Ans. The media glorified trench life. The truth, however, was that soldiers lived miserable lives in these trenches, trapped with rats feeding on corpses. They faced poisonous gas and enemy shelling, and witnessed their ranks reduce rapidly.
Ans. Hitler was fanatically interested in the youth of the country. He felt that a strong Nazi society could be established only by teaching children Nazi ideology. This required a control over the child both inside and outside school.
Ans. From September 1941, all Jews had to wear a yellow Star of David on their breasts so that they can be segregated from German population. This identity mark was stamped on their passport, all legal documents and houses.
Ans. In 1919, he joined a small group called the German Workers’ Party. Hitler subsequently took over the organisation and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. This party came to be known as the Nazi Party.
Ans. Weimar Republic was not received well by its own people largely because of the terms it was forced to accept after Germany’s defeat at the end of the First World War. The peace treaty at Versailles with the Allies was a harsh and humiliating peace.
Ans. Polish children who looked like Aryans were forcibly snatched from their mothers and examined by race experts. If they passed the race tests they were raised in German families and if not, they were deposited in orphanages where most perished.
Ans. Nazism became a mass movement. As, after 1929, banks collapsed and businesses shut down, workers lost their jobs and the middle classes were threatened with destitution. In such a situation Nazi propaganda stirred hopes of a better future. By 1932, it had become the largest party with 37 per cent votes.
Ans. Occupied Poland was divided up. Much of north-western Poland was annexed to Germany. Poles were forced to leave their homes and properties behind to be occupied by ethnic Germans brought in from occupied Europe. Poles were then herded like cattle in the other part called the General Government, the destination of all undesirables of the empire.
Ans. Hitler pulled out of the League of Nations in 1933, reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, and integrated Austria and Germany in 1938 under the slogan, One people, One empire, and One leader. He then went on to wrest German-speaking Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia, and gobbled up the entire country.
Ans. Having acquired power, Hitler set out to dismantle the structures of democratic rule. A mysterious fire that broke out in the German Parliament building in February facilitated his move. The Fire Decree of 28 February 1933 indefinitely suspended civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly that had been guaranteed by the Weimar constitution.
Ans. On 3 March 1933, the famous Enabling Act was passed. This Act established dictatorship in Germany. It gave Hitler all powers to sideline Parliament and rule by decree. All political parties and trade unions were banned except for the Nazi Party and its affiliates. The state established complete control over the economy, media, army and judiciary.
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