Topic outline

    • Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

      Q112. What was the impact of First World War on European and German society?
      What are effects of First World War on Europe and German society?
      Explain the impact of the First World War on European society and polity.
      State any three effects of the First World War over Europe.
      ‘The First World War left a deep imprint on European society and polity.’ Explain

      Ans. The war had a devastating impact on the entire continent both psychologically and financially. 

      1. From a continent of creditors, Europe turned into one of debtors. 
      2. Unfortunately, the infant Weimar Republic was being made to pay for the sins of the old empire. The republic carried the burden of war guilt and national humiliation and was financially crippled by being forced to pay compensation.
      3. Soldiers came to be placed above civilians. Politicians and publicists laid great stress on the need for men to be aggressive, strong and masculine.
      4. The media glorified trench life. The truth, however, was that soldiers lived miserable lives in these trenches, trapped with rats feeding on corpses.
      5. Democracy was indeed a young and fragile idea, which could not survive the instabilities of interwar Europe.


      Q113. State the verdict of Nuremberg tribunal. Why did the allies avoid hard punishment on Germany?

      Ans. At the end of the war, an International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was set up to prosecute Nazi war criminals for Crimes against Peace, for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. The Nuremberg Tribunal sentenced only eleven leading Nazis to death. Many others were imprisoned for life.

      The allies avoid hard punishment on Germany because they did not want to repeat the mistakes committed after First World War where they imposed harsh term on Germany, by virtue of Treaty of Versailles which resulted in the rise of Hitler. The peace treaty at Versailles with the Allies was a harsh and humiliating peace. Germany lost its overseas colonies, a tenth of its population, 13 per cent of its territories, 75 per cent of its iron and 26 per cent of its coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania. The Allied Powers demilitarised Germany to weaken its power. The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and damages the Allied countries suffered. Germany was forced to pay compensation amounting to £6 billion. The Allied armies also occupied the resource-rich Rhineland for much of the 1920s. 


      Q114. Highlight the five events that of 1933 that led to the destruction of democracy in Germany.
      Mention any three events that led to the destruction democracy in Germany.
      Explain any 5 features of political policy adopted by Hitler after coming to power in 1933.
      What led to the destruction of democracy in Nazi Germany?
      How was democracy destroyed in Nazi Germany?

      Ans. The events that of 1933 that led to the destruction of democracy in Germany were:

      1. On 30 January 1933, President Hindenburg offered the Chancellorship to Hitler. Having acquired power, Hitler set out to dismantle the structures of democratic rule.
      2. A mysterious fire that broke out in the German Parliament building in February facilitated his move.
      3. 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.
      4. The Communists were hurriedly packed off to the newly established concentration camps.
      5. 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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