Topic outline

    • Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

      Q94. ‘The Nazis established a racial state, once they come to power.’ Explain
      How the Nazis established a racial state after coming to power?

      Ans. Once in power, the Nazis quickly began to implement their dream of creating an exclusive racial community of pure Germans by physically eliminating all those who were seen as undesirable in the extended empire. Nazis wanted only a society of pure and healthy Nordic Aryans. They alone were considered desirable. This meant that even those Germans who were seen as impure or abnormal had no right to exist. Jews were not the only community classified as undesirable. There were others. Many Gypsies and blacks living in Nazi Germany were considered as racial inferiors who threatened the biological purity of the superior Aryan race. They were widely persecuted. Even Russians and Poles were considered subhuman, and hence undeserving of any humanity.


      Q95. What were the steps taken against the Jews between 1933-1939?

      Ans. The steps taken against the Jews between 1933–1939 were as follows:

      The Nuremberg Laws of citizenship of September 1935 was passed which had following clauses:

      1. Only Persons of German or related blood would henceforth be German citizens enjoying the protection of the German empire.
      2. Marriages between Jews and Germans were forbidden.
      3. Extramarital relations between Jews and Germans became a crime.
      4. Jews were forbidden to fly the national flag.

      Other legal measures included:

      1. Boycott of Jewish businesses
      2. Expulsion from government services
      3. Forced selling and confiscation of their properties.


      Q96. “The Weimar constitution had some inherent defects.” Explain.
      What were the inherent defects of Weimar Republic?
      What made the Weimar Constitution politically very fragile?
      How was Weimar republic politically fragile?
      What were the weaknesses of Weimar Republic?

      Ans. The Weimar constitution had some inherent defects, which made it unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship. The defects were:

      1. One was proportional representation. This made achieving a majority by any one party a near impossible task, leading to a rule by coalitions. 
      2. Another defect was Article 48, which gave the President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree. 

      Within its short life, the Weimar Republic saw twenty different cabinets lasting on an average 239 days, and a liberal use of Article 48. People lost confidence in the democratic parliamentary system, which seemed to offer no solutions.


      Q97. ‘By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the pinnacle of his power.’ Explain the statement with examples.
      ‘End of 1940 Hitler was at Pinnacle of his power.’ How can you justify the statement? 


      1. In foreign policy Hitler acquired quick successes. He pulled out of the League of Nations, reoccupied the Rhineland, and integrated Austria and Germany. He then went on to wrest German speaking Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia, and gobbled up the entire country.
      2. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. This started a war with France and England. 
      3. In September 1940, a Tripartite Pact was signed between Germany, Italy and Japan, strengthening Hitlers claim to international power. Puppet regimes, supportive of Nazi Germany, were installed in a large part of Europe. 
      4. By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the pinnacle of his power.


      Q98. What was the economic crisis of 1923? How did it affect Germany?
      Describe the impact of the economic crisis of 1923 on Germany.

      Ans. Impact of the economic crisis of 1923 on Germany

      1. Germany had fought the war largely on loans and had to pay war reparations in gold. This depleted gold reserves at a time resources were scarce. 
      2. In 1923 Germany refused to pay, and the French occupied its leading industrial area, Ruhr, to claim their coal. 
      3. Germany retaliated with passive resistance and printed paper currency recklessly. With too much printed money in circulation, the value of the German mark fell. 
      4. As the value of the mark collapsed, prices of goods soared. This crisis came to be known as hyperinflation, a situation when prices rise phenomenally high.


      Q99. Explain any three components of the ideology of the Hitler.

      Ans. Ideology of the Hitler

      1. Nazi ideology was synonymous with Hitlers worldview. According to this there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy. In this view blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while Jews were located at the lowest rung.
      2. Hitlers racism borrowed from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. He used their ideas to justify imperial rule over conquered peoples.
      3. The other aspect of Hitlers ideology related to the geopolitical concept of Lebensraum, or living space. He believed that new territories had to be acquired for settlement.


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