Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Q100. Explain Hitler’s foreign policy.
Describe Hitler’s foreign policy before the Second World War.
Write a short note on Hitler’s foreign policy.
What was Hitler’s foreign policy?
Ans. In foreign policy also Hitler acquired quick successes.
- He 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.
- In all of this he had the unspoken support of England, which had considered the Versailles verdict too harsh.
- These quick successes at home and abroad seemed to reverse the destiny of the country.
- Hitler chose war as the way out of the approaching economic crisis. Resources were to be accumulated through expansion of territory.
Q101. Mention the reasons for economic crisis in 1923.
Mention any three factors which contributed to the economic crisis.
Ans. The three factors which contributed to the economic crisis faced by the Weimar Republic in 1923 were:
- 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.
- In 1923 Germany refused to pay, and the French occupied its leading industrial area, Ruhr, to claim their coal. Germany retaliated with passive resistance and printed paper currency recklessly. With too much printed money in circulation, the value of the German mark fell.
- 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.
Q102. How the youth organisations were made responsible for educating German youth in the ‘spirit of National Socialism’?
Ans. The youth organisations were made responsible for educating German youth in the following ways:
- Ten-year-olds had to enter Jungvolk.
- At 14, all boys had to join the Nazi youth organization Hitler Youth where they learnt to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy, and hate Jews, communists, Gypsies and all those categorised as undesirable.
- At 18, they had to enter the Labour Service. Then they had to serve in the armed forces and enter one of the Nazi organisations.
- The Youth League of the Nazis was founded in 1922. Four years later it was renamed Hitler Youth.
- To unify the youth movement under Nazi control, all other youth organisations were systematically dissolved and finally banned.
Q103. Explain the three fold plan of Hitler to consolidate the Nazi power, after becoming the Chancellor of Germany.
Ans. Suspension of rights: 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.
End of communism - Then he turned on his archenemies, the Communists, most of whom were hurriedly packed off to the newly established concentration camps. The repression of the Communists was severe. They were, however, only one among the 52 types of victims persecuted by the Nazis across the country.
Enabling Act - 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.
Q104. How was Nazi ideology taught to the youth in Germany? Explain
Ans. Nazi's ideologies were taught to the entire population of German children in the following manner:
- Good German children were subjected to a process of Nazi schooling, a prolonged period of ideological training.
- School textbooks were rewritten. Racial science was introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race. Stereotypes about Jews were popularised even through maths classes.
- Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews, and worship Hitler.
- Even the function of sports was to nurture a spirit of violence and aggression among children. Hitler believed that boxing could make children iron hearted, strong and masculine.
- Youth organisations were made responsible for educating German youth in the ‘the spirit of National Socialism’.
Q105. Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Ans. Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews:
- Media was carefully used to win support for the regime and popularise its worldview.
- Propaganda films were made to create hatred for Jews. The most infamous film was The Eternal Jew. They were shown with flowing beards wearing kaftans. They were referred to as vermin, rats and pests. Their movements were compared to those of rodents.
- Jews had been stereotyped as killers of Christ and usurers.
- Teachers who were Jews or seen as politically unreliable were dismissed. Subsequently, undesirable children Jews, the physically handicapped, Gypsies were thrown out of schools.
- Stereotypes about Jews were popularised even through maths classes. Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews, and worship Hitler.