Hitler's National Community 1933-1941 Flashcards Preview

History - Germany 1918-45 > Hitler's National Community 1933-1941 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Hitler's National Community 1933-1941 Deck (28):

Introduction - why was a national community necessary?

-social Darwinism - races=species, competing, weak conquered
-nazis believed Germany democratic= weak. Indoctrinated, Catholics or workers not Germans
-national community would make people prioritise patriotic duty to country, Germans first
-volksgemienschaft achieved through gleichschaltung 'bringing into line'


Define gleichschaltung

'The process of switching onto the same wavelength'

- approach taken by nazis in 1933-4 to nazify/abolish major institutions/ organisations


Gleichschaltung and the political parties

-'sectional' parties who only appealed to their own were a cause of weakness and disunity
-June 1933 SDP outlawed. KPD already outlawed. DVP/DNVP/CE/Democrats not formally abolished, pressured into dissolving selves
- law against formation of new parties in July 1933
-trade unions disbanded in May 1933
-150 000 left wing enemies imprisoned 1933-4


Gleichschaltung through violence

-murder of socialists and communists in mid 1933
-taken to 'wild camps' disbanded after bad publicity
-responsibility for dealing with political threats goes to Himler's ss
-1933 80 concentration camps


Gleichschaltung through the churches INITIALLY

-Christians incompatible with volksgemienschaft due to conflict of interests
-no cause to attack, not threat,1933/4
-Protestant churches (middle class, voted nazi) organised into reich church. Minority set up confessional church
-nazi papal agreement: no interference from either


Gleichschaltung and the churches LATER

-opposition increased after 1933
- leader of confessional church arrested 1937, opposed racism
-imprisonment of catholic priests by 1937 for same reasons
-violation of 1933 agreement, condemned by pope in 'with burning anxiety'
- relations deteriorated but no all out conflict


What caused the night of the long knifes?

-SA, headed by Ernest rohm, started to make demands of hitler
- 3000 000 strong wanted to merge with army. Hitler worried it would make them undisciplined and undermine their power
- SA leaders socialistic, anti capitalist, wanted to take on big businesses but hitler wanted to use them to rebuild military


The events of the 'night of the long knives'

-30th June 1934 hitler strikes, sensing collision with SA
-50+ of top SA leaders, including Rohm, murdered
- also Gustav Vohn Kahr, Gregor Strasser, Kurt Von Schleicher
-carried out by SS
-received poorly from outside Germany but inside seen as purge of worst nazi associates
- SA still existed but had no functioning purpose or power


Gleichschaltung timeline

March 1933: communist party outlawed
May 1933: trade unions abolished
June 1933: SDP outlawed
June 30th-July 2nd 1934: night of the long knives
July 1933: Law against the formation of new parties
July 1933: Nazi/Papal agreement
July 1933: Reich church established


Contribution of propaganda to volkgmeinschaft

-March 1933 goebbels made minister of propaganda and national enlightenment
- aim to unite nation
- slogans: one nation one people one leader
-the Hitler myth: cultish worship, bday celebrated, seen as exemplary for sacrifice of family life for German community,founder of national revolution
-huge rallies/marches regularly. September Nuremberg rally annually
- winter aid programme for poor 'stricken comrades'
- people's receiver radio, film > written word


Appealing to the working class for volkgmeinschaft

-KDF 'strength through joy' movement
-part of German labour front est. 1933 to replace trade unions to fill gap left by loss of KPD/SPD
-replaced these efforts with similar ones offering cultural opportunities such as evening classes/sports leagues/choirs...
-new ideas: cheap travel in Germany, travel abroad on KDF cruisers (28500 Siemens workers holiday)
-people's car, 1938, pre order at 5 marks weekly. No car or refund due to car factory used in war effort
--> to persuade working class that national community disintegrated class boundaries and gave them previously unknown opportunities


Timeline of anti semitism 1933-9

April 1933: one day boycott of Jewish shops
April 1933: law for the restoration of the professional civil service
May 1933: book burning in Berlin
September 1935: Nuremberg laws
April 1938: beginnings of Goering's 'aryanisation' policy
9th November 1938: kristallnacht: Jews fined 5 billion marks


Why were Jews excluded from the national community?

- national community was selective, members must be aryan
- Jews, German gypsies, Roma and Sinti excluded
- Jews specifically targeted as...
(i) seen as race not community, bent on world domination
(ii) believed they were ruthless, would use communism to cover objectives, believed Russian communism Jewish controlled and that they had conspired to take over financial institutions
(iii) believed Jews had intentionally contributed to WW1 defeat


German Jewish community

- 1933: only 0.7% of population and declining
- not dominating, underrepresented in big industry. Most middle class ( teachers, doctors, *retail*)
-members of Jewish community saw no incompatibility between race and nationality. Major organisation 'Union of German citizens of Jewish faith'. 100 from 500 000 fought in WW1, 12 000 died


Persecution of Germany's Jews 1933

- uncoordinated violent SA attacks
- spring, shops destroyed and Jews beat up
- gave impression nazis did not demand control,
(i) one day boycott of Jewish shops
(ii) law for the restoration of the professional civil service, all non rayan civil servants dismissed apart from Jewish war veterans


Persecution of Germany's Jews 1935

- prompted by the SA for more anti Jewish policy

Nuremberg laws:
-deprived Jews of German citizenship*
- law for the protection of German blood and honour. No marriage to Jews, no sexual relationship with Jews
*jew defined as one with 3+ Jewish grandparents, but those with 2 didn't escape persecution


Decline of anti semitism in 1936

- Berlin voted to host Olympic Games in 1931
- hitler saw opportunity to showcase nazi regime, did not want it tainted by controversy
- all anti Semitic propaganda removed, anti Semitic activity scaled down


Persecution of Germany's Jews 1937-8

- Himmler wishes Germany to be Jew free but Goering prefers aryanisation (stripping Jews of property, selling to non Jews, investing proceeds)
- Goebbels intervenes using pretence of German diplomat in paris by Jewish teen
-hitler approves pogrom, kristallnacht ' night of the broken glass'
-billion mark fine and 30 000 sent to concentration camps
- anti Semitic law excluding Jews from economic life, public places



- pogrom (government initiated persecution of minority) initiated by murder of German diplomat in paris by Jewish teen
-Hitler approves pogrom, kristallnacht ' night of the broken glass':
- violence and destruction
- 90 killed
- 100s beaten
- 200 synagogues destroyed
- 8000 shops looted
-billion mark fine and 30 000 sent to concentration camps


How coherent was the nazis anti Jewish policy before 1939?

- conditions for Jews deteriorated but NOT steadily
- policy pre 1939 was chaotic and spontaneous

- random spontaneous policy includes night of broken class, 1 day boycott
- caused by a conflict of interests from different officials, ie himmler and goering
- fluctuation in the intensity of attacks. 1933/5/8/9 but quiet years in 1934 and 1936-7


How did nazi anti semi policy change after 1939?

- move towards genocide: Germany at war, invasion of Poland and Russia left 5 000 000 Jews at mercy of nazis. Nazis could operate out of the public light here
- Jews must wear Star of David from 1941
- September 1939, SS in Poland kill 50 000 possible resisters/ Jews
-1939+ remaining Jews penned into ghettos. 1 million die here
- summer 1941, 1000 000 Jews die by SS in Russia
-mid 1941, decided European Jews should be killed at camps in Poland. Himmler calls Wannsee conference for 15 leaders to talk
- pre existing camps such as Auschwitz fitted with gas chamber, and new extermination camps ie Treblinka built


Persecution of Roma and Sinti in Germany

- Germany's 35 000 'gypsies' excluded for being non-aryan
- stereotyped as work shy and criminal
- many sent to concentration camps post 1933, Nuremberg laws applied to them in 1935, 1936 central office to combat 'gypsy nuisance' increases persecution
-1939 onwards persecution becomes genocide. Deported to camps in Poland from Germany and Europe. Between 220 000 and 500 000 killed


Persecution of the disabled in Germany

- excluded from volkgmeinschaft as 'genetically defective' and weak
- ' useless mouths' - a burden on society
- hitler supported sterilisation of disabled in mein kampf
- 400 000 sterilised under law for the prevention of hereditarily diseased offspring (July 1933) < not covert, public operation
- T4 programme was state secret. Involuntary euthanasia. 1939-1941 70 000 killed. Controversial so halted officially in 1941. Xns objected


Persecution of homosexuals in Germany

-pre 1933: not an issue, Ernest rohm (SS) openly gay
- different when they came to power as they were not doing duty to national community by not creating children
- estimated 50 000 arrested in 1930s
- 15 000 sent to camps


Conclusion: were the nazis successful at creating a volkgmeinschaft in the 1930s?

-appealing after years of coalition governments and division
-benefit of working class from strength through joy movement and winter aid
-hitler enjoyed popular support as a result
- little resistance. Some from church sects and KPD/SPD underground
(May be due to fear or inner emigration)

-no real equality, social differences made. Could argue only cosmetic changes
- working class not fully integrated. Support for welfare and luxuries does not amount to support for the nazi regime
-regional identities and religious communities remained strong in 1930s
- persecution of minorities/Jews did not receive popular support (evident of this is outcry with revelation of T4's existence). Lack of outcry otherwise attributed to fear of reprisals


Peasants and farmers in the national community

- seen as typical of traditional German values and racial purity
- import tariffs to maintain prices for their food
- wrote off debts
- easily payable mortgage rates
-landowners relieved land would not be repossessed
- most resented the reich food estate (?)


Lower middle class independent businessman in the volkgmeinschaft

- long threatened by mass industrialisation/ big business
- anti Semitic messages about the Jewish capital appealed to mittelstand disillusionment
- nazi promises of trade regulations
- however ultimately nazis required big business for war economy so mittelstand were rejected


Big businesses in the volkgmeinschaft

- benefited under nazis
- expansion through public works
- war economy/ mefo bills benefited industry
- German stock value rose by 250% 1932-1940