Flashcards in The Rise of Hitler and the Nazis Deck (29):
When was the German Workers' Party (DAP) founded?
The DAP was founded on 9th January 1919 by Anton Drexler
What were the DAP angry about?
- Communists and socialists, whom they blamed for bringing down the Kaiser
- Weimar politicians who had agreed to the Treaty of Versailles
- The weakness of democracy as a means of government
- The Jews, who they blamed for weakening the economy
How did Hitler get involved with the DAP?
- After the war, he was sent by the army to spy on them
- He first attended a meeting in September 1919
- He found that he agreed with their views
- In late September 1919, he joined the party
What was the 25-Point Programme?
- Revealed in February 1920. Policies included:
- Scrapping the Treaty of Versailles
- Expanding Germany's borders to give its people Lebensraum - more land to live in
- Depriving the Jews of German citizenship
How did Hitler improve the party in 1920?
- He was working as Drexler's right-hand man
- In February 1920, they revealed their 25-Point Programme
- Hitler was a very good public speaker. This attracted more people to meetings; membership grew to about 1100 in June 1920
- On 7th August 1920, at Hitler's suggestion, the DAP changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), known as the Nazi Party
- The party adopted the swastika as its symbol and its members began to use the raised arm salute
- In 1920, membership grew to 3000
- With more funds, the party bought a newspaper - the Volkischer Beobachter - so it could spread its views even further
How did Hitler improve the party in 1921?
- In mid-1921, Hitler pushed Drexler aside and became the party Fuhrer
- He gathered around him loyal party leaders: Ernst Rohm, Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Julius Streicher
- He befriended General Ludendorff, leader of the German Army during the First World War
- He created the Sturmabteilung (SA), a private army known as the 'Brownshirts'. He put Rohm in charge of them.
What were the causes of the Munich Putsch?
- Membership of the NSDAP had grown to 55,000. Its members were mainly from around Munich. Hitler wanted to make an impact nationally.
- Hitler wanted to exploit the Germans' discontent at the French occupation of the Ruhr and hyperinflation.
- Hitler could tell that Stresemann's government would soon fix Germany's economic and international problems - he needed to act before unrest died down
- Stresemann's government was starting to crack down on extremist groups
What were the events of the Munich Putsch?
1) On the evening of 8th November 1923, there was a meeting of 3000 officials in a beer hall in Munich
2) Hitler burst in with 600 SA
3) He fired a shot into the ceiling and announced that he was taking over the government of Bavaria and he was supported by Erich von Ludendorff
4) Von Kahr (leader of the Bavarian government), von Seisser (head of Bavarian police), and von Lossow (head of army in Bavaria) were taken into a side room
5) They agreed to support the uprising - confronted with Hitler, his troops, and their weapons
6) The next morning, Hitler heard that they had changed their minds and opposed him
7) He continued with the uprising, but he and his supporters were met by state police
8) Ludendorff was arrested
9) Hitler fled and hid in the house of a friend, but he was later found and arrested
What were the results of the Munich Putsch?
- Ludendorff was found not guilty
- Hitler was put on trial, found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in prison (this was the minimum sentence for treason)
- Hitler used his trial to get national publicity for his views
- The NSDAP was banned, but the ban was weakly enforced - in 1924 the NSDAP won 32 seats
- During his time in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf
- Hitler realised he needed a new approach to gain power
- He was released from prison after only 9 months
- The ban on the NSDAP was lifted in 1925
What did Hitler do when he left prison?
- Hitler left prison in 1924
- In February 1925 he re-launched the Nazi Party
How did Hitler improve organisation and funding?
- He appointed Philipp Bouhler as secretary and Franz Schwarz as treasurer of the Nazi headquarters
- He divided the party into gaue (regions) and appointed a network of gauleiters answerable only to him
- He befriended Germany's most wealthy businessmen e.g. Bosch
- They shared his hatred of communism and funded him, hoping he would limit the power of trade unions
What changes did Hitler make to the SA?
- By 1930, he expanded the SA to 400,000 members
- However, many of the SA were just thugs, and they were fiercely loyal to Ernst Rohm
- In 1925, he set up a new security group, called the Schutzstaffel (SS)
- They were run by Heinrich Himmler
How did Hitler improve Nazi propaganda?
- He worked with Dr Joseph Goebbels
- They created scapegoats whom they blamed for Germany's problems: the Jews, the communists, the leaders of the Weimar Republic and especially the SPD, who had signed the armistice and Treaty of Versailles
- By the 1930s, Hitler's speeches were reported in 120 Nazi newspapers, read by hundreds of thousands of Germans
- They used modern technologies to spread propaganda, including films and the radio
- They created an image of strength, shown by Hitler's passion, the spectacle of mass Nazi rallies and the impressive power of the SA and the SS
How much progress had the Nazi party made by 1928?
- It was well organised
- It had 100,000 members
- Hitler was a national figure
- Stresemann's success had made the public less angry
- In 1925 Paul von Hindenburg became president - he was an ex-field marshal of the German Army and his reputation improved people's view of the Weimar Republic
- In the elections of May '28 the Nazis won only 12 seats, with only 2.6% of votes
What was the Wall Street Crash?
- In October 1929, share prices began to fall on the Wall Street stock exchange
- Worried about losing money, people rushed to sell shares
- On the 24th October 13 million shares were sold
- Shares worth $20,000 in the morning were worth $1000 by the end of the day
- Within a week, investors lost $4 billion
What were the economic effects of the Wall Street Crash on Germany?
- Banks were major investors in shares and suffered huge loses
- People rushed to get their money back - some banks ran out of cash
- German and American banks needed the money they had lent to businesses back
- But German companies were dependant on these loans - they either had to reduce operations or close
- German industrial input fell and unemployment rose
- The Depression was worldwide - there was a lower foreign and domestic demand for goods, so unemployment fell further
What were the social and political effects of the Wall Street Crash?
- The middle classes lost their savings, companies or homes
- Workers became unemployed
- The chancellor proposed raising taxes to pay the cost of unemployment benefits and reducing unemployment benefits to make payments more affordable
- Right-wing parties and the wealthy opposed higher taxes
- Left-wing parties and workers opposed lower benefits
- The coalition of parties in power collapsed in 1930 - the chancellor could only govern by decree
- The unemployed roamed the streets; some joined the private armies of political parties. Violent clashes became common
Why did Nazi support grow after the Wall Street Crash?
- The country saw him as a strong leader
- The SA were used in rallies to make the Nazi Party seem strong and reliable
- Many working people were attracted by Nazi support for traditional German values and their propaganda e.g. posters promising "Work and Bread"
- The middle classes had been hurt by the Great Depression so turned away from moderate parties because they were seen as weak. They were afraid of the KPD which wanted to abolish private ownership of land and business. They thought the Nazis could protect them from this.
- They also thought there had been a moral decline under the Weimar Republic
- The Nazis targeted farmers by changing their policy of confiscating all private land. This way, they promised to protect farmers from the KPD
- Big businesses saw the Nazis as protection from KPD
- Young people were attracted by Hitler's passionate speeches, his ambitions for the future and the atmosphere of Nazi rallies.
What happened in the presidential elections of 1932?
- Hitler stood for president
- Hindenburg, the current president, polled 18 million votes, the KPD leader polled 5 million, and Hitler polled 11 million
- As no candidate had achieved 50% of the vote, the election was repeated in April
- Hindenburg polled 19 million and was reelected president. Hitler polled 13 million
What was the role of von Schleicher in Chancellor Bruning's fall?
- Bruning was a moderate socialist, and he used a presidential decree to ban the SA and SS
- The right-wing parties were angered
- Von Schleicher, an ambitious general, decided to remove Bruning
- He organised a coalition and persuaded Hindenburg that they had a majority in the Reichstag
- Bruning was sacked
What happened after Bruning was sacked?
- Hindenburg made Franz von Papen Chancellor in May 1932
- He offered the Nazis a place as he thought he could control them
What problems did the coalition face?
- In the general elections of July 1932, the NSDAP won 230 seats, becoming the largest party
- Hitler demanded that Hindenburg should sack von Papen and make him chancellor instead, but he refused
- Von Papen called another election in November 1932, hoping that Nazi support would fall
- The Nazi seats fell to 196, but they were still the largest party
- Von Papen resigned
What happened when von Schleicher was appointed chancellor?
- As Hindenburg did not want Hitler as chancellor, he appointed von Schleicher
- He consistently failed to get a majority in the Reichstag
- He told Hindenburg that von Papen and Hitler were conspiring against him and demanded that Hindenburg suspend the constitution and declare von Schleicher head of a military dictatorship
- Hindenburg refused, but news of the plan leaked out and von Schleicher lost all support
- On 30th January 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor
What was the Enabling Act?
- It was passed on 23rd March 1933
- It changed the constitution of the Weimar Republic and gave Hitler the right to make laws for 4 years without the consent of the Reichstag
- The laws passed turned Germany into a totalitarian state
What was the Law Against the Establishment of Parties?
- Decree issued in July 1933
- Forbade the existence of all parties other than the NSDAP
What caused the Night of Long Knives?
- Hitler feared that Ernst Rohm could challenge him, as the SA now had 3 million members
- Rohm also disagreed with his capitalist policies
What happened in the Night of Long Knives?
- On 30th June 1934, Rohm and many other senior officers of the SA were arrested, to be imprisoned and shot
- On 1 July Rohm was shot in his cell
- An SS group shot von Papen's press secretary and arrested his staff
- His home was surrounded and his telephone cut off
- Over the next four days, about 400 people were shot without trial, including von Schleicher and his wife.
How did Hitler become Fuhrer?
- On 2nd August 1934, Hindenburg died
- Hitler declared himself Fuhrer
- He added the powers of president to those he had as chancellor
- He forced an oath of loyalty from the Army