that they stabbed Germany in the back. Problem 3: Political Violence The Weimar Republic was democratic- people had the right to choose their government. however, some groups did not think that this was the best way to run Germany. These extremist parties wanted to tear the Weimar republic apart. The left wing extremist: communist party. Believe that they should run the country on the behalf of the workers. Right wing extremists were the Nazis. they believed that Germany should be lead with one strong leader whom everyone should obey. Dictatorship. Threats Threat 1: The Sparticist rising,1919 The Sparticist league, communist group lead by Rosa Luxemberg and Karl Liebknecht. They did not trust the new government. They thought Ebert would not improve the lives of the workers. They wanted a full scale Russian revolution like the Russian of 1917. In Jan. 1919 workers were protesting throughout Germany. The Sparticists tried to turn this into a revolution. In Berlin they took over the government's newspaper and telegraph headquarters. They hoped protester would join- didn't. The government ordered the army to stop the uprising with help from units of the Freikorps (ex-soldiers who were anti-communist). Rosa Luxemburg was shot, Karl was murdered to. Sparticists struggled without main leaders. Threat 2: The red rising in the Ruhr, 1920 Groups of workers led by the communist party. Many German workers were angry about bad pay and conditions. Workers had been protesting throughout 1919. In 1920 a communist party 'Red Army' of 50,000 workers occupied the Ruhr region and took control of its raw materials. This was one of Germany's main industrial areas. The German army, with the help of the Freikorps crushed the rising. Threat 3: The Munich Putsch, 1920 Freikorps units led by Wolfgang Kapp in 1920 as Friekorps ordered disbanded by government. 12,00 marched to Berlin, government forced to flee. Freikorps wanted Kapp as new leader of Germany. Kapp and Freikorps failed to win support. Workers in Berlin went on strike in protest, made it impossible for Kapp to rule. After four days he fled from Berlin. Ebert's government returned. Threat 4: The Munich Putsch 1923 The Nazi party of about 55,000 members and th SA led by Hitler and Gerneral Ludendorff planned to take over government as they believed democracy led to weak government. They started in Bavaria were 600+ Hitler burst into a beer hall meeting and forced the leader of Bavaria (Kahr) to support them. Kahr was allowed to leave the meeting and he withdrew his support the next day. The German government responded and crushed the revolt. The Nazis that marched to a military base in Munich were stopped by armed police and soldiers. In the fighting 14 killed + leaders were arrested and Hitler was sent to prison for 5 years. he was released after just 9 months, released my struggle whilst in prison. Problem 4: Invasion of Ruhr + Hyper-Inflation Germany struggled to keep up with the reparation payments to the Allies. In 1922 Germany announced that it could not pay reparations for the next three years. France did not believe this and was determined to make Germany pay. In 1923, 60,000 French and Bulgarian troops marched in the Ruhr, an important industrial area of Germany. They seized control of mines, factories and railways. They took supplies from shops and set up machine-gun posts in the streets. The German government told workers not to co-operate with the French. All workers went on strike. This policy was known as passive resistance (meant to be non-violent protest against invasion). The workers on strike received money from the government to support their family. This cost the government a lot of money, no money was coming in from the Ruhr so the government was short on money. To solve the money shortage the government printed more money to pay workers and debts. More money they printed the less its worth. People lost confidence in the German mark. Prices raised at an incredible rate- Hyper-inflation. By 1923 November the German mark is worthless There was major food shortages because farmers did not want to sell food for worthless money. There were deaths from starvation. Some people turned to crime. Millions lost their savings and their was widespread poverty. This turned many people against the government. Caused more moderate people to turn against government as it was their own actions.
1.1.3 Streseman In August 1923 Streseman became chancellor of Germany. The problems faced were so great most Germans did not think that he would be able to solve them. For the next 5 years (first as chancellor then as foreign minister) Stresemann tried to find answers to the problems facing Wiemar. Solutions Policy 1: introduce a new currency Stresemann acted quickly to deal with hyper-inflation. The old money was replaced with a new currency called the Rentenmark. 1 Rentenmark replaced 1 billion marks. Old notes were recalled ans burned. As a result the new currency was quickly accepted and inflation was brought under control. However the German people never forgot hyper-inflation and people whoo had lost their savings were not compensated. They felt cheated and blamed the Weimar Republic. Policy 2: Persuade the French to leave the Ruhr Stresemann called off the passive resistance, because it had not led the French to withdraw from the Ruhr and had cause serious economic problems. He promised the French to keep up payment of reparations to France. The French left the Ruhr but this was a very unpopular policy in Germany. There was a lot of opposition especially from the right-wing extremists. They claimed it was sign of weak government. Stresemann had 'given in' to the French. Policy 3: improve Germany's relationship with other countries Stresemann decided to co-operate with other countries in Europe. He accepted that Germany could not reclaim the land that it had lost in the Treaty of Versailles. He hoped that by doing so the Allies would change the terms of the treaty. In 1925 Stresemann signed the Lorcarno pact. This was a series of treaties with Britain, France, Belgium and Italy in which they promised not to invade one another. In 1926 Germany joined the league of nations. It was given a great power status which meant it could have a say in major decisions that had to be made. Stresemann was awarded the noble peace prize in 1926. Howver some Germans thought Streseman was weak. By saying that Germany would not try to regain the land it had lost he had once again 'given in' o France. Some army generals believed that Stresemann should have built up the army instead and tried to regain land lost by force. Policy 4: Continue to pay reparations. Streseman realised that he could not force the Allies to change the treaty so he promised to pay reparations. He hoped that the allies would lower the payments in the future. The Dawes plan of 1924 reorganised the way that Germany had to pay reparations. Germany was given longer to pay. In 1929 the Young Plan lowered the amount of money from 132,000 million marks to 36,000 million. However the Dawes plan did no reduce the amount of money. Opponents called the Dawes plan 'a second Versailles'. The young plan was also hated by many as they thought Germnay should not have to pay at all. Under the terms of the Young Plan, Germany would be paying until 1988. Policy 5: Get help to rebuild the economy Stresemann organised big loans fro Germany from the US. This was apart of the Dawes Plan. 1924. The German government used this money to improve housing, hospitals, schools and roads. Loans were also given to private German firms. In addition many US firms set up factories in Germany. Pensions and wages rose for some. However the German economy was dependeant on the US economy. Problems in US cause massive problems in Germany. Even Stresemann himself admitted that Germany was 'dancing on a volcano'. Wages did not rise for everyone. Farmers lost out because food prices stayed low. By 1929 farmworkers earned only half the national average. Many farmers became angry and started to support extremists. Unemployment never fel below 1 million. it started to rise higher from 1928. Rich people in Germany had to pay higher taxes. They complained that the government was spending too much on helping the poor and unemployed.
1.2 Hitler became Chancellor in 1933
1.2.1 In 1928 few Germans would have predicted that Hitler would become leader of Germany. The Nazi party did not appear to be going anywhere. Yet by July 1933 Hitler became Chancellor. The Nazis actions: Effective leadership, clever promises, good organisation, brilliant propaganda. Hitler's leadership skills: played a crucial role. His speeches and personality gained the Nazis a great deal of support. He came across as a strong leader who could solve Germany's problems. Nazis promises: promised to: solve Germany's economic problems, provide strong leadership, ignore the treaty, build up the army, make Germany great again. If they found a policy was unpopular they would drop it. Organisation: They were good at raising money for election campaigns, Nazi party members worked hard in their local regions to spread the Nazi message, they organised soup kitchens and shelters for the unemployed, the SA also played an important role as with their uniforms and marches the SA looked capable of bringing law and order to Germany. Propaganda: Nazi propaganda was organised by Goebbles. The NAzis used loudspeakers, radio, slideshows, and films to spread their message, The Nazis used mass ralies and marches to give the impression od discipline and order. They used radio and posters with powerful properganda with simple slogans. Events which they had no control over: The Wall St. crash, fear of communism, weak opponents, political deal. The Wall st. crash 1929, US stockmarket crashed, US businesses and banks lost large sums of money, as a result 1 in 4 people became unemployed. This created serious problems in Germany as it was dependent on US loans which were recalled. World trade reduces. German firms went bankrupt, unemployment rises, Germans forced to live in poverty so have less money to spend, demand for German goods drops. great depression 6 million unemployed Made government look weak, money was not spent on poor to avoid hyper-inflation, government became unpopular. This led to increased support in extremist political parties. Fear of communism: 1930- 1932 support for the communists increased, the German communist party was the largest in europe. The communists had a lot of support from the worker. Many people in Germany began to fear the communists would take over the country, the Nazis seemed to be the only party that could stop them so they gained votes. Weak opposition: Opposition was weak and divided, the Nazis two main opponents were the Communists and the Social democrat party who were bitter enemies. They were not prepared to work together to stop the Nazis. Political deal: In july 1932 the Nazis won 37% of the vote, they were the largest party in the Reichstag however they did not have majority. Hitler demanded to be made Chancellor. Howvere Paul von Hindenburg refused. Instead he appointed Papen, the leader of the central party who soon faced many problems. General Schleicher persuaded Hindenburg to remove Papen. In december he became chancellor but failed to gain support. Papen wanted revenge. The Nazis were still the largest party so Papen thought he could use them to get power. He made a deal with Hitler to form a new government with Hitler as Chancellor and Papen as vice-chancellor. Wealthy businessmen supported as they believed Papen, not Hitler, would control the government. Papen persuaded Hindedburg to agree, in January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor. Hindenburg and Papen thought they could control Hitler. They made sure only 3 of the 12 that made up the new government were Nazis.
1.3 Hitler became dictator in August 1934
1.3.1 27th February 1933- The Reichstag fire. The Reichstag was destroyed. A Dutch communist was found at scene. He appeared to have been acting alone but Nazis claimed it was the start of a plot for communists to tkae over. That night 4000 communist leaders were arrested by police. Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to grant him emergency powers next day. This gave police power to arrest people and hold them for as long as they wanted. without trial. thousands of Nazis opponents were arrested. Nazis banned meetings held by political oppositions and closed down their newspapers.
1.3.2 March 1933- new elections. The Nazis used the police and SA to put pressure on political opponents. Nazis used radio to broadcast their anti-communist message. they achieved their best election vote ever 44%.
1.3.3 March 1933, The enabling law. Hitler wanted the enabling law. it gave him the power to pass laws without going through government or president. The communist party were banned from voting. Centre party were persuaded to vote because Hitler promised to protect the Catholic Church. Only social democrats against. Law was passed 444 votes to 94. Germany was made dictatorship by this.
1.3.4 may- trade unions taken over, leaders arrested, all trade unions merged into one organisation, the new German Labour front (DAF). it was controlled by the Nazis. Ending workers rights.
1.3.5 July 1933- all political parties banned. law passed banned people from forming new parties. Other political parties had broken up or been banned. Now only one party in Germany.
1.3.6 1934 June- Night of the Long Knives. Hitler became concerned by the increasing power of the SA, it had over 3 million members and wanted control of army. The leader rohm was a close friend of Hitler hut Hitler thought of him as a potential rival. Hitler also needed to reassure the army. The army was smaller than the SA but it was well-trained and disciplined. It had the power to overthrow Hitler. The army was supported by powerful business men also. On the night of the long knives, SA leaders were dragged from their beds and taken to Nazis headquaters and shot. Rohm was arrested, refused to commit suicide and was so shot. The night was a warning to the rest of Germany on how ruthless Hitler was.
1.3.7 August 1934- death of Hindenburg. Hitler made himself president and Chancellor. He was now undisputed head of government and took the title Fuhrer. supreme leader.
1.3.8 August 1934- Army oath. The army took an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler. He was now supreme commander of the armed forces.
2 Control and opposition
2.1 control between 1933 and 1945
2.1.1 Himmler The SS: was originally Hitler's personal guard. Himmler built it up, by 1939 it had 240,000 members. Recruits had to be recognisably Aryan- blonde, blue-eyed, fit. Himmler trained them to be ruthless and loyal to Hitler. They could arrest people without trial and search houses. Concentration camps: As soon as the Nazis came to power the SS arrested Nazi opponents and put them in camps. The special concentration camps were constructed, usually in remote rural areas. At first inmates were held for short time, questioned, tortured, hard labour, and forced instruction in Nazi ideas. By the late 1930s concentration camps were being run by a section of the SS called Death's Head units, as forced labour camps. Some prisoners were used to work for Nazi-owned businesses. Himmler controlled over 150 companies who used slave labour. The camps held Jews, Communists, Socialists, trade unionists, church leaders- anyone who criticised the Nazis. The Gestapo: thus was the state secret police. They could tap phones, open mail, and collect information from a huge network of informers. Informers reported in local people who they believed were 'Anti-Nazi'. The Gestapo arrested people without trial, tortured them and imprisoned them in camps. The police and courts: The ordinary police continued with their regular work, but their bosses were all Nazis. This meant that the police became part of the network of informers, collecting information on everyone, whilst ignoring crimes committed by Nazis. The courts were under Nazi control. Nazis were appointed as judges so a fair trial was impossible. The number of offences carrying the death penalty went up in 1933 from 3 to 46 by 1943, These included listening to foreign radio, telling an anti-Nazi joke, having a sexual relationship with a Jew, being a habitual criminal. Informers: The Nazi party had a strong local structure. Every town was divided into small units called blocks. The Block Warden, a local Nazi, visited every home on the block each week, collecting donations to the Nazi party and checking up on everyone. The Block warden wrote a report on everyone in their block. This report could affect whether or not you got a job. The Warden noted any signs of independent thinking.
2.2 Opposition groups
2.2.1 Former political opponents: All opposition parties and trade unions were banned by July 1933. Their offices raided, ransacked and closed. Thousands of Socialists, including forming memebr of government as well as trade unionists were arrested and put in camps. Many were beaten up; sone tortured; a few killed. Most were soon released as the aim was to scare people into joining the Nazis or into keeping quiet. In the years after 1933, working class opposition to Nazism continued. from 1933 to 35 there were 400 strikes. The gestapo made arrests for example of two thirds of the communist party. Many died in camps. Many more went into exile abroad.
2.2.2 The Churches: only when Hitler interfered with activities of church did religious leader object for example shutting down youth groups. Overall church opposition did not go very far. they did not object to persecution of the Jewish. only 50 pastors out of 17,000 and one bishop were actually arrested.
2.2.3 Army officers: many upper class Germans were scornful of Hilter with his lower class origins. Hitler's racial policies also horrified many of the officer class. They were horrified by the brutal actions of the SS in eatern europe, which were against the strict code of honour in war. They also resented Hitler meddling in military stratergy. There were said to be dozens of plots to assasinate Hitler. The one that came the nearest to success was organised by Stauffenburg, who planted a bomb in Hitler's military headquarters in July 1944. He was against his Anti-semitism and by 1943 thought that Hitler was leading Germany to a catastrophic defeat. It only failed as the meeting was not held underground, the briefcase holding the bomb was moved slightly further away from Hitler by someone. Four people were killed and Hitler was injured. Hitler used the attempt as an excuse to round up and kill all of his known opponents. as a result 5000 people were arrested and exectuted
2.2.4 Young people: the White Rose Group, a small group of students at Munich University led by Hans Scholl, Sophie School and Christopher Probst. They were disgusted by the lack of opposition to the Nazis and their persicution of Jews. Hans and Sophie were arrested and tortured before being executed.
3 German economy and society
3.1 Hitler's Germany
3.1.1 A Germany with the Nazi party in control: It was not the job of the German people to vote, or criticise; they simply had to obey and be grateful
3.1.2 A racially pure Germany: Only Aryans- the blonde, blue-eyed and pale skinned would be welcome.
3.1.3 A Germany with traditional roles for men and women: women, wearing simple clothes and no make-up, would stay at home, cook simple meals and have babies. Men, would work and if necassary fight. Boys and girls would be prepared for their different roles through the education system. All women employed by the state- doctors, civil servants and many teachers were sacked. In appointing new staff, men were preferred to women. Loans were offered to couples to encourage them to get married. They recieved 1000 marks, about half a years pay. The more children they had the less they had to pay back. If they had four children they paid back nothing. But there was one condition; the women had to leave her job. Medals were awarded for having children, gold for eight, silver for six and bronze for four. However not everyone was allowed kids. iIt was compulsory for women with inherited diseases to be sterilised. Propaganda was big in women being simply dressed, and to follow the three ks children, church, cooking.
3.2 Nazis attitudes towards religion
3.2.1 Hitler hated Christianity. He hated its teaching of forgiveness and mercy, however he did not attack them as they had such a large following. He saw them as a threat but at first there was co-operation between them. in 1933 the Catholic churches and Hitler agreed to stay out of each others way. He tried to start their own religion. closed down religious youth groups and church schools.
3.3 Rebuilding the German economy.
3.3.1 Reduction of unemployment By a huge building programme. new motorways, schools, hospitals and houses were built and paid for by the government. By increasing the armed forces from 100,000 to 1,400,000. All males aged 18-25 had to do two years military service. Also by re-arming Germany. New tanks, aeroplanes, guns and battleships were ordered. Industries of all kinds, especially steel, boomed and millions of jobs were created. By putting young men to work. All male 18-25 year olds did 6 months in the National Labour Service (RAD), doing things like planting trees, digging ditches. They were given food and lodgings but paid only pocket money. By removing many women and Jews from the unemployment register.
3.3.2 Treatment of workers Trade unions and workers' organisations were all abolished. All workers had to joind the German Labour Front, (DAF), run by the Nazis. The Labour Front organised some improvements to workers' lives. They negotiated better conditions at work, better lunches, new toilets, etc. Through an organisation called 'Strength Through Joy', they also arranged leisure activities for workers and their families. These included holidays, film shows, concerts, hiking, keep-fit clubs and sporting fixtures. Millions of workers and their families took part.
Show full summary Hide full summary


Hitler and the Nazi Party (1919-23)
Adam Collinge
Germany 1918-39
Cam Burke
Weimar Revision
Tom Mitchell
Hitler's Chancellorship
Weimar Germany 1919: The Spartacists and the constitution
Chris Clayton
Why the Nazis Achieved Power in 1933 - essay intro/conclusion
Denise Draper
Hitler's rise to Chancellorship Jan '33
Simon Hinds
Weimar Republic - Problems facing it from 1918 - 1923
Kiya Bhayani
Britain and World War 2
Ligia Herbst
Rise Of Power
Why did Chamberlain's Policy of Appeasement fail to prevent the outbreak of war in 1939?
Leah Firmstone