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Rise of Hitler. An evaluation of the reasons why the Nazis achieved power, in 1933. Weaknesses of the Weimar republic Resentment towards.

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Presentation on theme: "Rise of Hitler. An evaluation of the reasons why the Nazis achieved power, in 1933. Weaknesses of the Weimar republic Resentment towards."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rise of Hitler











12 An evaluation of the reasons why the Nazis achieved power, in Weaknesses of the Weimar republic Resentment towards the Treaty of Versailles Economic difficulties The appeal of the Nazis after 1928 Weaknesses and mistakes of opponents The role of Hitler

13 What do you remember about the Weimar Republic? Draw a web diagram indicating what you remember about the Weimar republic

14 Background System of government before WW1 Authoritarian Rule Kaiser – Absolute ruler Government –advisors to Kaiser- politicians and military Generals. Reichstag – parliament, held no real power

15 Kaiser Wilhelm II led Germany into war which devastated the nation. Millions of German lives had been lost in a brutal war. The German home front was in dire shape because of food shortages, with more than 750,000 Germans dying of starvation. Germany was defeated, and the generals who led Germany’s army knew the formal surrender would come any day

16 October 1918 Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff made many of the decisions in Germany throughout the war. They were the key figures, who were loved by German society. With certain defeat on the way, Ludendorff and Hindenburg understood that Germany needed to become more democratic. They believed that if Germany became more democratic, the British, French and Americans would not be overly harsh when peace was negotiated and Germany surrendered.

17 October 1918 Guttentag Hindenburg, Democracy will be good yah? YAH! The Americans, Brits and Frenchies will love us for our new democracy. No more Kaiser to cause problem yah.

18 October The democratic changes Generals Ludendorff and Hindenburg appointed Prince Max von Baden to become Chancellor (leader of the Reichstag). The Reichstag now had legitimate power, and the voting system became more democratic. The Kaiser was stripped of his power, and was only a figurehead ( a constitutional monarch). The army was now in the power of the democratically run government (not the Kaiser nor the generals). This is known as a ‘revolution from above’

19 Yah, welcome to Democracy Maximillian. It is good yah? Nein Nein Nein, This is not good This is uber bad. Everyone will now blame me and the new government for all troubles. And losing the war

20 Read pages of blue book and take any additional notes drewsHigherHistory/ 1.In what ways did Germany become more democratic? 2.Why did Hindenburg and Ludendorff create a democratic government in Germany? 3.What was the down side to the change in the power structure of Germany? 4.Describe the term ‘revolution from above’

21 Revolution From Above – key points Initiative for change came from above – the High Command army generals. Germany changed from an autocracy to a parliamentary democracy (based on the British model) Kaiser was a constitutional monarch – little authority/power Imperial Chancellor was Prince Max of Baden. His government included Centre Party and SPD members.

22 The Revolution from Below Much like there was major changes coming form the most powerful men in Germany (from above), there were forces from the bottom of German society which were creating major changes.

23 ‘Connection between Revolution from Above’ to ‘Revolution from Below’  What Hindenburg and Ludendorff suspected would happen did – the new government was blamed for Germany’s problem  Uprising and Mutiny in the Navy

24 Revolution from Below The German home front had been devastated by the war. Workers and soldiers began to form rebellious groups. Groups of factory workers, groups of soldiers, sailors in the German Navy, all began to take matter into their own hands. Members of the military no longer took orders from their commanders, and factory workers began to strike. On the 31 of October, sailors in Kiel, Germany, start a mutiny. The unrest spreads and on November 2 nd, the sailors from Kiel joined with factory workers and make new demands of the government.  they demand a fully democratic Germany.

25 November 9th Kaiser Wilhelm II is forced to abdicate and flees to Holland. The newly appointed Chancellor Max von Baden, chickens out, and hands over the position of chancellor to Friedrich Ebert, leader of the SPD (Germany’s socialist party). Socialist Party???? -The political idea that the government should support its citizens in every way possible. Socialists believe that the people should have access to benefits and support (welfare).

26 The Political Spectrum Left Wing Right Wing Conservative Party Liberal Party The Army Communism Fascism Socialist Party (SPD) The Centre

27 Friedrich Ebert takes power November 9th Ebert’s Issues 1.Ebert’s personal weaknesses - Ebert had never led nor helped lead a government before - Ebert was a socialist, and had always been focused on improving working and living conditions for the German people, he did not know how to run a nation and deal with its problems (ineffective/ inexperienced leadership). UBER USELESS

28 2. The Socialist Party (SPD) had split!!! -Ebert’s own party experienced a split, he couldn’t even unite his own party!!!!! -Left wing members of the SPD left the party and formed the USPD (Independent socialist party) Karl Liebkneckt and Rosa Luxemburg led the split and formed the USPD

29 3. Existing Problems -Germany was about to surrender in a war it has caused  Every nation in Europe hated Germany and wanted to punish them -There were rebellions and mutinies throughout German society and the army!!!! THE WORST POSSIBLE SITUATION TO INHERIT!!!! -EVEN WORSE!!  People were starving!!!!!!!!

30 4. Ebert made promises to the army and its generals. -Ebert needed the army to keep order and put down any riots or uprisings. -Generals Ludendorff and Hindenburg agreed to help Ebert as long as Ebert planned to make no revolutionary changes. -Major revolutionary changes is exactly what Germany needed to reestablish order, and exactly what Ebert needed to hold power!!!!!!!!!

31 Read and Take notes on the section titled ‘revolution from below’. When completed, answer the following questions: 1.Why did an alliance with the army weaken Ebert’s government? 2.Why was Ebert not well suited for the new leadership? 3.Why did the SPD split? 4.List 4 more problems which Ebert faced (list them 5,6,7,8) 5.Why did the Spartacist Rebellion lead to consequences which aided the rise of the Nazi party?!?!?!?!?!??!********** 6.Why was the movement of the government to Weimar, Germany, ironic?

32 Revolution from Below -Tasks Read pages of blue book Takes notes under the following headings; Impact of Revolution from below Splits between the Socialists Missed opportunities Spartacist Rising Read page 102 of green book from Revolution from Below until The Weimar Republic

33 Events of ‘Rev from Below’ 31 st October 1918 Kiel sailors mutiny. Unrest spreads 2 nd November 1918 Unrest spreads throughout Germany. 20,000 workers and sailors held a meeting at Kiel. Called for the establishment of a democratic republic. 9th November 1918 Kaiser abdicated and fled to Holland. Prince Max handed over power to SPD leader Friedrich Ebert. A Republic is declared.

34 Further Weaknesses 5. Pressure from other parties -With Friedrich Ebert now in charge of the government, other political parties saw the chance to seize power, and competition became fierce. 6. Issues with the new Constitution 7. The Spartacist Rebellion 8. Impact of the Treaty of Versailles

35 6. The New Democratic Government- Issues Germany’s democratisation was modelled after the British system, but was in fact, more heavily democratic.  perhaps too democratic? Proportional representation In the British system, a MP must win the most votes in a constituency to get a seat in Parliament. It doesn’t matter how many votes they get in total, if a party wins no constituencies, they win no seats.

36 6. The New Democratic Government- Issues In the Reichstag, proportional representation was introduced. This means that a party does not need to win the most votes in a constituency to get a seat in the Reichstag. Instead, if a party can gain 60,000 votes, they are guaranteed a seat in the Reichstag. This means that even extremist, crazy political parties, that do not have much support, are able to gain seats in the Reichstag. The % of votes won = the % of seats gained

37 6. The New Democratic Government- Issues This VERY democratic system led to two problems. 1. The radical Nazis were eventually able to gain seats in the Reichstag 2. There were 6-8 parties with seats in the Reichstag, all wanted different things, few could agree on any issue, and it was very difficult to get anything done!!

38 6. The New Democratic Government Article 48 -There was a section of the Weimar Constitution which allowed for the president of Germany (There was a chancellor and a president), to take sole control of the government in times of emergency -This article in the Weimar Constitution would give Hitler and the Nazis the ability to take power in 1933.

39 The Spartacist Uprising When Friedrich Ebert took power, his own party, the SPD, split and formed a new party SPD USPD Even the USPD had its own radicals. Karl Liebkneckt and Rosa Luxemburg wanted to violently cause revolution by taking over the government. There side origination of the USPD was the Spartacus Union Spartacus Union

40 7. Spartacist Uprising January 7 th workers in Berlin begin to strike. The Spartacus Union would take the opportunity to lead these workers to violently take over the government -500,000 workers marched in Berlin, some supporting a violent takeover, some only wanted to make demands of Ebert’s government. -The radical workers armed themselves and blockaded the streets of Berlin, unsure what action to take next.

41 Ebert had made a deal with the army in order to handle this situation. Armed ex soldiers formed a small army known as the Freikorps. The Freikorps easily ended this uprising, killing 100 demonstrators.


43 Karl Liebkneckt and Rosa Luxemburg were arrested and killed before they could stand trial. The USPD was enraged by their members murder, and blamed Ebert for it. The USPD would refuse to cooperate with the SPD, even when the threat of Hitler would emerge. Therefore these events weakened political unity in the Weimar Republic.

44 Weaknesses of the Weimar- Further Democratic Issues Power of the President The President of the Reichstag had significant power within the German government – Head of the armed forces – Appointed the chancellor – Had the power to call an election – If Article 48 was introduced, the president would rule Germany


46 Weaknesses of the Weimar Republic Simpson, “It is an open question whether the Weimar Republic could ever have overcome the disadvantages which attended its birth.”

47 Associated/blamed for accepting the Treaty of Versailles (stab-in-the-back-myth) Was the Constitution too democratic? Proportional Representation - % of votes = % of seats in the Reichstag. 60,000 votes = 1 seat. This gave small extremists parties a foothold in power Led to weak and ineffective coalitions governments Article 48 President could rule by decree in times of emergency. Abused by Bruning Was this a back door to Hitler seizing power?

48 Resentment towards the Treaty of Versailles (Deutche Zeitung) Old regime escaped responsibility, new leaders had no choice but to accept. Stab-in-the-back- myth Getting rid of the Treaty of Versailles was central to Nazi propaganda Treaty was hated by most German’s – Loss of territory e.g. The Polish Corridor – Article 231 – the war guilt clause – Disarmament – Reparations – See page 103 green book

49 A.J. Nicholls claims, “The German public was in no way prepared for a harsh peace”, and further believes that the treaty led many to support groups such as the Nazis during the 1920s. Hiden, “The Versailles treaty certainly did not doom the Republic from birth”

50 Weaknesses of Weimar - Tasks 1.Where does the term, “Weimar Republic” originate from? (p102 green book) 2.Why did the young republic get off to such a bad start? To answer this question you will need to include information on the following;  Stab-in-the-back myth (p103L)  The Treaty of Versailles ( ) ( )  The new constitution ( ) ( )  The Spartacists (105)  The Kapp Putsch (105)  Political violence, (106) (Very important and detailed piece of work) 3.Assess overall impact of Versailles on Rise of Hitler (Last two paragraphs in Treaty of Versailles section p 137 of blue book)

51 Economic difficulties Reparations Hyperinflation 1923 – invasion of the Ruhr Golden Era (24-29) Wall street Crash (1929) and the Great Depression – 6 million unemployed

52 Reparation payments German reparation payments were ridiculous. 6.6 billion pounds had to be paid back in payments of 100 million pounds worth of German Marks, every year. Germany had to produce this after having 15% of its industrial land taken away by the Treaty of Versailles. This among could never be paid back in money, and was being paid in resources such as iron and coal —> this was also crippling Germany’s industry.

53 Ruhr Region The Ruhr Region was Germany’s most productive mining and industrial region.

54 Invasion of the Ruhr Region In order to put down Germany and take back some of the resources Germany owed, French and Belgian forces invaded. German resources were taken by the French and Belgians, while the German workers were told to strike and refuse to work. The confiscation of these resources and the shut down of the Ruhr Region had a major impact on Germany

55 The Government’s Mistakes In order to deal with the lack of income from the Ruhr Region, the German government decided to stop valuing a German Mark based on its value in gold. Instead, the government simply printed as much money as it needed to pay German workers. This printed money with no real worth was printed in such amounts that it became worthless.








63 Popularity of extremist Parties

64 Key Player General Ludendorff Hitler recruited Ludendorff on the side of the Nazi’s, and hoped his support would lead to a successful putsch Hitler believed that the Bavarian army would not dare fire on such a respected figure.

65 Hitler’s followers set up barricades and prepared to seize key buildings in Munich. After taking control of Bavaria they would march on Berlin. They hoped the Army would join them.


67 Hitler was given a very short sentence and spent time in Jail. Notice the prison conditions.

68 The Importance of the Beer Hall Putsch Shows that the Weimar Government was unpopular. Extremist parties are still trying to overthrow the Government. (Spartacists and now Nazis). Hitler realised he could not overthrow the government by violence. He realised he would need to get the peoples support to gain power.

69 Gustav Stresemann Brought the German economy under control by issuing a new currency (Rentenmark). Helped bring in American and foreign investment through the Dawes plan (1924). Alexander Dawes was an American investor who loaned money to struggling economies in Europe.

70 Gustav Stresemann He convinced France and Belgium to halt future invasions into the Ruhr region of Germany. He even negotiated a decrease in the amount of reparation payments owed by Germany. Germany was accepted into the League of Nations in 1926.

71 The Nazi’s during the Golden Age Hitler was released from prison by December The situation in Germany did not favour the Nazi’s. German voters would not support revolutionary parties as long as the democratic government maintained stability. In 1928, The Nazi party received only 3% of the vote.

72 Golden Era Cameron, “Stresemann and his times denied the Nazi fire the oxygen of misery and it was all but extinguished.” Stesemann himself has described the Golden Era as “dancing on the edge of a volcano”


74 Popularity of extremist Parties

75 The Wall Street Crash On Thursday October 24, 1929, The American economy collapses. America now faces a depression, and is forced to call in loans given to Germany in the Dawes Plan.

76 The Result of the Wall Street Crash in Germany President Hindenberg resorted to Article 48, in order to suspend the Reichstag and handle this situation without delays  dangerous Unemployment in Germany hits 6 million.

77 Popularity of extremist Parties

78 1.Construct a simple table to show the Nazi % share of the vote and their seats in the Reichstag for the elections from 1924 to (p111 green, 135 black book) 2.Read and take notes on page 149 (blue book). 3.Take particular note of the unemployment figures on page 146 (blue) for each of the relevant years.

79 Finlay McKichan, “Hitler would have remained on the fringe of politics had it not been for the Great Depression.”

80 Reparations and hyper-inflation 1.Read sources 1-5 on page 1 and 2 of little booklet and answer questions 1-9 on p4 2.Read sources 6-9 on pages 2-3 of little booklet and answer questions p5 3.Read and take additional notes pages of blue book

81 Golden Era Cameron, “Stresemann and his times denied the Nazi fire the oxygen of misery and it was all but extinguished.” Stesemann himself has described the Golden Era as “dancing on the brink of a volcano”

82 Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression October 1929 – collapse of New York stock exchange led to America withdrawing loans. Mass unemployment Finlay McKichan, “Hitler would have remained on the fringe of politics had it not been for the Great Depression.” Extreme fear of a return to 1923 led to increased support for extremist parties. Read two paragraphs on Great Depression p110 of green book

83 Role of Hitler and the appeal of the Nazis after 1928 Hitler’s oratory Propaganda Role of SA Party organisation under Hitler Hitler’s policies – something for everyone  Read pages and take notes on the above headings

84 Tasks 1.Write an account of Nazi philosophy. Include; Earlier philosophy p green Racial Purity and Racial Hygiene p109 Lebensraum p109 Class, government and personal characteristics p109

85 Essay question paper 1 To what extent were the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic the major reason for the rise of the Nazi Party between 1919 and 1933? 1. First body paragraph (identified factor)- weaknesses of the Weimar Republic In whichever order you choose (strongest to weakest, weakest to strongest) 2. Resentment toward the Treaty of Versailles 3. Economic difficultiues 4. Appeal of the Nazis 5. Role of Hitler 6. Weaknesses of opponents

86 Appeal of the Nazis The Nazis were able to attract support from all levels of society because of their policies. 1. Farmers were attracted by promises of fair prices for their products 2. Middle and Lower class individuals were promised fair prices for food at the same time ( contradictory policies). The Nazis were able to attract support from all levels of society because of their policies. 1. Farmers were attracted by promises of fair prices for their products 2. Middle and Lower class individuals were promised fair prices for food at the same time ( contradictory policies).

87 3. Socialist ideas were offered to attract urban workers. Socialism was also incorporated into the name of the party. - Workers were offered a share of the wealth they created, as well as better working conditions and benefits. 4. At the same time, business owners (wealthy and middle class) were promised strict control of workers and unions, as well as higher profits.  further attracted by anticommunist policy

88 5. Ex soldiers and members of the military were offered the destruction of the Treaty of Versailles and the rebuilding of Germany’s military. 6. Ex soldiers and unemployed youth were offered the opportunity to join military like organisations such as the SA.

89 The SA were an essential component of the Nazi party The SA would protect Nazi rallies and prevent any discontent with an impressive show of force The SA would also disrupt the meetings and rallies of opposing parties with violence, creating a fear of opposition to the Nazis.

90 Appeal of the Nazis- Josef Goebbels Goebbels used all forms of media to communicate the policies of the Nazi party. – Radio  for the first time. – Posters – Newspapers Goebbels use of propaganda was calculated and very effective. Used scapegoats (Jews and communists)

91 The Role of Hitler It was Hitler who created the identity of the Nazi Party as well as its policies. He was young and charismatic leader, representing the old values of Germany and modern change.

92 The Role of Hitler His speeches were epic, with every aspect of them calculated and perfected for effectiveness. Through Mein Kampf (1925), Hitler identified what he believed were the problems in society, and used existing prejudices to do so in an effective manner. Used oaths and organisations which incorporated his name, and devotion to himself, in order to build a cult of personality around himself.

93 The Nazi Rise to Power 1. Leader- Read your groups version of the story. Take detailed notes because you will have to teach your version of the story to others, using only your notes. 2, 3, 4. Reporters - Begin by reading your groups version of the story and take detailed notes on it. - Decide which of you will go to other groups to collect the information you are missing. Put the events in Chronological order and describe the series of events in your jotter. (use the textbook for help)

94 Power of the President The President of Germany was a separate and more powerful position than the Chancellor. The President had the power to: – Command the armed forces – Appoint the chancellor – Dissolve the Reichstag in the case of a political stalemate, and call a new election – Under Article 48, the President becomes the sole leader of Germany. During this period, Hindenburg was president of Germany. 94

95 The Nazi Rise to Power Hitler received immense support from German industrial leaders such as Alfred Hugenberg. The Nazi’s required this funding and support from the wealthy businessmen of Germany.

96 Heinrich Bruning Chancellor between March 1930 and May President Hindenburg gave Bruning permission to exercise Article 48. This allowed Hindenburg, Bruning and his advisors to rule Germany without the support of the Reichstag (undemocratic).

97 Heinrich Bruning- His weakness Not a particularly strong leader, but to his credit he inherited a difficult situation. Because of the dire economic situation after the wall street crash, the German people were against the parliamentary system. Therefore, the extent of his role in weakening faith in the parliamentary system, and leading to the rise of the Nazis is debatable.  quote on page 149

98 Heinrich Bruning The lack of cooperation between the SPD, USPD and KPD weakened Bruning’s ability to control the Reichstag. This problem stemmed from the Spartacist revolt. Therefore, Hitler’s strong character made him appear a better candidate than Bruning.

99 Franz Von Papen Bruning was removed as chancellor because of lack of confidence and replaced by Von Papen. He sought to control Hitler and use the Nazi’s to build his own power, but failed. Von Papen was soon removed as Chancellor because of his inability to control the Reichstag. Chancellor between June and November 1932.

100 Von Papen V.S Von Schliecher Rumble in the Reichstag Your fire eyes are no match for my Lazer eyes

101 General Kurt von Schleicher Von Schleicher and Von Papen were rivals for power When Von Schleicher gained power, Von Papen made an alliance with the Nazis, and agreed that Hitler would become Chancellor Schleicher was also removed from the Reichstag by von Papen. This power battle resulted in the rise of Hitler Chancellor from 3 December 1932 to 28 January 1933.

102 Weaknesses of the Weimar Politicians The weakness of these politicians allowed for Hitler to rise to power in the final days leading up to his chancellorship. The lack of cooperation between the SPD, USPD and KPD in opposing Hitler’s rise was a contributing factor. Bruning’s weakness made the Reichstag look like a failed institution to Germans. Von Papen and Von Schliechers greed for power allowed Hitler to gain Chancellorship.



105 1.Construct a simple table to show the Nazi % share of the vote and their seats in the Reichstag for the elections from 1924 to (p111 green, 135 black book) 2.Read and take notes on page 149 (blue book). 3.Take particular note of the unemployment figures on page 146 (blue) for each of the relevant years.


107 Weakness and mistakes of opponents Lack of unity among socialists – KPD never forgave SPD for brutal put down of Spartacist rising. If they had united in the Reichstag could they have stopped Hitler? Political Intrigue – roles of von Schleicher and von Papen

108 1.Next to the following dates state who was Chancellor at the time. (P ) May – December 1932 December 1932-Janurary Explain the intrigue, plotting and dealing that went on to allow Hitler to become Chancellor. (p112) Include; Nazi voting strength – why did people vote for them SA Papen’s role Hindenburg’s role

109 Additional Reading Pages 6-8 of little booklet Read page 149 of blue book and take additional notes

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