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Lecture

Lecture notes week 10


Department
History
Course Code
HISB31H3
Professor
Neville Panthaki

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Weimar Republic
x at the end of WWI, the Monarch collapsed Æ it was an organized collapsed
x November 10, 1918: the German Monarchy collapsed
o even before, from about 1916, the German military and the high command were in command
o by 1916, the King although still the figurehead of Germany, the government was in control of the high command
o when the high command understood that they couldn’t win the war, they let the monarchy fall
o the army was in charge for 1 to 1 ½ years before the collapse
o the army wanted to surrender because they knew that they wouldn’t be able to win
o however, they knew that they couldn’t leave the war, so they needed a scapegoat
o the reasons that the army couldn’t just surrender because: (1) they wanted to be rid of the monarchy and they
also wanted to retain control, and (2) they didn’t want to be hated
o so basically, the army pulled their support from the monarchy and allowed a caretaker government in, in the
form of the Social Democrats (SD) Æ the caretaker government signed the armistice the next day
x March 13, 1920: Kapp Putsch (army control)
o Kapp said that since the caretaker government was under army control, then get rid of the caretaker government
and take control openly
o however, the high command said that if that happened, then the Allied governments might come in and restore
the monarchy and bring down the army and the caretaker government
o Kapp organized a putsch (coup), which actually failed, but benefited the high command Æ the army was able to
expand and actually gain more power after the Kapp Putsch
o this begins to change the fascist party’s role as well
x November 6 – 8, 1923: Munich Putsch (emergency powers)
o the fascists are at a pub and after drinking a lot, spill out on the road and start to revolt
o the high command puts the putsch down
o at this time, the Nazi fascist party is starting to become a thorn in the army
x 1928 – 1931: Army Nazi rapprochement (Nazis join army)
o however, like in Italy, the Nazi party is starting to gain power
o the people are blaming everything on the government, since they don’t know that the army is actually in power
o at this time, the army decides to create an understanding or a rapprochement with the Nazi party
o the understanding reached is that the army allows fascism to grow and crack away at the government, as long as
the fascists do not try to take over the streets
o they also make the mistake of letting the fascists join the army
x 1931 1932: Schleicher Chancellor (President Hindenburg refuses Hitler)
o this period is the high point of army control as one of their own is declared chancellor
o the only thing stopping Schleicher from making chancellor is the president Hindenburg
o however, Hindenburg allows Schleicher to become chancellor because the only other choice is Hitler’s Nazis,
but Hindenburg does not like Hitler and the Nazis
o this leads to a breakdown of the Army – Nazi rapprochement
o from this point onwards, the Nazis work against the government and the high command
x January 1933: Hindenburg refuses emergency powers to Schleicher
o the army has the power to rule over the streets through hooliganism
o however, for this, the government would have to get emergency powers
o Hindenburg refuses to give Schleicher the emergency powers and due to this the Schleicher government falls
o Hindenburg then gives power to Hitler, who forms the government
x February 1933: Bans Communist Party
o the first thing that Hitler does is ban the communist party because it is bigger than the fascist party
o when Hitler bans them, no one says anything, not even the military, because the military, who are getting pushed
out, does not like the communists either
o it takes until May to outlaw the communist party
o this is the only thing that Hitler does constitutionally
x March 1933: suspends constitution
o Hitler cannot do this himself, Hindenburg has to do it, but Hitler still does it before approaching Hindenburg
x June 30, 1934: “Night of Long Knives”
o the next thing that Hitler does is purge the old army through his new army
o Hitler started to organize a new militia when coming to power, called the SS
o once his new militia is organized, Hitler gets rid of, suspends, and kills his old allies
o basically the SS eliminates the SA Æ the new fascists get rid of the old fascists
o now Hitler has a new militia completely loyal to him
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x July 1934: Nazis as sole party
o Nazis say that there can be no loyal oppositions because how can a person be loyal and in opposition
o this knocks off the last aspect of democracy
x August 1, 1934: Hindenburg dies
o the only thing that Hitler has left is to become president since the president has a lot of other powers
o however, before Hitler can do anything, Hindenburg dies
o after Hindenburg’s death, Hitler declares himself as head of state
x March 16, 1935: rearmament decree
o even though Hitler had been organizing a big army with help from the Soviets since 1922, the open declaration is
a clear sign of disrespect for the Versailles Treaty, Britain, France, and the US
o this is the first open declaration that Germany and Hitler are now very strong
x February 1938: Purge of the “Vons”
o in 1938, Hitler looks at the military and the political fascist party
o he removes anyone who is not fascist Æ military is completely a fascist party
o to do this, he has to purge certain people Æ purges the “Vons” (noble class in Germany)
o the Vons were both in the political and military parties
o so in 1938, Hitler basically got rid of all the Vons Æ aristocracy in political party and military are removed
x now there is nothing stopping Hitler from launching aggression
Anti – Jewish Policy
x there were a lot of inaccuracies in the history of the anti-Jewish policies of Hitler
x while Hitler wanted to kill off all the Jewish, however, he did not know how he did not know how
x while the Holocaust happened, the forms of killing were not planned from before
x no plan Æ how to kill them, when to kill them, where to kill them
o it is all ad hoc Æ whatever comes to circumstances
o in terms of circumstance, it is what he is able to do, that is what emerges
x culmination of policy in war with Soviet Union (1941 – 1945)
o the only thing that is important to Hitler is the eastern territory and the crackdown of Soviet territory
o however, the only way to get to this is to launch a war with the British and the French
o the only way to get the eastern territory is to depopulate the land
x 1931 – 1935 (repression)
o Hitler does not have the military, political, and economical forms to kill all the Jews
o it is costly and that is why between 1931 and 1935, there is repression
o basic anti-Jewish legislation in a series of laws called the Nuremberg laws (definition of a Jew, interracial
marriage, proportion of the Jews, occupation, etc)
x 1936 – 1937 (Munich Olympics)
o this is suspended or suppressed because between 1936 and 1937 are the Olympics
o as long as Hitler is ranting against the Soviet Union, the British and the French applaud him
x 1938 – 1939 (pressure to emigrate)
o after the Olympics, Hitler steps up the repression, to get the Jews to emigrate
o there are pogroms like Kristallnacht
o this is a vehemence of policy since 1931 when the repression
o there are even crazy policies to send all the Jews to Madagascar
x 1939 – 1941 (ghettoization)
o the death camps start when there is military imprisonment
o this is different because the Jews are getting pushed out of the German borders into other countries, like France,
Luxembourg, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc
o however, now that there is a war, Hitler doesnt want them to move, in fact, he wants them to be stagnate
x 1942 – 1945 (extermination)
o at Wansee, there is a meeting set up of all the heads of German society and question what they do now
o the heads of the army staff begin to say that they don’t want to be in charge of shooting the civilians
o they come with up with the next stage Æ you have ghettoized them, so now kill them
o the only problem left is how to kill the civilians
Political/Military Objectives and Race Theory
x Social Darwinism Æ on top are the Germans (misnamed the Aryans), then they are the sub-humans the Slavs, and
finally, the not human are the Jews
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