Weimar Germany- Dictatorship and nazi control Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Weimar Germany- Dictatorship and nazi control Deck (28):

The Reichstag fire, February 1933

On the 27th of February 1933, the Reichstag building was burned down. A Dutch communist was put on trial and found guilty of starting the fire. Hitler used this to blame the communist party.

Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to activate article 48, in a time of emergency, that allowed hitter to rule by decree, unchallenged and it allowed the police to detain people without trial.


The enabling act, March 1933

This allowed hitler to make laws without the Reichstag's consent. This allowed hitler to:

Remove further opposition to the nazi government, including banning all trade unions, merging them all into the German labour front.

He also banned all other political parties. By July 1933, Germany was a one-party state.


The night of the long knives, 30 June 1934

The SA led by Rohm was a threat to hitler's power. He removed this threat by purging the SA in the night of the long knives.


Reasons for the night of the long knives

The SA were increasingly out of control at a time when hitler was trying to establish a dictatorship through legal methods.

Rohm wanted a social revolution: to bring about greater equality in society.

Leading nazis such as Himmler were concerned about Rohm's growing influence. Himmler wanted to replace the SA with his own SS.


Events of the night of the long knives

Hitler arranged a meeting with Rohm and 100 other SA leaders. They were arrested by the SS, taken to Munich and shot.

About 400 people were murdered in the purge.


Results of the night of the long knives

Hitler got rid of would be opponents

The SA now had a minor role

After Hindenburg died in August 1934, the army leaders swore an oath of allegiance to hitler, giving him unconditional obedience.


How did hitler get the role of fuhrer

After Hindenburg's death, hitler declared himself 'fuhrer', combining the post of chancellor and president.

He called a referendum and more than 90 per cent of the voters agreed and backed him


The police state

The nazis created a police state through the use of different agencies- creating a terror amongst German people


The SS (Protection squad)

Led by himmler, the SS were responsible for the removal of all opposition and became the main means of intimidating German people.

By 1934, the SS had more than 50,000 members, growing to 250,000 by 1939.


The gestapo(secret police)

Set up in 1933 by Goering, in 1936 the Gestapo came under the control of himmler and the SS.

It could arrest and imprison without trial those suspected of opposing the state.

Only it had the power to send political opponents to concentration camps.


The SD

Set up in 1931, the SD was the intelligence agency of the nazi party under the command of himmler.

Its main aim was to find actual and potential enemies of the nazi party ensure that they were removed


Concentration camps- established in 1933 to detain political prisoners

These were run by the SS and SD.

Prion eras were classified into different categories through the use of different coloured triangles.

By 1939, there were more than 150,000 people under arrest for political offences.


Nazi control of the legal system

Hitler wanted to ensure that all laws were interpreted in a nazi fashion:

All judges had to become members of the nationalist socialist league for the maintenance of law which meant nazi views were upheld in the courts.

In 1934, the people's court was established to try cases of treason and the judges were loyal nazis.

In October 1933, the German lawyers front was established. Lawyers had to swear that they would follow the course of the fuhrer.


Nazi polices towards the churches

In Germany, about 2/3 of the people were Protestant and one 1/3 was Roman Catholic.


The Catholic Church

Hitler was determined to reduce the influence of the Catholic Church:

Hitler said people were rather Christian or German, not both which opposed people's allegiance to the pope.

Hitler wanted to stop the catholic schools and organisations whose message to the young was opposing the nazi regime.


The Catholic Church (part 2)

In 1933, hitler signed an agreement to not interfere with the church if the church stayed clear of politics. Within a year, he began to break this:

Catholic schools were made to remove Christian symbols.
Priests were harassed and arrested. Many criticised the nazis and ended up in concentration camps
Catholic youth movements were shut down.


The Protestant church

In 1933, Protestant groups which supported the nazis United to form the 'Reich church'.

However, many Protestants opposed nazism, which they believe conflicted with their Christian beliefs. They were led by pastor Niemöller. In December 1933, the set up the pastors emergency league for those who opposed hitler.


Josef goebbels and the ministry of propoganda

Censorship and propaganda were used to ensure that people accepted and conformed to the nazi regime. In 1933, goebbels was appointed as minister of public propaganda and enlightenment.



No books could be published without goebbels permission

Newspapers that opposed nazi views were closed down. Editors were told what could be printed.

What was played on radios was also controlled.



Posters were used to put across the nazi message.

Goebbels ordered the mass production of cheap radios. By 1939, 70% of German homes had a radio. It was important the nazi message was heard.

Mass rallies and marches projected the image of power and terror. Every year a party rally was held at Nuremberg.

Success in sport was important to promote the nazi regime.


The Berlin olympics of 1936

This was a major sporting showcase, designed to impress the outside world and was a public relations success.

Hitler planned to use the games to show off the superiority of the Ayran race.


Nazi control of culture and the arts

The nazis used culture and arts to promote their ideas. Artists were encouraged to use Ayran 'themes' such as family, national community and heroism.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Music

Hitler hated modern music, jazz, which was 'black' music. It was seen as racially inferior and was banned.

Instead, the nazis promoted traditional German folk music such as Beethoven.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Films

The nazis controlled the cinemas.

All films were accompanied by a 45 minute official newsreel which glorified hitter and Germany.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Art

Hitler hated modern art, which he believed was backward, unpatriotic and Jewish. This art was called degenerate and banned.

Art highlighting Germany's past greatness and the strength and power of the third reich was encouraged.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Theatre

Theatre concentrated on German history and political drama.

Cheap theatre tickets were available to encourage people to see plays which often had a nazi political or racial theme.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Architecture

Hitler encouraged the 'monumental style' for public buildings.

These large buildings were often copies from Ancient Greece or Rome and showed the power of the third reich.

Hitler admired the Greek and Roman style of building because he said the Jews had not contaminated it.


Nazi control of culture and the arts-Literature

All books,plays and poems were carefully censored and controlled to put across the nazi message.

Encouraged by goebbels, students in Berlin burned 20,000 books written by Jews, communists and anti-nazi university professors in a massive bonfire in Berlin in May 1933