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Germany Notes
reporters underestimated Hitlers power and significance as
o Papen thought he would be able to gain new powers by
turning Hitler into a mere shadow. Papen underestimated
Hitler even though they frequently interacted
o Hitler abolished all independent agencies and institutions
bc he feared they would get in the way of his ambitions for
the Third Reich
Hitler called for the elimination of the Reichstag before he even
took oath
o Hugenberg sensed that this would benefit the Nazi party
enormously, but failed to garner the support of non-nazi
members to oppose it
o Hitler started distancing himself from non-nazi cabinet
members by suggesting that they still languished in the
ideals that did a disservice to Germany and didnt
understand Fricks idea of the will and strength to act
o He started started persuading the army to support him bc
authoritarianism was the only way to stem the tide of
In February 1933, Hitler assured ppl that the Werhmacht was the
only legitimate instrument of armed power within the state
o Didnt hesitate to take over forces outside of Werhmacht,
such as police
Hermann Goering was Prussian Minister of the
Interior, and had command over all police forcexs. He
laid off all officials and elements that were
unreliable (didnt agree with his orders), and gave
orders to all police officers to collaborate with the SS,
SA in combatting the left, even if by force with
Start of Nazi terrorism in the streets
o Meetings of other parties such as Communist and Centre
parties, and newspapers that included unfavorable
information about Nazi party were continuously filtered and
broken up
o Public harassment gave way to little public opinion. Radios
were used as revolutionary propagandist tools by Josef
February 27, Reichstag was burned down.
o Hitler and Goebbels used this excuse to blame and
persecute all remaining Communist members as well as
intellectuals and professionals who went against the Nazi
party (over 4000 ppl prosecuted by dawn of Feb 28.

o President eventually persuaded by Hitler to use emergency

powers to give decree that all basic rights of citizens were
suspended. Gave Reich full power to take over federal
governments that didnt institute control in own states, and
made up new laws that resulted in death or imprisonment.
Another indication of flecklessness of Nationalist
members for allowing the decree
No normative regulations
March 12 Vote:
o Centre party agrees after receiving promise from hitler
(which he breaks) to modify Feb 28 decree, and not harm
catholic schools or churches (Vatican too). Also advised to
agree or face harsher consequences
Gleighschaltung: purging of civil service, abolition of Weimar
party system, dissolution of state governments and parlianemtsn
of old federal council(reichsrat), and cooptation of the trade
union movement. To coordinate and put into gear all institutions
and structures of Weimar system
April 7, 1933: decrees to strip officials of legal tenures to enforce
civil service
July, All parties except NSDAP illegal. Reichstag became uniform
and independent ideas were unheard of
o Mittelstand and agriculture workers became powerless in
1934: Hitler let the army do as they pleased with military
appointments, but army was wary of SAs expansion in size and
deadlier arms. Afraid not just political instrument anymore.
Minister of SA (Roehmer) openly went against Hitler, army didnt
like SA.
o SA wanted more power, and to replace German Army
June 30 1934: night of the long knives
o SA leaders were rounded up in middle of night out of beds
by SS, and shot dead without trial
August 2 1934: Hitler becomes field marshall after Hindenburgs
death, and all SS chiefs swore The Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to
hitler: I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the
German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of
the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that
as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life
for this oath."
o In return, Hitler made SS sole army of Germany and swore
to protect the SS
o Hitler creates new title, and lets Hindenburgs title die with
him, so that his power is more significant

Germany was not the efficient political machine that ppl feared it
to be. Party and state constantly disagreed, mutual suspicions,
Bulk of reich business performed by Ministries of State. Goebbels
(minister of propaganda) was most efficient. Different
departments did not synergize properly, didnt coordinate
policies, and Reich Chancellery, which was to provide Hitler a link
to the ministers, didnt coordinate both well either. Minister of
chancellery Heinrich Lammers spent more time in relaying
information to Hitler than communicating with ministers and
keeping them properly informed.
Ministries were marred by tampering from other officials to take
over their powers, either out of jealousy or for the desire of
power, Martin Bormann constantly chastised Wilhelm Frick until
he assigned one of Bormanns advisors to advise his personell
department. As more and more roles began to be assigned to
ministries, sometimes they would get assigned roles they were
not competent in carrying out. These roles were often
redelegated from the civil service. Ministers became focused on
gaining power and more roles insteadof focusing on their jobs,
other ministers would get jealous
o More technical Ministries were immune to these struggles
because it was hard to delegate technical roles to other
o Foreign policy sometimes was not uniform in the state as
different figures and parties made german foreign policy
suffer to the competition of party agencies that carried on
ferign policies of their own acclaim. The Aussenpolitisches
Amt der NSDAP and Auslandsorganization der NSDAP,
Alfred Rosenberg, Dienststelle Ribbentrop, Volksdeutsche
Mittelstelle all resulted in conglomeration of clashing
foreign policy directions. Party diplomacy made for
disruption of regular diplomatic business. Results from the
proliferation of offices wasnt relieved until Ribentrop
became Foreign Minister.
o In all disputes for titles and duties, Ministers were
dependent on the backing and permission of Hitler to gain
job security and permission to receive more titles and
duties. Dienststelle Ribbentrop became minister because
Hitler was impressed by his knowledge of foreign
languages and supposed connection with international
haut monde. He becamse Speical Envoy for disarmament
and ambassador to GBR. And a good deal of ministers
became more powerful because they had the security of
Hitlers backing.

Although winning Hitlers trust was the key to ganing power, it in

no way showed Hitlers lack of interest in administration. He
chose a method of divide and rule, and checks and balances
wherein with each trusting of power, he gave counter-offers to
others. One minister with power still had to deal with other
ministers who had less power, who had rights in refusing to grant
the more powerful minister what they wanted. Goebbels didnt
have complete power over the press for propaganda until second
half of war, and before then, he couldnt interfere with the duties
and jobs of Reich Leader of the Press or Reich Press chief. Even
when Goebbels appealed to Hitler, he didnt receive the
authorization for Hitelr had assigned those roles to others as
well, and he couldnt omit their roles to make his role more
States didnt support centralized government, and Gauleiter tried
to establish decentralization by stressing power of local leaders
more because they were afraid power would eventually rest in
the hands of bureaucrats. Frick stressed his policy of
Reichesform, but so many states opposed it and Berlin, that it
wasnt possible, and even the Reich Chancellery couldnt resolve
their problems. State leaders eventually ruled their states
without reporting to Berlin, and only viewed Hitler as their
superior and person they had to report to.
Only reason Germany didnt become a revultionary state amidst
all the chaos and lack of work towards the common good (bc of
disorganization and desire to stay away from centralization) was
because of terror factor instituted by SS.
Heinrich Himmler became Commander of the SS, and
revolutionized its strength. As SAs usefulness and reliability
decreased as it became rowdier in behavior, it became a more
disciplined elitist force,
filled with former officers and
unemployed academics who are completely devoted to the
Fhrer. Himmler envisioned the SS more than just a bodyguard,
as as the training ground for the leaders fo the future National
Socialist state. The SS eventuall gained more powers, such as
the intelligence and espionage section, Sicherheitsdienst (SD),
which was designed to bring the thinking of Germans under close
Control after the appointment of Reinhard Heydrich when the
title was stripped from the SA in 1932.
Himmler used his minor role as police chief of Munich to quickly
gain influence over the gauleiter and Minister of the Interior, and
he soon became commander of All Bavarian police fores ad had
control over Dachau and other concentration camps in the state.
Frick had lans of bringing all state police forces under his control,
and as Himmler appointed Hermann Goering as Deputy Chief
and Inspector of the Gestapo on April 20 and Heydrich as head of

its central office after Heydrich and Himmler had gained power
over all police forces in Germany and Prussia by April 1934, Frick
became worried about Himmlers power. He warned Hitler that
Himmler would be a greater danger than Roehm. On June 17
1936, hitler gave Himmler power to coordinate all police activites
(criminal and political) throughout the country and made him
Reichsfhrer-SS. Frick was deported to Bohemia and became
Reichsprotektor in 1943 when Himmler became Minister of the
o Himmler also organized all concentration procedures, and
work routines to unit and became one great machine of
terror and suffering in 1933. Established the Order of the
Deaths Head, and in 1938, Himmler received permission
from Hitler to exceed existing limits on the SS by the
transfer of SS men on general duty to the armed units and
by recruitment. Verfgungstruppen and Deaths Head units
numbered 20,000 men and would be nucleus of Wafen-SS
which Himmler hoped would replace army. Hitler had gone
back on his words a bit to the army that he would not
muddle in their monopoly of military force. SS only was
responsible to commander, and not restricted by normal
laws of the state. They performed acts of terror and
established a state in which they created a new political
order through fear.
- Reinhardt plan similar to Roosevelts new deal, focused on
building infrastructure, agriculture and construction of
- More focus on self-reliance for production and industrialization
o Prey on small businesses to rationalize big industry
o Capitalist structure and managerial and technological skills
of industry the focus
- Command economy based upon massive rearmament effort
o Turning point: October 1933 termination of German
membership in Disarmament Conference and League of
Nations so no Western reprisals in rearmament on a serious
o Full employment in 1933-1934 with amount of state
expenditure put into it
- Not enough raw materials due to boycotts and less exports, new
plan of September 1934 by schact
o Made impossibly by military service, increase in import of
food, arms clauses of Versailles repudiated
- Walther Darr, Reich Peasant Leader and Minister for Food and
Agriculture tried to make return to agriculture by forcing debt

limitations upon farmers, limiting expansion and modernization.

Ppl flocked to industry instead. b/w 1933-35: wheat, barley and
fodder grains declined by 15% by Darres attempts at making
agriculture working more respected. Meat and potato production
fell off too.
o Hyperinflation 1936
August 1936: Hitler wrote about bolshevism as Germanys
biggest threat, and that Wehrmacht was to be prioritized above
everything else
o Point of economy was purely to be able to assert
themselves in politics
Goering focused too much on other instituions and Four Year Plan
had to undergo basic reorganization in September 1938
1933-1934: Nazi campaign to enforce withdrawl of married
women from labour force. Government refual to mandate
conscripton of women to work in war industries contributed to
labour shortages and curtailed production.
o National socialistm was repressive and reactionary, and it
was thought unnatural for women to aspire to careers in
politics or profesions to indulge in any activity that
removed them from natural order of femaile se
After Nazi came to power, de-feminized public service, dismissed
females in legal professions, public employees all to stay home
and work at home
o Women doing more womanly work like shop assistant
and farm assistants were pressured by local authorities to
step down if husband worked too, and young women were
given interest-free loans averaging 600 R.M. to stop
working and get married
o Didnt work in long run to stop married women from
o More adaptable and chepar than men
o Female employment rose from 4.52 mil to 5.2m 1936-1938
Females worked in all industries except physically
demanding ones, and popular industries such as
chem, electrical, and rubber began having higher
demands for women and wage also increased
Did help reverse birthrate declines from 1925-1933
by giving many benefits such as tax reduction, helath
care and financial reasons
Hitler was admired by all German women. He stressed that
women should aspire to be good wives. After 1936 times were
more affluent, and more women started working again, and
attitudes reflected that.

Hitler had hatred for Jews before Krystallnacht, but didnt take
drastic action bc he didnt want to alert interanational
community and didnt want economic condequences
As Hitler began taking more drastic action, international
community alreted and boycotts of German products happened.
Schactht told Hitler that it would have a bad effect on economy
Hitler allowed Financial and Jews in clothing and retail trades
from shutting down bc they were integral to German business
until 1938
o Jewish basic rights were being stripped systematically (pg
633-34 for decrees)
Part Convention of Sept 1935 stripped German Jews of
nationality. REichsburgeresetz of 15 Sept made Aryan blood
requirement for citizenship, only citizen is beneficiary of ful
political rgiths by law
Too direct condemnation of Jews (blaming individual Jews for
economic failures) was too extreme and didnt work
Dcree regarding the Reporting of Jewish Property (26 Apr 1938)
required Jews to report domestic and foreign property in excess
of 5000 RM
o By beginning of 1939, Jews were abused, plundered,
deprived of citizenship and deprived of livelihood after all
Jews had to pay collective fine of 1,000,000 RM for
assinatio nof German diplomat by Polish Jew. All Jews were
to be exlucded from economy, and professionals couldnt
work anymore.
Hitler had decided by end of 1918 that Jews needed to be
destroyed, and were reason for WWI. He said that Jews would
plunge the world into war again, that the destruction fo the
Jewish race would have to happen. REinhard Heydrich, head of
the Security Service of SS, came up with half solution, to force
Jewish emigration or send them to work camps, but by 1939,
start of war made emigration impossible.
Hitlers War
Hitlers war tactics were revolutionary in their military tactics,
especialy in dismantaling Poland
o Resulted in psychological effects that destroyed morale in
France and Britain, which led to their reluctance in
completely joining the war, despite the faults htat
Germanys army had (communication problems, supply
short, faulty machinery)
Slight initial objections to invading france so directly and early,
but nothing came of it
1940: Germany invaded Norway to secure ports after British
made it publicly known that they would take Norway for offshore

mining to prevent Hitlers occupation of the ports. Hitler took it 6

days later, and fought off weak British resistnace.
Hitler took Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium by May of
1940 with a well coordinated Blitzkreig of all military forces that
swiftly surrouned French and Belgian troops in Belgium and
forced a retreat. Invasion and defeat of France in June came
quickly afterwards, Hitlers greatest victory of all time
Differing ideas of what really lead to defeat of France and
Norway, Hitler took majority of credit when Handler was the one
who kept Hitler calm and the real strategist behind the attacks.
Disagreement in what strategies to take against Britain.
Next offensive was in Summer of 1940 when Nazi launched all
out air-raids on British Isles
o Luftwaffe wasnt designed for air raids, but for air support
Amateurish and ignorance of intelligence reports
failed to squander British morale from joining war,
and lost a lot of German air fleet
o American support of British increased, as US entry into war
Sept 27 1940: Tripartite Pact between Japan,
Germany, Italy formed to aid each other
economically, politclaly and military means in case a
non-war or non-asia pacific country attacked one of
Also included an article that mentioned
American threat
This had the effect of making Americans think
the fascist threat in Europe was more
pronounced now
o Hitler in October went to Italy, Vichy France, Franco Spain
to talk about taking Gibraltar, Suez Cana, to drive British
from Mediterranean and German advance through
Palestine to Turkey, but Spain disagreed
o Soviets were aware that their weakness was to the south,
where Romania was
Hungary and Bulgaria were fighting over Romanian
land, and Hitler adjudicated that Germany and Italy
would rule over the lands, and thus was Germanys
ascension in Romania
Soviets immediately became worried and
dispatched Molotov to speak with Germany,
but no friendlier after meetings with Hitler
o In December, Hitler decided on Operation Barbarossa to
prepare to fight the Soviets in Russia before finishing the
war with England

Hitler ignorantly thought that the Russians were

more primitive in military strength and lacked
leadership, seeing his over confidence come into play
o As Greece was defnding itself and the reinforcement of
British and Oceanic troops, Hitler didnt want a two front
war and sent German troops and Luftwaffe to Greece and
promptly shut down any resistance
English troops forced to retreat
March 17 1941: Hitler gave a speech saying that Russia needed
to be exterminated, while officers and other close associates of
the Fhrer had dispostions about the invasion while the war
against Britain was going on still
o Spring of 1941: German armies started assembling in East
Prussia, Poland, and Romani and troops from Greece and
Crete attacked Russia on June 22
o Luftwaffe won mastery of skies within 2 weeks
o Armies in north and south hod won and were pushing
towards Leningrad and Kiev, respevtively
o Initial 10 day victories of Blitzkrieg across Russia wouldnt
last as armies began facing stark opposition in Newa and
By time German forces won those locations, 3
months had passed and early winter immobilized
troops and transport
German troops unequipped for Sub-zero Russian
Russian Marshall Zhukhov authorized counterattacks
in north and south, and German army staff urged
Hitler starkly reufsed , and took army into his own
hands on Dec 19 from reigns of the ailing Brauchtisch
Any officer that authorized a withdrawal lost
their ranks, such as Panzer Geeral Erich
o German troops dug in for the winter and awaited spring
across the thousand-mile front
During this time, Hitler called upon Japan as an ally in
the Tripartite Pact to ramp up their attack on the
pacific to keep the United States out of the war
Pearl Harbor attacked on December 7 1941
without much protest, and on Dec 11, General
Jodll made a call to the Plans section of the
OKW to prepare for US employment of forces


Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag on same

day that declared war against US

Home front
Since victory against France, Hitler was worried about attitudes
in Germany
o Production of armaments and consumer goods both didnt
decline because spoils from victories in France, Poland and
Scandanavia all paid for themselves
Albert Speer spearheaded Hitlers call to massively increase war
production in 1942 as Minister of Armaments and Munition. He
streamlined the Four Year Plan and production of armaments and
munitions and increased production threefold.
Shift from focus on Stimmung (or public mood) to Haltung (true
Goebbels aware that German ppl were not initially enthusiastic
about going to war
o British Prime Minister announced they were going to war
against Hitlerism, not Germany.
o Nov 8 1939, 6 Nazis killed and 60 wounded in attempt on
Hitlers life.
Goebbels directed press to make clear that Brtish
Secret Service and Jews behind it
2 wives of Nazis said the Fuhrers life was more
important than their deceased husbands
brought German ppl together more
order in Europe:
used fight gainst communism as rationale for conquering of
o voices echoed around all Nazi occupied countries of the
great benefits that the joint venture against Communism
and uniting Europe under Nazism would have (all other
countries outside Germany inferior)
countries that required Germanys help (Italy, Hungary) needed
to give Nazis power in the countries, and both countries became
german occupied, with Italy having Luftwaffe base
trusted and respected countries such as Romania, Bulgaria,
Finland, they were widely untouched and depended on for
economic, military and political resources
Rest of Europe was under direct or thinly veiled German control:
Luxembourg, Belgium, Alsace , Lorraine, Holland, Norway,
France, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia (divided
into 3 states: Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro), Greece all came
under Nazi rule to some strong degree eventually. All efforts to
work towards combatting the Bolshevik revolution

o These lands were also regarded with ruthless economic

exploitation, but inefficient in that no new institutions
Plundering and shipping of resources back to
Germany (material, machiner,y manpower)
Hitlers refusal of compulsorary national service for women
significantly curbed the potential 2 million German men who
couldve enrolled in military service instead of working in
End of polish war, POWs and civilians were shipped to the Reich
as laborers, same with in France after its defeat
o Dec 1941: 4 million foregin workers in german filed and
o March 1942: Plenipotentiary General for LAvour Allocation
Subsidiary of 4 year plan
Centralize procurement, transporation, allocation and
exploitation of foreign labor
o Using brutal practices, 2.8 million foreign laborers were
producred in the last few years of the war
All Jews (Lebensraum) were taken care of by Heinrich Himmler,
the Reichsfhrer of the SS and the Chief of German Police in the
Ministry of the Interior, was to devise means to eliminate the
harmful influence of such alien parts of the population, especially
in the newly acquired of such alien parts of the population,
especially in the newly acquired territory, which in their present
postion constitute a DANGER to the Reich and the German
Ruthlessness in Himmlers grandiose scheme of social
engineering behind eterminiation of Jews, destruction of 30
million Slavs at the hand of SS (prerequisite for German planning
in the east) and atrocious treatment of Russian POWs by
Einsatzgruppen (special SS action teams) that moved into
Russia behind advancing armies, captured all the people left
behind, of whom 3,700,000 ppl died in captivity
o Hitler gave Himmler the order for a final solution of the
Jewish question in 1941
He relayed to Rudolf Hoess, commandant of
Auschwitz and that the executions would be taken up
by SS
o July 1941: Hermann Goering gave orders to Reinhard
Heydrich, head of Secret Police and SD to fully involve
state in the scheme
o that this object was mass murder was obscured in the
clotted bureaucratic style that characterized all National
Socialist directives.

o Those who carried out the holocaust (officials,

commanders, SS) either didnt think beyond their personal
duties of transporting Jews, looking at figures and quotas
on paper and refused to see what the data represented
(like Hoess), and Himmler, who romanticized the
extermination of Jews, was why it was so successful in
carrying out the killing of almost 6 million people in the
Himmler glorified it as an unwritten and never-tobe-written page of glory in our history
El alamein, Stalingrad, Normandy
- Britain looked to be on the verge of defeat by Germany after the
Afrika Korps, commanded by Rommel, captured the important
base of El Alamein after pushing British troops out of Cairo and
Mersa Matruh, which was surely a sign of Britains loss of its
African and Middle Eastern Colonies
o British Isles became cut off by sea as 259 German U-boats
operated in the seas around Brtitain and sunk all allied
support and British boats
- End of 1941: Russia suffered 4.5 m casualities
o Spring 1942: Marshal Timoshenko lost 240,000 as POWs
after an ill-faited attempt towards Kharkhov met by
German forces
Red Army seemed on point of extinction
Hitler predicted on July 21 that army would be
depleted as German forces closed in on Stalingrad
- Oct 23 1942: New British commadner, Lieutenant-General
Bernard Law Montgomery opened massive attack on Rommels
lines at El Alamein
o Forced Afrika Korps into retreat
o British and American troops retook Casablanca, Oran and
Algiers on Nov 8
- Nov 19-20: Russia mounts attacks on north and south of
Stalingrad and encircled German forces
o By February 1943: German forces lost, and they also lost
Kharkhov,Rostov, and Kursk
o May: Rommel surrended and finally lost Tunis
U-boats could no longer keep up bombardment at the
advance of Allied detection technology and advent of
escort carriers and Liberator bombers that sunk 41
U-boats in May alone
o Italy was soon lost and Mussolini captured by Brits and US

Germanys feared attack on two fronts and combining bombing

offensive of German cities, ports and factories was the greatest
lost battle on the German side written b Albert Speer in his diary
o Hitlers involvement in operational matters of the military
genius Feldherr, the commander in chief, became
disruptive and eventually disastrous as good fortune
looked down on he allied offensive
Despite the ominous aura surrounding Nazi future, Hitler
remained steadfast and chided others who yielded to intelligence
and logic. His decision to keep troops in Stalingrad in the winter
of 1941-42 was bc he didnt want the negative psychological
effects of a retreat, not because of any glimmer of hope of a
o Hitler didnt care that he condemned 300,000 to death or
about the loss of troops after their surrender
Hitlers steadfastness, had no logical military backing due to the
reversals of 1942-1943
o Condemned all commanders who ordered surrenders to
death, and arrests of families
o In an order on Nov 27, he admitted that the war was at a
turning point, and that all German forces must be focused
into the final struggle
o Dec 20, admitted to staff that if British lost, Soviets could
be pushed back, if not the war would be lost
Even after losing Normandie, and Antwerp, which he believed
would trigger a snowball effect of mounting panic through the
Reich, he maintained the same steadfast attitude of hope that
the tide of the war would change.
When Russian forces finally reached Warsaw in January 1945,
Hitler realized that the fall was imminent, and on April 22 1945,
he sade to Jodl that he would remain and die in Berlin.
Hitler tried July 1943 to boost morale of German population by
saying there is no glory in surrendering, and wading it out is the
only way to victory. They wil rebuild all the destroyed homes.
o Made Goebbels ramp up propaganda efforts
o Hitler believed that the German people all had faith in
German leadership, despite the collapse in German
o The collapse of the Reich was not graceful as Himmler
scuttled his way West through bribes, Goebbel convinced
his staff that they were all part of a movie to be shown 100
years later, and the OKW spewing out orders to deceased
soldiers and non-existent units