Where was Adolf Hitler born?
Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary, and his original life's ambition was to be a painter. He worked as a wallpaper hanger for a time, then served in the Bavarian Army during World War One. In 1919, he joined the German Workers Party, which he took over and ran as the National Socialist German Workers Party, or "Nazis" for short.
Article 48 of the Weimar Republic's Constitution allowed the German President to do what act?
Article 48 allowed the President to rule by decree, essentially overriding the Reichstag. Between 1930 and 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg increasingly used Article 48 to overcome legislative gridlock in the face of German economic depression.
German President Paul von Hindenburg named Hitler to what office in 1933?
In two elections in 1932, the Nazi Party had done well, gaining above 30% in each election. Hindenburg named Hitler as Chancellor, and Hitler immediately dissolved the Reichstag for the third time in less than 18 months, and called for yet another round of elections, to be held on March 5, 1933. Through an alliance with a smaller political party the Nazi Party gained a majority of seats in the Reichstag.
The burning of the _____ building in February of 1933 gave Hitler an excuse to convince President Paul von Hindenburg to remove all civil liberties from German communists.
The burning of the Reichstag building was likely done under orders from the Nazis. By July of 1933, Hitler had convinced Hindenburg to allow him to pass laws without consulting the Reichstag. Hitler dissolved all political parties, and by July, the Nazis were fully in control of the entire country.
According to Hitler, who were the Aryans?
The Aryans were the master race, to which all pure-blooded Germans belonged. The Jews, Slavs, Africans, and Indians, who were not members of the master race, were considered inferior.
Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the government controls all aspects of society. Totalitarian governments are usually headed by a leader who relies on charisma and brute force to control the activity of the citizenry.
How did the Nazis use technology to glorify Adolf Hitler and the Nazi state?
Under Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels, Hitler's message could be spread quickly by radio and movies. Hitler himself was a charismatic speaker, and Nazi rallies were carefully stage-managed for pomp and circumstance.
What title did Hitler adopt upon the death of Paul von Hindenburg?
Hitler adopted the title "Führer and Reich Chancellor of Germany" but was most commonly referred to simply as Führer, a German word meaning leader. Ostensibly, Hindenburg's death required new elections under the constitution, but this provision was ignored.
Instead, Hitler combined the office of President and Chancellor, and required all civil servants, workers, and members of the armed forces to take a loyalty oath to him personally.
As one of his first acts, Hitler withdrew Germany from what international organization?
In 1933, Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations.
In 1935, Germany violated the Treaty of Versailles by taking what action?
In 1935, Germany began to rearm, developing tanks, planes, and submarines.
What were the Nuremberg Laws?
Announced during the Nazi Party's rally in the German city of Nuremberg, the Nuremberg Laws removed the citizenship of all German Jews, and prohibited all marriages and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans.
In 1935, Italy attacked what fellow member of the League of Nations?
In 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia. Both countries were members of the League of Nations, yet other than protest the other members of the League did nothing, a failure of the League's principle of collective security.
Ethiopia's fellow League members hoped that by appeasing Mussolini's desire for conquest, they would appease him.
Germany reoccupied the _____ in 1936, a clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
To achieve French and Belgian security, the German territory of the Rhineland had been demilitarized as part of the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland, and the Western Powers' lack of action, indicated that the Treaty of Versailles was a dead letter. Hitler became convinced that the Western Powers would do nothing to stop his efforts.
What term best describes the United States' foreign policy towards Europe in the 1930s?
The United States in the 1930s was strongly isolationist. Preoccupied with the Great Depression, both the United States government and the populace had little desire to interfere in Europe.
In 1936, a civil war broke out in _____.
Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco, and supported by the Spanish aristocracy and the clergy, revolted against the control of Spain's Republican government. The Nationalists were aided by Germany and Italy, while the U.S.S.R. supported the Republicans.
The League of Nations did nothing besides imposing a lackluster blockade that was routinely ignored.
In 1937, German and Italian bombers supporting the Spanish Nationalists attacked what Spanish town?
German and Italian bombers attacked the city of Guernica, killing hundreds of civilians in a precursor to the bombing raids of World War Two.
Pablo Picasso's depiction of the event became a symbol for anti-fascists.
Which side won the Spanish Civil War?
In 1939, Franco's Nationalist forces succeeded in beating the Republicans. Spain remained neutral in World War Two, and Franco's government lasted until Franco's death in 1975, when a constitutional monarchy was proclaimed.
Although strictly against the terms of the Versailles Treaty, in 1933 Hitler's Germany annexed _____, an event known as the Anschluss.
Once more, the League of Nations, the European powers, and the United States did little, except to conduct some mild diplomatic protests.
What was Kristallnacht?
On the night of November 9th, 1938, Nazi troops and German civilians launched a coordinated and officially supported series of attacks on Jews.
The term Kristallnacht, German for Crystal Night, refers to the broken glass from Jewish store windows, which covered the streets the next morning.
Some 1,000 Jewish synagogues were burned, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps.
Hitler's desire for a portion of Czechoslovakia known as the Sudetenland led to what international conference in 1938?
The Munich Conference
At the Munich Conference, Britain and France awarded the Sudetenland to Germany, upon Hitler's promise not to make any further territorial demands.
Giving in to Hitler's demands was known as appeasement, a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to an aggressor.
In 1939, Germany signed a non-aggression pact with which country?
In 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a ten-year non-aggression pact. In addition to agreeing not to declare war for 10 years, the two countries divided up Poland and much of Eastern Europe.
How did the Western European powers react to the Germans' attack on Poland?
Following Germany's attack on Poland in September 1939, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany.
Germany quickly destroyed Poland, conquered Norway, then turned on Denmark, the Netherlands, and France, conquering each in turn. By late 1940, almost the entirety of Western Europe was under German control.
Blitzkrieg, German for "lightning war," referred to a tactic of using tanks and planes to create a hole in the enemy's line of troops, then use that hole to cause a collapse of the enemy's forces.
Blitzkrieg enabled Germany to conquer Poland in thirty days, and to destroy the French army.
Which theater of World War Two saw the first major involvement of American troops against the Germans and Italians?
The United States first attacked the Germans and Italians in North Africa in 1942, where the British had been involved since 1940.
Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Germany and Italy had both declared war on the United States. By 1943, the North African theater was free of Germans and Italians, and Allied forces began making their way up the Italian Peninsula.
In June 1941, Hitler turned on Stalin and attacked the U.S.S.R., conquering hundreds of square miles of territory. What battle proved a turning point in the war on the Eastern Front?
In a battle that raged from June 1942 to February 1943, Soviet forces surrounded the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, forcing its surrender. Steadily, and with millions of casualties, the Soviets began pushing the Germans back towards Germany.
Soviet casualties, both civil and military, were the largest of any nation. Some 25 million Russian soldiers were killed, wounded, or listed as missing in the War, comparable only to Stalin's wholesale slaughter of 43 million Russians in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
What event took place on June 6, 1944?
On June 6, 1944 the long-awaited invasion of Europe from the West began, with the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.
By the end of the year France had been liberated, and by May 1945 Allied armies were approaching Berlin from the East and West. Hitler committed suicide, and Germany sued for peace.
Which general led the troops of Free France?
Although France had surrendered to Germany in 1940, some of her army escaped to Britain, where it was led by Charles de Gaulle.
The country they left behind became known as Vichy France, a rump state with its capital at the town of Vichy, and firmly under the control of the Germans.
How many Jews died in the Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the systematic killing of Jews and other undesirables under the direction of Hitler's German government, and is estimated to have killed 6 million Jews.
Some 3 million other persons, including gypsies, homosexuals, and communists, are estimated to have lost their lives in concentration camps dedicated to using industrial methods to kill as rapidly as possible.