The problems faced by the Weimar Republic were:
→ Versailles treaty: The Versailles Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War dispossessed Germany of its territories, its resources and its pride as a nation. He also had to pay 6 billion pounds as war compensation. In spite of the harsh terms, the Weimar Republic accepted the humiliating treaty, thereby making it unpopular amongst the German masses.
→ Economic Crisis: The German state was financially crippled due to overwhelming war debts which had to be paid in gold. Subsequently god reserves depleted and value of German mark fell. Prices of essential goods rose dramatically.
→ Political defects: The Weimar Republic was weak due to inherent constitutional irregularities such as proportional representation and Article 48 (which gave the President the power to impose emergency and rule by decree). The democratic parliamentary system seemed to give the people no solutions or benefits in the times of the severe economic crisis.
Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930 due to lot of reasons:
→ The most apparent being the Great Depression. The Weimar Republic did little to remedy the country's economic downfall, and Hitler was presented as a saviour to the humiliated German people living in economic and political crises.
→ The powerful speeches of Hitler in which he sought to build great nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty, restore the dignity of German people and provide employment for all stirred hopes in people.
→ Nazi propaganda was unique. Red banners with the Swastika, Nazi salute and the rounds of applause attracted the people making Nazism very popular.
The peculiar features of Nazi thinking were
→ A belief in racial heirarchy and Lebensraum or living space.
→ Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while the jews formed the lowest rung of the racial ladder.
→ They believed that only the strongest race would survive and rule.
→ New territories must be gained for enhancing the natural resources and power of Germany.
Nazi propaganda was effective in creating hatred for the jews:
→ The Nazis used the language and media effectively with great care. The racial theory put forward by the Nazis that the Jews belonged to a lower race and as such were undesirable.
→ The traditional Christian hatred for the Jews, because they were accused to have killed Christ, was fully exploited by the Nazis in order to make the Germans pre-judicial against Jews.
→ The Nazis injected hatred against the Jews even in the minds of the children from the very beginning during the days of their schooling. The teachers who were Jews were dismissed and Jews children were thrown out of the schools. Such methods and new ideological training to the new generation of children went a long way in making the Nazi’s propaganda quite effective in creating hatred for the Jews.
→ Propaganda films were made to create hatred for the Jews. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked. For example, one such film was‘The Eternal Jew’.
Explain what role women had in Nazi society. Return to Chapter 1 on the French Revolution. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the role of women in the two periods.
Role of women in Nazi society followed the rules of a largely patriarchal or male-dominated society. Hitler hailed women as "the most important citizen" in his Germany, but this was true for only Aryan women who bred pure-blood, "desirable" Aryans. Motherhood was the only goal they were taught to reach for, apart from performing the stereotypical functions of managing the household and being good wives. This was in stark contrast to the role of women in the French Revolution where women led movements and fought for rights to education and equal wages. They were allowed to form political clubs, and schooling was made compulsory for them after the French Revolution.