Germany thinks it can win the war by blow on the Western Front before US fully involved in the war (send troops).
Ludendorff planned and launched great German offensive on Western Front
Western Front Offensive failed
by now, clear the offensive had failed.
Ludendorff and Hindenburg accept defeat and demand the German government negotiate armistice with Allies to end war.
must protect honour of the German Army > hence, stab-in-the-back legend. (Germany becomes republic in order to be able to negotiate Armistice - blamed for defeat, rather than Army > leads to resentment of Weimar republic).
Kaiser Wilhelm II
leaves Germany in exhile to Holland. Never sees Germany again
Must abdicate for armistice
High Command give power back to Reichstag + civil politicans > so military can avoid having to make the peace and remain honour
Prince Max > as war ends, Germany is in process of becoming democratic so can negotiate w/ 3 democratic powers (UK, US, FR)
German civilians shocked > believed to be winning
-food shortages + betrayal = unrest + hopelessness in G.
(Note) Allies not prepared to negotiate until democracy
end of WWI
First Freikorps set up?
The November Criminals
The name given to the German poltiicians who signed the Armistice on Nov 11. 1918
Noske's Freikorps suppress uprising
Note: Spartacist's (left wing) treated much worse than right wing/centre (Freikorps)
Elections for New Gov. held
First meeting in new Weimar Gov.
Scheidemann becomes Chancellor
Friedrich Ebert becomes first President
Scheidemann gov. resigns rather than sign Treaty of Versailles
allied blockade on Germany lifted
Treaty of Versailles
-German's not allowed to participate in peace conference
-presented w/ terms of ToV May 1919
- protested but G gov. agreed to sign 28 June 1919
- hatred of treaty > all classes (diktat or imposed peace)
-created long term bitterness > all governments from 1919 > tried to evade.reverse terms of ToV
- Weimar R and democracy = weakened because always associated w/ ToV > constant theme used by oppositions of WR.
-economic provisions of ToV weakened G's ability to restore economy,
Hitler joins gov.
Hitlers rise to power began when Hitler joined the political workers party (DAP - Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
NAZI is created
1920, Hitler is placed in charge of the propaganda for DAP, thus, completely leaving the army to improve his position in the army.
As part of his work, he renames the party Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NAZI)
immediate cause = government's attempt to carry out military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles
first attempt to seize power by the elements of the radical right + exposed weaknesses of government whose president and elected leaders had been forced to flee capital.
revealed growing power of the army within the state. (prepared to protect state from threats from left but not right)
Invasion of the Ruhr
France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr, as the region, full of factories/coal mines contained resources that French/Belgians needed to use to make up for unpaid reparations.
Munich Beerhall Putsch
Nazi party = large enough to attempt to seize power in Bavaria
Hitler + followers attempted to seize control - detained leaders of -
Bavaria at political rally in Beerhall 8 November 1923
Putsch failed - army refused to back attempt
defiance = 9 November Nazis march centre Munich - demo broken up by police
-Hitler arrested for treason - trial in 1924 - promotes party + views
5 years in prison but now a national figure
The Golden Years
1924 - 1929 were the 'Golden Age of Weimar' because of their stability, economic security and improved living, in relation to previous years.
THIS WAS ALL DUE TO FOREIGN LOANS AND THE NEW RENTENMARK. Stresemann gov.
middle class were bankrupt > 1923 hyperinflation + did not enter golden age w/ strength and didn't benefit from changes
White collar workers did not enjoy wage rises and did not have access to benefits of Weimar Welfare state
The Dawes Plan
Announced 1924 (formulated 1923?): to take Weimar Germany out of hyperinflation and return the economy to some form of stability in order for the war reparations to be able to be paid off.
A 1925 (began writing in 1924) autobiographical book by Hitler, describing the process by which he became anti-Semitic and outlines his political ideology + future plans for Germany.
It encompasses his world view.
released 18 July 1925
Fall of Brüning Government
Increased nazi seats to 230 > largest party in the government > Hitler should legally be given Chancellorship?
More Reichstag Elections
Papen governed w/ Article 48.
New Reichstag elections decreased Nazi vote
Papen dismissed. Schleicher becomes Chancellor.
Schleicher tried to split Nazis by offering vice-chancellorship to other dude.
Papen + conservatives plan to bring Nazis and Nationalists into government w/ them as part of coalition. They believe they can control Hitler.
Hitler becomes Chancellor
Hinenburg overcomes opposition towards Hitler and after much persuasion, appoints Hitler as Chancellor w/ von Papen as vice president? or Vice -chancellor
The Concentration Camps
place where people who were seen as opponents of the regime were confined, usually under harsh conditions and w/o recourse to the law,
the 1st concentration camps came into being w/in days of Hitler in power in 1933. These ones were first used to detain political opponents such as communists.
6 Major Concentration camps:
April: Boycott of Jewish Business throughout Reich
Law against overcrowding of German Schools removes many Jewish students from schools
Law for restoration of a professional public service began removal of Jews from positions in gov.
'Aryan only' policy adopted in German sporting clubs
Reich Chamber of Culture
September: Reich Chamber of Culture established. Jews gradually excluded from cultural life of the nation.
Hereditary Farm Law prohibits Jews from owning farm lnd.
Miltary Service Act
May: 'Aryan descent' becomes prerequisite for military service
Nuremberg Laws Announced
September: The Reich Citizenship Law (deprived all German Jews of citizenship) and the Law for the Protection of German blood and honour (prohibited marriage between Germans and Jews).
November: The government defines what it means to be a Jew (identified not by religion but by the blood/descent of their grandparents)
Olympic Games Berlin
August: Anti-Semitic activity deliberately reduced for duration of the games.
SS leader Heydrich
June: secret directives from Heydrich provided for 'protective custody' for all 'defilers of race'.
1937: anti-semitic activity increases massively.
all Jews expelled from School
Exclusion from Economic life
April: Process of excluding JEws from economic life began. All Jewish wealth exceeding 5000 marks had to be registered
June: 1500 Jews with any police record (including traffic violations) were arrested and sent to the concentration camps
All Jewish doctors removed from medical register and were only permitted to treat Jewish patients
All Jewish businesses had to be registered
Jewish Lawyers + names
all Jewish lawyers deprived of their right to work
all Jews were required to add the names 'Sarah' or 'Israel' to their names
All Jews were required to have the letter J stamped in red in their passports
Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass)
the destruction of Jewish synagogues + property across Germany. 20 000 male Jews were arrested.
Jewish community fined 1 billion (30 billion reichsmarks) for damage
new regulations excluded jewish population from theatres, concerts halls, cinemas, parks, swimming pools, restaurants and holiday resorts
Jewish children totally excluded from German schools
restrictions were placed on the ownership of pets by Jews
the most violent outburst against Jews
SA + SS troops in normal clothes w/ approval from Nazi leadership systematically burnt and smashed Jewish property across most of Germany.
about 20 000 Jewish men were arrested in the days following.
the takeover of 'Aryanisation' began of all Jewish businesses
Jews were required to surrender driver's licenses and were not permitted to travel in certain zones of major cities
Outbreak of WWII
Prohibitions on Jews
forbidden to appear out of doors after 8pm
forbidden to own wireless sets
Einsatzgruppen in the East
-special units formed within the SS with sole purpose of killing Jews
- German army advances in Russia, Einsatzgruppen operate w/ absolute authority
- formed under Reinhard Heydrich
-majority victims = Russian Jews or captured political leaders
-most shot + buried in mass graves
Law w/ Yellow Star of David
All jews had to wear yellow star of David on clothing
- could not travel beyond local community w/o written police permit
- if did travel, only allowed to occupy third-class section on trains
Heydrich calls a secret conference w/ 15 senior gov. officials and SS officals at Wannsee (suburb in Berlin) to discuss technical details for the 'final solution'.
- The Wannsee conference met for the purpose of finding ways to expand the slaughter and make the killings more efficient. e.g. extermination camps
From 1942 Jews from all over Europe were transported east, usually in cattle trains to the extermination camps that had been built between 1941-42.
new regulation forces Jews to hand over family pets