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By the fall of the Weimar Republic and rise of the Nazi Party, Germany became known as Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. During this time, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis controlled all aspects of German life.
See the fact file below for more information on the Nazi Germany or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Nazi Germany worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE MAN: ADOLF HITLER
- Born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn near the Austro-German frontier, Adolf Hitler spent most of his childhood in Linz, in Upper Austria.
- In 1908, when his mother died, young Adolf moved to Vienna where he began to like politics and art.
- By 1913, he transferred to Munich, a German state of Bavaria and served as a volunteer in a reserve infantry regiment during the First World War.
- In October 1914, Hitler was sent to Belgium. After the war, he received two decorations for bravery, one of which was the Iron Cross First Class.
- After the war, like many Germans, Hitler felt dissatisfied with the policies of the Weimar Republic. He then began his political career as a member of the Nazi Party. In 1920, he orchestrated the party’s propaganda which later moved him up the ladder.
- Aside from being a great propagandist, Hitler was very charismatic which attracted many new members and support from the party’s leaders.
- In 1923, after leading a failed revolution in Munich against the Weimar Republic, Hitler was placed on trial for treason and sent to prison.
- Despite being sentenced to five years, Hitler only spent 9 months in prison where he wrote his autobiography entitled Mein Kampf. This work articulated his ideology of Aryan racial superiority.
- Prior to Hitler’s chancellorship, Hindenburg’s chancellors failed to maintain control.
- In 1932, Hitler ran as president against Paul von Hindenburg and was defeated.
- In 1933, at the age of 43, he was chosen by his former opponent as chancellor of Germany, which also gave birth to the Third Reich.
GERMANY AFTER THE WAR
- The end of the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles caused German resentment against the Weimar Government. Under the treaty, Germany had to give up vast territories they once ruled in Europe. Moreover, the document made them accountable for the cost of the war, thus, required them to pay reparations.
- As a result, the German economy had been stretched to its limits as rebuilding on their own was difficult and was made even more difficult by the reparations they had to pay.
- The Weimar Republic established in 1919 ended in 1933 with the rise of the Nazi Party. The Republic was weakened by its own inability to solve political conflict within Germany (Social Democrats and the Communist Party) and Article 48, which gave the president absolute power in case of emergency.
- Economic and political instability drove many Germans to the brink of despair and eventual support of the Nazi Party, which were definite in their view of bringing back the German glory.
- In February 1933, the Reichstag was burnt into ashes. By March 23, the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler full power and authority over Germany, was passed.
THE NAZI STATE
- In July of the same year, the Nazi Party became the only political party in Germany eliminating others by coercion and intimidation.
- Intimidation and elimination of political opponents were done by Hitler’s SA, Gestapo, and later the SS. They were special intelligence agencies that were tasked to secure the safety of Hitler and other high Nazi officials. Moreover, their duty was to track down opposition.
- Another feature of the Third Reich was propaganda. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was often heard by the German people on radio indoctrinating the Nazi ideals.
- Among their main objectives were Aryan supremacy and anti-Semitism.
- In addition to public speeches, the ministry also held mass rallies to highlight Nazi ideals.
- In 1935, Hitler ordered the construction of the Autobahnen organized by the National Labour Service. As a result, unemployment in Germany went down to 1 million.
- Moreover, Hitler’s agenda of rearmament also created jobs for the Germans. However, salaries were kept low and trade unions were abolished.
- Under the Weimar Republic, women already sought improvements in terms of voting rights and professional jobs. However, under the Nazis women were primarily seen as the key in securing the Aryan race.
- Women were expected to live for the children, kitchen, and church or the three Ks (kinder, küche, and kirche).
- The policy of Lebensborn was imposed by the Nazis in which pure Aryan women were encouraged to have children with a pure Aryan SS. Marriage of pure Aryan men and women was also rewarded for every child they produced.
- Aryan women were prohibited from using cosmetics and doing activities such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and physical activities that would deteriorate birth rate.
- In addition to restrictions in social life, German women were discouraged from working and were expected to stay at home and attend the family.
- For the young, boys were trained as soldiers (Hitler Youth) while girls (League of German Maiden) were prepared for motherhood.
- Given the Nazi ideology formulated by Hitler, they treated minority groups as subhumans or inferior race. Groups included Jews, gypsies, Poles, people with disabilities, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s witness, and Afro-Germans.
- The Nazis believed that subhumans should be exterminated to keep the Aryan race pure. In 1933, the Jewish population in German was targeted. The Nazis particularly used sterilization, and concentration and death camps to exterminate minorities.
- Hitler utilized the Final Solution in concentration and death camps primarily built in occupied Poland after the invasion. Among the camps were Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Chelmno, and Auschwitz.
- Historians believed that over 2 million people were murdered in the Auschwitz complex alone. Most were gassed to death, while other were shot or hanged. Due to forced slave labour and unsanitary conditions, many suffered diseases and died later.
- Derived from the Greek words holos (whole) and kaustos (burned), the Holocaust was used to describe the systematic murder of European Jews.
CONSEQUENCES OF WWII
- In reaction to the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on September 3, 1939. Upon his invasion of Poland, Hitler was publicly negotiating with the Allied Powers, but secretly planning an invasion of France.
- During the war, Germany was under rationing of food, clothing, and other basic necessities. The German diet during the war was mainly composed of bread, potato, and preserves.
- Between 1942 until the end of the war, German industrial cities were subjected to area bombing by the British RAF Bomber Command. An estimated 61 German cities were bombed destroying 3.6 million homes and killing about 300-400,000 Germans. Many were left as refugees.
- During the war, Hitler ordered the transport of prisoners as slave labourers. After the war, about 11 million ethnic Germans were displaced in many parts of Eastern Europe.
- From 1945 to 1946, the Nuremberg Trials persecuted those who were responsible for the Holocaust.
- On April 30, 1945, when the Nazis were at the brink of defeat, Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun committed suicide through cyanide poisoning.
- Berlin fell under the Soviets on May 2, 1945. By May 7, the Germans announced their surrender.
Nazi Germany Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Nazi Germany across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Nazi Germany worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the fall of the Weimar Republic and rise of the Nazi Party, when Germany became known as Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. During this time, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis controlled all aspects of German life.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Nazi Germany Facts
- The Man Named Hitler
- A Nazi State
- Germany After the Wars
- Building Words
- Nazi Propaganda
- Minorities on the Run
- Power Policies
- Nazi Women
- European Domination
- Among the Leaders
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Use With Any Curriculum
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