Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

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  • During 1930-1933 the mood in Germany was Grim. After WW1 Germany was at the onset of the Great Depression. Many were left unemployed and people began linking the Depression to Germany's defeat in WW1. People began to view Germany's parliamentary government as weak offering easy ground of Hitler and his Nazi party to rise.
  • Few would have thought that the Nazi Party, starting as a gang of unemployed soldiers in 1919, would become the legal government of Germany by 1933. Adolf Hitler joined this small political party in 1919 and rose to leadership through his emotional and captivating speeches. He encouraged national pride, militarism, and a commitment to the Volk and a racially "pure" Germany. 
  • Hitler condemned the Jews, exploiting antisemitic feelings that had prevailed in Europe for centuries. He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, called for short, the Nazi Party (or NSDAP). By the end of 1920, the Nazi Party had about 3,000 members. A year later Hitler became its official leader, or Führer. 
  • Germany's government remained on the brink of collapse. The economy was still in crisis.Hindenburg's term as president was ending in the spring of 1932. At age 84, he was reluctant to run again, but knew that if he didn't, Hitler would win. Hindenburg won the election, but Hitler received 37% of the vote. 
  • 1933 The Enabling Act passed—powers of legislation pass to Hitler’s cabinet for four years, making him virtual dictator. He proclaims the Nazi Party is the only political party permitted in Germany. All other parties and trade unions are disbanded. Individual German states lose any autonomous powers, while Nazi officials become state governors.
  • 1938 British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain meets Hitler in Germany. Britain, France and Italy sign the Munich Agreement which gives the Sudetenland (the German populated borderlands of Czechoslovakia), to Germany. German army occupies the Sudetenland. 
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