9. The Time of World Wars
9.2.3 The Rise of Mussolini and Hitler

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This lesson contains 39 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 50 min

Items in this lesson

9. The Time of World Wars
9.2.3 The Rise of Mussolini and Hitler

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people in this lesson
Benito Mussolini
Adolf Hitler

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Hitler as a kid

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Hitler during WW1

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Nov 11, 1918: ARMISTICE
June 28,1919: Treaty of Versailles
Hitler would never accept this!

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Germany became a democratic Republic:
the Weimar Republic
1918 - 1933

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From now on,        laws were made by
the Reichstag:                the German parliament
Study the workings of a parliament (then and now) in the EXTRA lesson: 

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Reichstag, Berlin, 1922

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The Weimar Republic (1919 - 1933)
After the first general elections for the Reichstag in a democratic Germany, the largest party became: the Social Democrats (SDP, = like our PvdA), followed by the Liberals (= like our VVD) and the Catholics (= like our CDA).

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The Weimar Republic (1919 - 1933)
These parties all embrace freedom and democracy. That is why we say that they belong to the political center.

  • There were also political parties that hated democracy, for example:

  • communists (who wanted a country like the Soviet Union)
  • nationalists (who wanted Germany to be a strong empire again)

  • These undemocratic groups we call extremists.

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The Stab-in-the-back Myth
a story created by extremist right nationalists:

The German army did not lose WW1.
Germany was betrayed by democratic politicians who signed the Armistice and later the Treaty of Versailles.

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The Stab-in-the-back Myth

Hitler also believed 
that communists and especially the Jews
were part of this plot against Germany and its army.

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Hitler in politics

In 1919 Hitler joined a nationalistic party, the Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (DAP)

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Hitler in politics

The DAP was
- anti democratic
- anti communist
- anti-semitic (= anti-Jewish)

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Hitler turned out to be a good speaker.

He practised his expressions and gestures in front of a mirror.

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In 1920 Hitler became the leader of the DAP. He changed the name into N.S.D.A.P. He also used the swastika as the party's new symbol

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NSDAP: National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei.

Or in short: the Nazi Party
Members were called "nazis"

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1923: the Nazis try to seize power in Munich by force.
This is called a Putsch or Coup (staatsgreep)

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Why a Putsch in 1923 ?

  • In 1922, Mussolini successfully seized power in Italy. Hitler was inspired by this.

  • In 1923, Germany suffered from a hyper inflation, causing millions of Germans to lose all their money. 
    Hitler believed that the                German people were now            so desperate that they                  would support him

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Germany was forced to pay 132 billion goldmarks to the Allies

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Causes and effects of the Hyperinflation of 1923

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When Germany could not pay, the French occupied the Ruhr area to take resources as payment.

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German miners went on strike. 
The Weimar government promised to pay their wages.

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To keep paying the wages the government printed extra money.
Result: the value of the money decreased, causing inflation

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In months the inflation spiralled out of control: hyper-inflation.
Money was worthless. People lost all their savings.

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Slide 28 - Video

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The Munich Putsch fails and Hitler is arrested. He is sentenced to 9 months imprisonment.

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In prison, Hitler writes his book Mein Kampf (my struggle) in which he outlines his political ideas.

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Slide 32 - Video

In short, his ideas and plans are:

  1. reverse the Treaty of Versailles
  2. rebuild Germany's armed forces
  3. unite Germany and Austria
  4. extend German territory into eastern Europe (Lebensraum)
  5. destroy communism
  6. the Germanic race (aryan race)  is superior (= the Master Race)

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One arrow is actually missing.

And it benefits the USA.


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WAR reparations
WAR debts payments

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Results Plan Dawes:

  • German economy recovered from 1924 till 1929.

  • Extremist parties lost in popularity.

  • Until 1929 the Nazis remained a small party.

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Put the events in the correct chronological order
Munich Putsch
Start hyper inflation
Germany becomes a Republic
Treaty of Versailles
Hitler writes Mein Kampf
Mussolini's March on Rome
French occupy the Ruhr

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