Chapter Notes and Summary
• Germany and First World War Germany had fought First World War against Allies (England, France and Russia).
1. However, it was defeated in 1918 and suffered great loss of life and property.
2. emperor of Germany abdicated and Germany became a republic known as Weimar Republic.
3. But Weimar Republic was weak and was ultimately replaced by Hitler who became dictator of Germany.
4. A humiliating and harsh treaty known as Treaty of Versailles was imposed on Germany by Allies.
5. Its overseas possessions or and colonies were taken away.
6. It was made to accept ‘war guilt’ and had to pay a huge compensation of £ 6 billion to Allies.
7. Allies also occupied resource rich Rhineland.
• Effects of First World War war had a devastating impact on Germany both psychologically and financially.
1. New Republic carried burden of War Guilt and national humiliation.
2. It was financially crippled by being forced to pay compensation.
3. Supporters of Weimar Republic, Socialists Catholics and Democrates, were attacked by Conservatives and Nationalists.
4. value of German Mark Fell. US Dollar was equal to 24,000 marks in April 1923 and by August, it was equal to 46,21,000 marks. Prices soared and there was an economic crisis in Germany.
• Hitler’s Rise to Power Hitler fought in First World War, became a corporal and won medals.
1. humiliating Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany made him angry.
2. In 1919, He joined ‘German Workers Party’. He took over its organisation and renamed it National Socialist German Workers Party. This party came to be known as Nazi Party.
3. During Great Depression, Nazism became a mass movement.
4. Hitler was a powerful speaker; with his words he was able to move minds of people.
5. He promised employment for those looking for work.
6. He promised a secure future for youth.
7. He won support of common people by promising to undo injustice of Treaty of Versailles.
8. He won support of landlords and industrialists by promising to oppose socialism and communism.
9. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate support for Hitler and develop a feeling of unity among people.
10. Red banners with Swastika and Nazi Salute were a part of show of power.
11. Nazi propaganda skilfully projected Hitler as messiah and saviour of people.
12. All those who opposed Hitler were sent to concentration camps.
• Hitler’s World View Nazi ideology was synonymous with Hitlers World view.
1. According to Nazi ideology there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy.
2. In this view, blond, blue eyed Nordic German Aryans were at top, while Jews were located at lowest rung and regarded as arch enemies of Aryans.
3. Hitler’s racism borrowed ideas from thinkers like Charles Darwin.
4. Herbert Spencor gave idea of survival of fittest.
5. Nazis argued that strongest race would survive and weak ones would perish.
6. Aryan race was finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate world.
7. Hitler believed in concept of Lebensraum or living space for German people. Therefore, he believed that new territories should be acquired for settlement of German people.
8. It would also enhance material resources and power of German State.
9. Nazis, in order to create a superior Aryan racial community of Germans, started to eliminate ‘inferior’ races like Jews, Poles and Gypsies.
10. Millions of Jews, Gypsies Blacks and even Russians and Poles were considered undesirables and were to be eliminated by putting them to death.
• Youth in Nazi Germany Hitler was greatly interested in youth.
1. He felt a strong Nazi society could be established only by teaching children Nazi ideology.
2. All schools were ‘cleansed’ and purified which means that teachers who were Jews or seen as ‘politically unreliable’
3. Children were first segregated and German and Jewish children could not sit together or play together.
4. Jews and undesirable children were thrown out of schools and later on killed in gas chambers.
5. Good German children were subjected to a process of Nazi schooling, a period of ideological training.
6. School text books were rewritten and Racial Science introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race.
7. Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler.
8. Youth organisations promoted spirit of National Socialism among youth.
9. Ten year old children had to join ‘Jungvolk’ and at 14 years of age all children had to join Nazi youth organisation
10. As members of Hitler Youth they learnt to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy and hate Jews and other undesirables.
11. youth around age of 18 had to serve in armed forces and enter one of Nazi organisations.
• Nazi Cult of Motherhood In 1933, Hitler said ‘In my state mother is most important citizen.’
1. Girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure blooded Aryan children.
2. Girls had to maintain purity of race, distance themselves from Jews and teach their children Nazi values.
3. All mothers were not treated equally; women who bore racially undersirable children were punished while those who produced racially desirable children were awarded and given concessions.
4. To encourage women to produce many children, Honour Crosses were awarded. A bronze cross for four children, silver Cross for six children and a gold Cross for eight or more children.
5. All ‘Aryan’ women who deviated from prescribed code of conduct were publicly condemned and severely punished.
6. Those who maintained contacts with Jews, Poles and Russians were paraded through town with shaved heads and blackened faces.
7. Many received jail sentences and even lost civic honour, their husbands and families for this criminal offence.
• Art of Propaganda Nazi regime used language and media with care and often to great effect.
1. Media was used to win support for regime and popularise world view.
2. Nazi ideas were spread through images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets.
3. Socialists and liberals were shown as weak and degenerate and attacked as foreign agents.
4. Propaganda films created hatred for Jews and referred to them as vermin, rats and pests.
• Ordinary People and Crimes Against Humanity
1. Many saw world through Nazi eyes and spoke their mind in Nazi language.
2. As they were influenced by Nazism they felt hatred and anger when they saw someone who looked like a Jew.
3. They marked houses of Jews and reported suspicious neighbours to Police.
4. They really believed that Nazism would bring prosperity and improve general well being.
5. Not all Germans supported Nazism.
6. Many Germans were afraid to oppose Nazism because they would be put to death for opposing Nazis.
7. Because of Nazi propaganda Jews themselves began believing in Nazi stereotypes about themselves like having hooked noses, black hair and eyes, Jewish looks and body movements.
• Knowledge about Holocaust Information about Nazi practices and atrocities had trickled out of Germany during last years of regime.
1. Only after Germany was defeated in Second World War, world came to see and realise horrors of what had happened to undesirables in Germany.
2. Jews wanted world to remember atrocities and sufferings they had endured during Nazi killing operations.
3. Many inhabitants wrote diaries, kept note books and created archives about Nazi atrocities.
4. When war seemed lost, Nazi leadership distributed petrol to its functionaries to destroy all incriminating evidence in offices.
5. memory of holocaust lives on in memories, fiction, memorials and museums in parts of world today.
Chapter Notes and Summary