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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

Mein Kampf

1924 - 1929: A Golden era?

Gustav Stresemann

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

Propaganda

- Nazi Ideology

The Economy under the Nazi's

- Schacht

- 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 World War?

Education in Nazi Germany

Women in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust

- The Jewish Problem in 1933

- Kristallnacht

- Anti-Jewish Legislation

- Policy 1933 - 1937

- Origins of Anti-Semitism

 

Kristallnacht, "The Night of Broken Glass" (9-10 November 1938)

On November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed a wave of pogroms against Germany's Jews. In the space of a few hours, thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed. This event came to be called Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") for the shattered store windowpanes that carpeted German streets.

The excuse for this violence was the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, on the 7th of November 1938, by Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager whose parents, along with 17,000 other Polish Jews, had been recently expelled from the Reich. Though portrayed as spontaneous outbursts of popular outrage, these pogroms were calculated acts of retaliation carried out by the SA, SS, and local Nazi party organizations.

Stormtroopers killed at least 91 Jews and injured many others. For the first time, Jews were arrested on a massive scale and transported to Nazi concentration camps. About 30,000 Jews were sent to Buchenwald, Dachau, and Sachsenhausen, where hundreds died within weeks of arrival. Release came only after the prisoners arranged to emigrate and agreed to transfer their property to "Aryans."

Kristallnacht culminated the escalating violence against Jews that began during the incorporation of Austria into the Reich in March 1938. It also signalled the fateful transfer of responsibility for "solving" the "Jewish Question" to the SS.




There are important lessons to be drawn from Kristallnacht, for it served as a bridge experience for both Jews and Nazis. For the Jews, there was the terrifying realization that political anti-Semitism can lead to violence, even in Western countries. It also demonstrated that apathy can still pervade the world when the lives of Jews or other minorities are threatened. For the Nazis, Kristallnacht taught that while the world might condemn their pogroms, it would not actively oppose them. World opinion, however, taught the Nazis the value of secrecy in the perpetration of future actions against Jews. Added to the complaints of Germans offended by the random violence of Kristallnacht, the stage was set for the "Final Solution"--the organized, bureaucratically efficient genocide of 6,000,000 men, women, and children. In retrospect, Kristallnacht was more than the shattering of windows and illusions. It portended the physical destruction of European Jewry. As such, we must remember and commemorate Kristallnacht as a memorial and as a warning.

 

Essential Revision

Key Issues:

  1. How far did Germany recover under Stresemann?
  2. How did the Nazi party develop, upto 1929?
  3. How did Hitler become Chancellor?
  4. Howdid Hitler create a dictatorship?
  5. What were the main features of Totalitarian rule?
  6. What were the benefits of Nazi rule?

Full Germany revision section

 

 

 

 

   

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