Nazism and Rise of Hitler
Question 1: Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
Answer: Weimar Republic was facing following problems:
- There was always a danger of dictatorship, because of some lacunae in the constitution.
- Because of the clause of proportional representation, it was impossible for a single party to get majority. So, coalition government was the norm. This resulted in political instability and emergency was imposed many a times.
- The economy was in bad shape because of payment of war reparations.
Question 2: Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
Answer: Most of the German were not happy with the way the Weimar Republic meekly surrendered to the clauses of the Versailles Treaty. Heavy burden of war-time reparations led to all around poverty and economic hardships for people. Hitler projected himself as the messiah who could cure all the ills of Germany. He used oratory skills and symbolism to great effect. These were the reasons of growing popularity of Nazism in Germany by 1930.
Question 3: What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Answer: Following are the characteristic features of Nazi ideology:
- Racial Prejudice: Nazis thought that only the Nordic German Aryan had the right to live on this earth because they were the superior race. Rest of the people needed to be wiped off from the face of the earth.
- Racial Utopia: They wanted to build a nation where only those with desired traits could live. There was no place for inferior races and handicapped people at such place.
- Training the Young: Nazis believed that there was a need to brainwash the people right from the young age. School curriculum was changed to ensure this. Boys were sent to some or the other organ of the Nazi party so that they could be radicalized.
- Concept of Motherhood: The girls were taught to be ideal mothers in future. The prime responsibility of a woman was to bear as many children of pure race as possible. There was a provision of Honor Cross as per number of children a woman had.
Question 4: Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Answer: The Nazi used the media and language with great care and to great effect. They used films, radio, banners, posters and rituals to propagate hatred against the Jews. Moreover, the long tradition of stereotyping the Jews helped the Nazis in increasing a feeling of hatred against the Jews.
Question 5: Explain what role women had in Nazi society. Return to Chapter 1 on the French Revolution. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the role of women in the two periods.
Answer: Women did not play an active role in the Nazi society. Hitler believed that a woman’s duty was to bear ‘racially pure’ children and to do her domestic duties. On the other hand, women played good role in the French Revolution. Many women led the suffragate movement to ensure voting rights for women. It can be said that while women played an active role in the French Revolution, they were the passive spectators in the Nazi society.
Question 6: In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people?
Answer: The Nazis took following steps to get full control on the people:
- Media was used with expertise in order to spread the Nazi ideology and to spread canards against the undesirable people.
- School curriculum was changed and Jewish teachers and children were thrown out of schools, so that the schools could become pure.
- Adolescent boys were recruited to the youth wing of the party in order to radicalize them from a young age.