Class 9  >  Social Studies (SST) Class 9  >  Detailed Chapter Notes: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Detailed Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 9

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In this study of Nazism and the rise of Hitler, we will explore the events and ideas that led to the formation and growth of the Nazi party, as well as the rise of its leader, Adolf Hitler. We will begin by examining the aftermath of the First World War and the impact it had on Germany, which created a fertile ground for the rise of extremist ideologies like Nazism.

We will then delve into the formation of the Nazi party, its structure, and the beliefs that defined it. This includes understanding the various policies and actions undertaken by the Nazis, such as the mass murder of Jews, Gypsies, Polish civilians, disabled Germans, and political opponents, which collectively led to the Holocaust.

Furthermore, we will explore Hitler's personal journey, his ambitions, and how he came to power in Germany. This study will also touch upon the role of propaganda and key figures like Goebbels in shaping public opinion and supporting Hitler's rise to power.

Adolf HitlerAdolf Hitler

Lastly, we will discuss the end of the Second World War, Germany's surrender, and the consequences faced by the Nazis for their crimes against humanity. This includes the Nuremberg Tribunal, where leading Nazis were tried and sentenced for their actions during the warSeptember 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland

Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Detailed Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 9

News article from September 1939

Birth of The Weimer Republic 

  • Germany fought in World War I alongside the Austrian Empire against the Allies (England, France, and Russia).
  • The war lasted longer than expected, draining Europe's resources.
  • The Allies, with the help of the US, won the war in November 1918.
  • After the defeat, a democratic constitution with a federal structure was established in the Weimar Republic.
  • The Versailles peace treaty was harsh and humiliating, causing resentment among Germans.

Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Detailed Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 9

Treaty of Versailles 

  • Germany lost colonies, territories, population, and resources to other countries.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 demilitarized Germany to take its power.
  • The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and required them to pay £6 billion in compensation.
  • The Weimar Republic was blamed for the defeat in the war and the disgrace at Versailles.

Parts of Territory that Germany lost after the Treaty of VersaillesParts of Territory that Germany lost after the Treaty of Versailles

Question for Detailed Chapter Notes: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Try yourself:The Treaty of Versailles (1920) signed at the end of World War I, was harsh and humiliating for Germany, because
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The Effects of the War

  • The war greatly affected Europe financially and emotionally.
  • Europe changed from a creditor to a debtor continent.
  • The Weimar Republic suffered war guilt, humiliation, and financial struggles.
  • Soldiers were seen as more important than civilians.
  • Society emphasized aggression, strength, and masculinity.
  • Soldiers had difficult lives in trenches, facing dangers and death.
  • Democracy was fragile and struggled during this time.

Political Radicalism and Economic Crisis

  • Worker and sailor councils were formed in many cities.
  • People against this, like socialists and democrats, met in Weimar to create a democratic republic.
  • The Weimar Republic defeated the uprising with help from a war veterans' group called Free Corps.
  • Upset Spartacists later started the Communist Party of Germany, making them enemies with socialists.
  • Both revolutionaries and nationalists wanted extreme solutions.
  • Germany fought the war on loans and had to pay back in gold.
  • In 1923, Germany didn't pay, so France occupied Ruhr for coal.
  • Germany resisted passively and printed too much money.
  • The German mark's value dropped, and prices increased a lot.
  • This situation, called hyperinflation, caused extremely high prices.

The Years of Depression

  • German investments and industrial recovery relied on short-term loans, mostly from the USA.
  • On October 24, 13 million shares were sold on Wall Street Exchange, leading to the Great Economic Depression.
  • Germany's economy was severely affected by the crisis.
  • Many workers lost jobs or received lower wages.Unemployed youth turned to crime and despair was widespread.

Sleeping on the line. During the great depression, the unemployed could not hope for either wage or shelterSleeping on the line. During the great depression, the unemployed could not hope for either wage or shelter

  • The economic crisis caused people to feel anxious and afraid.
  • Money lost value, leading to fears of becoming part of the lower working class or unemployed.
  • Farmers suffered from falling agricultural prices, and women struggled to feed their children.
  • The Weimer Republic's political stability was fragile.
  • The Weimer constitution had flaws that made it susceptible to dictatorship, including proportional representation and Article 48.
  • People lost faith in the democratic system, as it seemed unable to provide solutions.

Homeless Man queuing up for Night ShelterHomeless Man queuing up for Night Shelter

Hitler’s Rise to Power

  • Hitler was born in Austria in 1889, Hitler spent his youth in poverty. During the First World War, he enrolled in the German army, acted as a messenger at the front, became a corporal and earned medals for bravery.
  • In 1919, he joined a small group called the German Workers Party; subsequently took control of this party, renamed it the National Socialist German Workers Party. This party came to be known as the Nazi Party. 
  • In 1923, Hitler planned to seize control of Bavaria, march to Berlin and capture power. He failed, was arrested and tried for treason, and later released. The Nazis could not effectively mobilize popular support till the early 1930s. 
  • It was during the Great Depression that Nazism became a mass movement. In 1928, the Nazi Party got no more than 2.6 per cent votes in the Reichstag – the German parliament. By 1932, the Nazi Party had become the largest party with 37 percent votes.
  • Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved people. He promised them a strong nation, employment, a secure future for the youth and to restore the dignity of the German people. 
  • He devised a new style of politics. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate their support for Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people.

Question for Detailed Chapter Notes: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Try yourself:Reichstag refers to
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The Destruction of Democracy

  • President Hindenburg offered the Chancellorship, on 30 January 1933, the highest position in the cabinet of ministers, to Hitler
  • The Fire Decree of 28 February 1933 suspended civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly that had been guaranteed by the Weimar constitution. 
  • On 3 March 1933, the famous Enabling Act was passed which established a dictatorship in Germany. 
  • The state took control over the economy, media, army, and judiciary. Apart from the already existing regular police in a green uniform and the SA or the Storm Troopers, these included the Gestapo (secret state police), the SS (the protection squads), criminal police and the Security Service (SD).


  • Economic recovery was assigned to the economist Hjalmar Schacht by Hitler who aimed at full production and full employment through a state-funded work-creation programme. 
  • This project produced the famous German superhighways and the people’s car, the Volkswagen

The Poster announces `Your Volkswagen`The Poster announces "Your Volkswagen"

  • Hitler ruled out 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'. 
  • Schacht advised Hitler against investing hugely in rearmament as the state still ran on deficit financing.

Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Detailed Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 9

Question for Detailed Chapter Notes: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Try yourself:When did Hitler become the Chancellor of Germany?
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The Nazi Worldview

  • Nazis are linked to a system of belief and a set of practices. According to their ideology, there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy. Racism of Hitler borrowed from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. 
  • The argument of Nazi was simple: the strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish. 
  • The Aryan race was the finest who retained its purity, became stronger and dominated the world. 
  • The other aspect of Hitler’s ideology related to the geopolitical concept of Lebensraum, or living space. Hitler intended to extend German boundaries by moving eastwards, to concentrate all Germans geographically in one place.

Establishment of the Racial State

  • Nazis came into power and quickly began to implement their dream of creating an exclusive racial community of pure Germans. 
  • They wanted a society of ‘pure and healthy Nordic Aryans’
  • Under the Euthanasia Programme, Helmuth’s father had condemned to death many Germans who were considered mentally or physically unfit. 
  • Germany occupied Poland and parts of Russia, captured civilians and forced them to work as slave labour. 
  • Jews remained the worst sufferers in Nazi Germany. Hitler hated Jews based on pseudoscientific theories of race. 
  • From 1933 to 1938 the Nazis terrorised, pauperised and segregated the Jews, compelling them to leave the country.

The Racial Utopia

  • Genocide and war became two sides of the same coin. Poland was divided and much of north-western Poland was annexed to Germany.
  • People of Poland were forced to leave their homes and properties. 
  • Members of the Polish intelligentsia were murdered in large numbers, polish children who looked like Aryans were forcibly snatched from their mothers and examined by ‘race experts’.

Youth in Nazi Germany

  • Hitler was interested in the youth of the country. Schools were cleansed and purified. Germans and Jews were not allowed to sit or play together. In the 1940s Jews were taken to the gas chambers. 

Desirable Children that Hitler wanted to see multipliedDesirable Children that Hitler wanted to see multiplied

  • Introduction of racial science to justify Nazi ideas of race. Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler. Youth organisations were responsible for educating German youth in ‘the spirit of National Socialism’. At the age of 14, boys had to join the Nazi youth organisation where they were taught to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy, and hate Jews, communists, Gypsies and all those categorised as ‘undesirable’. 
  • Later, they joined the Labour Service, at the age of 18 and served in the armed forces and enter one of the Nazi organisations. In 1922, the Youth League of the Nazis was founded.

The Nazi Cult of Motherhood

  • In Nazi Germany, children were told women were different from men. Boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel hearted and girls were told to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children. 
  • Girls had to maintain purity of the race, distance from Jews, look after their home and teach their children Nazi values. 
  • But all mothers were not treated equally. Honours Crosses were awarded to those who encouraged women to produce more children. Bronze cross for four children, silver for six, and gold for eight or more. 
  • Women who maintained contact with Jews, Poles and Russians were paraded through the town with shaved heads, blackened faces and placards hanging around their necks announcing ‘I have sullied the honour of the nation’.

Question for Detailed Chapter Notes: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler
Try yourself:In what ways did the First World War leave a deep imprint on European society and polity?
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The Art of Propaganda

  • Nazis termed mass killings as special treatment, final solution (for the Jews), euthanasia (for the disabled), selection and disinfection.
  • Evacuation’ meant deporting people to gas chambers. 

Gas Chamber Gas Chamber 

  • Gas chambers were labelled as ‘‘disinfection-areas’, and looked like bathrooms equipped with fake showerheads. Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans, and leaflets. 
  • Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked and were referred to as vermin, rats, and pests. The Nazis made equal efforts to appeal to all the different sections of the population. 
  • They sought to win their support by suggesting that Nazis alone could solve all their problems.

A Concentration CampA Concentration Camp

Ordinary People and the Crimes Against Humanity

  • People started seeing the world through Nazi eyes and spoke their Nazi language. They felt hatred and anger against Jews and genuinely believed Nazism would bring prosperity and improve general well-being. 
  • Pastor Niemoeller protested an uncanny silence, amongst ordinary Germans against brutal and organised crimes committed in the Nazi empire. 
  • Charlotte Beradt’s book called the Third Reich of Dreams describes how Jews themselves began believing in the Nazi stereotypes about them.

Knowledge about the Holocaust

  • The war ended and Germany was defeated. While Germans were preoccupied with their own plight, the Jews wanted the world to remember the atrocities and sufferings they had endured during the Nazi killing operations – also called the Holocaust
  • When they lost the war, the Nazi leadership distributed petrol to its functionaries to destroy all incriminating evidence available in offices.
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