Weimar and Nazi Germany
The Weimar Constitution
The impact of the Treaty of Versailles
1919 -1923: years of crisis?
The Munich Putsch
The Origins of the Nazi Party
1924 - 1929: A Golden era?
German Foreign Policy 1919 to 1933
Germany in the Depression
The Rise of the Nazi party
- Why did people vote for Hitler?
From Chancellor to Fuhrer
The failures of Weimar
Creating a totalitarian state
Nazi methods of control
- Organisation of the Nazi Party
- Obedience to the Fuhrer
Opposition to the Nazi's
- Nazi Ideology
The Economy under the Nazi's
- The 2nd 4 Year Plan
- Evaluation of the 4 Year Plan
- How successful was the policy of Autarky?
- German Labour Front
- Dr Robert Ley
Nazi Foreign Policy
- Did Hitler plan to have a Second
Education in Nazi Germany
Women in Nazi Germany
- The Jewish Problem in 1933
- Anti-Jewish Legislation
- Policy 1933 - 1937
- Origins of Anti-Semitism
At first the Nazi policy was gradualist and opportunist. It is also fair
to say that the policy was confused and haphazard. For example, the April
Boycott (1933) against Jewish shops and businesses were not universally
accepted and adhered to. Yes, there were a number of shoppers targeted
and humiliated but they were still small in number.
The early motions and pronouncements against the Jews gave no hint or
indication of what was to come over the next 12 years. Still, Hitler waited
until he had a firm grip on power and the reigns of government before
getting 'heavy' with minorities and the Jews.
* The passing of the Enabling Law (1933), passed after alleged burning
of the Reichstag by Communists, gave Hitler the opportunity to remove
opposition outside the Nazi party and to establish labour camps. These
early Concentration Camps, detentions centres, were a sinister signal
of how sedition and subversion would be responded to.
* The events of the the Night of the Long Knives gave Hitler the opportunity
to purge (eliminate, remove) the Nazi party of the uncommitted and any
who could challenge him for authority of the party.
After 1934, policy could be tightened. Radicals on the far right were
still waiting for Hitler to come down harder on the Jews and make good
the promises he had made in his electioneering of the early 1930s.
* 1933: April Laws and the Jewish Boycott
* 1933: (April) expulsion of all Jewish Civil Servants
* 1933: (July) Law passed for the sterilisation of the ill and infirm.
* 1933: (Sept) Jews banned from visiting or owning farms - fear of contamination
* 1934: Germans were encouraged to sack Jewish workers and to replace
them with "honourable and loyal" Germans.
The consequences of increased pressure upon the Jews in Germany at this
time had many and varied consequences:
* Many German Jews were inspired to leave and migrate to other countries.
In the period 1933-38 150,000 did in fact leave (c.30%)
* Many German Jews moved from the smaller communities to the larger cities
for protection and collective security.
* 350,000 preferred to take their chances and remain rather than lose
their homes and possessions. Additionally, German Jewry were highly assimilated
and integrated into German society and culture. They believed themselves
to be true Germans.
* Anti-Semitism was a characteristic of being a Jew in Germany. Why had
so few Jews left by 1939? In essence, many did not believe that German
despise and hatred would have leapt to the levels it would. They had through
periods of civil unrest, legalised pogroms and political violence before
and that had passed. This would also - they hoped.
The passing of the Nuremberg Laws certainly changed the complexion and
reactions of many Jews in Germany. (See this website's notes on the Reaction
and Consequences of the Nuremberg Laws)
The 1936 Olympic year appears to have brought a period respite and quiet
for the Jews. It was not to last long. For immediately after the closing
ceremony, anti-Jewish signs and slogans that had been removed for the
Olympics were returned.
* 1936: (Aug) Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler appointed in change of
Jewish emigration and Jewish policy
* 1937: (Feb) Small German towns begin expelling Jews to the larger centres
in order to announce themselves Judenrein, "Jew Free".
* 1937: (Sept) Hitler attacks Jews for property mongering - forces all
Jews to register their wealth and property.
* 1938: (March) Anschluss. 180,000 extra Jews.
* 1938: (Jun-Sept) Series of laws against the Jews - Jewish doctors, lawyers
and dentists forbidden to treat Aryan patients or clients. Jews excluded
and sacked from commercial interests. Businesses must be Aryanised. Jewish
men to add middle name of "Israel" and women "Sarah".
Jews banned from public concerts, parks, trams, cinema and theatre.
* 1938: (Nov) Kristallnacht
* 1938: (Nov) Jews excluded from economic life. Jews banned from competing
for commercial and building contracts. Jews banned from owning businesses.
Jews excluded from schools, universities and sporting fasicilities
* 1939: (Jan) Hitler refers to the annihilation of the Jews for the first
time in a Reichstag speech.
* 1939: (Feb) Hitler tells Czech Foreign Minister that he is going to
destroy the Jews
It is, of course, inconceivable to imagine what would have occurred by
1939 would have emerged from a modern, educated and technological society
such as Germany. Who could have predicated the events of war?
In Mein Kampf listed Hitler's major policy ambitions - he made no disguise
of his contempt and hatred for the Jews. Policy aims included:
* Lebensraum - Living Space
* Rebuild Military and the Navy
* Jewish Question - initially expulsion, later......(?)
* Master Race
- How far did Germany recover under Stresemann?
- How did the Nazi party develop, upto 1929?
- How did Hitler become Chancellor?
- Howdid Hitler create a dictatorship?
- What were the main features of Totalitarian
- What were the benefits of Nazi rule?
Full Germany revision