NAZISM AND THE RISE OF HITLER
Q1. Describe the problems faced by the Weimer republic.
- Weimer republic was never accepted whole heartedly by the Germans who made this government responsible for accepting the humiliating treaty of Versailles.
- The Great Economic Depression worsened the German economy. The economic crisis created deep anxiety and fears in people.
- The Weimar Republic was politically weak. It had some inherent defects which made it unstable and vulnerable to Dictatorship.
- Another defect was Article 48 which gave the president the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree.
- Within its short life, the Weimer Republic saw twenty different cabinets lasting on an average 239 days.
Q2. Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
- The Great Economic Depression (1929-32) badly hit the German economy. Banks collapsed and businesses shut down. Workers lost their jobs and the middle class were threatened with destitution.
- The crisis in economy prepared the background for the popularity of Nazism in Germany. Nazism became a mass movement during the economic depression.
- Nazi propaganda stirred hopes of a better future. In 1928 the Nazi party no more than 2.6 % votes in the Reichstag- the German parliament. By 1932 it had become the largest party with 37% votes.
- Hitler, the leader of Nazi party influenced people with his personality. He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles treaty and restore the dignity of the German people.
- Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for hitler and instill a sense of unity among the people.
Q3. What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
- There was no equality between people but only a racial hierarchy. Aryans were at the top while Jews were located at the lowest level. All coloured people were placed in between depending upon their external features.
- The Ryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.
- Nazis glorified war. Their only aim was to unite all people of the Aryan race Under one state i.e. Germany.
- Hitler believed that new territories had to be acquired for settlement of Aryans and also enhance the material resources for German nation.
- Children were taught to be loyal and submissive hate Jews and worship Hitler.
Q4. Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Ans. Hitler launched a vicious propaganda against Jews-
- Nazi hatred of Jews had a precursor in the traditional Christian hostility towards Jews. They had been stereotyped as killers of Christ and usurers.
- Nazis never used the words ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ in their official communication. Mass killing were termed special treatment, final solution (for Jews), euthanasia (for disabled). Selection and disinfections.
- Media was carefully used to win the support for the regime and popularize its worldview.
- Propaganda films were made to create hatred for Jews.
- Even children were taught to hate Jews.
Q5. 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 period.
Ans. Women had a limited role in Nazi society. They were considered radically different from men. Girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure blooded Aryan children. Girls had to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews.
But French women were more powerful than German women. French women played a major role in bringing the revolution. They could start their own political clubs and newspaper to voice their interests.
Q6. In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people?
- First of all the structure of democratic rule was dismantled.
- Civil rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly were suspended for indefinite period.
- Om 3rd march 1933 the famous Enabling Act was passed. This Act established Hitler’s dictatorship in Germany.
- All political parties and the trade unions were banned except the Nazi party and its affiliates.
- Special surveillance and security forces were created to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted.