Recent Event Highlights: Hitler Becomes Fuhrer, Hitler Becomes Dictator of Germany, Hitler Named Chancellor of Germany, Hitler Named Leader of the Nazi Party, Nazi Party is Formed, Hitler Joins German Workers' Party, and 20 more...
Created by svgorlin on Feb 15, 2011
Last updated: 02/15/11 at 06:39 PM
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BLOCK 6 This massive coordinated attack on Jews throughout Germany marked the beginning of deadly Nazi radicalization attacks - Herschel Grynszpan, a 15 year old Jew, went to Paris to live with his uncle for protection o He applied for permanent citizenship in France but got rejected – “he was unwanted anywhere because of his Jewish ancestry” o His sister Esther wrote a letter detailing how Nazi police instructed his parents to leave Germany before the 29th (we do not know how far that was from when the police instructed them), and did not allow them to return home to gather any belongings - “Driven half-mad with sorrow and anger over all that was happening, Herschel decided to commit a radical act of violence to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Jews” o He purchased a gun in Paris, rode the subway to the German embassy, told office employees that he had important papers to show Ernst Vom Rath, then once alone with Vom Rath shot 5 bullets – one hit his shoulder, another on the lower left side which eventually caused Vom Rath’s death due to internal organ damage - Joseph Goebbels, 2nd in command to Hitler for Nazis, saw the Paris shooting as a chance to inspire Germans to attack Jews by “seeking vengeance” o Goebbels announced Vom Rath’s death to at a dinner with Nazi SA troops and Party leaders→ his main message was that they needed to make it look like common civilians started an uprising instead of the Nazi party → attendees of the dinner rushed to phone officers and spread the news, but something got “lost in translation” and the streets were filled with SS men, Hitler youth, and street punks.. • They “broke into Jewish homes, beat up and murdered Jewish men and terrorized Jewish women and children” • “Jewish shops and department stores had their windows smashed and contents wrecked” (hence the The Night of Broken Glass – broken windows=broken glass) , Torah scrolls were burned in the streets, cemeteries and synagogues were destroyed • Lasted from the night of the November the 9th until the morning of the 10th - “An estimated 2,500 Jews perished from beatings on the street, incarceration in the camps, and from numerous suicides that occurred” o Yet the Germans showed indifference towards the prosecution of the Jews, meaning that Hitler succeeded in eliminating Jews and gaining popular support at the same time o However, before this event small pro-Hitler groups existed in Britain and the U.S., but after there were none - Soon after, decrees forbidding Jews from having any social contact with Germans, excluding them from schools, public transportation, and hospitals were put into place -> all Jews essentially had the leave the country o All Jewish property was also transferred over to Germans because Germans agreed that Jews should be billed for the damage from the 9th/10th and that insurance $ was confiscated by the government This event gives insight into German citizens at the time - unaffected by the persecution surrounding them - and the cruelty of German officials who planned out this act of injustice. The Night of Broken Glass served as the spark to ignite a Nazi terror attacks and exposes the false motives behind their future attacks. BLOCK 7 October 17th • Around 17,000 Polish Jews were expelled from Germany on orders of Reinhard Heydrich, second-in-command of the SS. • Of the families expelled was the Grynszpan family. 17-year-old Herschel was not with his family as he was in Paris during the expulsion. • Herschel was proud of his Jewish heritage was interested in the troubles of his family and the half-million Jews still living in “Greater Germany”. • Hershel had become, like his family, a “man without a country”. • Hershel, depressed about the expulsion and unfairness of it all and also recent news that his family had been left with only the clothes they packed, decided to commit a radical act of violence. • November 7th • He bought a gun and got on the subway to the German embassy. He pretended to have important documents and got a meeting with Ernst vom Rath, the most junior embassy official on duty that morning. Hershel shot vom Rath. • November 9th • Ernst von Rath died at a hospital. • This day was also the annual re-enactment of the Veer Hall Putsch, where every year on November 9, “veterans of the 1923 Putsch gathered to retrace the same steps they had taken in their failed attempt to overthrow Germany’s democratic government”. • Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels recognized the shooting as an opportunity. Goebbels had a deep-rooted hatred for Jews and for years he had been spewing propaganda about Jews being the “mortal enemy of Germans”. • Hitler, furious, allowed Geobbles to do something about the events. • Goebbles spoke in front of a mass of German leaders and the effect, instead of being a civilian outrage against the Jews as Hitler and Goebbles intended, was a government-led attack on Jews • Civilians tried to stay out of the rampage while Jewish men, women, and children were attacked and Jewish-run stores were torn down. • Jewish people were sent to concentration camps and hundreds of Synagogues went up in flames or were vandalized. • The “many thousands of broken plate-glass windows resulted in the term Kristallnacht or Night of the Broken Glass” to describe the events of that night. • Reactions • The masses showed indifference to the actions taken out on the Jews, and those who were outraged knew to keep their mouths shut. • Outside Germany the outrage could not be silenced. • The radical anti-Semites did not care what the world thought o Some even thought that the Jews should pay for the expenses that occurred from the Night of the Broken Glass • HERSHEL GRYNSZPAN spent time in “various Nazi prisons and concentration camps, and vanished without a trace” The significance of this event is that this was the event that the Nazis used to spring their movement against the Jewish peoples. It also shows how many millions of people just stood there watching all the desperation of the Jews take place and how nations outside of Germany were shocked at the events.
BLOCK 7 During the 19 months between the initiations of Hitler’s control to the start of WWII Hitler cunningly attempted to expand the borders of his empire. • Victim Number One: Dr. Kurt Von Schuschnigg, Chancellor of Austria o At the meeting at Hitler’s hilltop residence Hitler forced the chancellor to remove any obstacle in Hitler’s way. Hitler directly attacked the chancellor essentially stating if Austria continued to prove a disturbance they would be “blown to pieces”. He convinced the chancellor that no other country had the power to fight the Nazi’s and come to their aid. Schuschnigg was taken back from the events and decided he would consider signing if Hitler agreed to stop intervening in Austria’s internal affairs. Hitler stated that either Schuschnigg signs the agreement or the Nazi’s would invade Austria. The Chancellor caved, and agreed to sign however stated that he was unsure of whether a strong-minded Austrian president would agree to the terms. This was one example of Hitler’s many meetings with foreign diplomats. Any diplomat that attended the meeting would always be at a disadvantage, as Hitler would always go to the extremes. Chancellor Schuschnigg took the offer back to President Miklas of Austria yet he disagreed to the terms as expected. In response Hitler ordered his General to conduct a few military maneuvers along the border of Austria to give off the impression that the invasion was imminent. The bluff work and President Miklas gave in agreeing to all terms. Nazi’s would receive amnesty in Austria and a personal General of Hitler’s would have control of all Police actions in Austria. Hitler gave a speech in Berlin stating their new control over Austria. The Nazi’s of Austria took the streets praising their leader. Schuschnigg retorted with a speech of his own stating that Austria had given up enough but would never give up it’s independence. Hell broke lose in Austria. Political turmoil led to economic turmoil. A poll was being raised upon whether Austria should remain independent from Germany and Hitler was not happy about this. He used any aid he had including that of Benito Mussolini to justify his invasion. Any prominent governmental positions in Austria were slowly being given up to Nazi leaders including The President and the Chancellor. The invasion of Austria occurred with easy as there was little resistance because of fear. News traveled around the world and many countries rejected and dismissed the news. France’s internal issues disallowed them from intervening in Austria. On March 13th Hitler drafted the law, which united Austria and Germany. As of that date Austria was on longer a country and was part of the German Reich. Hitler held a plebiscite in response to his newly acquired land, and 94% agreed most of whom were fearful that they would be persecuted if they gave their true response. “Hitler had taken Austria without firing a single shot”. The thought of Germany’s power sent tremors throughout the world
BLOCK 6 Ever since the Nazis came in power in 1933, the Jews of Germany dealt with a series of discriminatory laws, prohibiting Jews to do many things. Hitler considered Jews to be the “mortal enemy” of Germany. Ordinary citizens were encouraged to take part in spontaneous anti-Jew actions. Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess ordered a stop to these spontaneous anti-Jew actions, not to protect the Jews, but to prevent conflict between party members and the political police. During the 1935 Nuremberg Rally, a special session of the Nazi Reichstag (legislator) was scheduled for the last day, where Hitler planned to deliver a major speech. On short notice, Hitler canceled the speech because his Foreign Minister suggested it was a bad idea. The cancellation of the speech left a question of what event was going to occur during this time at the special Nuremberg session. Radical anti-Semites suggested to Hitler that this time would be an ideal opportunity to announce the new laws concerning Jews. Hitler agreed to announce the new laws at this time forbidding intermarriage and sexual relations between Jews and Germans. The first law was the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935 stating; “A subject of the State is a person who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich…” “A citizen of the Reich is that subject only who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that his is both desirous and fit to serve the German people and Reich faithfully.” The second law was the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, September 15, 1935 stating; “Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are forbidden…” “Sexual relations outside marriage between Jews and nationals of German of kindred blood are forbidden,” “Jews will not be permitted to employ female citizens of German or kindred blood under 45 years of age as domestic servants,” “Jews are forbidden to display the Reich and national flag or the national colors…” and that punishments will be put into place if these laws aren’t obeyed. The Nuremberg Laws resulted in a lot of confusion and debate among Nazi bureaucrats. Nazis created charts to help bureaucrats distinguish the different degrees of Jewishness. Nazi bureaucrats disagreed on the strictness of the Nuremberg Laws, but radicals thought that all Jewish influence should be gotten rid of. At this time, the Nazis had to stay away from any more actions against Jews because they were afraid of weakening Hitler’s credibility on the world stage, which he was struggling for.
BLOCK 7 Hitler’s greatest threat during the Third Reich came from his own brown-shirted storm troopers (the SA), led by Ernest Rohm. At first the Brown shirts helped Hitler come to power, but they then wanted to replace the traditional German army. The Brown Shirts began to bolster with gangster behavior and ruthless tactics that eventually became a problem that now threatened Hitler’s political survival and the entire future of Nazi Germany. February 1934, Hitler had a meeting with the SA, and had them agree to not be a military force in Germany but would instead be limited to certain political functions. Rohm later spoke of his true feelings about the agreement, and basically spoke out against Hitler to his Brown shirts and proclaimed the SA “Te National Socialist Revolution”. After a huge conference between Hitler and the SA, Hitler met with President Paul von Hindenburg, who told Hitler that if he didn’t resolve the problems with the SA, than he would declared martial law and let the German Army take over the country. Hitler’s loyal army, the SS, started to spread rumors of Rohm going to overthrow Hitler, but Hitler had trouble declaring war on his old comrade and army that served him so well. June 28th, when Hitler was at a wedding, Himmler (an SS leader) called him by telephone and told him they faced threat from the SA. Hitler feared of losing everything, so he put the SS on full alert. When Hitler got news of disobedient demonstrations happening back in Munch, he came back and put Rohm and other SA leaders under arrest. Rohm and other SA leaders were known homosexuals, so this was used as a partial excuse for their executions. Hitler then called for a full fledge purge for his SS to go out and kill any SA members. Rohm was given a gun with one bullet and ten minutes to commit suicide, but he refused. Rohm and many other SA leaders were shot dead by SS members. Immediately after the purge, Hitler received a congratulatory telegram from President Hindenburg. Not only had Hitler eliminated the Brown shirt threat, but now he proclaimed himself to be the supreme judge of the German people, in effect placing himself above the law. Then in the summer of 1934, President Paul von Hindenburg dies, and now there was nobody standing in Hitler’s way of absolute power.
BLOCK 7 Just recently before he met the president Paul von Hindenburg, his beloved niece had committed suicide in which he went into a state of depression. He later emerged out stronger than before almost falling in to his severe depression. Hindenburg wasn’t impressed with his rambling on, telling him that he isn’t suited for a high position such as chancellor. He later proved him wrong. In 1931, Hitler marked this time of the start of his political rampage which created him in the image of the Führer of Germany. The “squabbling among the numerous political parties resulted in an ineffective gov’t”. Vulgar and rowdy behavior disrupted proceedings regularly. The Germans were desperately looking for someone to end the depression that was now two years old. They needed relief from the personal suffering brought on by it. Still millions unemployed and businesses were failed. Starvation and homelessness were possibilities for anyone. People started to fight in streets, killing each other in the chaos creating mass hysteria. In mass numbers, people turned to Hitler with his promises of a better future. In 1932, there was suppose to be an election but Hindenburg didn’t want to run again. Hitler began looming in the background as a possibility in being the leader. If Hindenburg couldn’t live out the rest of his term, Hitler would have a closer chance of doing so. Hitler received an invitation to Berlin for the discussing of extending Hindenburg’s term. He was happy to be a part of it, this was his chance to gain some power. Hindenburg agreed to run again, but so did Hitler. “Freedom and Bread” was his slogan used with great effect. Hitler was given mass attention opposing to Hindenburg. Hindenburg did nothing about relying on if the Germans truly want him back as president. Germans saw the Nazis as the present future. Hitler won 11 million votes which was 19% lower than Hindenburg, but Hindenburg didn’t win the absolute majority he needed. This sparked Hitler’s vigorous campaign in April 1932. Hitler tried to get Rohm accused of abusing underage males. Unfortunately for Hitler he didn’t have enough evidence to get the case going. This was in an attempt to override the party. Hindenburg did less this time, he made no speeches which sparked rumors of ill health. On April 10, 1932, the people voted, giving Hitler 36% of the votes while Hindenburg received 53%. He was now elected (Hindenburg) to once again another 7 year term. Kurt von Schleicher an Army officer, thought that he may soon rule over Germany. The German Republic was unbalanced, unsteady, as “the teetering Old Gentleman leading it and up against Schleicher and Hitler, was soon to be buried”.
BLOCK 7 In 1930 Hitler and his Nazi group started a campaign for power, giving many powerful speeches, signing autographs, taking pictures and attending meetings. Hitler started a campaign that turned him into a celebrity, making himself popular in Germany. The importance of this is that once he gained popularity during this time of depression after World One War had just taken place. The key to his success was the fact that when he gave his speeches, he gave to the people what they needed the most which was encouragement. Since he used his speeches for encouragement for the people, this gave the people a better reason to have the motivation to trust him in power. He “skillfully played on the emotions of the audience bringing the level of excitement higher until the people wound up a wide-eyed, screaming, frenzied mass that surrendered to his will and looked up to him” essentially almost as Godly. The people already had the upmost respect for him and he had the power over the people before being elected. He offered someone to everyone which gave the people comfort in knowing that he would take care of their situations. When he created the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, he appealed to every class of the Germans, in which he gained nationwide support. His main goals in this party were to “Make Germany strong again; end payment of war reparations to the Allies; tear up the treaty of Versailles; stamp out corruption; keep down Marxism; and deal harshly with the Jews”. In his goals was a contradiction, in which he says he wants to stamp out corruption, but ends up almost destroying an entire race. The Nazi Party became the second largest political party in Germany. In light of this achievement, he had now become internationally known, and in the media across the world. He was consistently asked to be interviewed, and was asked questions to find the true meaning in his speeches. He became an international superstar/figure/celebrity. In the celebration of being elected, Nazi troopers smashed windows of Jewish shops, restaurants and department stores. This indicated what was to come in the future, a negative sign for the Jews.
BLOCK 6 • German economy was especially valuable since it was built on foreign capital (loans from America) • German workers were laid off and bank failed throughout Germany • Hitler was determined to overthrow government legally by getting elected o Broadened his appeal for the party from World War I veterans to upper middle class socialites • By mid-1930, German democratic government was beginning to unravel • German people were tired and desperate and willing to listen to anyone, even Hitler At the beginning of The Great Depression, the German government began to unravel, providing a great opportunity for Hitler and the Nazi Party to gain widespread support
BLOCK 6 • Hitler described quiet years between 1926-1929 as happiest time of his life • During the quiet years, Hitler found an ideal house, where he lived and waited for the right time to assert the superiority of the Germans, acquire more land, like Lebensraum (living space), and deal with the Jews and Marxists • In 1926, Hitler became supreme leader (Fuhrer) or the Nazi party and settled any rivalries or disagreements within the party • Some upper class socialites were drawn to Hitler, so he was able to enjoy their money and attention • The Party was growing slowly, and Hitler, who was still on parole, faced possibility of deportation back to Austria • Joseph Goebbels- rose quickly in the Nazi hierarchy; talents for speech making, organizing, and propaganda o Highly educated and had a Ph.D o Quickly became infatuated with Hitler o Sent to Berlin to get Nazi party noticed. Party membership grew. • At this time, economy was strong, inflation was under control, people were working, so there wasn’t a need for the Nazi party o When The Great Depression began, Hitler knew his time had come During the quiet years, Hitler patiently waited for an opportunity to assert the Nazi Party in Germany
BLOCK 7 The war reparations forced by the Allies caused inflation in Germany, and political groups began rebellions. Hitler took charge and took over the beer hall, forcing people to accept Nazism as their new government. People in beer hall accepted his as leader, but not everyone did. State Commissioner Khan banned Nazism, but Nazis still marched into Munich, 16 Nazis killed and 3 policemen killed. It seemed as though the Nazi revolution had failed. • Allies of WWI presented Germany with a war reparations bill that caused inflation in Germany. • Germans had lost their life savings, groceries cost billions, hunger riots broke out • German government defaulted on payments, and the people stood by the government, but not for long • Unrest ensued, and extremist political groups broke out making Germany mass chaos. • Nazi members demanded action by Hitler, and they established a plot to force high officials to accept Hitler as ruler • Specifics of the plan included kidnapping people during a large gathering in a Munich beer hall • Hitler entered the hall and shot a gun to silence the crowd • He proceeded to say that he is now in charge, and the other parties have been removed • Hitler took the three highest officials into a back room and forced them to proclaim the Nazis as their leaders, however they refused • Hitler ran back to the hall and said that the Nazis are now in power, forcing the citizens to believe the three high officials had given in • People supported Hitler in the beer hall • Hitler went to the barracks and proclaimed his power to the soldiers, but they didn’t support him • State Commissioner Khan broke his promise to Hitler and commanded the breakup of Nazism • Hitler was desperate for a plan, and Ludendorff said to just march into Munich, nobody would fire at them because of Ludendorff’s WWI fame • The police met the Nazis in the center of the Munich, and shots were fired, Hitler’s bodyguard saved his life • Hitler taken to prison, and it appeared Hitler’s political career and Nazi movement had come to an end
BLOCK 6 • Book was never written, it was dictated to Rudolf Hess while Hitler was in prison from 1923-1924 • Mainly discussed early days in the Nazi Party, future plans for Germany, and ideas on politics and race • Original title= “Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice”, title later became Mein Kampf (My Struggle) • Hitler divides humans into categories based on appearance, higher and lower orders, and types of humans o At the top is the “superior” Aryan race- blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin o “Racially inferior”= Jews, Slavics, Czechs, Poles, and Russians • States that all human culture was created by the Aryans • Says that people benefit from being conquered by Aryans o Learn from them o Only benefit if the Aryans remain the “absolute master” and don’t intermarry with conquered peoples • Book provides explanation for Hitler’s military conquests o Due to the fact that Aryans are the master race, they are entitled to more land (specifically Russia) • Mein Kampf was first released in 1925- it sold poorly • Once Hitler became Chancellor, millions were sold • Hitler eventually expressed regret for writing this book
BLOCK 6 • Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party o Invitations were sent to friends o Invitations were printed at a stationary store • Those invitations only brought a couple people o Advertisement in an anti-Semitic newspaper in Munich • More people came • Hitler gave an emotional speech o Convinced German Workers’ Party to feature Hitler as the main attraction at its meetings o Railed against the Treaty of Versailles o Delivered anti-Semitic tirades – blaming Jews for Germany’s problems • Attendance increased at meetings • Money from donations from the meetings was used to buy more advertising and print leaflets • Hitler took charge of propaganda and recruited men from the army o Aided in recruiting efforts by Army Captain Ernst Rohm – vital role in Hitler’s eventual rise to power • Munich soldiers and ex-soldiers joined for adventure and revenge • Mass meeting arrange – two thousand people showed up o Hitler went through the Twenty Five Points and got approval from crowd • Points offered union of all Germans, rejection of Treaty of Versailles, demand for additional territories for German people, citizenship determined by race with no Jew o be considered a German, religious freedom except religions which endanger the German race • Hitler chose a symbol – swastika – when placed inside white circle on a red background = powerful which gained popularity for the Party • Hitler included term National Socialist into the name of the Party and soon called Nazi for short. Basically, the more they advertised and the more they told their followers what they wanted to hear, the more support they got and the more the movement began to spread across all of Germany. The bigger the Party got, the bigger the effect of Hitler’s speeches and actions.
Adolf Hitler started off as a corporal and was ordered to investigate a small group in Munich known as the German Workers’ Party. The term ‘workers’ brought attention to the German Army, which was now on a mission to crush Marxist uprisings. Dressed in a disguise, Hitler went to a meeting of the party. After their speech was over, Hitler was about to leave when a man spoke up, in favor of the German state of Bavaria breaking away from Germany and forming a new South German nation with Austria. Hitler became angry and spoke out forcefully against the man, when one of the founders of the party said that he has the “gift of the gab” and that they can use him. Hitler received a pamphlet called “My Political Awakening” and was invited to come back to a meeting again. As Hitler read it, he was pleased to find people sharing the same interests as him: building a strong nationalist, pro-military, anti-Semitic party of working class people. A few days later, Hitler received a postcard stating that he’s accepted into the party. For a while, he was hesitant to join but thinking over all of these ideas he admired, he decided to join the committee and this began his political career.
During the Armistice in World War I, the German army was allowed to remain intact and didn’t need to admit defeat by surrendering. The U.S. General said it would be better to have the German generals admit defeat so there would be no doubt, however the French and the British were convinced that Germany wouldn’t be a threat again. Adolf Hitler became obsessed with the ‘Stab in the Back’ theory, in which the people at home would betray you, and he loved to blame it on the Jews and Marxists in Germany for undermining the war effort. To Hitler, German politicians who signed the Armistice would become known as the “November Criminals”. After the Armistice, Germany was now a republic and the German Empire came to an end. The German Republics constitution included equality for all, political power in the hands of the people, political minority representation in new Reichstag, an elected cabinet and chancellor, and an elected president by the people. Germany also held much chaos as Communists, Socialists and even innocent bystanders were murdered. During this chaos, the Allies signed the Treaty of Versailles and Germany was blamed for the cause of the war. Germany also had to give up land to France and Poland. This seemed to humiliate Germany. This may have been the rise of Hitler as he and many other Germans wanted Germany to once again take its place in the world as a strong nationalist government. Corporal Hitler then became an undercover agent in search for Marxist influence within political organizations. He was pointed out as a great speaker, resulting in him having a job of lecturing returning German prisoners of war. During all of this, he discovered that he could speak well in front of an audience, get their attention and even make them understand his point of view.