2German Worker’s PartyBeing a naturally skilled political agitator and an orator, he moved up in the party quickly. In 1921, Hitler led that party, renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP or Nazis). In 1923, there were 55,000 supportersAt this point, Hitler saw himself as the propagandist to help to power the extreme nationalists who would rescue Germany from “Bolshevism,” the Jews, and the Versailles Treaty
3The early years Beer Hall Putsch In November 1923, Hitler sought to seize power and attempted the Beer Hall Putsch (coup)The coup failed when the police and army didn’t join Hitler’s putsch(refer to your Weimar notes and readings for more details)Hitler’s trial gained him notoriety amongst the German people and his 9 months in jail allowed him to rethink his strategies and write Mein Kampf
4Gaining Power LegallyIn 1925, Hitler judged that the government was too strong to be seized by illegal force, so he would follow the legal path to powerHe never showed anything but contempt for the Reichstag, and though leader of the majority party, would never himself take part in its proceedingsDuring the period from 1925 to 1928, he built up his party and made a propaganda machineParty membership reached 97,000 in The economic crisis helped the Nazis
5Reichstag FireAfter a series of ineffective chancellors, Hindenburg granted Hitler the chancellorship in (again see your notes for more detail)Occurred on February 27, 1933The Nazis blamed the Communists and used this charge to crack down on Communist party officials and suspend civil rights as well
7New ElectionsAs a condition for accepting office, Hitler had insisted on new elections, intending to gain an absolute majorityBecause of the Reichstag fire and under cover of emergency decree, the Nazis terrorized their opponents. Joseph Goebbels manipulated the press and radio to help secure a Nazi victoryHowever, the Nazis didn’t gain a 2/3 majority needed to pass an Enabling Bill that would give Hitler dictatorial powers in times of emergencyWith the Nationalist Party, the Nazis could gain a majority, but not 2/3So how did they get the Enabling Act?
8Well…All communists were arrested by the Gestapo (secret police) or were being hunted down. In addition, more than 20 Socialists were under arrest or prevented from attending the Reichstag vote.On the day the vote took place, SS personnel surrounded the building in which the Reichstag met, while SA troopers stationed themselves inside and chanted, “We want the bill or fire and murder!”Eventually, the Center Party gave in to Hitler and agreed to vote for the Enabling ActOnly the Social Democrats voted against the bill. It passed by 347 votes on March 23, 1933Hitler proclaimed the Third Reich
9Lets define Totalitarianism… totalitarian state - a government that subordinates the individual to the state and strictly controls all aspects of life by coercive measures
10Gleischaltung Means coordination (firmly established a dictatorship) Nazi bodies were set up to supervise all the activities of society, which were to be forcibly subordinated:GovernmentAdministrationPressTrade unionsEducationHitler insisted on his own final say and to maintain some of the traditional structures of German society if he needed to overcome doubtHe decided not to interfere with the army at first, but later applied Gleischaltung to them as well
11Not Being Too BoldKnew the German people would need to accept the harshness and brutality of his regime in stagesWould use euphemismsBecoming dictator – “an act for relieving the distress of the nation”Invading a country – “protecting it”Destroying a town – “pacifying it”Concentration camps – “preventative detention” or “reeducation”Death camps – “final solution” or “resettlement”Although he was breaching civil rights against Jews with the Nuremberg Laws, he gave the outward appearance of acting mildly and reasonably, and always in conformity with proper laws
12Consolidating PowerGerman states - In March 1933, Hitler abolished independent powers of the federal statesJews - In April, a decree purged the civil service “unreliable elements” - Jews and those of Jewish descentPolitical parties - By the summer, the remaining parties were disbanded. Communist leaders were already in the new concentration campsReligion - The Vatican decided to conclude a treaty – the Concordat – with Hitler in an effort to protect Catholic interests
13Consolidating PowerLabor unions - The trade unions were quickly suppressed, and the workers enrolled in the Nazi Labor FrontMass media - The press and broadcasting were placed under Goebbel’s directionEducation –The universities did not put up any resistance. Many professors out of opportunity and for the sake of their careers supported the NazisCurriculum from the elementary through the university level fell in line with Nazi ideas; stressed character building and physical skills the Nazi way (volkisch themes)
14Book BurningsAcademics participated in the famous burning of the books by Jewish and anti-Nazi authorsScientists, writers, and artists joined the “national revolution” of the NazisTheologians made Christ an Aryan.
15Heinrich HimmlerDachau was the first concentration camp, established near Munich in 1933It was headed by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Bavarian political policeIt became a model for others. By the end of the summer, 30,000 Germans were held in concentration campsHimmler soon advanced to become the head of the SS and the police throughout the ReichKnowledge of concentration camps was a deterrent to any thought of opposition from all except the courageous
16Nazi GroupsGestapo – secret police that tracked down enemies of the regimeSS – original purpose was to serve as Hitler’s bodyguard; later took the SA’s placeSA (Brownshirts or Stormtroopers) – remember the first SA members were former Friekorps paramilitary members that was to:Discourage opposition withviolenceStaff concentration campsProtect the Nazi party
17Night of the Long Knives Hitler decided to get rid of some sources of oppositionHe feared Röhm might use the SA to seize powerSome SA members were still keen on the original ideas of the Nazis – a Socialist RevolutionThey wanted rich landowners and big businesses to be swept away or taken over
18Ernst Röhm Ernst Röhm, the leader of the SA, also clashed with Hitler Hitler wished to draw on the young stormtroopers (SA) who would be trained as a large armed force that could quickly augment the regular army in time of crisisRöhm wanted his Brownshirts to become the new German army. With him in charge, of course
19Getting Rid of the SAHe got his friends to compile hit-lists of disloyal SA men.Himmler (SS leader), Heydrich (Director of Gestapo and SS, Holocaust mastermind) and Goering (Second-in-command, at various points was commander of Gestapo and the Luftwaffe, economic minister…) were keen to do this.
20Night of the Long Knives June 30, 1934 The SS and the police arrest dozens of SA leaders.Many are shot dead in their homes, others are taken to camps for execution.Röhm is jailed, and shot the next day.Hitler even takes the opportunity to have von Schleicher, the ex-chancellor, killed.Over 1,000 opponents were killed.
21HindenburgOn August 2, 1934, Hindenburg dies. He was the only other man still more popular than HitlerAfter Hindenburg died, Hitler announced that the offices of president and chancellor were merged in one person, Hitler, who now became Fuhrer and Reich ChancellorThis violated Article 48, but the people approved through a plebisciteHitler also had the army on his side because he promised to increase the size of the army and provide it with modern equipmentAs a result, they took an oath of allegiance and loyalty to Hitler
22Hindenburg’s Burial - Tannenberg, East Prussia (today: Stębark, Poland) – His coffin was dig up as the Soviets approached and was later found by American troops at a salt mine
23The Führer Oath I swear by almighty God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedienceto the Fuehrer of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler,Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht,and, as a brave soldier,I will be readyat any timeto stake my lifefor this oath.