NAZI GERMANY 1933-1945


Consolidation of Power

Support for Nazis

Reichstag Fire Feb 1933

March Elections

Enabling Act

Chrushing of Trade Unions 

Political Parties

Night of the Long Knives

The Legal revolution


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Support for Nazis

Wall Street Crash 1929

Middle class feared communism- MC one of main Nazi supporters

Industrialists- fear communism

1/4 Working Class support Hitler- propaganda& economic salvation

Gained all of the above^ groups before even in Power

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Reichstag Fire

Feb 1933

Hitler used to his advantage by:

  • gave him the opportunity to imprison communist leaders= stopping them campaigning in the election
  • allowed Nazis to say the country was in danger from the communists  who were rumored to be planning a national revolution, allow Nazi more support in electoral campaign

Helped Nazi win more seats in Election

Courts Convicted van der Lubbe- caused the fire

Reichstag Fire Decree- civil liberties, no newspapers, public meetings for the protection of German people and the State- bans Comm parties& starts censorship

Uses- terror, propaganda, fear of Comm& Legality

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March Elections 1933

March 1933

result of legality

3/4 WC still believe in democracy& vote vs Nazis

Didn't give Hitler majority that he wanted

NSDAP gained 288 seats

After Hitler arrested all communist deputies& other parties had been intimidated by the SA to get the Enabling Act Passes- all Hitler needed to do

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Enabling Act 1933

Gave Hitler absolute power to make his own laws

Passed through SA intimidation (put them in elections)& banning of Communists

Catholic Church compromise themselves with the Concordat

Didn't like- homosexuals, Jews or Communists= prefer Nazis to Communists

Sign deal with Nazis March 1933- so don't resist as in it with them

Uses legality- can only be Nazi party in Germany as its a 1 party state

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Crushing of Trade Unions

May 1933

Maintains support of Industrialists

Allows Hitler to destroy a grouo that may have opposed him

Gave Hitler the Opportunity to set up the German Labour Front which gave him control over German workers

Leads to conformity of the Working Class


Decieves them- trade unionists were Communists

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Political Parties

Banning of Political parties made Germany a 1 part state- this destoryed democracy in Germany

After this action Germans could no longer get rid of Hitler in an election

Law vs Formation of New Parties meant external opposition was removed

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Night of the Long Knives

June 1934

Gain Army support- as they wanted the removal of the SA whom were becoming increasingly violent

Rohm was a threat- Army Generals were becoming increasingly alarmed @ size& demands of SA

Rohm wanted to merge SA& Army and for him to be their leader

Army could have stopped Hilter as complicit in NofLK

Murder Rohm, Hitler announced this by radio& Hindenberg approved

Swear Oath of Loyalty Aug 1934

Terror, Murder, deciet, legality, approval of Hindenberg

Gave the Nazis brutal power

Showed the rest of the world what a Tyrant Hitler was& removed internal opposition

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After Hindenberg died, Hitler became absolute ruler of Germany

Army swear an oath of Loyalty to protect him

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Support for the Nazis

Wall Street Crash

1933-34 Terror







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Wall Street Crash

Working class propaganda- work and bread

1/4 WC voted Nazi March Elections

Middle Class feared Communism

Anti- democracy

Return to strong leadership

Electorate have limited choices

Not tainted with failure

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1933-34 Terror

Nationalists/ traditionalists impressed with Enabling Act

Industrialists impressed with the destruction of Trade Unions

Destruction of Rohm impresses the Army

Concentration Camps in place e.g. Dachau

Terror was a crucial catalyst for support

Middle class impressed with the destruction of Communism

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After 1933 self interest- 'March Violets'

Economic Policies gain some Working class support

Living standards improved future economic salvation

KDF/ Volksgemeinschaft- classless community based on German blood& soil

Many apathetic

Conformity due to terror 

Conscription, re-armament, public work schemes

Increase WC support

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Berlin Olympics


Propaganda& indoctrination



Remained loyal supporters

No need for terror

WC or nationwide

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Threat of terror

Some remain apathetic

Some are enthusiastic Nazis 

Destructio of hated Treaty of Versailles

Apolitical/ Conformity

Atmosphere of fear

Difficult to resist

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Winning the War

Full employment

Fur from Norway, French purfume, Belgain Chocolate

Conquest of France

Germany return to greatness

Nationalism/ Patriotism

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Too late to change, people start losing faith

Bombing of German towns and cities by Western Allies

Uses terror against resistance

Terror for Power not support

Sense of fatalism

Youth still support

No other choice

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No terror= no Hitler

Crucial 1933/34

Enthusiastic, conformity, apathy, self-interest

Propaganda gains Youth

Economic Foreign Policy gain support of some WC

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Nazi Social Policy

  • Nazi State
  • Culture
  • Youth& Education
  • Work
  • Women
  • Disabled
  • Aryanism
  • Jews
  • Gypsies
  • Chruch
  • Aryanism Achieved
  • Terror 
  • Propaganda
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Nazi State

Nazis aimed to control every aspect of peoples political, social and work lives

Maintained control via a mixture of propaganda& terror

The way Hitler consolidated power 1933-1934 meant Nazis had absolute control of national& local governments

  • Hitler became Fuhrer
  • Enabling Act
  • Local gov reorganised
  • Political parties banned
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Nazis dictated what people were allowed to do in their social& private lives

Artists had to produce acceptable paintings portraying Nazi values

Jazz= banned

Books written by Jews were burned

Homosexuals were prosecuted- not fit Nazi image of ideal family

Olympic Games 1936- huge Nazi propaganda success

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Youth and Education

Measures imposed to make sure schools& youth organisations became Nazified

Non-nazi teachers& uni professors sacked

Teachers had to Join the National Socalist Teachers League

Textbooks rewritten to include Nazi political& racial ideas

History was taught to glorify Germany

Concentrated on physical fitness levels

Girls taught- cooking, motherhood& childcare

Boys taught- science, machinery, welfare, maths

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  • Nazis had a specific ideology for women
  • Having babies& not working and look after family
  • Birth rate decrease since WW1- so women encouraged to have big families
  • Some partial success& some women had to return to work once war started
  • Much more independent under Weimar Republic
  • Hitler introduced a medal for women with 4, 6, 8 kids
  • Women Dr's, lawyers, teachers and civil servants forced to give up careers
  • Family life should revolve around the 3K's- Kinder, Kirche, Kuche
  • Girls keep fit in the BDM& makethemselves healthy for childbirth
  • Law for Encouragement of Married gave newly wed couples a loan of 1000marks
  • Unmarried women could volunteer to have a baby for an Aryan Member of the Party
  • Expected to show traditional German peasant fashions
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Von Gallen speech 1941- tried to prevent Euthanasia- only resistance which was successful but only temporarly stopped it

Gas/ starving mentally ill people

1938 @ time need hospital beds as war was coming

Economic Angle- sees them as a waste of Money

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Aryanism& how they achieved it

  • propaganda about farming community - 'blood and soil'
  • Hitler remeber Germany starving in WW1
  • Didn't earnas much in farming as industry
  • Master race-  socially efficent, physically healthy, racially acceptable, incritical
  • Classless community- Volksgemeinschaft- base of German blood
  • Herrenvolk- greatest race of them all= master race

How did Hitler achieve Aryanism?

Persecution of the Jews

  • 1933- shop boycott
  • 1935- Nuremberg Laws
  • 1938-Kristallnacht 
  • 1939-Ghettos
  • 1941-Einsatzgrouppen
  • 1942-Holocaust
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  • 1933
  • April shop boycott
  • Jew civil servants, lawyers, teachers sacked
  • Race science lessons teach Jews are intermensch
  • 1935
  • Nuremberg Law- no sex w Germans
  • Lose citizenship- not allowed to vote/ marry a German
  • 1938
  • night of broken glass- Kristallnacht- attacked Jew homes, businesses, synangoges
  • had to add name Israel or Sarah to their name
  • Jew kids banned form school
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Jews Part 2

  • 1939
  • Jews forbidden to own business or radio, forced to live in Ghettos
  • 1941
  • Army Einsatzgruppen squads in Russia- mass shootings of Jews
  • All Jews forced to wear yellow star of David
  • 1942
  • Wansee Conference decided on the Final Solution- gass all European Jews
  • Main death Camps @ Auschwitz, Treblinka& Sobibar 
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  • 1933
  • Rather Hilter than Comminism
  • prepared to disband centre party as scared of Communists
  • Compromise themselves with the concordat
  • Pass Enabling Act
  • 1934
  • Nazi start own Church- Reich Church
  • Church should have resisted more but happy with persecution of Jews, homosexuals& Comm
  • 1936
  • All youth Groups banned bar Hitler Youth
  • No fears of Communism
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Church Part 2

  • 1938
  • Stance vs euthanasia/ eugenics- selective breading 
  • Pope speaks out once vs Nazis
  • 1940 
  • Bishop Von Gallen stops Euthanasia programme temporarily
  • some resistance by catholic ministers who were killed
  • some complained about closing faith schools& removing crucifix
  • some resistance by protestant minister who starts Confessing Church- Bonhoffer& Neimoler
  • Neimoller sent to conc camp 1937-45
  • Bonhoffer involved in July 44 Bomb Plot & was executed
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Terror Methods

Gestapo investigators

Blockleiters in each block of flats& streets informed on 'grumblers'

arrests of throusands of terrified opponents

Set up Nazi Peoples Courts

Concentration Camps

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Methods of Propaganda

Mass rallies @ Nuremberg

Newspapers were censored

Peoples radios sold cheaply& broadcasts controlled

Films controlled- make films glorified war& exploited the Jews

Loud speakers in public places blared Nazi propaganda

Cult of Personality- Hitlers picture was everywhere& portrayed as Germanys saviour

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Opposition to the Nazis

  • Opposition
  • Who opposed Hitler
  • More opposition
  • Bomb Plott 
  • Persecution
  • Political Resistance
  • Youth
  • White Rose
  • Swing Youth
  • Catholic Church
  • Protestant church
  • Army
  • Conservative Group
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Speaking vs Hitler& his policies- face intimidation& threats from gestapo, inprisonment or execution

few brave individuals& groups openly opposed to H and his policies

Few survived but many killed

in war 'swing' groups were formed

Young people who rejected Nazi values, drank alcohol& danced to Jazz

Edelweiss Pirates more violent

involved in anti-Nazi slogans& beat up Nazi officials

1944 Edelweiss Pirates killed Gestapo Cheif, so Nazis hung 12 of them

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Who Opposed Hitler

  • Catholic Arch Bishop of Munster- von Gallen- led successful campaign to end euthanasia of mentally ill people
  • some catholic priests opposed Hitler
  • 1938 Popes message- 'With Burning Concern' attacked Hitler as a 'mad prophet with repulsive arrogance'- read in every catholic church
  • White Rose Group formed by Students @ Munich Uni- published anti-nazi leaflets but were discovered and executed
  • A parliamentry wing of Social Democratic party sabotaged railway lines& attacked spies
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Bomb Plot 1944

1944 group of Army officials& intellectuals called the Kreisau Circle tried to kill Hitler

Bomb plot was planted by Colonel Staffenberg

It exploded but Hitler Survived

Many were caught& executed for their actions

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  • Hitler had firm racial policies, believed non-Ger people shouldn't have any citizen rights
  • Many groups targeted by Hitlers policies especially the Jews

Who did the Nazis Persecute

  • believed only Germans could be citizens, non- Gers didn't have right to citizenship
  • Nazi racial philosophy taught that some humans were intermensch
  • many scientists @ this time believed people with disabilites/ social problems were genertic degenerates
  • their genes needed to be eliminated from the human blood line

How did the Nazis Persecute

  • tried to eliminate the Jews
  • killed 85% of Ger gypsies
  • Steralised black people, physically disablled& people with herediatory diseases
  • killed mentally disabled babies& patients
  • Anti- social put into conc camps e.g. homosexuals, prostitutes, alcohols, pacafists, criminals
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Political Resistance

SPD socalist party voted vs Enabling act- went into exile= SOPADE

Red Orchestra executed

Nazi Soviet Pact 

Leadership destroyed

Communist party KPD 

political conviction

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Edelweiss Pirates& Navajos Kittleback Pirates

Clothes, hair, fashion

Rejected Hitler Youth

Leaflets, graffitti, Sabotage

Working class

maybe some morality but mainly teenage rebellion

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White Rose Group

Hans& Sophie Scholl

Hans saw work of Einstazgruppen

Students @ Munich Uni

handed out anti-nazi leaflets- caught& beheaded

decency/ prosperty- sense of morality

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Swing Youth

Middle Class

Jazz, USA fashion, Heil Benny, Dont accept Hitler Youth, hair cut off

Teenage rebellion/ self-interest

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Catholic Church

Fear of Communism 


Bishop Von Gallen

Speak out vs Euthanasia

Pope complains

200 priests put into camps

Selective morality

sense of morality

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Protestant Church

Niemoller& Bonhoffer- Confessing Church- return to values of equality and love

Didn't accept Reich Church

N camp strived, B camp died

Most protestants didn't resist

Sense of morality/ decency

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General Beck, Colonel Staffenberg

Operation Valikyne 

Beck- president, Goerdler- chancellor

Fails 5000 executed

Staffenberg some morlity

self interst? losing the war

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Conservative Groups

Kreisau Circle- von Moltke 

Aristocrats, diplomats, socalists

Wanted a Christian Federal Germany

Murdered after bomb plot

wants to be chancellor- Millitarist

Karl Goerdeler ex mayor of Lepizig

Self interst losing war in 1943

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Nazi Economy Policy







Economic Policy

What Hitler provided

How did Hitler Increase Employment

Was Germany Self Sufficent

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1933-34 First Phase

  • Hitler comes to power 1933
  • 6 million people unemployed due to Wall Street Crash
  • Crave WC support- promised work and bread& if not deliever going to loose respect
  • WC mostly didn't support him 3/4 didn't
  • New Plan- builds motorways (Autobahmen)- for war, fiddles figures, RAD ( uniform, diggling land, 50p per week)
  • Schacht in charge of the economy
  • Trying to get WC on his side
  • No Trade Unions- replaced by the German Labour Front (DAF) led by Robert Lay- Strength through Joy
  • Conscription introduced 1935
  • Benefit from Weimar, no big changes
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1936: 2nd 4YR Plan- 2nd Phase

  • prepared Germany for War
  • Wehrwirtschaft- worktime economy in peace time
  • workers work for longer- unhappy
  • 'Guns before butter economy'
  • Hitler got credability with the WC
  • Fears WC loyalty
  • Less consumer goods in shops
  • Berlin Olympics makes him popular- Ger wins medals
  • Farmers kept on the land- Reich Inheritance Law
  • Goering put in charge of Economy with Scacht- 2 men in the same job
  • Scacht resigns 1937
  • Autarky- self sufficency
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** become more powerful& corrupt

Economy geared towards short, sharp wars- Blitzkreig

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War time economy

Speer put in charge of economy

Germany continued until April 1945

Speer changes means of production- gives factory owners more authority, lets people use iniative

increase use of foreign labour, plunder economy when occupied countries make material for war

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economy is disrupted by bombing

1945 Germany was increasing war production

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  • Many Ger people suffered in WW1& depression so welcomed Hitlers economic policy with open arms
  • There was- full employment, new public works, opportunity to buy a car

ECONOMIC POLICY SUMMARY- Hitlers economic policy had 4 main ideas

  • 1. Beauty of work
  • Nazi set up beauty of work to help Germans see that work was good& everyone who could work should
  • As Nazis abolished Trade Unions, banned strikes& give more power to industrialists- real wages fell& hours longer under Hitler
  • 2. Autarky
  • there was an unsuccessful attempt to make Germany self sufficent
  • 3. Re- Armament
  • 1935- idea of 'guns before butter'
  • 4.Full employment 
  • idea everyone should have a job, by 1939 virtually no unemployment in Germany
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What did Hitlers Economic Policy Include

  • Hitler opened new Volkswagen factory
  • Everyone had a job& a wage
  • people who'd been unemployed& starving 'work and bread' was a wonderfull blessing worth every civil liberty they lost
  • Nazi set up Strength through Joy- gave workers rewards e.g. free holiday, theatre, trips
  • Nazi devised a scheeme allow workers to buy a Volkswagen for small weekly payments
  • Autobahns improved transport& travel
  • People appriciated public works e.g. new schools& hospitals 
  • streets safe& was no crime
  • Germany- strong& successful in world of Affairs
  • Nazi Youth provided activities& holidays for young
  • Nazi ideology gave people hope& confidence
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How did Hitler Improve employment

  • he stopped paying reparations& invested money into German compaines 
  • Began huge programme of public works including- planting forest, build hospitals& schools
  • Built public buildings e.g. olympic stadium
  • Construction of autobahns created work for 80,000 men
  • Rearmament created jobs in armaments industry
  • Intro of National Service- all young men spent 6 months in RAD then conscripted into army
  • 1939 1.4 million men were in the army
  • Many Jews sacked& jobs given to non-jews
  • Many women sacked& jobs given too men
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Did Germany become Self-Sufficent

  • Policy of Autarky= failure
  • 1937- Goring made Economics Minister with making Germany self-sufficent in 4yrs
  • Measurements he introduced not successful
  • controls put on exports but luxaries still increased
  • scientists tried make oil coal& find subsituted for rubber, petrol, cotten and coffee
  • Farmers subsided to produce moe food& food imports were decreased
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Foreign Policy

  • Foeign Policy summary
  • Aims
  • Appeasement- good/bad
  • Timeline
  • Why Germany lost the war
  • Britain& Allies
  • Invasion of Soviet Union
  • Hitler
  • German Economy
  • Weakness of German Allies
  • Germany successful until 1942
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Foreign Policy Summary

1. SAAR- 90% vote to return to Germany

2.1935- conscription of army

3.1936- remilitarisation of rhineland

4.Anschluss- take over Austria

5.1936- take over Czech

6.1938- take over Sudetenland

7.successful foreign policy until 48- maintain army support

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  • Lebenstraum 
  • Revise/ Destroy T.of.V
  • Annihilate Jew/ Comm
  • Gross deutchland (Ger empire Europe)
  • War
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Appeasement- Right or Wrong


  • UK thought TofV too harsh
  • Strong Ger vs Comm
  • Prefer right wing over left
  • Legacy of pacifism after WW1
  • Not ready to fight after WW1


  • appeasement ultimately caused the war
  • maybe shouldn't have allowed Hitler to start war
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  • 1933
  • Hitler leaves leauge of Nations
  • Hitler already been in power for 10months- plans already agressive- already look to go to war
  • 1934
  • Hitler wnts to join with Austria but Italy makes threats
  • 1935
  • Vote in Saar- 90% want to be in Germany not France
  • Conscription- treaty too harsh, legacy of pacifism, Hitler strong vs Comm
  • Beginning of Appeasement
  • Stresa Front- UK, FR, IT in response to Ger conscription- show they're ready to fight
  • Anglo-Ger naval agreement- IT leave Stresa Front
  • 1936
  • IT invade Abyssinia- Hitler approves& IT become closer to Ger
  • Remilitarisation of Rhineland- Hitlers an opportunist
  • IT& Ger both get involved in Spanish Civil War
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  • 1937
  • Hitler declears end of TofV- achieve 1 aim
  • Hossbach Conference- Hitler outlines plans for EU domination
  • 1938
  • Anchluss with Austria- austrian elections rigged
  • Crisis in Sudetenland- Czech
  • IT pro Germany since Spanish Civil War
  • Sudetenland given to Germany- Hitler promises to take no more territory
  • Munich conference
  • 1939
  • Take all of Czech
  • Appeasement ends, UK ultimatium to Hitler- Hitler worried about war on 2 fronts 
  • Nazi-Soviet pact- Soviets (Russia) wanted to stay out of war as hated UK&FR bcos Capitalists
  • Cynical Pact
  • September 3rd WW2 starts 
  • Germanys successful- take Poland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium& France by 1940
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  • 1940
  • UK win battle of Britain
  • Hitler makes mistakes at Dunkirk- operation Sea Lion
  • UK fight in North Afrika
  • 1941
  • July- operation Barbarosa- Germany invade Soviet Union
  • Becomes ideological war of extermination
  • Japan bombs Pearl Harbour- Hitler declears war on USA
  • 1942
  • Wansee Conference- Final Solution- decide on extermination of all EU Jews

from now onwards theres increased hostility between SU, UK& USA

  • 1943
  • Stalingrad SU, El Alemain UK& USA
  • Bombing of Germany& Invasion of Italy& Sisily
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  • 1944
  • June D-Day- invasion of France
  • July Bomb Plot vs Hitler
  • 1945
  • Suicide of Hitler
  • Germany surrender& split up
  • War criminal trials @ Nuremberg
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Why did Germany Lose the War?

Britain& its allies

Invasion of Soviet Union


German Economy

Weakness of German Allies 

Germany successful until 1942

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Britain& Its Allies

  • There was a war on 2 fronts by 1944
  • UK remained a launch pad for invasion
  • UK became base for bombing Germany
  • USA supplied troops& equipment
  • Strength of USA economy
  • Hitlers military weakness was exposed
  • German Economy couldn't compete
  • War in the desert- El Aleman
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Invasion of the Soviet Union

  • Operation Barbarosa June 1941
  • War became ideological& one of extermination
  • Battle of Stalingrad 91000 surrendered
  • Loss of General von Paulas' Army @ Stalingrad
  • Logistical nightmare for Germany
  • USSR had scorched each policy
  • Bad weather 5.5 million soldiers killed
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  • Made mistakes @ Dunkirk& D-Day
  • Not prepare properly for Operation Sea Lion
  • Insisted von Pauls couldn't retreat
  • increasingly made random decisions not based on reality
  • Battle of the Bulge- flawed& misguided
  • Decleared war on USA dec 1941
  • Driven by ideological hatred
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German Economy

  • Could never compete with economies of USA& USSR
  • German economy was mobilized for Blitzkreig not for long war
  • Germany still lasted 4yrs
  • Germany could use Slave& Jewish labour
  • Speer- brilliant economist& planner
  • Germany could plunder economies of conqured Countries
  • hampered by resistance movements
  • Still producting in times of hardship& bombing
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Weakness of German Allies

  • Poor trained& equipt italian troops
  • IT was invaded by western allies
  • Germany ideology was barrier for close relationships
  • Many in occupied countries joined Nazi for self-preservation& quickly disowned them when war was going badly 
  • IT was 1st to surrender
  • Resistance movements like Comm inspired Partisans carried out by Sabotage 
  • IT need help in Yugoslavia which affect the timing of the invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Italy needed help in North Africa
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Germany Successful until 1942

  • Blitzkreig was an improvisation which worked
  • Germans were supreme in Europe by June 1940
  • It was sensible to attack USSR before they prepared for war
  • UK were nearly defeated by Egypt
  • Germans nearly took Stalingrad& Moscow
  • Only change in weather prevented Nazi victory in East
  • Mistrust between East& West helped Germans
  • Many young men in occupied countries were happy to join Nazi vs Comm
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