141) What was 'Political Radicalism'?
Answer: It was an uprising by the Spartacist League against the Weimar Republic. This league demanded a Soviet style governance based on Bolsheviks' ideals. The Weimer Republic crushed this uprising with the help of the war veterans organisation called the 'Free Corps'. Spartacists later formed the Communist Party of Germany. Communists and socialists both wanted political radicalism against Hitler's rule.
142) Describe the events leading to the economic crisis in Germany.
Answer:Germany had fought World War I largely on loans and had to pay war reparations in gold. This depleted the gold reserves in the country. In 1923, Germany refused to pay and the French occupied its leading industrial area, Ruhr to claim their coal. Germany retaliated and printed paper currency ruthlessly. With too much printed money in circulation, the value of German mark fell. As the value of mark collapsed, prices of goods increased. This crisis in which Germans had to carry cartloads of currency notes to buy a loaf of bread, was known as 'hyperinflation'.
143) How did the economic crisis begin in the USA?
Answer: In USA, it began with the crash of the Wall Street Exchange in 1929, when USA could not recover back loans. Fearing a fall in price, people made frantic efforts to sell their shares. On a single day, 13 million shares were sold. Factories shut down, banks became bankrupt, exports fell, farmers were badly hit, leading to unemployment.
144) What were the weaknesses of the Weimer Republic?
Answer: The Weimer Constitution had some inherent defects which made it unstable. Due to proportional representation, one single party could not come to power, rather a coalition government was formed. Another defect was the Article 48, which gave the President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree. Within a short period of time, many governments changed and this made people lose confidence in the democratic parliamentary system which seemed to offer no solutions.
145) Describe the formation of the Nazi Party.
Answer: Economic crisis formed the background to Hitler's rise to power. Hitler was born in Austria and spent his youth in poverty. In the First World War, he joined the army and acted as messenger in the front. The Treaty of Versailles and the defeat of Germany in World War I made him furious and horrified. In 1919, he joined a small group called the German Workers' Party and renamed it after taking over that party as, 'The National Socialist German Workers' Party'. This party later on, came to be known as the 'Nazi Party'.
146) How did Hitler capture power in Germany?
Answer: In 1923, Hitler marched to Berlin with his followers to capture power. He failed and was arrested for treason and later released. But during the Great Depression, Nazism became a mass movement. During the economic depression, the Nazi propaganda stirred hopes of a better future. By 1932, the Nazi Party had become the largest party and Hitler became the chancellor of Germany.
147) What promises did Hitler make to the Germans when he came to power?
Answer: (i) He promised to build a strong nation and undo the justice of Treaty of Versailles and restore the dignity of the German people.
(ii) He promised employment for those looking for work.
(iii) He promised to protect Germany from all foreign influences and secure his country's future.
148) Give a brief account of Hitler's entry into World War II.
Answer: In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland with the result that it started a war with France and England. In September 1940, Tripartite Pact with Italy and Japan and Germany was signed. By the end of 1940, Hitler had almost won all the wars. Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Soviet Red Army gave a crushing defeat to the German soldiers. In the meantime, the US also entered the war when the Japanese bombed the US base at Pearl Harbor. The war ended in May 1945, with Hitler's defeat and US dropping of atom bomb on Hiroshima in Japan.
149) What was Hitler's ideology?
Answer: Hitler's ideology was related to the geopolitical concept of living space. He believed that new territories had to be acquired for settlement. This would enhance the area of the mother country and it would also enhance the material resources and power of the German nation.
150) How did the Nazis develop a hatred for the Jews?
Answer: Nazis believed that the Jews were the killers of Christ. Until medieval times, Jews were not allowed to o any land. They survived mainly through trade and money lending. They lived in separately marked areas called the ghettos. Hitler's hatred for the Jews was based on pseudoscientific theories of race. They were terrorised, segregated and compelled to leave the country During World War II, they were killed in gas chambers in Poland.
151) Which youth organisations were formed?
Answer:Youth organisations were made responsible for educating the German youth. Ten-year-olds had to enter the Jungvolk, a Nazi youth group. At the age of 14, . all boys had to join the Nazi youth organisation?'Hitler Youth' where they learnt to worship war, glorify aggression and hate the Jews. The Youth League of the Nazis was founded in 1922, which was later renamed as Hitler Youth.
152) How did common people react to Nazism?
Answer:Many people would see the world through Nazi's eyes and hated the Jews. They marked the houses of the Jews and reported suspicious neighbours. However, many Germans were not Nazis. They preferred to look away and did not react against the Jews.
153) How did Hitler and his minister Goebbels' end come after World War II?
Answer: In May 1945, Germany surrended to the Allies. Anticipating what was coming, Hitler, his propaganda Minister Goebbels and his entire family committed suicide collectively in his Berlin Bunker in April. 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 Germany's conduct during the war especially those actions which came to be called Crimes Against Humanity, raised serious and ethical questions and invited worldwide condemnation.
154) How was German Parliament established after First World War?
Answer: The defeat of imperial Germany and the abdication of the emperor gave an opportunity to parliamentary parties to recast German polity National Assembly met at Weimer and established a democratic constitution with a federal structure. Deputies were now elected to the German Parliament or Reichstag, on the basis of equal and universal votes cast by all adults including women.
155) What do you understand by 'Hyperinflation'?
Answer: With too much of printed money in circulation, the value of German mark fell. As the value of German mark collapsed, prices of goods soared. The image of Germans carrying cartloads of currency notes to buy a loaf of bread was widely publicised evoking worldwide sympathy This crisis came to be known as 'hyperinflation'?a situation when prices rise phenomenally high.
156) What was Hitler's propaganda to gain power?
Answer:Hitler devised a new style of politics. He understood the significance of rituals and spectacle in mass mobilisation. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people. The red banners with the Swastika, the Nazi Salute and the ritualised rounds of applause after the speeches were all part of this spectacle of power. Nazi propaganda skilfully projected Hitler as a' Messiah, a saviour, as someone who had arrived to deliver people from their distress
157) What do you know about Enabling Act?
Answer: 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.
158) How was economic recovery made in Germany?
Answer:Hitler assigned the responsibility of economic recovery to the economist Hjalmar Schacht. 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.
159) What was Hitler's foreign policy?
Answer:In foreign policy also Hitler acquired quick successes. He pulled out of 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'. He then went on to the wrest German - speaking Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia - and gulped the entire country. In all this he had the unspoken support of England, which had considered the Versailles verdict too harsh. These quick successes at home and abroad seemed to reverse the destiny of the country.
160) What was the impact of World War I on Germany's politics and society?
Answer: Effect on political life
(i) Unfortunately, the infant Weimer Republic was made to pay for the sins of the old empire.
(ii) The republic was financially crippled and was forced to pay war compensation.
Effect on society
(i) Soldiers came to be placed above civilians.
(ii) The media glorified trench warfare, where soldiers lived miserable lives.
(iii) Aggressive war propaganda and national honour held an important place in the lives of people.
161) What were the effects of the economic crisis on Germany?
Answer: (i) The Germany's economy was worst hit by economic crisis.
(ii) Industrial production was reduced to 40 per cent.
(iii) Workers lost their jobs and the number of unemployed reached six million.
(iv) On the streets of Germany, men could be found with placards saying, "Willing to do any work".
(v) As jobs disappeared, the youth took to criminal activities.
(vi) There was a sharp fall in agricultural prices and women were unable to feed their children.
162) What efforts were made by Hitler to establish dictatorship?
Answer:Destruction of Democracy: Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany on 30th January 1933. He indefinitely suspended civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly. Then he turned his attention to concentration camps set up for communists. Enabling Act This Act established dictatorship in Germany. It gave Hitler all powers to establish his rule. He banned all other political parties and trade unions. Security Forces Special security forces were created to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted. People could now be detained in Gestapo torture chambers, sent to concentration camps or arrested without any legal procedures. Foreign Policy Hitler first of all pulled his country out of the League of Nations. He reoccupied Rhineland area and integrated his country. Then he occupied Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and later gobbled up the whole country.
163) How was a 'Racial State' established by Hitler in Germany?
Answer:Nazis wanted an exclusive racial community of pure Germans. Nazis wanted only a society of 'pure and healthy' Nordic Aryans. This meant that even those Germans who were seen as impure or abnormal had no right to live. Jews were considered undesirable. Many Gypsies and Blacks were also considered as inferior Germans. Even Russians and Polish were considered subhuman and were forced to work as slave labourers. Many of them died through hard work and starvation.
164) How did Hitler treat the Polish?
Answer:(i) Poles were forced to leave their homes and properties for ethnic Germans brought in from occupied Europe.
(ii) Poles were then herded like cattle in other parts of Poland, called the destination for all undesirables of the empire.
(iii) Members of Polish intelligentsia were murdered in large numbers.
(iv) Polish children who looked like Aryans were forcibly snatched from their mothers and examined by race experts and if they passed the race tests, they were raised in German families, and if not they were deposited in orphanages.
(v) With some of the largest ghettos and gas chambers, this part of Poland also served as the killing fields for the Jews.
165) What kind of education was given in Nazi schools?
Answer: (i) Jew teachers were dismissed from the schools.
(ii) Children were segregated. Germans and Jews neither could sit together nor play together.
(iii) Subsequently, undesirable children?Jews, the physically handicapped and Gypsies were thrown out of schools.
(iv) School textbooks were rewritten.
(v) Racial Science was introduced to justify Nazi's ideas of race.
(vi) Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, to hate the Jews and worship Hitler. (vii) Boxing was introduced as Hitler believed that it could make children iron hearted, strong and masculine.
166) Explain the status of women in the German society.
Answer:Children in Nazi Germany were told that women were radically different from men. While boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel hearted, girls were told to be good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children. Girls were supposed to look after, have and teach their children Nazi values. Women bearing undesirable children were punished and those bearing desirable were awarded. They were given favoured treatment in hospitals and were given concessions in theatre tickets, railways fares and shops. To encourage women to produce more children, a bronze cross was given for four children, silver for six and gold for eight and more. Those who maintained contacts with the Jews, Poles or Russians were paraded through the town with shaved heads, blackened faces and placards hanging from their necks saying, "I have sullied the honour of the nation".
167) How was media used to propagate Nazism?
Answer:Media was used by Nazis to propagate their ideas world over. Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets. Socialists and liberals were stereotyped as weak and degenerated. Propaganda films were made to create hatred for the Jews. The most infamous film was 'The Eternal Jew'. Orthodox Jews were shown with flowing beards wearing Kaftans, whereas in reality they looked like any other German. Jews were referred to as vermin, rats and pests.
168) How was the Holocaust practised in Germany?
Answer: Information of the Nazi's atrocities on the Jews had opened up to the world after the defeat of Germany in World War II. The Jews wanted the world to remember the atrocities and sufferings they had endured during the Nazi killing operations called the Holocaust. A ghetto inhabitant had wanted to tell the world about what had happened in Nazi Germany. Many Jews had written diaries, kept notebooks and created archives that bore witness. On the other hand, when the war was lost, the Nazi leaders tried to burn all the evidences available in the offices. Yet, the history and the memory of the Holocaust lived on the memoirs, fiction, documentaries, poetry and museums in many parts of the world today.
169) Trace the 'destruction of democracy' in Germany.
Answer:This came about in January 1933, when President Hindenburg offered the Chancellorship to Hitler. He suspended civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly that were guaranteed by the Weimar Constitution in 1933. Then he turned to his arch-enemies, the Communists, who were hurriedly packed off to the newly established concentration camps. On 3 March, 1933 dictatorship was established in Germany. It gave all powers for Hitler to sideline parliament and rule by decree. All political parties and trade unions were banned except the Nazi Party and its affiliates. The state established complete control over the economy, media, army and judiciary.
170) What was the Nazis' 'Art of Propaganda'?
Answer: The Nazi regime used language and media with care. For example, the terms they coined to describe various practices were not only deceptive but chilling. Nazis never used the word 'kill' or 'murder' in their official communications. Mass killings were termed as special treatment, final solution for the Jews, euthanasia (for the disabled) and selection and disinfections. Evacuation meant deporting people to the gas chambers. Gas chambers were called disinfection areas. Nazi ideas spread through visual images, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets. Propaganda films were made to create hatred for the Jews. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and portrayed with flowing beads and kaftans. The Nazi's were trying to appeal to the population and win their support by suggesting that they could alone solve all their problems.