• Gleichschaltung= the sustained drive to heighten national awareness spearheaded by Goebbel's Ministry of Propaganda and National Enlightenment.
• It was the persecution of a range of minorities- Jews, homosexuals, the disabled- on the basis that they were not fit to belong to the 'national community'.
• Processes not confined to political parties, trade unions and churches: local gov, civil service, justice system, education and media were all affected.
• Gleichschaltung violence and terror was common in suppressing the political left, with hundreds of socialists/communists murdered by the SA.
•Hitler handed responsibility for neutralising potential threats to his regime to Heinrich Himmler's SS, leading to the construction of over 80 concentration camps.
Gleichschaltung and the churches: Nazis did not regard Christian belief as compatible with membership of the National Community as Christians could not be relied on to put the state first.
•Protestant churches persuaded in 1933 to organise themselves into a Reich Church with a Reich Bishop, Ludwig Muller at its leadership.
•Opposition= Confessional Church.
• For Catholic churches Hitler dealt directly with the Pope- in 1933 agreement between Nazis and Vatican resulting in Nazis promising not to interfere in work of Catholic Church if German priests stayed out of politics.
1934-Night of Long Knives:
• SA leadership (Ernst Rohm) began to make demands Hitler was unwilling to meet.
•SA was 3 million strong and wanted to merge with smaller German army- Hitler feared this would undermine the discipline/effective of Germanys Armed forces.
• SA leaders were socialist 'left wing' Nazis- in 1933 they called for a 'second revolution' on big business but Hitler was looking to involve Germany's industrial leaders in his plans to rebuild the country's economic strength- had not intention of waging war on big business.
Key Dates of Gleichschaltung:
• March 1933= Communist Part outlawed.
•May 1933= Abolition of trade unions
• June 1933= Social Democratic Party outlawed
Propaganda used to create National Community:
• Goebbels made Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment soon after March 1833 election.
• Used posters/ slogans to promote sense of unity: 'The community before the individual.'
•Germans urged to worship Hitler as the master- builder of the National Community and he exemplified the ideal of putting community before self.
• Political rituals/ celebrations in form of rallies, marches, parades to create impression that a united Germany was behind Hitler.
• Introduced Winter Aid programme- richer Germans encouraged to give money, food and clothing to poverty stricken 'national comrades.'
Persecution of Jews- key dates:
• 1 April 1933= One day boycott of Jewish shops
• 7 April 1933= Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.
• 10 May 1933= Public burning in Berlin of books by Jewish, Socialist etc.
• 15 September 1935= Nuremburg Laws.
• April 1938= Beginning of Goering's 'Aryanisation' policy.
• 9 November 1938= Kristallnacht; billion-mark fine imposed on the Jewish community.
Germany's Jewish Community:
• 1933- only 0.7% of Germany's population was Jewish (only small minority, numbers falling.)
• Did not dominate German business as the Nazis alleged- actually under-represented in upper reaches of industry and finance.
• Assimilated community- members saw no incompatibility between their faith and nationality; 1914-1918 war 100,000 of Jewish community served in German army and 12,000 died in action.
• 1936- Berlin Olympics; Hitler saw it as an opportunity to showcase the Nazi regime so anti-Semitic activity was toned down, with all signs of anti-Semitism removed in public places.
• 1937-38- Himmler, head of SS, argued Germany should be made 'Jew-free' by terrorising Jews into leaving the country.
• Herman Goering favoured policy of 'Aryanisation.'
• 9 November 1938 after murder of German diplomat in Paris by Jew Goebbels launched the pogrom (Kristallnacht)= at least 90 Jews killed, 200 synagogues destroyed, 8,000 businesses ruined.
• Result of Kristallnacht= Decree Excluding Jews from German Economic Life, fine of 1 billion marks on Jews, 30,000 sent to concentration camps.
• 1939-41: Nazi Jewish policy changed in two important ways= Germany now at war (gained 5 million Jews from invasion of Poland and Russia) and in occupied Russia and Poland Nazis could operate out of public view.
• Nazi policy moved first from mass murder to systematic genocide.
Other persecutions= 35,000 Roma and Sinti 'gypsies' excluded from National Community, as they were stereotyped as work shy, criminal and non-Aryan.
•After 1933 they were persecuted, many sent to concentration camps and the Nuremburg Laws of 1935 also applied to them.
• After 1939, persecution gave way to genocide- estimates of the number killed vary between 220,000 and 500,000.
• Homosexuals excluded from community on the grounds that they were 'deviants' failing in their duty to the Third Reich by not producing children= 50,000 German men arrested for homosexual offences in the 1930s and around 15,000 ended up in concentration camps.
• Appealed to middle class Germans wearied by the squabbles and divisions of the 1920s.
• Working class appreciated the leisure opportunities available through the 'Strength through Joy' organisation and the increased holiday entitlements they received in the Nazi era, as well as Nazi attempts to improve factory conditions- the very poor benefited from the 'Winter Aid' scheme.
• Goebbels depiction of the Fuhrer in Nazi propaganda as the selfless leader of a unified nation paid dividends.
• There was little active resistance to Nazi rule in the 1930s; no more than small attempts of KPD/SPD to keep going as underground organisations, protests made by church leaders and the emergence of a handful of dissident youth groups- limited due to fear of Nazi secret police forces.
•HOWEVER does not mean all Germans were enthusiastic supporters of Nazi rule- some engaged in acts of minor dissent, such as refusing to salute, whereas others maintained 'inner emigration.'