Hitler's Rise to Chancellor

Adriano Noble
Mind Map by , created almost 4 years ago

GCSE History GCSE (Germany (WWI - The Holocaust)) Mind Map on Hitler's Rise to Chancellor, created by Adriano Noble on 01/02/2016.

Adriano Noble
Created by Adriano Noble almost 4 years ago
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Hitler's Rise to Chancellor
1 With the singing of the Treaty f Versailles came the abdication of the Kaiser - in his place, the Weimar was set up. Germany was now a democratic country, with an election every four years for members of the Reichstag, and every seven years for the President. Anyone over 20 could vote, and the Constitution enabled basic freedoms, like free speech.
1.1 The Weimar looked like the perfect democracy - however, there were two fatal flaws.
1.1.1 The voting system was proportional representation. This meant the number of politicians each party had in the Reichstag was dependant on the % of the no. votes the party got in the previous election. This was fair, but resulted in coalitions where lots of disagreements took place, and the government was weak, indecisive, and short-lived.
1.1.2 Article 48 stated that in case of emergency, the President could issue a decree, without the agreement of the Reichstag. The problem was that 'an emergency' was never defined, and the Article could be abused.
1.2 A Reichstag was elected every four years, and a President every 4.
1.2.1 Anyone over 20 could vote, and the public had basic freedoms, like free speech.
1.3 For a law to be passed, it must be agreed on by a majority in the Reichstag.
1.4 The German public, however, were enraged by the Treaty - they felt betrayed by their government, and the Weimar faced various uprisings.
1.4.1 A key crisis took place in 1923: hyperinflation. Germany missed a reparations payment - this led to an invasion of the Ruhr by French and Belgian soldiers, between 1923 and 1925. The Ruhr was the industrial heartland of Germany, full of factories and coalmines. France invaded with intentions to take raw materials, in place of the unpaid money. German workers, with the support of the government, refused to cooperate and went on strike. To pay the striking workers, the government decided to print more money. This sudden influx of paper money into the economy, combined with both the strike (resulting in less goods) and the weak economy caused by the war, resulted in hyperinflation. Money was easy to obtain, but goods were scarce - so prices kept rising and rising, at a rapid rate. Inflation was so bad, that prices could double in a few hours. A loaf of bread cost 250DM in January 1923, but cost 200,000 million DM by November. Workers paid by the hour found their wages were useless. People who saved money for years found the value wiped out. Problems caused by hyperinflation resulted in an increase in support for extremist parties. Gustav Stresemann had been a nationalist, but realised someone must save Germany. He was appointed Chancellor in August 1923, following the death of Ebert. Stresemann decided to recall all the DM and burnt them; he created a new currency (Rentenmark) and solved hyperinflation overnight. In September 1923, the government called off the strike. In April 1924, he persuaded the French to leave the Ruhr. Calling off the strike angered a lot of German nationalists. Hitler decided to take advantage of this and, along with two nationalist politicians (Kahr and Lossow), planned a revolution in Munich. The Nazi party had 55,000 members and was stronger than ever. The Republic was weak and set to collapse. Hitler had a large army of Storm troopers, whom he knew he would lose if he gave them nothing to do. Hitler hoped to copy Mussolini, who came to power in 1922 by marching on Rome. Hitler collected 3,000 Storm troopers and told them to be prepared to rebel. However, in October, Kahr and Lossow backed out of the rebellion. On the night November 8th, Hitler and 600 Storm troopers stormed a meeting at the local Beer Hall. Threatening them with a gun, Hitler demanded Kahr and Lossow agreed to the revolt. The SA took over army headquarters and offices of newspapers. The next day, the Nazis marched on Munich expecting a triumph. Kahr had managed to call in police and army reinforcements - the Putsch failed, 16 Nazis were killed. Hitler was shot in the arm, but managed to escape. He was, however, arrested two days later. The Nazi party was banned, with Hitler prevented from public speaking until 1927. Hitler's trial was highly publicized, and he was able to turn it into a Nazi party rally by attacking the government and claming he spoke for the people. The judge clearly symphasised with Hitler as he was sentenced only 5 years in prison for treason. In prison, Hitler wrote 'Mein Kampf' - a book detailing his views and Nazi ideals. This book became a best-seller. Hitler had time to adjust Nazi tactics, deciding to rise to power legally and 'play' the political game. The Nazi party promised a lot of points, which they would alter or drop depending on the reaction of the German public. They were flexible in what they said, making it seem as if they truly understood the views of the public. The points were designed to appeal to all; businessmen to farmers to housewives. The main points of the Nazi manifesto were: destroy the Treaty; non-German immigration to be stopped; generous old age pensions; abolish incomes not earned by work; support small (German) businesses; only those with German blood may be members of the nation; pupils will be taught their love their country, and sport will be compulsory in education; take over Eastern European land to provide 'living space' for growing German population. A strong, tough central government led by one man was also promoted. Nazi propaganda was organised by Josef Goebbels. Propaganda utilised the latest technologies (loudspeakers, slide shows, films), powerful posters with simple, but effective, slogans, and marches and rallies were held (which gave the impression of discipline and order). The Nazi party was well organised, with door-to-door leafleting done by uniformed SA men, public meetings, and soup kitchens for the unemployed during the Depression. They adopted the right-arm salute, as well as the swastika. This appealed to people during times of chaos, like the unemployment crisis. Hitler himself was a charismatic orator; the audience felt able to identify with him, and he captivated them with his energy and passion. Hitler was released in December 1924, after serving only 9 months. Stresemann began to pay off the reparations again - but he managed to negotiate with America to create the Dawes Plan in 1924, which gave Germany longer to pay off the reparations. The Young Plan was negotiated in 1929, which reduced the payments. Nazis and nationalists argued that they should not be paying reparations at all. In 1925, Stresemann signed the Locarno Treaty, agreeing to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine. In 1926, Gemany was allowed to join the League of Nations, and were even sponsored by France. Stresemann introduced reforms to benefit the German public: new houses were built; unemployment pay was established; job centres were introduced. Stresemann established a 'Great Coalition' of moderate pro-democracy parties - united as one, they were able to resist the criticism of smaller extremist parties, and the government had enough members of the Reichstag agreeing to pass laws. America gave a loan of 800 million gold marks to Germany - this was used to build railways, roads, and factories. The economy and the culture of Germany boomed. German design, film, theatre and music became innovative; the people of Germany were content and extremist parties lost their appeal - these (1924 - 1929) are known as the 'Golden Era'. The Great Coalition crumbled after the economic boom.The moderate pro-democracy parties began to argue amongst themselves. Germany's economy was completely reliant on the American economy. It was built upon weak foundations. In 1929, the Wall Street Crash took place in New York. America's economy plummeted, and as a result, so did Germany's because America called in its loans. By this point, Stresemann had died. From 1929 to 1932, the number of unemployed people in Germany rose from 1.5 million to 6 million. Poverty, hunger, disease and crime increased. Germany was in chaos. The Weimar government was weak due to PR - none of the parties agreed on how to solve the issue, and they all feared another crisis of hyperinflation. People lost trust in the government, as they failed to solve yet another crisis. Germany had entered a depression, and as the rate of unemployment rose, so did support for extremist parties. Support for the Nazis rose from 12 votes in 1928 to 288 in 1933. Support for Communism also increased, with support from the working class. The rising popularity scared business owners and farmers, as Soviet Union Communists had taken away big industries and farmers' land. This lead to them supporting and funding the Nazi party, who utilised this money for developing effective propaganda. Along with the Communists, the Social Democrats were a main rival of the Nazi party. However, these two parties had been bitter enemies since the Spartacist Uprising. They were, therefore, reluctant to work together against the Nazis. People wanted someone to blame, and they needed strong leadership. Hitler offered them both, by condemning the Weimar government and the decisive and extreme views of the Nazi party. In the July 1932 elections, the Nazis won 37% of votes - they had the largest party in the Reichstag, but the President (Hindenburg) did not make Hitler the Chancellor.He did not trust Hitler, referring to him as a 'little corporal', and thus, he made Franz von Papen the Chancellor instead. Von Papen did not have the support he needed in the Reichstag to pass laws - this led to usage of Article 48. This faced much criticism, as Germany was not in an emergency. Von Papen was replaced with Kurt von Schleicher because of this - however, he faced the same problems, and found himself relying on Article 48 as well. Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, following a deal made with von Papen (who wanted Schleicher out as Chancellor). They agreed to form a new government with Hitler as Chancellor and von Papen as vice-Chancellor. Papen persuaded Hindenburg to agree, as they thought they could control Hitler by restricting the number of Nazis in the government (to 3 out of 12). It was believed by the two that Papen would be the one making all the decisions.
1.4.2 The Spartacist Uprising took place in January 1919, and was orchestrated by 50,000 Spartacists. Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Leibkrecht were the leaders; their arm was to overthrow the Republic and give power to the workers. The Spartacists captured the government's newspaper and telegraph bureau. However, they were extremely unorganized and it took only 10 days for the Freikorps, hired by the President (Ebert) at the time, to kill 100 Spartacists and crush them. They threw the body of Rosa into the canal. Ebert looked weak as he could not defeat the Spartacists himself. The Spartacists and workers left would never forgive Ebert.
1.4.3 Groups of soldiers, whom refused to disband, formed private armies - these were the Freikorps.
1.4.4 The Kapp Putsch was a rebellion, led by Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Luttwitz, which took place in March 1920. Luttwitz led a group of Freikorps, and Kapp was a right-wing journalist, angered by the terms of the Treaty. The movement had the support of many army officers, and Ebert was forced to leave Berlin as he wasn't sure of the support he would receive from the army and he was unable to utilise the Freikorps. Ebert turned to the citizens for help, and called a General Strike - if achieved, this would make it impossible for the uprising to succeed as they would have no means to manage the people. The strike was successful. Ebert now knew he could not take the support of the army for granted. Support for the government was clearly not universal. Politicians knew they were not necessarily safe in Berlin.
2 Terms of the Treaty
2.1.1 Clause 231 stated that Germany must accept full blame for starting the war. This validated the reparation demands. Wounded Germany's pride. They refused to believe that they were to blame. The soldier sent to sign the Treaty almost refused based upon this Clause.
2.2.1 Germany had to pay a total of #6,600 million for the damage done in the war - both to buildings and the people. Germany accused France and Britain of trying to starve their children. Germany was already struggling economically after the war. At first, they refused to pay, and only started when invaded by France and Britain in 1921.
2.3 ARMY
2.3.1 Germany could have no submarines or airforce.
2.3.2 The navy was limited to six battleships, and the army to 100,000 men.
2.3.3 Germany had to demitalrise the Rhineland.
2.3.4 Germany felt vulnerable and helpless. Initially, the sailors sank the fleet rather than handing it over.
2.4.2 Germans accused France and Britain of trying to destroy their economy, with the loss of the Saar and farmlands. Other nations were awarded self-determination by the Treaty, but Germans were forced to live in other countries - they were also upset that they could not reunite with Austria.
2.5 Germans called it the 'Diktat' - an imposed, unfair settlement. They had no say in negotiations.
2.6 The government were referred to as 'the November Criminals' - people felt they had been betrayed by their own government when they signed the Treaty.