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2  In the wake of the Enabling Act (3-24-33), the Nazi Party worked hard to consolidate its power. With the Reichstag and the Constitution suspended, the Nazis outlawed other political parties and arrested anyone who spoke out against them or opposed them. In the political arena, the Nazis gradually came to dominate all aspects of the government.

3  Leading allied powers Great Britain and France followed a policy called ‘appeasement’(-giving in to an aggressor to prevent a conflict) because they wanted to avoid another conflict like World War I.  This policy would take them right where they did not want to go.

4  June 30, 1934  Tension had intensified between the Wehrmact (German Army) and the SA (Nazi Party Storm troopers). Hitler had needed the brawling SA to help bring the Nazis to power. But now he needed the support of the German general staff and the German army to stay in power. He couldn’t keep both.

5 ERNST ROHM Chief of staff of the SA. He was a close, personal friend of Hitler and a Nazi from the beginning. As leader of the SA he commanded a force of over 1,000,000 Nazi street fighters. Hitler had to make a choice between the SA, who were no longer necessary and the Wehrmact, who’s support was critical.

6  Hitler and the German Army made a deal.  Hitler would eliminate the SA by blaming their leaders for plotting a ‘putsch’. He would use the SS to carry out the arrests and executions. The army would just stand down. (This event was known as the ‘Blood Purge’.)  In exchange, the German Army would swear an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler, not Germany or the Constitution. They would be loyal to Hitler alone.


8  August 2, 1934  President Paul von Hindenburg dies at age 87.  Before he was actually dead, Hitler had abolished the office of President and Chancellor and combined their power and authority under the title of Fuhrer.

9  Hitler was now in complete control of the Nazi Party, the German Military and the German Government.  With his total control over the German nation, Hitler now began to deal with issues outside of Germany.


11  Treaty of Versailles kept this German land under French and British control.  Nazi propaganda, anti-communist and anti- Britain and France, stirs up the predominantly German population. Unrest in the area led to a plebiscite(vote) in January, 1935. The question was ‘What should be done with the Saar?’  In the vote, 90% voted for a return of the Saar to Germany. Hitler’s first move was a success.

12  The Reich Citizenship Law  (September 15, 1935)  The Reich Citizenship Law stripped Jews of their German citizenship and introduced a new distinction between “Reich citizens ” and “nationals.” Certificates of Reich citizenship were in fact never introduced and all Germans other than Jews were until 1945 provisionally classed as Reich citizens.  Article I  1. A subject of the State is a person who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich, and who therefore has particular obligations towards the Reich.  2. The status of subject is acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and State Law of Citizenship.  Article 2  1. A citizen of the Reich is that subject only who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve the German people and Reich faithfully.  2. The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers.  3. Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provision of the laws.  Article 3  The Reich Minister of the Interior in conjunction with the Deputy of the Fuhrer will issue the necessary legal and administrative decrees for carrying out and supplementing this law.  Sources: Noakes, Jeremy, and Geoffrey Pridham. Documents on Nazism 1919-1945. NY: Viking Press, 1974, pp. 463-467, and The Nizkor Project.Noakes, Jeremy, and Geoffrey Pridham. Documents on Nazism 1919-1945. NY: Viking Press, 1974The Nizkor Project

13  The Reich Citizenship Laws redefined what a German citizen was.  Only German citizens had rights  Jews were not German citizens.  All laws and definitions were subject to change.  Because they had no rights, because they were not citizens, there was no way for the Jews to protect themselves.

14  In 1936, Spain experienced a military rebellion against the government.  The Loyalists (the government) were supported militarily by the Soviet Union.  The Nationalists (Fascist Rebels) were supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.  The Spanish Civil War became ‘the dress rehearsal for World War II.’  In the spring of 1939, the Nationalists were victorious. Spain became fascist and neutral.


16 Work by Pablo Picasso that illustrated the horror and brutality of the Spanish Civil War.

17  The Rhineland, a part of Germany, was demilitarized according to the Treaty of Versailles and reinforced by the Locarno Pact in 1925.  No German military forces were allowed in this part of Germany.  It served as a ‘buffer zone’ between France and Germany.  In March of 1936, German forces moved into the Rhineland and reoccupied it.


19  French forces had secret orders not to engage the German army.  German forces had secret orders that if the French made a stand to stop them, they were to retreat back across the Rhine River.  The German army retook the Rhineland without firing a shot.  Hitler appeared to be a genius.

20  German general Heinz Guderian said, “If you French had intervened in 1936 we should have been sunk and Hitler would have fallen.”  Hitler said, “The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve- racking in my life. If the French had marched into the Rhineland we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been totally inadequate for even a moderate resistance.”

21  The German Nazi Party pressured the Austrian Government to unify with Germany.  Germany proposed an ‘anschluss’ (union) with Austria.  Nazis in Austria sent a telegram asking for German military assistance. Germany invades.  In April, 1938 a plebiscite (vote) was held on union with Germany. The vote was in favor of union by 99.7%.




25  Hitler turned to Czechoslovakia to address Germany’s next demand-the Sudetenland.  Sudeten Germans had never lived in Germany, but were still ethnically German.  Hitler demanded the 3,000,000 Germans, and their land.  Hitler ‘rattled the saber’, having said he was willing to go to war to unite Germany and the Sudetenland.


27  To avoid a conflict, Hitler’s ally, Mussolini of Italy suggested a conference between the two sides (Nazi Germany and Britain/France).  It became known as the Munich Conference.  The representatives were Hitler (Germany), Edward Daladier (France), Neville Chamberlain (Britain) and Mussolini (Italy).


29  Czechoslovakia was not invited to the negotiations.  Germany was given the Sudetenland.  War was averted.  Appeasement worked.  Chamberlain (Br) said, ‘We have saved peace in our time.’  Hitler promised he had no designs on the rest of Czechoslovakia.  Was all of this really true?

30  Less than six months after the Munich Pact was signed, Germany invaded and conquered the remaining territory of Czechoslovakia.  Britain and France declared that any further aggression by Hitler would be met by force.  Hitler said, ‘I have met the enemy at Munich and they are worms.’


32  Hitler began to manipulate the situation in ‘the Corridor’ soon after the Munich Pact was signed.  He made numerous offers and suggestions on how to fix the situation, all would guarantee a positive outcome for Germany.  When all of his offers were rejected, Hitler prepared for war.  German propaganda began to show scenes of how horribly the Polish people were treating the Germans in ‘the Corridor’(none of them true).

33  August 14, 1939-von Ribbentrop (Ger) contacted the Soviet Union and suggested a deal.  Ribbentrop met with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov.  On August 23, 1939 both men signed the Nazi - Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, agreeing not to attack each other. (Secret Protocol)  Why?

34  Hitler wanted to avoid a two front war.  If Germany attacked Poland, the USSR would not get involved.  If Britain or France declared war on Germany in defense of Poland, the USSR would not get involved.  The USSR wanted to buy time.  The 10 year duration of the pact would allow the Soviets to hopefully recover from Stalin’s military purge of 1936.





39  World War II begins.  Germany attacks Poland.  Blitzkrieg.



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