2.5 Hitler's Dictatorship -T-

2.5: Hitler's dictatorship

AGE 9. The Time of World Wars
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This lesson contains 45 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 5 videos.

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2.5: Hitler's dictatorship

AGE 9. The Time of World Wars

Slide 1 - Slide

Last week you learned what a parliament is.
Before we continue, you need to know what a government is.

So, let's recap a little.....

AGE 9. The Time of World Wars

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What is a parliament again?

Slide 3 - Mind map

What does a parliament do?

Slide 4 - Mind map

In a democracy power is not in the hands of 1 person.
Power is divided into 3 equal branches.

What do we call the "separation of powers" again?

Slide 5 - Mind map

Which power does parliament hold in the Trias Politica
(or in any democratic state)?
judicial power
absolute power
legislative power
executive power

Slide 6 - Quiz

Which of the following does NOT belong to parliament?
1e & 2e Kamer
peoples' representatives
prime minister

Slide 7 - Quiz

What was the name of the German parliament during the Weimar Republic?

Slide 8 - Quiz

So, parliament "makes the laws".
But it has another function within the Trias Politica.

Which one?
execute the new laws
check the government
prosecute people who break the law
appoint the king

Slide 9 - Quiz

  • in a democracy power is separated into 3 equal branches.
  • parliament is the legislative power: it makes the laws.
  • parliament is elected by the people. It is therefore "the peoples' representatives".
  • The other two branches are the executive and judicial power.
  • The executive power is the government.
  • But what is a government?

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  • the government is a small group: ministers, led by a prime minister.
  • This group is mostly referred to as the cabinet.
  • The cabinet's task is to execute parliament's laws.
  • A new cabinet is formed after the (parliament) elections.
  • The winning party of the elections has the first choice to form a cabinet and appoint the (prime) ministers from its own party.

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  • So:     government = cabinet =  ministers (+ prime minister)
  • With a majority support in parliament a cabinet can pass its own plans / ideas as new laws.
  • In Germany the prime minister is called the "chancellor" (kanselier)
  • Hitler wanted his nazi party to win the Reichstag elections.
  • He would then become chancellor.
  • He could then start to execute his own plans.....

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Slide 16 - Video

What is a parliament again?

Slide 17 - Mind map

lesson 2.5: Hitler's dictatorship.
main question: How did Hitler seize power, then destroy democracy and strengthen his position to turn Germany into a totalitarian Nazi state?
Subjects in this lesson:
1933: -Hitler becomes chancellor.
          -Reichstag fire
         - new elections, March: overall majority, enables him to pass:
          -the Enabling Act in parliament: power to rule without                        parliament
1934: -Night of the Long Knives: getting rid of critical people                       within the S.A.
          -Hitler becomes FÜHRER (leader): absolute power.

Slide 18 - Slide

lesson 2.5: Hitler's dictatorship.

Nazis start to turn Germany into a totalitarian state (nazification):
                          - nazis control of media and culture
                          - propaganda and cult of personality
                          - racial ideology, indoctrinate children /                                                     education
                          - terror: SS & Gestapo, concentration camps

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After 1929: Thanks to the crisis, Hitler’s party grew.

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Reichstag elections July 1932
Nazis (brown) are largest parties, but don't have an overall majority

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Jan. 1933, Hitler is appointed "chancellor"....

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...but the nazis don't have an overall a majority in parliament.
And that is what Hitler wants.

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When the Reichstag building is set on fire by a communist,
Hitler seizes the opportunity...

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Hitler declares communists state enemies and organises new elections, using propaganda and terror.

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the S.A. (Sturm Abteilung) = nazis in uniforms.
They arrest communists and intimidate voters

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Reichstag elections March 1933
Nazis (brown) , together with another nationalist party, have an overall majority

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With a majority support in parliament Hitler proposes a new law: 
the Enabling Act

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This law gives Hitler the power to rule without parliament!
Hitler now has dictatorial powers.

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To strengthen his power, Hitler needed to get rid of "critical" members of his own S.A. (sturmabteilung)

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SA leaders wanted more political influence.
Hitler did not want to share any power.

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Hitler turns to his elite bodyguard troops: the SS to help him 

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During the "Night of the Long Knives" the SA is purged by the SS.
Hitler claims he has prevented an "SA coup".

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Two months later president Hindenburg dies.
He was the last remnant of the Weimar republic.

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Hitler succeeds Hindenburg, combines his office "chancellor" with 
that of "president" into a new title: FÜHRER

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Night of the Long Knives

After Hitler came to power, he started to ‘purify’ the Nazi Party. For a long time, he wanted to get rid of some party members who focused too much on the socialist aspect of the ideology. Now that Hitler controlled the government, he ordered his notorious personal lifeguards, the Schutzstaffel (SS), led by Heinrich Himmler, to eliminate all Nazi-members who had opposed or questioned him. Many leading SA figures (brownshirts) were murdered in cold blood. This event on 30th June 1934 was later called the Night of the Long Knives.
Hitler was now in full control of the Nazi Party. When president Von Hindenburg died on 2nd August 1934, Hitler cancelled the office of president and proclaimed that he now combined the presidency and Reichskanzler in the position of Führer. Hitler now ruled Germany alone, as a dictator.

  1. What happened during the Night of the Long Knives and how did this help Hitler to gain even more power?
  2. How did Hitler become Führer?

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Hitler relied on an effective system of propaganda to gain full support of all Germans. He wanted totalitarian control over every aspect of life and society. To drive this nazification, he appointed his loyal friend Joseph Goebbels as Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbels was able to control the press, radio and film; he developed sophisticated ways to influence and even control the minds of the people. Goebbels was well aware of the power of radio broadcasting on people and encouraged the production and distribution of cheap radios to make sure everyone could hear his and Hitler’s speeches. People were even forced to listen to these speeches at work. To promote Aryan art production that was in line with the Nazi ideology, all artists such as painters, sculptors, writers and filmmakers were forced to become members of the ‘Chamber of Culture’.

  1. What was the function of propaganda for Hitler?
  2. What means of propaganda were used?
  3. How did Hitler make sure all arists and media would only propagate Nazi art and Nazi messages?

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Führer adoration

The propaganda proved to be effective: Hitler managed to unite the German people through a shared history and offered them a way to feel proud of their country again. Most important of all, he delivered on his promise to give them jobs. He ordered the building of a network of highways, created jobs in the war industry and hired unemployed men as soldiers. He was ignoring the Treaty of Versailles. Using techniques of indoctrination, deliberately putting certain ideas into people’s heads by repeating them again and again, he persuaded many Germans to perceive him as the saviour of their nation. He developed a huge cult of personality around himself. Even Germans who had not voted for the Nazi Party started to believe in Nazi ideology. Besides, everyone who was against Hitler was punished.

German girls cheer Hitler, who is passing by in an automobile, during a Nazi Party parade
  1. What measures did Hitler take to make the Germans idolise him?

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But Hitler wanted more; he was keen on making sure all children were educated as good Nazis. To achieve this, the school system was reformed. First communists, socialists, Jews and all other teachers that opposed Nazi rule, were fired. Race studies were introduced as a new school subject and students were taught to become nationalistic, aware of race differences, willing to fight for Germany and to obey the Führer’s orders without question. All teenagers from 10 to 18 years of age were forced to join the Hitler Youth. This organisation tried to indoctrinate the German youth, to make them believe in racism and prepare them for a soldier’s life.

  1. What measures did Hitler take to turn children into good nazis?

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Terror and concentration camps

In 1925, the highly-trained SS personnel became Hitler’s personal bodyguards. From 1934 onwards, when Hitler got rid of the SA, the task of the SS was to defend the national-socialist state and eliminate all its opponents. In 1934, the Gestapo was founded, the Nazi secret police. At the start of Hitler’s rule, ten thousand of Communists had been arrested, many after the Reichstag Fire. Prisons soon proved to be too small and so many of the prisoners were send to abandoned areas. Here wooden barracks were set up, surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers. The SS took command of these concentration camps. At first, political adversaries, such as critical teachers, journalists and members of different political parties were locked up. But soon Hitler also ordered people who were inferior, according to his racial doctrine, to be send to these camps: Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and disabled people were sent prison, tortured and mistreated. Most of them did not survive.

  1. What were the SS and Gestapo used for?
  2. Which two groups were locked up in concentration camps?

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