Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
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History India and the Contemporary World I Chapter-3 Nazism and The Rise of Hitler
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Nazism and The Rise of Hitler
Question 1.Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
Answer : The problems faced by the Weimar Republic were:
? Versailles treaty:The Versailles Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War dispossessed Germany of its territories, its resources and its pride as a nation. He also had to pay 6 billion pounds as war compensation. In spite of the harsh terms, the Weimar Republic accepted the humiliating treaty, thereby making it unpopular amongst the German masses.
? Economic Crisis:The German state was financially crippled due to overwhelming war debts which had to be paid in gold. Subsequently god reserves depleted and value of German
mark fell. Prices of essential goods rose dramatically. Hyperinflation made the German Mark valueless and caused immense hardship to the German people.
? Political defects:The Weimar Republic was weak due to inherent constitutional irregularities such as proportional representation and Article 48 (which gave the President the power to impose emergency and rule by decree). The democratic parliamentary system seemed to give the people no solutions or benefits in the times of the severe economic crisis.
Question 2.Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
Answer : Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930 due to lot of reasons:
After defeat in the First World War, Germany was forced to sign the harsh and humiliating Treaty of Versailles, in which it was made to accept the guilt for the war. The Germans felt disgraced and humiliated. Consequently, they were made to believe, by Hitler’s oratory, that he would restore Germany to its former glory
Political parties like the Communists, Socialists, Democrats, etc were not united. There were conflicts between them and the government became weak. The Nazi Party took advantage of the situation and captured power.
Democracy in Germany was relatively new and it was not strong. It did not appeal to the Germans. They wanted a party and a system that would re-establish the glory and prestige of Germany. So, they were attracted to the Nazi Party.
Hitler was a great orator and with his speeches he was able to sway the masses and win their confidence. He was able to convince them that he would undo the injustice done and bring back the glory and dignity of the German people. He promised employment for those looking for work. He won over the youth by promising them a secure future.
He got the support of the Army, the industrialists and the landlords because he opposed communism and socialism, which these people also opposed.
Thus, Hitler and the Nazi Party were able to win the support of all sections of Germans and so become popular.
Question 3. What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Answer : The peculiar features of Nazism were
Nazis believed in the idea of one people, one empire and one leader.
It did not tolerate other parties and tried to crush all other organisations and parties and wanted to remove socialism communism and democracy from Germany.
According to Nazism there was no equality between people. In this view, the blue eyed Nordic German Aryans were at the top while the Jews were located at the lowest rung.
It was propagated that the Jews were responsible for the economic misery of the Germans. Nazis propagated war and glorified aggression.
Nazis believed in the idea of Lebensraum on living space. i.e., new areas should be acquired so that more space is available for the Germans to settle.
Nazis wanted to create a separate racial community of pure German by physically eliminating all those who were seen as undesirable by them.
The Nazis believed that Jews were inferior and the cause of German misery and therefore should be totally eliminated.
The Nazi argument was simple. The strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish.
The Aryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.
Question 4.Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Answer : Nazi propaganda was effective in creating hatred for the jews:?The Nazis used the language and media effectively with great care. The racial theory put forward by the Nazis that the Jews belonged to a lower race and as such were undesirable.
?The traditional Christian hatred for the Jews, because they were accused to have killed Christ, was fully exploited by the Nazis in order to make the Germans pre-judicial against Jews.
?The Nazis injected hatred against the Jews even in the minds of the children from the very beginning during the days of their schooling. The teachers who were Jews were dismissed and Jews children were thrown out of the schools. Such methods and new ideological training to the new generation of children went a long way in making the Nazi’s propaganda quite effective in creating hatred for the Jews.
?Propaganda films were made to create hatred for the Jews. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked. For example, one such film was‘The Eternal Jew’.
Question 5. Explain what role women had in Nazi society. Return to Chapter 1 on the French Revolution. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the role of women in the two periods.
Answer : Role of women in Nazi society followed the rules of a largely patriarchal or male- dominated society. Hitler hailed women as “the most important citizen” in his Germany, but this was true for only Aryan women who bred pure-blood, “desirable” Aryans. Motherhood was the only goal they were taught to reach for, apart from performing the stereotypical functions of managing the household and being good wives. This was in stark contrast to the role of women in the French Revolution where women led movements and fought for rights to education and equal wages. They were allowed to form political clubs, and schooling was made compulsory for them after the French Revolution.
Question 6. In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people ?
Answer : Hitler, after coming to power, emerged as an all powerful dictator. He destroyed democracy in Germany.
The First Fire decree in 1933 suspended the civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly and thus controlled the German population.
The Enabling Act was passed. It gave all powers to Hilter to Sideline Parliament and rule by decree.
All political parties except the Nazi Party were banned. All political opponents were imprisoned or assassinated.
The communists were suppressed and ‘sent to concentration camps.
Special security forces such as the SA, SS, SD and Gestapo were created to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted. These forces were given extra constitutional powers. In schools children were taught to be loyal and submissive hate and worship Hitler.
Nazi youth organisations, the like ‘Jungvolk’ and ‘Hitler Youth’ were created where the youth were taught to worship war and Hitler hate democracy, communism and Jews.
Media was used carefully to win the support for Hitler and Nazism. Nazi ideas were spread through visual images films, radio, posters and catchy slogans and leaflets.