Q1. Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
Ans: The problems faced by the Weimar Republic were as follows:
- The Weimar constitution had Inherent drawbacks making the Weimar Republic fragile.
(a) One was proportional representation which made it difficult for any party to get a majority leading to coalition governments.
(b) Article 48, which gave the President the power to rule by decree, suspend civil rights and impose an emergency. People lost confidence in a democratic parliamentary system.
- The Weimar Republic was not received well by the people because of the terms it was forced to accept at Versailles at the end of the First World War. It was a harsh and humiliating treaty that Germany had to accept with the Allies. Many people held the Weimar Republic responsible for the defeat in the war and for accepting the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
- In 1923 Germany refused to pay reparation payments and the French occupied its leading industrial area, the Ruhr, to claim their coal. Germany offered passive resistance and printed paper currency. With too much paper currency in circulation, the value of the German mark fell. The situation is called hyperinflation.
- The Weimar Republic had to face and other economic crises. The USA Withdrew her support when Wall Street Exchange crashed in 1929. The German economy was worst hit by the economic crisis. Workers lost their jobs or were paid reduced wages. The number of unemployed reached 6 million. The economic crisis created a feeling of fear among the people.
Q2. Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
Ans: Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930 due to various reasons:
(a) Failure of the Weimar Republic
- After the defeat in the First World War, a lot of social and political instability took place like the treaty of Versailles, there was starvation, devastation, unemployment.
- The Weimar Republic failed to solve the economic crises of the country and which later led to the Great Economic Depression.
- This provided a golden opportunity for the Nazis to launch a campaign in their favour.
(b) Nazi Propaganda was unique
Red banners with the Swastika, Nazi salute and the rounds of applause attracted the people making Nazism very popular.
(c) Hitler’s Personality
- Hitler was a powerful speaker, an able organizer, a resourceful person, and a man of actions. He could mobilize the mass in his favour by his passionate words.
- He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of the German people.
- In fact, his personality and actions contributed the maximum to the popularity of Nazism in Germany.
Q3. What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Ans: Some of the peculiar features of Nazi thinking were:
- A belief in racial hierarchy and Lebensraum or living space.
- Nordic German Aryans were at the top of the racial status, whereas the Jews were at the bottom.
- They believed that only the strongest race would survive and rule.
- According to them, new territories must be gained for enhancing the natural resources and powers of Germany.
Q4. Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for jews.
Ans: Nazi propaganda was effective in creating hatred for the Jews:
- Language and media were used effectively and with great care by the Nazis following the racial theory by the Nazis that the Jews belonged to a lower race and considered undesirable.
- To justify their hatred towards the Jews, they promoted and exploited people with the idea of traditional Christian hatred for the Jews because they were accused to have killed Christ in order to make the Germans pre-judicial against the Jews.
- The Nazis injected hatred against the Jews even in the minds of the children through schools where they were taught to be aggressive and conservative about the purity of their race. The teachers who were Jews were dismissed and Jews children were thrown out of the schools. Such methods and new ideological training to the new generation of children went a long way in making the Nazi’s propaganda quite effective in creating hatred for the Jews.
- Propaganda films were made to create hatred for the Jews. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked. For example, one such film was ‘The Eternal Jew.’
Q5. 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.
Ans: Role of Women in Nazi Society:
- It followed the rules of a largely patriarchal or male-dominated society.
- Hitler hailed women as ‘the most important citizen’ in Germany, but this was true for only Aryan Women who bred pure-blood, ‘desirable’ Aryans.
- Medals were given to the woman considering how many kids she has, from gold, silver, and bronze.
- Girls from childhood were only taught the goals of being a good and obedient wife, motherhood.
Role of Women during the French Revolution:
- There is a major contrast to the role of women in the French Revolution, where they led movements and fought for their rights to education and equal wages.
- They were allowed to form political clubs and schooling was made compulsory for them after the French Revolution.
Q6. In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people.
Ans: The Nazis established control over their people by various means:
- They used different propaganda methods through posters or films to glorify their behaviour.
- They were very careful with their language in the media, especially with words like kill or murders, were not used.
- Media was carefully used to win support for the regime and popularise it.
- Nazism worked on the minds of the people, tapped their emotions, and turned their hatred and anger against those marked as ‘undesirable’.
- Special surveillance and security forces to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted was created.
- The police forces had powers to rule with impunity.
- Holocaust also created an atmosphere of fear and repression, which helped them to establish total control over its people.