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Hitler and Nazi Germany

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1 Hitler and Nazi Germany
Recovering from the humiliating loss of WWI and from the Great Depression, Germans found extremist parties more attractive. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party promised to build a new Germany, and his party’s propaganda appealed to the German sense of national honor. The new Germany that Hitler envisioned did not include any group the Nazis considered inferior, especially the Jewish people.

2 Hitler and Nazi Germany
Main Idea: Adolf Hitler’s ideas were based on racism and German nationalism.

3 Hitler’s Life Adolf Hitler Born in Austria on April 20, 1889.
Unsuccessful in school, he traveled to Vienna to become an artist but was rejected. It was in Vienna that he developed his ideas about society and politics. At the core of his ideas was racism, especially anti-Semitism. Hitler was an extreme nationalist who understood how political parties could effectively use propaganda and terror.

4 Hitler’s Life Adolf Hitler
He served 4 years on the Western Front during WWI. At the end of the war, he remained in Germany and decided to enter politics. 1919, he joined the German Worker’s Party It was an extremist nationalist party in Munich. By 1921, he had taken control of the party. The party was renamed the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi for short). 55,000 in the party and 15,000 in the militia.

5 Hitler’s Life Adolf Hitler
He staged an armed uprising against the gov’t. in Munich in Nov The uprising was crushed and Hitler was sentenced to prison. During his brief stay in jail, he wrote a book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), an account of his movement and its basic ideas. Mein Kampf links extreme German nationalism, strong anti-Semitism, and anticommunism together by a Social Darwinian theory of struggle. This theory emphasized the right of superior nations to lebensraum through expansion. It also upholds the right of superior individuals to gain authoritarian leadership over the masses.

6 Rise of nazism While in prison, Hitler realized that the Nazis would have to attain power by legal means, not a violent overthrow of the Weimar Republic. The Nazi party would have to compete against other political parties for votes. After he was released, he expanded the party to include 800,000 members. Became the 3rd largest party in the Reichstag-German Parliament. Hitler promised a new Germany that appealed to militarism and nationalism. These ideas struck an emotional chord in his followers.

7 The Nazis Take Control After 1930, the industrial leaders, land owning aristocrats, military officers, looked to Hitler for leadership. March 23, 1933, 2/3rds of the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act. This law gave the gov’t. the power to ignore the constitution for 4 years while it issued laws to deal with the country’s problems. Hitler became a dictator appointed by parliament itself.

8 The Nazis Take Control The Nazis quickly brought all institutions under their control. They purged the civil service of Jews. They set up prison camps called concentration camps for people who opposed them. Trade unions were dissolved. All political parties except the Nazis were abolished. The German President, Hindenburg died in 1934. Hitler was appointed Chancellor and established a totalitarian state in 1933. Germans called him Fuhrer, or Leader.

9 The Nazi State, Hitler wanted to develop an Aryan racial state that would dominate Europe and possibly the world for world for generations to come. Aryan is a term used to identify people speaking Indo-European languages but the Nazis misused the term by treating it as a racial designation and identifying the Aryans with the ancient Greeks and Romans and 20th century Germans and Scandinavians. Nazis thought the Germans were the true descendants and leaders of the Aryans and would create another empire like the one ruled by the ancient Romans. Nazis believed that the world had already seen two German empires, or reichs: the Empire of , and the Holy Roman Empire. It was Hitler’s goal to create a Third Reich, the empire of Nazi Germany.


11 The State and Terror Schutzstaffeln (Guard Squadrons), known as the “SS”, were an important force in maintaining order. It was originally created as Hitler’s personal bodyguard. Under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, the SS came to control the secret and regular police forces that Himmler had set up. The SS was based on 2 principles: terror and ideology. Terror included the instruments of repression and murder-secret police, criminal police, concentration camps, and execution squads. Himmler’s chief goal of the SS was to further the Aryan master race.

12 Economics and Spectacles
Hitler used public works projects and grants to private construction firms to put people back to work and end the Depression. Unemployment in 1932= 5 million 1937= 500,000 The regime claimed full credit for solving Germany’s economic problems. Nazis used mass demonstrations such as meetings called Nuremburg rallies that were held every Sept. to evoke masse enthusiasm and excitement. They also controlled churches, schools, and universities.

13 Women and Nazism Women’s role was to bare the children of the Aryan nation. Women working in heavy industries might hinder women from baring healthy children. Certain professions: teaching, medicine, law were also considered unsuitable. Women were encouraged to pursue social work and nursing.

14 Anti-Semitic Policies
Sept. 1935, Nazis announced new racial laws at the Nuremburg rally. Nuremburg laws= definition of a Jew was anyone with even one Jewish grandparent. Jews were no longer German citizens with no civil rights and they could not marry a German citizen. They could not take part in the arts. They were required to wear yellow stars of David and to carry identification cards saying they were Jewish.

15 Anti-Semitic Policies
Nov.9, 1938-Kristallnacht Nazis burned synagogues and destroyed some 7,000 Jewish businesses. At least 100 Jews were killed. 30,000 males were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Jews were barred from public transportation and all public buildings included schools and hospitals. They were forced to clean up the debris and damages. Some Jews were lucky enough to escape from the country after this.

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