NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 3 - Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Chapter 3 - Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Exercise 74
After imperial Germany's defeat at the end of the First World War, King Kaiser William II escaped to Holland to save his life. The Parliamentary parties seeing this as an opportunity, met at Weimer and on November 1918 established a Republic popularly known as 'Weimer Republic'. This Republic was not received well by the Germans. It was mainly because of the terms which the Republic was forced to accept by the Allied Forces after the German defeat in the First World War. The Republic had to face many problems some of which are listed below:
- The Republic was forced to sign a peace treaty at Versailles in June 1919, which was too harsh and humiliating. As per the treaty, Germany lost its overseas colonies, 13% of its territories, 75% of its iron and 26% of its coal reserves to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania. Also, the Allied Powers demilitarized Germany to weaken its powers. So, from the very start, this Republic was defamed and had become unpopular among its own people.
- Germany had largely fought war on loans. They had to pay huge war compensation of 6 billion pounds in gold to the Allied Countries. With all its resources depleted, the Republic was not able to repay such a huge amount. Thus, many Germans held the new Weimer Republic responsible for agreeing to these conditions. Also, the new Republic had to face a tough opposition from the neighbouring countries as they occupied its leading industrial area, Ruhr to claim the coal reserves.
- Because of its weak position, those who supported the republic such as Socialists, Catholics and Democrats became easy targets of attack in the Conservative Nationalist Circles. They were mockingly known as the 'November criminals'.
- Because of the resistance of the Allied Powers, Germans could not become a member of the League of Nations till 1925. This resulted in more bitterness in Germany, and particularly, for the Weimer Republic.
- The economic recession of Germany was being retrieved with the aid of the US. However, it withdrew its support after the Great Depression. The situation worsened in Germany. Everywhere there was devastation, starvation, unemployment, total despair among the youth and humiliation everywhere. By 1932, industrial production was scaled down to 40%, over 6 million people lost their jobs and inflation rate was high. Thus, political radicalisation was only heightened by the economic crisis.
- The birth of the Weimar Republic coincided with the Russian Revolution. Soviets of workers and sailors were established. Many people demanded soviet style of governance.
Thus, the Weimer Republic had to face too many difficulties since its inception.
Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930 because of a variety of reasons. These are as listed below:
- The Nazis capitalised on the feeling of national humiliation which many Germans felt at their defeat in war and unjust provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.
- The Republic was not received well by the people of Germany as it failed to provide stable government. It also failed to inspire faith in the democratic principles of the parliamentary government. This helped the Nazis to exploit reality and popularise Nazism.
- After the defeat in First World War, Germany was forced to sign a peace treaty at Versailles. The provisions of this treaty were harsh and humiliating for the Germans because the various terms of this treaty made the Germans sacrifice much of its territories, colonies, natural resources and military power. All of this fuelled anger, bitterness and desire for revenge among the Germans. This created a feeling of sheer dissatisfaction among the people of Germany and it ultimately led to the rise of Hitler's Nazism in Germany.
- After being defeated in the First World War and being economically hit by inflation and unemployment, the situation worsened in Germany. The Nazis took advantage of these circumstances and exploited the misery of people. They played with the minds and emotions of the people and made them believe that Nazism would definitely improve their condition.
- Democracy was a young and fragile idea which during that time did not have the capability to create faith in the parliamentary governance/institutions. People preferred prestige and glory to liberty and freedom because they thought that Hitler would whole-heartedly fulfill their dreams.
- Failure of the various parties such as Nationalists, Royalists, Communists and Social Democrats to solve their problems gave Hitler the opportunity to spread Nazism.
- Hitler's personality played an important role. The people of Germany got attracted toward and inspired by the speeches given by Adolf Hitler.
The peculiar features of Nazi thinking are listed below:
- The people existed for the State rather than the State existing for the people.
- There was no equality between people, but there was only a racial hierarchy. From this point of view, the blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the summit, while Jews were located at the lowest rung.
- It favoured the end of all types of parliamentary institutions, and only faith in rule of a great leader.
- It adorned war and glorified the use of force. It aimed at uniting the people of German use to form a greater country and conquer the rest of the world.
- The Nazis hatred towards the Jews crossed all boundaries as they terrorised, pauperised and segregated the Jews, compelling them to leave the country. They also ghettoised and killed them in gas chambers.
- Children, from a very young age, were trained both inside and outside of school with strong Nazi ideology. They were taught to worship Hitler and hate Jews.
- Females were regarded as completely different from men as they were seen as mere bearers of Aryan culture.
- The Nazi party considered Germany superior to all other nations and wanted to have her influence all over the world.
Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews because of the following reasons:
- The Hitler had created a position for himself, wherein the Germans started to consider him as their 'messiah'. They started to believe Hitler just by his words. This created wonders, and the Nazi propaganda against the Jews proved successful.
- The Nazis exploited the fact that the traditional Christian hated the Jews because they were accused to have killed Christ. This made the Germans pre-judicial against Jews.
- The Nazis effectively used language and media with great care to put forward the Nazis theory that the Jews belonged to a lower race and were undesirable.
- Even children, from a very young age, were injected with hatred against the Jews. Jew teachers were dismissed and Jew children were thrown out of schools. This ideological training given to children proved quite effective in creating hatred against Jews.
- Propaganda films were made to incite hatred for Jews. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked, e.g. 'The Eternal Jew'.
This propaganda cut across all sections of the society and ages of the society and made people judgemental toward Jews.
Germany followed the rules of patriarchal or male-dominated society. In 1933, Hitler said, 'In my state the mother is the most important citizen.' However, in Nazi Germany, all mothers were not treated equally. It was only for Aryan women who bore Aryan pure blood desirable children.
Women were considered radically dissimilar from men. While boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel-hearted, girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children. They had to maintain the purity of the race, and distance themselves from the Jews. They had to be the bearers of the Aryan culture and race and had to look after the homes and teach children the Nazi values. They were encouraged to bear many desirable children. They were favoured and given concessions for various things. Honour crosses were also awarded to them. If the Aryan women deviated from the prescribed code of conduct, they were publicly condemned and severely punished. Hence, all women were not treated equally.
However, in other parts of Europe, there was an absolute contrast in the role of women. In France, women were actively participating in democratic struggles. They formed clubs for protest and were involved in violent uprisings. They also fought for their rights to education and equal wages. They were politically more aware of their rights and were brave enough to demand them.
Thus, while women in France were progressive and upbeat, women in Germany were retrogressive.
Nazi state sought to establish full control over its people by
- Dismantling democratic institutions and building a totalitarian form of government to project communism, socialism and democracy as great enemies.
- Suspending the civic rights like freedom of speech, press-ad association guaranteed by the Weimar Constitution.
- Banning of all political parties and trade unions except for Nazi party and its affiliates.
- Banning of all political parties and trade unions except for the Nazi party and its affiliates.
- Creating special surveillance and security forces like Gestapo and vesting them with extra constitutional powers.
- Providing employment through state funded work creation programmes.
- Glorifying war and choosing the path of war as a way out of economic crises.
- Debating that the strongest race would survive and the weak one would perish.
- Blaming Jews for national humiliation in World War I and targeting them as the cause of the misery of the people and undertaking genocidal war against Jews.
- Subjecting the youth to an intense period of Nazi ideological training both inside and outside school.
- By careful and deceptive use of various propaganda mediums to control the minds and emotions of people.
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