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GCSE: Germany 1918-1939
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Even though Germany asked for a reduction, it was rejected by France because she had to pay war debts to the USA. This deprived Germany from a lot of its income and with no Gold reserves Germany was in the worst Bankruptcy it had ever experienced. Due to the fact that Germany was unable to pay reparations, because it was bankrupt, France sent troops into the German industrial area of the Ruhr- they confiscated raw materials, manufactured goods and industrial machinery.
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One of the main reasons the crowd supported Hitler and the Nazis was for their hatred against the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty brought Germany down in so many ways as it was extremely biased against Germany. One being, the German government had signed to pay � 6600 million for the damages they had caused, this really brought Germany into a financial ruin as lots of Germans had lost their jobs too. Not only were they put down economically but also 10% of their land was removed, all of their colonies were taken, 12.5 % of its population was gone and last but not least 16 % of their coal and 48 % of their iron industry was taken!
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After 1929 everything in Germany seemed calm and I was relieved because I could focus on my children, my husband and my house work. Everything was fine until Stresemann died of a stroke on October 3rd, 1929 and as the majority of Germany favoured Stresemann we were all very sad to hear of his death. However, nothing had prepared us for what was to come next. In 1929 Germany went into depression, along with the rest of the world.
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when the Weimar had decided to sign the Treaty of Versailles it meant that many of their own German people went against them. The last major problem was that there were masses of political opposition against the Weimar. This meant that with them not having many supporters the residents would turn to another leader of the government and so there was a slight chance that maybe an extreme party like the fascists and communists will come into power and ruin Germany.
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The Hitler Youth group was an extremely military-styled youth group. The members were indoctrinated to accept discipline as soldiers would and as they would do in a tyranny. This would have therefore allowed Hitler to take control of these vulnerable minds and impose from the offset their message and tasks.
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In order to cleanse German culture of "un-Germanic" writings, these books were torched in bonfires. A century earlier, Heinrich Heine-a German poet of Jewish origin-had said, "Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people." In Nazi Germany, eight years passed between the burning of books to the burning of Jewish bodies in death camps. A major development in the Nazi campaign against Jews was the passing of the Nuremburg Laws in September 1935. The first law, 'The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour', prohibited marriages and extramarital intercourse between "Jews" (the name was now officially used in place of "non-Aryans")
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After the Wall Street Crash, the unemployment leaves rocketed and several Germans were now supporting extremist parties, such as the Nazis and the Communists (KPD), because they promised change as well as stability - explaining the Nazis rise in popularity in the July 1932 elections. Courses implemented by the government to cease the country's suffering had not yet taken effect. Because this slight political obstruction, Hitler to agree to a coalition with President Paul Hindenburg and the Weimar government and during January 1933 he [Hitler] was appointed the chancellor of Germany.
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All of these assumptions were made during Lubbe's confessions and are supported in source B. Source B states that Lubbe set fire to the Reichstag himself and that no other communists helped him. The two previous justifications both show that Source B only supports Source A by the fact that van der Lubbe started the Reichstag Fire by himself and not with the support of other communists. However, this is only helpful is both the sources are reliable and true- therefore the provenance must also be analysed.
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The Reichstag Fire was an important turning point in Hitler's consolidation of power, but perhaps not as important as events like "The Night of the Long Knives" or other factors that had been present since the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. This incident brought the Nazis many advantages and some disadvantages. When the police managed to enter the building they found a man named Marinus Van Der Lubbe, who was a Dutch communist. The fact that he was a communist enabled Hitler to use this against the communists and have 4,000 communist leaders imprisoned days before the elections.
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The rise of Hitlers power was based upon a number of long term problems that Germany had faced after the devastating World War. However I believe that the greatest factor that had lead to these problems was the Treaty of Versailles.
Members of the big three debated the terms of the treaty for 5 months. Clemenceau and Wilson argued to a point where even the treaty was in danger of failing; however Lloyd George issued the Fontainbleau Memorandum, in which he persuaded both Wilson and Clemenceau to accept both the treaty and reparations. The instability of the Treaty was evident before the terms where even negotiated. From a German point of view this showed the instability the treaty had from the very beginning. As Hitler was a soldier who fought on the front lines for Germany in 1918, along with many other Germans he was furious when he heard about Germanys defeat in the war.
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How did Hitler and the Nazis change the German economy and the lives of Germany workers between 1933 and 1936?
In 1934 Hitler appointed Hjalmar Schacht, already President of the Reichsbank since 1933, Minister of Economics. Schacht was to thank for many of the Third Reich's economic policies, and managed to combat the effects of the Great Depression by keeping the policies introduced by Kurt Von Schleicher's 1932 government. Deficit-supported public work programs (provided through the RAD, in which all 18-25 year old men had to serve six months) were the foundation of these policies, and so rearmament and military spending eventually supplemented this economic policy by boosting demand.
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At this time, Germany was in a mess because, harvests were poor and unemployment was very high. Also the treaty of Versailles had been signed, and millions of Germans felt the treaty was a disgrace to the country. Britain, USA and France had takes land and money from Germany however; Germany couldn't attack as one of the terms in the treaty was to reduce their army. When Hitler became leader of the Nazi Party, he he said the treaty was unfiar and he said that any land taken away from Germany must be returned.
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With the reference of all the three cases of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Militarist Japan in the inter-war period, explain why the dictators were so appealing to their people.
Therefore, people wanted a strong leader and government to restore national glory, economic strength and social order. This created an opportunity for Benito Mussolini to rise to power. In1919, he formed the Fascist Party and in 1922 he seized power and later declared himself Il Duce of Italy. Under his rule, the Fascist party was well organized and well disciplines. It also followed an expansionist foreign policy, which help him gain support from his people. Germany faced more serious problems than Italy. The Germans felt resentful, humiliated and frustrated over the Treaty of Versailles since Germany had to give up all its colonies and pay a huge indemnity.
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In June 1941 the Nazis invaded Russia and millions more Jews came under Nazi control. There is some debate among historians concerning when the Nazis actually decided on the final solution, but the mass killings of Jews began in summer 1941, especially in Russia. It would only be a short step from mass murder like this to a complete genocide of European Jews. In January 1942 at the Wansee Conference - a meeting of top Nazis - the "final solution" was systematically organized. The purpose of the final solution was to solve the "Jewish Problem" by murdering all the Jews by gassing them to death in organized death camps such as Auschwitz.
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With six parties in the Reichstag, it was difficult for the Weimar Republic to be unbiased. Corruption was also likely as parties in the Reichstag were likely to support or hide the crimes of its members from the other parties. For instance, the communists did not condemn the rebellions by communists. Equally, the army led by Von Seeckt was right wing and enjoyed putting down the Communist revolts of 1923. Moreover, the Kapp Putsch was led by a right winger, so the army and Freikorps refused to help. This showed that even the army could not be trusted.
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The leaders from both parties were arrested and their newspapers were shut down The Enabling Law The election took place in March - though Hitler was convinced it would be the last. Hitler did not get the number of votes he wanted but he did get enough to get over a 50% majority in the Reichstag: 17 m voted for the Nazis After the burning down of the Reichstag, politicians had nowhere to meet. The Kroll Opera House in Berlin was chosen.
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The White Rose Movement. The White Rose were a non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich
Why did they do it? The White Rose was motivated by ethical and moral considerations. They came from various religious backgrounds and had witnessed the atrocities of the war on the battlefield and against the civilian population in the East of Germany. By February 1943, the young friends sensed the reversal of fortune that the Wehrmacht suffered at Stalingrad would eventually lead to Germany's defeat.
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By 1919, Germany was bankrupt; and the reparation bill reached �6600M in 1921, to be paid at a rate of �100M per year, an impossible figure. After failing to make the 1922 payment, the French invaded Germany's industrial region, the Ruhr. In response, the workers there went on strike; the Weimar government backed them, and decided to print more money to pay their debts. This however, led to Hyperinflation, and the German people suffered greatly. Money became worthless; the price of a loaf of bread rose from less than a single mark, to over 2 trillion from the years 1919 to 1923.
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As Van der Lubbe was 'naked from the waist upwards, smeared with dirt and sweating', it would seem as if he did not have any help, as he would not be in such a state if he did have help since other people would be involved. Some parts of Source A do not agree with Van der Lubbe's confession. For example, it says in Source A, 'I read the Communist pamphlets he carried in his trouser pockets.' which is implying an accusation of him being a Communist and that he was in a Communist plot to start the fires.
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In addition to this, the Enabling Act was important to Hitler because it gave the Nazis certainty. Relying on threats and the support of other parties wasn't ideal because it was unpredictable, but the Enabling Act guaranteed that any law would be passed with nothing more than Hitler's signature. This also meant that the Nazis could pass laws very quickly, which would prove very beneficial in a time of crisis, when swift action could prevent the collapse of law and order.
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Nazi Germany Revision. This article is divided into two sections. One will deal with Nazi Methods of Control and the other with Life in Nazi Germany.
Jews, Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, homosexuals, churchmen and any critics of the regime ended up there. The Judges were not impartial and the courts usually supported the Gestapo. The Camps were run by a branch of the SS, the Deaths Head Units. The SS and German Police were under the overall command of Heinrich Himmler. Although the Gestapo targeted 'enemies of the state' recent research has demonstrated that the Secret Police was at its most active at the beginning of the regime (1933-4)
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We demand the creation and support of a healthy middle class. 25. We demand the creation of a strong central government in Germany. Quite clearly many of these points were the result of Hitler's influence (though later he would quietly drop many of the 'socialistic' ideas). What is also striking is that the party was attempting to appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate, something that most Weimar parties did not do. Following a power struggle in 1921, Hitler became the leader of the party with unlimited powers and in August he formed the SA (Sturm Abteilung -stormtroopers)
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Everybody was happy to have a little extra money in their pockets, so were happy under Stresemann. Though there was an under-lying feeling of discontent from the farmers and middle class citizens. The farmers made up a third of the jobs in Germany. This led to the fact that there was too much corn in Germany, so food prices were low, and farmers were barely getting enough to pay off their debts. Meanwhile, the middle class citizens were un-happy due to having lost all their savings in the hyper-inflation before 1923. They felt no one was sticking up for them.
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Whilst this allowed families to recuperate after the war, it put the country's budget into a dilemma. The state could not afford to pay all of its workers and so many Germans were dismissed and many of the remaining Germans had a pay-cut. This, in turn, meant that there was not a lot of money to be spent on the industry and other parts of the citizen's lifestyle. The German industry was suffering as with a low population and no money remaining in the country's budget, many factories, which brought money into Germany, were forced to shut down due to debt and a lack of funding.
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Although many of the revolters surrendered, it did not stop the Freikorps killing them. There were also rebellions from the Right Wing who wanted Germany to have a strong army, to regain its territory and have an empire. They felt that the Treaty of Versailles had been cruel on the German as a country and wanted to reclaim what had been taken away from it. One of the first rebellions by the Freikorps was the Kapp Putsch. Wolfgang Kapp, the 62 year old leader, led 5000 people into Berlin. Luckily for the Weimar Republic, the German people came to their aid. A city-wide strike was declared leaving Berlin with no transport, power or water.
- Word count: 948