171) How do you agree with the statement, "Treaty of Versailles laid the germs of another war and was a harsh treaty"?
Answer:The peace treaty at Versailles with the Allies was a harsh and humiliating one. 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 powers. The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and damages the Allied countries suffered. Germany was forced to pay compensation amounting to about 6 billion pounds. The Allied army also occupied the resource-rich Rhineland for much of the 1920s. Many Germans held the new Weimar Republic responsible for not only the defeat in the war but the disgrace at Versailles.
172) What was the impact of World War I on European society?
Answer:The First World War left a deep imprint on European society and polity
(i) Soldiers came to be placed above civilians.
(ii) Politicians and publicists laid great success on the need for men to be aggressive, strong and masculine.
(iii) The media glorified trench life but actually soldiers lived miserable lives in these trenches, trapped with rats feeding on corpses.
(iv) They faced poisonous gas and enemy shelling, and witnessed their ranks reduce rapidly.
(v) Aggressive war propaganda and national honour occupied centre stage in the public sphere, while popular support grew for conservative dictatorships that had recently come into being.
173) What do you know about Hitler's personality?
Answer:Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved and inspired people. He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of the German people. He promised employment for those looking for work, and a secure future for the youth. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign conspiracies against Germany.
174) Which special surveillance and security forces were created by Nazis?
Answer: Apart from the already existing regular police in green uniform and the Storm Troopers (SA), these included the Gestapo (Secret State Police) the SS (the protection squads) criminal police and security service. It was the extra constitutional powers of these newly organised forces that gave the Nazi state its reputation as the most dreaded criminal state. People could now be detained in Gestapo torture chambers, rounded up and sent to concentration camps, deported at will or arrested without any legal procedures. The police forces acquired powers to rule with impunity. So, in this way special surveillance and security forces were created to control or order society in ways that Nazis wanted.
175) When and how did Hitler invade Soviet Union?
Answer:By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the pinnacle of his power and now he moved towards Eastern Europe, after defeating France in the west. He attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941. In this historic blunder. Hitler exposed the German western front to British aerial bombing and the eastern front to the powerful Soviet armies. The Soviet Red Army inflicted a crushing and humiliating defeat on Germany at Stalingrad. After this, the Soviet Red Army hounded out the retreating German soldiers until they reached the heart of Berlin, establishing Soviet power over the entire Europe for half a century thereafter.
176) How did USA enter into World War II?
Answer:USA had resisted involvement in the war, it was unwilling to face another economic crisis after the war. But it could not stay out of the war for long. Japan was expanding its power in the east. It had occupied French Indo-China and was planning attacks on US naval bases in the Pacific. When Japan extended its support to Hitler and bombed the US base at Pearl Harbour, the US entered the Second World War. The war ended in May 1945 with Hitler's defeat and the US dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
177) How were Darwin and Herbert Spencer's ideas adopted by Hitler or Nazis?
Answer: Hitler borrowed racism from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. Darwin was a natural scientist who tried to explain the creation of plants and animals through the concept of evolution and natural selection. Herbert Spencer later added the idea of survival of the fittest. According to this idea, only those species survived on earth that could adapt themselves to changing climatic conditions. Darwin never advocated human intervention in what he thought was a purely natural process of selection. However, his ideas were used by racist thinkers and politicians to justify imperial rule over conquered people. The Nazi argument was simple: the strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish. The Aryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.
178) How did hatred develop for undesirable communities?
Answer:Jews were not the only community classified as 'undesirable'. There were others too. Many 'Gypsies' and 'Blacks' living in Nazi Germany were considered as racial inferiors who threatened the biological purity of the superior Aryan race. They were widely persecuted. Even Russians and Poles were considered subhuman and hence undeserving of any humanity. When Germany occupied Poland and parts of Russia, captured civilians were forced to work as slave labour. Many of them died simply through hard work and starvation.
179) What was Nazi's school syllabus?
Answer: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. Hilter believed that boxing could make children iron hearted, strong and masculine.
180) How were women discriminated on child's birth in Hitler's society?
Answer:In 1933, Hitler said, "In my state the mother is the most important citizen. But in Nazi Germany all mothers were not treated equally." Women who bore racially undesirable children were punished and those who produced racially desirable children were awarded. They were given favourable treatment in hospitals and were also entitled to concessions in shops and on theatre tickets and railways fares. To encourage women to produce many children. Honour Crosses were awarded. A bronze cross was given for four children, silver for six and gold for eight or more. All Aryan women who deviated from the prescribed code of conduct were publicly condemned and severely punished.
181) Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
Answer:The problems faced by Weimar Republic are the following:
(i) The infant Weimar Republic was forced 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.
(ii) The Socialists, Catholics and Democrats who supported the Weimer Republic became easy target of attack in the conservative nationalist circles. They were mockingly called 'November criminals'.
(iii) There was revolutionary uprising of the Spartacist League on the pattern of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
(iv) Soviets of workers and sailors were established in many cities. There was demand for Soviet-style governance. The Weimar Republic crushed the uprising with the help of a war veterans' organisation called, 'Free Corps'.
(v) The Spartacists later founded the Communist Party of Germany. Communists and Scientists henceforth became irreconcilable enemies and could not make common cause against Hitler.
(vi) There was economic crisis of 1923. Prices of goods soared. The crisis came to be known as hyperinflation, a situation when prices rise phenomenally high.
(vii) Politically too, the Weimar Republic was fragile. System of proportionate representation and Article 48 which gave President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree. The Weimer Republic saw twenty different cabinets lasting on an average 239 days, and a liberal use of Article 48.
182) The term 'Genocidal' means: (a) Suicide by the soldiers (b) Suicide by Hitler's officers (c) Killing on a large-scale leading to the destruction of a large section of people (d) A kind of poison that Helmuth feared
183) A war veterans' organisation was called: (a) Berlin Soldiers (b) Free Corps (c) German Ruhr (d) Gestapo
184) Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party was renamed as: (a) Workers' Party (b) Socialist Party (c) Nazi Party (d) Communist Party
185) The 'Secret State Police' was called: (a) Security Service (b) The Protection Squad (c) Gestapo (d) Patriots
186) The Nordic German Aryans were: (a) Jews living in Germany (b) Aryans of German origin (c) Jews of German origin (d) Germans of Aryan origin
187) The most infamous film made on Jews was: (a) Where Eagles Dare (b) Jews the Undesirable (c) The Eternal Jew (d) Schindler's List
188) How political radicalism survived in Weimar Republic?
Answer: (i) The birth of the Weimar Republic coincided with the Revolutionary uprising of Spartacist League on the pattern of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
(ii) Soviets of workers and sailors were established in many cities.
(iii) The political atmosphere in Berlin was charged with demands for Soviet-style governance.
(iv) Those opposed to this?such as Socialists, Democrats and Catholics? met in Weimar to give shape to the democratic republic.
(v) The Weimar Republic crushed the uprising with the help of a war veterans' organisation called 'Free Corps'.
(vi) The anguished Spartacists later founded the Communist Party of Germany.
(vii) Communists and Socialists henceforth became irreconcilable enemies and could not make common cause against Hitler.
189) How Germany came into the trap of 'Hyper-Inflation' situation after World War II? How were they saved?
Answer: (i) Germany had fought the war largely on loans and had to pay war reparation in gold.
(ii) This depleted gold reserves at a time when resources were scarce.
(iii) In 1932, Germany refused to pay, and the French occupied its leading industrial area 'Ruhr', to claim their coal.
(iv) Germany retaliated with passive resistance and printed paper currency wrecklessly.
(v) With too much printed money in circulation, the value of the German mark fell.
(vi) As the value of the mark collapsed, prices of goods soared.
(vii) The image of the Germany carrying cartloads of currency notes to buy a loaf of bread was widely publicised.
(viii) This crisis came to be known as hyper-inflation, a situation when prices rise phenomenally high.
(ix) Eventually, the Americans intervened and bailed Germany out of the crisis by introducing 'The Dawes Plan' which reworked the terms of separation to ease the financial burden on Germany.
190) How worldwide economic crisis can affect the society also? Analyse this situation in Germany.
Answer: (i) The economic crisis created deep anxieties and fears in people.
(ii) The middle classes, especially salaried employees and pensioners, saw their savings diminish when the currency lost its value.
(iii) Small businessmen, the self-employed and retailers suffered as their businesses got ruined.
(iv) These sections ofsociety were filled with the fear of'Proletarianisation', an anxiety of being reduced to the ranks of the working class, or worse still, the unemployed.
(v) Only organised workers could manage to keep their heads above water, but unemployment weakened their bargaining power.
(vi) Big business was in crisis.
(vii) The large mass of peasantry was affected by a sharp fall in agricultural prices and women, unable to fill their children's stomachs, were filled with a sense of deep despair.
191) What kind of racial segregation was practised by Hitler?
Answer: (i) Once in power, the Nazis quickly began to implement their dream creating an exclusive racial community of pure Germans by physically eliminating all those who were seen as 'undesirable' in the extended empire.
(ii) Nazis wanted only a society of 'pure and healthy Nordic Aryans'.
(iii) They alone were considered 'desirable'.
(iv) Only they were seen as worthy of prospering and multiplying against all others who were classed as 'undesirable'.
(v) This meant that even those Germans who were seen as impure or abnormal had no right to exist.
(vi) Under the Euthansia Programme, Helworth's father along with other Nazi officials had condemned to death many Germans who were considered mentally or physically unfit.
192) Had media played any role in the propaganda of Nazi regime? .
Answer: (i) Media was carefully used to win support for the regime and popularise it worldwide.
(ii) Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets.
(iii) In posters, groups identified as the 'enemies' of Germans were stereotyped, mocked, abused and described as evil.
(iv) Socialists and liberals were represented as weak and degenerate.
(v) They were attacked as malicious foreign agents.
(vi) Propoganda films were made to create hatred for Jews.
(vii) The most infamous film was 'The Eternal Jews'. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and mocked.
(viii) They were shown with flowing beards wearing kaftans, whereas in reality it was difficult to distinguish German Jews by their outward appearance because they were a highly assimilated community.
(ix) They were referred to as vermin, rats and pests. Their movements were compared to those of rodents.
(x) Nazism worked on the minds of the people, tapped their emotions and turned their hatred and anger at those marked as 'undesirable'.