|Saint Andrew’s RC Secondary School
Faculty of Social Subjects
Rise of the Nazis – Key points for Revision
1. Weaknesses of Weimar
The Stab in the back – Weimar was blamed for ‘surrendering’.
Treaty of Versailles (‘Diktat’, Article 231 War Guilt Clause) - Analysis: Unpopular with the German people – Nazi Party against both so helped them get support, H refers to them constantly in speeches
Constitutional problems (9 elections up to 1928, 35 parties to choose from).
Analysis: Nazi Party had never been in government, so not associated with weaknesses and corruption of coalition govts.
Law and order (Spartacist Revolt 1919 700+ dead, 300+ political assassinations) – Analysis: showed Weimar not in control of law and order, therefore, people wanted a government that could ensure peace in the country, H seemed like strong leader.
Analysis – Germans didn’t like democracy – unstable, weak, foreign, imposed on Germany. Nazis attack on democracy seemed like a return to stability of Kaiser before 1914
2. Economic Weaknesses
Hyper-inflation, worthless money, Middle Class savings wiped out, Kolbi cabbage 50 million marks.
-Analysis: Effect of Hyper on Nazis -Beer Hall Putsch 1923, Nazi vote 1.9 million 1924
– Analysis: The actual putsch/revolution was a disaster but it is important as the first
example of how economic factors directly helped the Nazis – it showed they felt strong
enough support to attempt a revolution.
Nazi vote: 1924 Hyper – 1,918,300,
1928 Golden Age – 810,100,
1933 Depression – 17,277,000
Analysis: When economy doing well, support for Nazis falls, when economy weak votes increase.
“Only the Great Depression put the wind in the Nazi sails” – AJP Taylor
3. Appeal of the Nazis
Analysis – wanted to maximise votes so had policies for all classes.
Propaganda – Dr Goebbels, Alfred Hugenburg, Hitler, rallies, swastika, uniforms. Analysis: Analysis:People wanted an alternative govt – Propaganda made Nazi Party stand out from others.
Analysis: uniforms and marches made Nazis seem organised in a time of chaos.
4. Lack of Political Opposition
Left - KPD and SPD would not unite – Spartacist Revolt
Centre - Zentrum and DDP lost too many votes to stand up to Nazis
Right – DNVP used Nazis to crush the left and democracy.
Analysis – Parties unwilling to unite for democracy this made it easier for the Nazi Party to get into power.
Rise of the Nazis Essay Titles
1. How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in explaining the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany between 1919 and 1933?
2. “Propaganda was crucial to the Nazi rise to power in Germany between 1919 and 1933.” How far do you agree?
3. To what extent were economic crises responsible for allowing the Nazis to achieve power in Germany in 1933?
4. “Resentment towards the peace treaties at the end of the First World War made the rise of fascism inevitable.” Discuss with reference to Germany.
5. How important was the leadership of Hitler in the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany by 1933?
6. How important were the weaknesses and divisions among his opponents in explaining Hitler’s rise to power by 1933?
7. “Hitler’s promise of a better future for the German people was the most important reason for the growth in support for the Nazis up to 1933.” How accurate is this view?
8. “The weaknesses of the Weimar Republic was the chief factor in the rise of the Nazi Party.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
9. How far would you agree that successful propaganda alone was the key to the rise of the Nazis up to 1933?
10. “The economic depression of 1929-1932 was the turning point in Nazi fortunes.” How well does this explain Hitler’s achievement of power?
Rise of the Nazi essay – Example Answer
To what extent was the growth of the Nazi party between 1919 and 1933 due to weak central government?
Between 1919 and 1933 the Nazi Party rose to power due to a number of important factors. Historians have highlighted the importance of weak central government in helping the Nazis gain power. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles, constitutional problems and a lack of law and order contributed in making the Weimar Republic appear weak. However, although the weakness of the Weimar Republic was an important factor in contributing to the rise of the Nazi Party - there were other important factors. Firstly, economic weaknesses prompted the people of Germany look for a new party who could lead them to success. Also, the Nazi Party itself stood out from other parties by having policies to appeal to all social classes and successful propaganda. They also had an influential leader, Adolf Hitler, who was able to encourage German people to follow the Nazi Party. Furthermore, no other political party would stand up against the Nazi party or for democracy. Therefore, all factors: weak central government, economic problems, appeal of the Nazis and lack of political opposition had a role to play in contributing to the rise of the Nazi Party. The weakness of the Weimar Republic was not the only responsible factor.
The Weimar Government was weak and unpopular from the beginning. Many people resented Weimar for surrendering in the war when there were no allied troops in the country. Many people thought that Germany was actually winning the war and that the German soldiers and German people had been “stabbed in the back” by the Weimar politicians. The belief was that they had pulled out of the war rather that continuing to fight. The Treaty of Versailles which followed the war also made the government very unpopular because they accepted its terms including the War Guilt Clause 231, which meant that Germany had to take the blame for the war and pay £6,600,000,000 worth of reparations. The Treaty was a ‘diktat’ imposed on the country without consultation. In turn, the German people despised the Treaty and turned to the Nazi Party who had made it clear in their speeches that they were also against the Treaty. Constitutional problems also contributed to Weimar being viewed as weak. As a result of the proportional representation voting system, coalition governments were formed, which were weak and unstable. In fact, there had been 9 elections in 9 years, showing just how weak the government really was. At one point there was as many as 35 parties in elections and the German people were confused as to who they would vote for. Again, this helped to increase the support of the Nazi Party, as they had never been in government so were not associated with the weaknesses and corruption of the coalition governments. Furthermore, the inability of Weimar to maintain law and order was a weakness. This had been highlighted by the Spartacist Revolt in 1919 and the fact that there were over 300 political assassinations. In turn , the German people sought an alternative government – the Nazi Party were an obvious choice with their disciplined and military approach. Therefore, the Treaty of Versailles, constitutional problems and a lack of law and order all contributed to the Weimar government being weak. Overall, the German people did not like democracy, they viewed it as unstable, weak and something foreign imposed on them. The Nazi Party attack on democracy seemed like a return to the stability of the Kaiser before 1914, which many Germans desired.
The Weimar government was very weak economically as a result of the war reparations which Germany was struggling to pay. Inflation spiralled out of control and in 1923 hyper-inflation struck Germany. Money became worthless and as a result many people who carried thousands of banknotes to the shops in a wheelbarrow would often pay with the wheelbarrow as it was worth more! During this time, the support for the Nazi party was high and at its peak and the effect of hyper inflation was in 1924, the Nazi vote was at 1.9 million, as Germany was in meltdown the people of Germany looked to the Nazis to provide strong leadership, something they never had. The Beerhall Putsch in 1923 showed the Nazis attempt at a revolution - although the actual revolution was a disaster, it is important as the first example of how economic factors directly helped the Nazis. It showed the Nazis felt strong enough to actually attempt a revolution. When the economy recovered and started to get better between 1925 and 1929, this was known as “The Golden Age” of Weimar and the support for extremists like the Nazis fell. In 1928, the Nazi vote had fallen to 810,100. However, the real problems came as a result of the Wall Street crash of 1929, when many businesses went bankrupt resulting in 6 million people unemployed in Germany alone. With fewer workers the government collected less tax and as a result had to limit their spending on benefits such as unemployment benefit. Historians have stressed the importance of economic factors in contributing to the rise of the Nazi party. For example, AJP Taylor argues that “only the Great Depression put the wind in the Nazi sails”. When the economy was doing well, support for the Nazis fell, and when the economy was weak the Nazis votes increased. Due to the economic weakness of the Weimar Republic the Nazis had gained support and also confidence in that they could take over. By 1933 support for the Nazis had dramatically increased to 17,277,000 votes. Historians such as AGP Taylor believe that economic weaknesses were actually the main reason for the success of the Nazi Party, as it was only when the economy was in crisis that support for the Nazis increased and ultimately they gained power. This shows how although weak central government was important to the rise of the Nazi Party – economic weakness was vital in explaining how the Nazis achieved power.
The appeal of the Nazi Party, through policies and propaganda, was a further contributing factor in the rise of the Party. They had policies to appeal to every major group, especially to the middle class. For example, to the 6 million unemployed, the Nazis promised jobs and a better standard of living. To the middle class businessmen and industrialists, hit hard by the depression, they promised orders for goods and services, reduction of trade union power, destruction of communism and an end to the economic power of the Jews. By appealing to all classes the Nazis were basically guaranteed public support, they seen what Germany needed as a country and also what the people of Germany wanted. Propaganda also attracted support for the Nazis. With the help of Dr Goebbels, the successful propaganda included slogans in posters, newspapers and also speeches. His simple messages had an emotional appeal and repeated what large sections of society wanted to hear. Hitler’s speeches enthused with strong leadership qualities, as he was a talented speaker with strong personality appeal and will power. Another person responsible for the Nazis greatly successful propaganda was Alfred Hugenburg who was the owner of a chain of cinemas and newspapers who provided the Nazis with financial support. The distinct brown suits were very smart and different, this separated them from the other parties and made them look very strong and united, exactly the way the people of Germany wanted their country. Also, the swastika flag had these qualities too; it stood out and was easily identified as being the Nazis. The Nazi Party appeared organised in a time of chaos and therefore attracted the support of the public. Propaganda made the Nazi Party stand out from other parties, at a time when the German people were seeking an alternative government.
Finally, the lack of political opposition was another reason that helped the Nazi party gain great support from the German public. The left wing parties were the KPD and the SPD and they would not unite against the Nazis, as they did not trust each other following the Spartacist Revolt. The right wing party, the DNVP, which was President Hindenburg’s, wanted to destroy communists and used the Nazis to do so. As they feared Communism most, they would not stand up against the Nazis as they knew they had the ability to crush the Communists.
Lastly, the centre parties consisting of Zentrum and DDP would not fight against the Nazis as they also wanted the Nazis to crush the communists. They also felt weak as a party, because their party lost lots of support and they did not feel strong enough to oppose to the Nazis. This shows how the lack of political opposition was an important reason to the rise of the Nazi party and their success up until 1933, as no one showed any real threat to them and basically gave them power as no one was strong enough to stand up to them. The other political parties were unwilling to unite against democracy so it made it easier for the Nazi Party to get into power.
However, even though the attractions of the Nazis were very important, they may have been stopped had it not been for a lack of limited political opposition. On the left wing, two strong parties the SPD and KPD could have stopped the Nazi party’s growth if they had united, however as a result of the Spartacist result the SPD and KPD refused to work with each other. This is because the SPD had killed many KPD members in the revolt, however the nationalists – The DVNP on the right wing done the opposite, they actually helped the Nazis since they were rich, they thought they would fund the Nazi party’s growth and then ‘use’ them to take over the government. They did not realise how strong a leader Hitler was and were sadly mistaken when they thought they could control the Nazi Party and use them as a means of clinching power. The centre parties such as DDP are too weak to fight the Nazis and as a result of hyper-inflation and the great depression they had seen their votes decline as extremist parties such as the KPD and the Nazis took them. The centre parties were also too important and did not have the courage to stand up to the Nazis. The growth of the Nazi party was not just a result of a lack of political opposition, but as a result of all four factors, the weakness of Weimar Government, the economic weakness, the attractions of the Nazi and the aforementioned lack of political opposition.
To conclude, weak central government was important to an extent in resulting in the rise of the Nazi Party between 1919 and 1933. As German people felt that the Weimar Republic betrayed them by signing the Treaty of Versailles, Weimar was doomed from the start. Constitutional problems meant that the government was unstable and resulted in the German people losing faith in democracy. In addition, lack of law and order made Weimar look weak and unable to control the country. Despite the weakness of the Weimar government being an important factor in contributing to the rise of the Nazis, other factors also contributed. Economic problems impacted on the Nazis rise to power as it was during the Great Depression that the Nazi party came to power. This has resulted in many historians actually arguing that economic weakness was the chief factor in the rise of the Nazis. Appeal of the Nazis was also essential as through propaganda and their policies they stood out from other parties. Lastly, a lack of political opposition was also a key factor, as no party would stand up for democracy or against the Nazi Party. Therefore, weak central government only explains the rise of the Nazi Party to an extent, as economic problems, appeal of the Nazis and a lack of political opposition also had an important role to play.
Nazis in Power – Key points for revision
Note the dates, never before 1933 or after 1939.
The Nazis in power question will usually focus on whether the regime forced the German people into co-operating or whether they did willingly as they felt some benefits under the Nazis. Always discuss both!
Nazis had a lot of popularity from the start in 1933:
1932 free election 13.5 million votes, Jan 1933 Hitler Chancellor leads biggest party in Reichstag.
Feb 1933 Reichstag fire Nazis raise spectre of Communist revolution to Nazis able to whip up a lot of support.
Last semi-free election Nazis poll 44% vote, 17 million votes, and 288 Reichstag seats.
Analysis: From the beginning the Nazis enjoyed a lot of popularity as so many Germans voted for them in 1932 &1933
Economy: Biggest source of support for the Nazis
Main weakness of Weimar e.g. Hyper-inflation or mass unemployment 6 million - 1932.
Fall unemployment from 6 million after 1932 down to 300,000 by 1939 .
Show detailed reasons for fall unemployment e.g. public works 1,500 miles Autobahn, 1 ½ million houses, conscription, re-armament etc.
Analysis: Even Germans who did not vote Nazi were grateful to them for real jobs and wages after the misery of the Weimar Depression
Detailed benefits of Nazi economy e.g. DAF & KDF (Strength Through Joy) e.g. 2 1/2/ million tickets for concerts, 8 million paid holidays, Volkswagen cars 5 marks per week.
Autarky/self sufficiency in comparison to Weimar dependence on cheap USA loans, help to other groups such as guaranteed prices to farmers, small shops etc.
Analysis: KDF new approach to rewarding loyal and hard working Germans, paid holidays etc very popular.
Law & Order
Main criticisms of Weimar were its weak governments, political divisions, strikes and lack of law & order.
Strong authoritarian govt of Nazis e.g. Fuhrer, totalitarian govt etc.
Divisions gone e.g. only one political party, trade unions controlled by DAF so no more disruptive strikes etc.
Law & order e.g. no more street violence between parties, criminals and other troublemakers arrested e.g. communists, socialists, subversives etc.
Analysis: Many Germans had been frightened by chaos of Weimar and were willing to sacrifice some liberties for strong government as well as law and order. Many were happy to see undesirables punished e.g. criminals or communists.
Great emphasis on youth big change from sense of hopelessness of Weimar
Most popular organisations e.g. Hitler Youth (HJ) for boys or The League of German Maidens (BDM) for girls, 6 million volunteered to join by 1936.
Popular with poorer children as got free uniform, free camping holidays, activities like sporting events, respect from adults, feeling of belonging etc.
Analysis: Many young people liked HJ/BDM at first due to feeling important, belonging to something, respect, girls in BDM had a lot more freedom etc. Adults like it as gave children a purpose, made them respectful etc.
Big criticism of Weimar was its weakness after 1918 e.g. Diktat/Versailles Treaty,
Hitler’s anti Versailles policy e.g. re-arm; conscription 1935 brought big support.
Analysis: All Germans hated Versailles and were glad when Hitler ignored it.
Nazis in Power: Force
6. Nazis never commanded a majority of support so force was necessary.
Last election Nazis did not have a majority of support (only 44%), more people disliked Nazis than liked them, Hitler never won an election.
1933 election rigged in favour of Nazis e.g. KPD banned, SPD many arrested or scared, yet still did not get majority.
Analysis: Nazis knew majority of Germans had not voted for them so some force would be necessary to have their co-operation.
7. Dictatorship/One Party State/Totalitarian Government
Nazis soon established a totalitarian govt that it was hard to resist, e.g. banning political parties, trade unions, censored newspapers, radio, cinema etc.
Gestapo & SS State took over police, had a system of informers, arrested ‘undesirables’ such as communists, some Jews, Nazi judges always found them guilty, early camps like Dachau or Belsen.
Analysis: There was no way to legally protest in Nazi Germany, no free elections, strikes, meetings etc. Those who did protest were arrested or feared being denounced by an informer.
Nazification (non-Nazis sacked) of important areas of society e.g. police, courts, civil service, schools e.g. 97% teachers in Nazi Teaching association.
Propaganda e.g. Nazis controlled newspapers and radio and censorship kept true picture of terror from many Germans.
Analysis: Many Germans kept quite as being obedient was often necessary to keep your job.
: Many Germans ignored what Nazis did as only a few ‘undesirables’ affected.
Nazi repressive attitudes towards women e.g. employment-many sacked from jobs, family- if married to Jew marriage annulled, children – fears about brainwashing by HJ/BDM etc.
Repression of non-Aryan women e.g. ¼ million forced sterilisations, forced abortions and euthanasia etc.
Analysis: Despite voting for Hitler in large numbers women found themselves reduced in Nazi Germany to the roles of wives and mothers, women who wanted a career or more freedom were punished.
Distortion of education e.g. RE banned in favour of PE, racial theories in Biology etc.
Persecution of minorities e.g. expulsion Jewish students etc.
Forced compliance of youth e.g. HJ/BDM compulsory 1938, Nazis disbanded non-Nazi youth groups like scouts, punished youth groups like Edelweiss Pirates, Jazzers etc
Analysis: Fun at first many young people soon tired of endless political lectures, punishing marches, girls forbidden to wear make up or cut their hair.
Analysis: Parents feared brainwashing of their children, would not criticize Hitler in front of children.
Nazis disliked Christian religion e.g. too soft, unGermanic, a possible source of resistance.
Tried to force German Protestants to join Nazi Reich Church
Persecution of leading religious dissidents e.g. Pastor Niemoller and Confessional Church
Analysis: Not even church was safe from Nazi force, pastors, priests etc arrested and sent to camps.
11. Anti-Semitism & persecution to other groups e.g. Slavs, gypsies, religious groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals etc.
Early harassment e.g. boycotts, petty violence, yellow park benches etc.
Nuremberg Laws 1935, institutionalised racism e.g. Jews no longer citizens allowed to vote, marry Germans etc.
Kristallnacht 1938 November 1938 showed true extent of Nazi hatred and violence
Analysis: was anti-Semitism in Germany but Germans were appalled at Nazi violence during boycotts, Kristallnacht etc.
Not as successful as appeared e.g. stagnating wages, German workers forced to work longer hours etc.
Economic stability at cost of free trade unions, strikes banned etc.
Analysis: Germans had jobs but were forced to work harder and had fewer goods to buy than in other countries. A number of jobs as a result of women, anti-Nazis etc being sacked
Nazis in Power Essay Titles
1. “Hitler’s domestic policies between 1933 and 1939 enjoyed widespread popularity among the German people.” How far would you agree?
2. Assess the impact of Nazi rule on the people of Germany between 1933 and 1939.
3. “A total dictatorship”. To what extent is this an accurate description of the power of the Nazi state in Germany 1933-1939?
4. “Totalitarian rule benefited most of the people.” Do you agree with this opinion about Germany between 1933 and 1939?
5. To what extent did Fascist governments rely on force to stay in power? Discuss with reference to Nazi rule in Germany between 1933 and 1939.
6. To what extent did the Nazis’ control of Germany up to 1939 depend on their social and economic policies?
7. To what extent was Nazi control of Germany from 1933 to 1939 due to the popularity of their policies?
8. “Propaganda rather than solid achievement allowed the Nazis to maintain their authority between 1933 and 1939.” How accurate is this view?
Nazis in Power – Example answer
“Hitler’s domestic policies between 1933 and 1939 enjoyed widespread popularity among the German people.” How far would you agree?
Hitler’s Nazi party enjoyed widespread popularity among the German people between 1933 and 1939 as a result of their domestic policies. Through the economy, the biggest factor in support of reducing mass unemployment, they introduced the KDF (Strength through Joy), this allowed Germans to enjoy paid holidays and concerts. They also helped reinforce law and order, ensuring there were no street battles in Nazi Germany. Germans appreciated this as it was fresh and strict following the previous weak Weimar Government. The Nazis had youth policies which were appealing to the parents and children as they encouraged the likes of camping and sports. These factors were the main reasons that the Nazis had great popularity as they related to many German citizens. However, there were also serious concerns of coercion being used to enforce German peoples’ acceptance. They brought around the totalitarian state which was to Nazify the country; this meant that everyone was mainly completely controlled by the Nazis. Also, Anti-Semitism focused on the races and religions that Nazis did not believe as pure. The Jews were targeted and eventually stripped of their German citizenship. In addition, women were also discriminated against as the Nazis felt that they should have a lesser role than men, and if they had any disability or disorder they should not be allowed to have children. Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state in which all means of protest or dissent were blocked. However, despite this, the Nazis enjoyed great popularity throughout Germany, as they had associated with so many Germans and seemed extremely similar to the thoughts of the citizens. However, although many accepted the Nazi ways, many more were afraid to speak out at Nazi excesses, so there was coercion used as the party were very threatening and had many policies which would destroy anyone who did not follow the Nazi rules.
Hitler and the Nazi party received a great deal of support for the economic policies which set out to do things Weimar could not. When the Nazis were in power they managed to put people back to work and the unemployment figures fell rapidly from 26% in 1933 to below 1% in 1939. These figures were impressive and German people supported the Nazis for being able to lower unemployment. The German labour front forced people into jobs and created new jobs by forcing people like Jews and woman, who were not included in unemployment figures, out of their jobs. Hitler also gained popularity by giving people an incentive to work. The KDF, strength through joy organization offered people rewards such as paid holidays, holiday camps and the people’s car if they were loyal workers. This had huge support
and although people were now working longer hours for less money they didn’t mind as they were getting things they never would have has the chance to have before such as the Volkswagen car. This shows that people did appreciate Hitler’s economic policies as he gave incentives and dropped unemployment figures.
Due to the Weimar government, law and order had pretty much broken down and riots had started and the Reichstag fire had happened. Hitler made this a first priority and stopped it in order to restore law and order. In order to ensure law and order, Hitler created the apparatus of a police state. The SS was the state’s internal security service and its purpose was to root out all opposition, real or imaginary. They wore threatening black uniforms and people were frightened of the SS. The Gestapo was the secret police and acted on suspicion in order to take out any anti-socials. These police made many German people nervous and this lost some support of the Nazis as people missed their freedom and did not like being controlled. However it still did gain some support as people disliked the breakdown of law and order in Weimar and so were prepared to accept the totalitarian state that concentrated on removing undesirables who most Germans disapproved of anyway.
The Nazis also had very strict youth policies in Germany. Their aim was to turn boys into soldiers and girls into housewives and mothers. From 1933, parents were encouraged to enrol their children in the youth policies but by 1939 it was compulsory. Boys took part in activities such as shooting and camping, designed to toughen them up into good German soldiers. By 1936 60% of boys were enrolled in some kind of youth activity. Girls were toughs to go by the slogan of the 3K’s: Kinder, Kirche and Kurche, meaning children, church and kitchen. German people supported these ideas and youth policies as parents liked their children to be disciplined and it also gave incentives such as free uniforms for poorer children so they could be clean and look smart, also free holidays for poorer kids too. However the youth policies did not always enjoy widespread popularity as people did accept these policies at first but as they became compulsory in 1939 people were not so willing. Some young Germans even rebelled and formed their own gangs. If the Nazis caught these youths the punishments were harsh. The most famous was the White Rose movement, the leader of the movement Sophie Scholl was hanged for rebelling. Although at the beginning many youths and parents did support these policies, especially poorer families, by the time it was compulsory parents were worried about their children being brainwashed and began to rebel.
While the Nazis were in power Germany became a totalitarian state, every aspect of people’s lives were controlled and regulated by state. Things such as employment, education, youth and even your leisure time was controlled, it was said the only freedom German’s had was their sleep. Hitler took over things such as Trade Unions and on the 2nd of May 1935 the trade unions were abolished and the Nazi Labour Front took over. This was the beginning of the forced co-ordination in Germany. On the 14th of July 1935 Hitler banned all political parties aside from the Nazis and developed the creation of a one party state so that there were no further elections. Newspapers that were critical of the Nazis were shut down and Hitler supplied every German with a radio so they could hear the Fuhrer. Speakers were put up on street corners so no one could avoid messages and state messages from the Fuhrer were compulsory. Police states like the SS and the Gestapo were ordered to eliminate all opponents and the concentration camps were set to be a symbol of terror. Although some Germans did accept and agree with these policies as it got them out of the mess from Weimar, German people were terrified and even law abiding citizens became frightened to speak. People missed their freedom and widespread popularity across Germany for the Nazis disappeared as they took over people’s lives.
The Nazis had very traditional domestic policies when it came to women. They felt that woman should have an important but subsequent role to men. Married woman in Germany got sacked from their jobs to make way for men as it was felt their husband could look after them. This infuriated a lot of German woman as they enjoyed their work. Marriage loans were also given to encourage women into marrying and to bear children. For each child a woman had, a quarter of their loan was paid off. Women were also forbidden to marry non-Aryan men and those who were already married had their marriages cancelled. Also in Nazi Germany a woman was not allowed to have a child if she had learning difficulties, or suffered from depression or was an alcoholic, nearly 225,000 women were forcibly sterilized due to these circumstances. Mary Fulbrock states that “Hitler’s views on woman, which now would appear extraordinarily sexist, where at the time fairly representative”. This quote is showing that although these policies were harsh, many women did support the traditional ideas that Hitler brought about. Nevertheless, many women did feel very restricted in Nazi Germany and they had no ambitions in life other than being a wife and mother, causing their support for the Nazis to fade.
The Nazis policies on anti-Semitism were very strong and for most people the Nazi dictatorship is linked forever to the persecution of the Jews and the anti-Semitism of the state was a factor in its popularity with many Germans. When the Nazis took over at first the harassment was petty and low level. Germans were forced to boycott Jewish shops, windows of Jewish shops were smashed, Jews had yellow park benches and they were not allowed to sit down on trains or buses. However, in 1935 the Nuremburg laws were introduced and harassment became more serious. These Nazis race laws meant that Jews were no longer citizens in Germany and could not be elected or vote, Marriages were
cancelled and people were not allowed to work for Jews. Then by 1938 in relation to the death of a German diplomat by a Jew the Nazi leader Goebbels organized nationwide violence against Jews. 10,000 Jewish shops were destroyed, synagogues burned down and at least 90 Jews murdered. Although these laws were horrific, many Germans hated the Jews as much as Hitler and his domestic policies to destroy them made a lot of German people support him more. People saw Jews as anti-socials and liked the fact that Hitler’s policies on anti-Semitism were destroying them.
To conclude, in general many German people did support the domestic policies of Hitler and a lot of his ideas managed to enjoy a widespread popularity between 1933 and 1939. People loved that his economic policies were getting unemployment figures down and they liked the incentives he offered for loyal workers. Germans liked that they didn’t have to fear law and order being destroyed again, as Hitler had restored it. They also enjoyed how the youth policies gave them disciplined children and that the Nazis had traditional views and ideas in the way Germany was run. Nevertheless, many of Hitler’s domestic policies caused resentment and a number Germans did not support his ideas. People disliked that their children were being brainwashed and that they had a severe lack of freedom now. Germans were living in fear and they did not support Hitler’s policies due to this. Therefore, despite his incentives and the many people who did show his widespread popularity, there were still a lot of Germans who did not support the Hitler and the Nazi party.