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21 AUGUST 2001


Major Powers in Europe 1914


Russia - Tsarist - Nicholas II

Austro- Hungarian Empire - 50-60 Million People.  Franz Josef became leader in 18??  Many nationalist groups consisting of Magyars, Slovaks, Slavics, Poles, Slovenian Nationals.  None were really happy.  468 Hapsburgs became empire.

Great Britain - Royal Navy stronger than the next two navies combined.  Empire was huge - a commercial and industrial superpower.  George V was king in constitutional monarchy

German Empire - 1871 Otto van Bismarck (Hohenzollern family) chancellor from 1871-1890

France - In 3rd Republic - from 1871 until 1940, France was a republic

Italy - Unified in 1870 with conquer of Rome (from French) Victor Emmanuel III king during war - Italy became republic in 1946.








If Austria attacks Serbia, Russia fights for Serbia, Austria needs Germany's help.



Everyone sympathized with Franz Josef because he'd lost his only heir.


1914 July 23 Vienna sent 3-point ultimatum to Belgrade


Serbia refused on the last point, and asked Russia to honor their alliance.


The deciding factor of WWI was entangling Alliances between countries in Europe.


Sir Edward Grey proposed an international conference to deal with the Balkan problem.  Convening with other European countries had solved other disputes for several years.  Germany and Austria said no.


1914 23 July Austria declared war on Serbia


23 AUGUST 2001


Military began taking precedence over diplomatic power in Germany and Russia.


Race to mobilize before any other enemy.  In the 1920's, every country had a strategic plan for any other country.


Count Alfred von Schlieffen developed a plan for Germany to fight a two front war.  After Bismarck left, Germany had the possibility of a two front war.


The Schlieffen Plan had holding plan in East (for Russia) and a quick attack on Paris, through Belgium and Luxembourg to separate Paris from the sea. 


In Russia, generals are aware of their limitations, they began preparing for quick mobilization because it would take a long time for the army to get moving.  Czar Nicolas yields on 1 July.  On 29 July, Nicholas ordered general mobilization, but learned that Wilhelm was trying to calm Austria.  Nicholas had no plan for mobilization against Austria-Hungary.  On 30 July, Nicholas ordered full mobilization.


Germany sent a 12-hour ultimatum to Russia on 31 July to stop mobilization on the border.  Germany asked France what they were going to do but responded on 1 August and they did not say yes or no.  Later on 1 August, France mobilized.



Germany ordered full mobilization on France, declared war on Russia.


2 August – Germany entered neutral Belgium and Luxembourg, declared war on France on 3 August.


France was friendly with Britain.  British Parliament and public were divided about the war.  German invasion of Belgium changed Britain’s mind.


4 August 1914 - Britain declared war on Germany

Edward Grey – “The lights have gone out all over Europe.”


Italians were declared neutral – 1882 Italy was in the Triple Alliance with Austria and Germany.  In 1915 it joined on the Allied side.


With the war, Germany united and put aside political disagreements during the war.  Within the first few weeks, Germany justified to the public their assurance of a quick victory.


First wins for Germany in East Russia advanced into East Prussia.  Germans brought out Paul von Hindenburg of retirement – appointed Erick von Ludendorff as Chief of Staff.


Turkey and Japan was against Russia.


During the last week of August, at the Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes – Germany defeated Russia.  Hindenburg and Ludendorff were hailed heroes and called the shots in Germany.


In the west, Moltke (the East German commander) by September 4th, Germany was within 20 miles of Paris.  In the Battle of the Marne, the French commander (Genera Joffre) pushed back the Germans a few miles.


The race to the sea began.  Each side tried to out-flank the other.  Front extended from Belgium to the Swiss frontier.  The war became an attempt to break the other’s lives.


New weaponry for the war – machine guns, mustard gas and airplanes (Germany was first to use them) tanks, and napalm


With a stalemate on the Western front, Germany realized it wouldn’t be a quick war.


Great Britain's power on the sea brought supplies and men.  The Allies had a much better Navy.


April 1917 – United States joined the war.

April 1917 – Ludendorff realized Germany’s situation was desperate – Austria defeated Serbia.  Turks were falling apart; Austria Hungry and Britain’s blockades were wearing down the cities


March 1918 – Ludendorff launched major offense – 40 mi. from Paris.

Summer 1918 – 2nd battle of the Marne – Foch and Pershing never got along but they gradually broke the lines (Hindenburg Line) by September 28.  Ludendorff on 29 September asked Germany Chancellor Heirtling to open negotiations with Wilson based on Wilson’s 14 points.


30 September – Bulgaria surrendered

31 October – Turkey surrendered

3 November – Austria signed Armistice, too.


Emperor Karl (the last Hapsburg – they’d ruled since 1278) didn’t abdicate.  On 12 November, he just left Schoenenburg


Chancellor Heirtling in Germany resigned on 30 September.


1 October Hindenburg insisted on negotiations for peace.

4 October Kaiser Bill named Prince Max of Baden Chancellor – put two socialists in the cabinet – Phillip Scheidemann was one.  New government sent a note to Wilson because he authored 14 points – Not France (Clemenceau) or Britain (Lloyd George) and wanted a better deal.


Note said Germany was ready to cease hostilities and accept 14 points for discussion of terms.  Max wanted to rapidly democratize (Constitutional Monarchy) to save the dynasty.


  1. Ministerial Authority – bicameral legislature.  If Chancellor didn’t get the vote in Reichstag, he’s out.
  2. Sanction of War and Peace to Reichstag’s vote.
  3. Amnesty granted to political freedom.
  4. Total freedom of press and assembly.


Hohenzollern personal rule was ended, and Constitutional Monarchy – too late to save Kaiser Bill.


Became untenable when Wilson demanded “destruction or reduction to virtual impotence of the German monarchy” – basically was a demand for the Kaiser to abdicate.


By late October, majority of public favored Kaiser’s abdication.


October 29 – Kaiser fled from Berlin and went to Spa in Belgium.


Admiralty ordered high seas to engage the Brits, but they didn’t go out because of the German’s huge loss at Jutland in 1916 – it was the only major sea battle in the war.  Mutiny at Heigoland was huge – but it happened everywhere.


By the end of the first week of November, proletariat joined sailors and took over cities on the coasts.


By November 8, revolution was in the interior.


Prince Max knew Kaiser had to abdicate with the prince and have regency for the Kaiser’s 9-year-old grandson.


Revolution in Munich resulted in abdication of Wittelsbach dynasty (Ludwig IV) in Bavaria.


November 8 – majority socialists instructed workers if Kaiser’s abdication wasn’t announced on 9th, they would leave their jobs and demonstrate in Berlin.


Independent Socialists called for immediate establishment of the republic.  By 10AM on the 9th, the workers were striking in Berlin.  Then soldiers by noon, Workers and Soldiers councils were formed.  The German revolution copied the Bolshevik.


28 August 2001


1907 Russia and Great Britain fought over Afghanistan, Tibet and Iran. 


Majority Socialists, Independent Socialists:  eve of WWI, Social Democrats were largest single party (not majority).  They used Marxist doctrine and their leadership was very moderate.


In Germany, Social Democrats decided to go to war in 1914.


At the end of the war, they split into the Majority Socialists who were conservatives, and the Independent Socialists who were the Communists. 


The new Chancellor Prince Max of Baden was trying to deal with the Allies and save the Hohenzollern dynasty.  Max wanted to get rid of the Chancellor and his son, but save the throne for the Kaiser’s grandson. 


Kaiser was informed by phone (he was in Spa) that Prince Max said the Kaiser would have to abdicate. 


November 9, 1918 – After 11AM, news from Spa said the Kaiser would abdicate, but he didn’t have a speech.  He would have a speech by 11:30.


Majority Socialists resigned from the cabinet to force the Kaiser’s abdication.


Prince Max notified the press that Kaiser Bill would abdicate, the crown prince would give up his claim to the throne, and regency would be established for the Kaiser’s grandson.

Prince Max suggested Freidrich Ebert should be appointed as chancellor.  He set up a German Constituent Assembly to decide the form of the new government.  Max was doing all of this to placate the working class.


Majority Socialists demanded government entrusted to men who have full confidence of the people.


Without the appointment of the Kaiser, Max (a Centrist) turned over all of the government to Ebert (a Majority Socialist.


2:00 PM in center of Berlin, Phillip Scheidlemann addressed a group of people, said “Germany is now a republic.”  This statement came back to haunt them because it was a declaration without a referendum.


At Spa, Bill says he’s willing to give up the title “Emperor of Germany” but would remain “King of Prussia”.


Staff persuaded him to leave Germany.


Late evening, November 9 - Wilhelm retired to the royal train, on his way to Holland.


Early morning, November 10 - Wilhelm placed himself under protection of Queen Wilhelmina of Holland.


Wilhelm remained in Holland for 23 years, until he died.  His last public statement in 1940 was to congratulate Hitler on the fall of France; supposedly to it was to protect his remaining family in Germany.


During October 1918, Allies broke the Hindenburg line, got Germany out of France, most of Belgium and all channel ports.

Meuse-Argonne Offensive:  Big US involvement - November 6, US pushed Germany out of Sedan.


November 5 - German lines were cracking; Wilson said Germany could apply for Armistice to General Foch.


November 6 - Delegate Matthias Erezberger was sent to receive surrender terms.  (Centrist -- Centrist party is Catholic, mostly southern, and from 1870-71 tried to defend interests of church.)


November 8 - General Foch gave Erezberger 72 hours to accept or reject terms !no changes!


Erezberger was in a bad place - even though Germany needed to surrender, the terms weren't good.


Brest-Litovsk treaty ended war between Russia and Germany/Austria in March 1918.  Very harsh treaty, Germany took lots of territory.


Armistice had 35 clauses

o        150,000 railway cars

o        5,000 locomotives

o        5,000 motor cars

o        All submarines and surface warships


Germany had to agree to the armistice - they couldn't fight anymore.  Armistice was signed at 5:00 AM on 11 November 1918 at Compiegne, France in a railway car.  It took effect at 11:00 AM on 11 November 1918.


Later, Hitler made France sign surrender terms in the same car, then he blew it up.


January 1919 - Allied statesmen begin drafting peace treaties for all of the CENTRAL POWERS - Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey.  The new state of Yugoslavia wasn't dealt with.  Turkey didn't come under consideration until 1920's.


Treaty of Versailles was one of the biggest peace treaties -

     United States - Woodrow Wilson

     France - Georges Clemenceau

     Great Britain - Lloyd George

     Italy - Vittoro Orlando


May 1919 - German delegates finally invited - not to take part in discussion of terms, but just to sign the treaties.


Majority Socialists and Centrists were forming a government headed by Gustave Bauer.  They decided to sign after Groener and Hindenburg said resistance was futile.


28 June 1919 (5th Anniversary of assassination) - Treaty of Versailles was signed between Germany and the Allies.  Hermann Müller - Foreign Minister, Majority Socialist Party; and Johann Bell, Minister of Colonies, Centrist Party were sent to sign the treaty.


There were 5 headings in the Treaty of Versailles


The general theory was devised by Wilson - Self Determination of Nations.


1.   Introduction:  This was the covenant of the League of Nations, encompassed the first 26 articles.

2.   Territorial

2.1.                       WESTERN FRONTIER

2.1.1.                   Germany granted territorial concessions at the expense of Prussia.

2.1.2.                   Schleswig - held a plebiscite.  They decided to go back to Denmark.

2.1.3.                   Alsace-Lorraine - Went to France

2.1.4.                   Saar Basin - Considerable disagreement between Germany and France over the Saar Basin.  League took control of the Basin.  Technically, France benefited.  After 15 years, the people living there could vote on their future.  The election was held in 1935, and they decided to go to Germany by %90+.

2.2.                       EASTERN FRONTIER

2.2.1.                   Germany had to give up lots of territory to form Poland.  In 1700's Prussia, Russia, and Austria partitioned Poland.  Wilson decided an independent Poland would exist.

2.2.2.                   Upper Silesia (very rich in minerals)

2.2.3.                   Polish Corridor - BIG DEAL!  Corridor had a mixed population, and the cession split East Prussia from the remainder of Germany.

2.2.4.                   Allies got Danzig and Memel.  Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia got independence, and Finland got rid of the Russian Duchy that had been in place since 1800's.

2.3.                       FOREIGN COLONIES

2.3.1.                   Germans "weren't fit to promote the welfare of lesser peoples", so they lost their foreign colonies. 

2.3.2.                   Spain had sold the Caroline Islands in the South Pacific to Germany in 1899 - they went back to Spain. 

2.3.3.                   Two colonies in Africa - Nambia and German East Africa (Tanganyika) were supposedly controlled by the League.


3.   Military - German military was kind of a state within a state.

3.1.                       Austria signed the Treaty of Saint Germaine.  Both St. Germaine and Versailles specifically prohibited union between Austria and Germany. (Austria is no longer Austria-Hungary because the Hungarians declared their independence.  So did the Czechs.)

3.2.                       Germany was to reduce total armed forces to 100,000.

3.3.                       No more than 4000 officers

3.4.                       German general staff removed

3.5.                       12 year enlistment, 25 years for officers (This provision came back to bite Weimar in the ass.  It made for a highly trained army when Hitler came to power.)

3.6.                       Germany couldn't make offensive weapons like mustard gas, tanks, or airplanes.

3.7.                       Munitions limited to Allied specifications

3.8.                       Inter-Allied control commissions had full access to Germany to force compliance.

3.9.                       Air Force prohibited.

3.10.                   Navy reduced to 15,000 men with 1500 officers.

3.11.                   Naval force reduced to a few small battleships only.  This clause didn't really change much, on 21 June 1919, German navy scuttled itself at Scappa Flow.


3.12.1.              Allies proposed occupation of less than 15 years of all German territory west of the Rhine.

3.12.2.              Even after Allied evacuation, it would remain a DMZ

3.12.3.              50 kilometers East of Rhine also a DMZ


4.   Economic -

4.1.                       Inter-Allied reparations committee to come up with a monetary debt by May 1, 1921.  In April, they decided on $35 billion in 42 years.  By late 1920's, Germany had gotten out of all but a little of the debt.

4.2.                       Germany was to transfer $5 billion in gold, timber, passenger ships, and their merchant fleet to the Allies immediately.


5.   Punitive - Based on "moral guilt" (another term devised by Wilson) of Germany and Central Powers for all losses in the war.  Wilson said Germany committed "Crimes against Humanity."

5.1.                       Queen of Netherlands (Wilhelmina 1890-1948) was to turn over Kaiser for trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.  She refused.

5.2.                       Certain individuals were to be turned over for trial (900 people for crimes against humanity).  12 came to trial; only 6 were convicted with light sentences.



6.1.                       War Guilt Clause - Article 231:  Allies confirm and Germany accepts responsibility for the war and all of the losses.

6.2.                       Germany is held liable for all material damage to include all future expenditures i.e.: veteran's benefits, hospitals and rebuilding towns.

6.3.                       All pre-war treaties were abrogated, and Germany was to grant favored nation status to the Allies.


German people hated the treaty - they called it the "Carthaginian Peace".  Only the threat of Allied Invasion made Germany sign.  For 20 years, Versailles was a source of endless controversy, especially Article 231.  It still provokes argument today.


Within Germany, the conservative Nationals blamed the Liberals.  They called the treaty a "Stab in the Back" by Jews, German Socialists, and the left.


1919-1939, world diplomacy revolved around the treaty.


4 September 2001


Germany supported Kaiser Bill but was willing to go along with Wilson to keep the peace easier. 


The Republican government was imposed.


Germans equate the republic with losing the war.


After the empire fell, it appeared that Germany would have a Communist government.  This happened in Bavaria and Hungary.  Spartasists – they called themselves the “shop stewards”.


In 1918 a group of Spartasists, led by Karl Liebknicht and Rosa Luxemburg attempted to gain support from National congress of soldiers and workers. – Resulted in a Spartasist uprising –


Ebert was Chancellor – he called for the army but they didn’t like him.


In January of 1919, Spartasists were crushed.  Karl and Rosa were captured and killed.


The Pro-Monarchy Army High Command supposedly carried all of this out, the socialists in the government, and the nationalistic freikorps (made up of veterans and volunteers).


January 19, 1919 - The election was held for the constituent assembly, held on basis of universal suffrage at the age of 21 or 25.  Used a complicated means of proportional representation.


In proportional representation, you don't get 2 or 3 major parties; you got 6 in this election.  The communists refused to participate.


100% 423 Seats



On 6 February 1919, Ebert opened the Weimar Assembly (in Weimar, Germany) instead of Berlin because Berlin is strongly associated with the monarchy.


After negotiations, the Majority socialists, centrists, and democrats agreed to work together.  This forms the Weimar coalition.  They accepted the republic.


11 February 1919, Ebert elected president of the republic (by the coalition).  Appoints Schleidmann as Chancellor.  Schleidmann formed ministry representing 3 parties.


April 1919 - Communist uprisings in Berlin and Munich.  Gustav Nastov led the Munich uprising.  Munich declared itself a communist state.


June 1919 - Schleidmann resigns because of tensions over Versailles.


Gustav Bauer (supported by the centrists and majority socialists) accepts the treaty.


31 July 1919 - Weimar constitution accepted - 262 Y (Weimar Coalition) against 75 N


11 August 1919 - Constitution signed

14 August 1919 - Went into effect


Committee that wrote constitution was headed by a Democrat -(Preuss).


Democratic party = a Liberal constitution



The Weimar constitution represented compromise.  The people weren't enthusiastic over any of it.  The constitution is very long and detailed.  Even though it guarantees civil and political rights, and draws from the United States and Great Britain constitutions, it doesn't allow much leeway or room for interpretation.


The revolutions of 1848 and 1849 influenced the Bill of Rights.  A non-partisan committee supposedly drafted it, but they were all democrats.










6 September 2001




In hindsight, certain features facilitated totalitarian system.


Constitution grants supreme federal powers in - Foreign affairs, citizenship, communication, defense, and tariffs.  Limited powers in - judicial, welfare, right of association, criminal law, public health, labor, school, railroads, and movies. 


Federal laws always superior to state laws.


Berlin assumed direct control over every aspect of private and public life.




Section 1 - If a state fails to live up to obligations imposed by the constitution or national laws, the president can use the army to bring that state into line.


Section 2 - (the Emergency Powers Section) If public safety and order are seriously threatened or disturbed, president can take whatever steps needed to restore order.  President can suspend civil liberties guaranteed by the constitution until order is restored.


Section 3 - The Reichstag can stop all emergency measures.  But - the president can dissolve the Reichstag.


The Weimar Constitution got a lukewarm public reception.  Not many Germans were willing to work in its defense.


The communists didn't/wouldn't become a big deal in the Reichstag/Cabinet until the 1930's.


Right Wing Revolt -March 1920 - Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch - Baron von Lüttwitz, commander of the Berlin garrison, took the Reichstag building and proclaimed an old Prussian democrat (Kapp) chancellor.  Ebert fled to Dresden.  The Socialists staged a general strike and everything shut down.  They asked for military support from Hans von Seekt (overall military commander) but he refused.  Civil servants and property-owning classes are generally opposed.  Putsch collapsed after 3 days.


Communist uprising in Rhur in April 1920 - Germans crossed into Rhur (DMZ) and France crossed into Germany.


1st Reichstag elections 6 June 1920


Majority Socialists - lost 5 Million votes and 63 Seats for 162

People's Party -           gained 2 Million votes and 65 Seats for 84

Nationalist Party-   gained 1 Million votes and 27 Seats for 71


Extremists (freikorps) still attacked the "back stabbers"


August 1921 - Erezberger assassinated

August 1922 - Walter Rathneau assassinated - Rathenau was a wealthy Jewish industrialist who as Minister of Foreign Affairs came up with the policy of fulfillment, an attempt to fulfill the Treaty of Versailles.  Rathenau and Seekt made the Treaty of Rapallo with Russia in 1922.


1922 Treaty of Rapallo    Russia/Germany

Agreement for democratic recognition

No reparations from each other

Trade and Economic equals


Before the Treaty of Rapallo, Russia agreed to allow Germany to produce poison gas, munitions and planes on Russian soil.


More serious to republic than (opp?) was economic because of reparations and 1918 loss of Alsace-Lorraine and Silesia.


May 1921 - Allies presented reparations debt of $35 Million to be paid in gold.  Other economists said it wasn't fair.  Allies threaten to occupy Rhur.  Germany paid 18 Million immediately and another payment in 1922.


Moratorium on payment was requested in 1922.  The mark began to decline in value.


January 1921    4.2 M = $1US

May 1921        62 M = $1US

November 1921   105 M = $1US

December 1921   207 M = $1US


August 1922 - Allied representatives met to discuss moratorium on payment.  French premier Poincaré said no, England said yes.


November 1922 - French decide to force payment.  If they don't get paid, they'll enter the Rhur.


26 December 1922 Reparation commission declared Germany in default for delivering timber and coal.


11 January 1922 France entered Rhur with Belgium and Italian troops to run the mines.


German government headed by William Cuno retaliated by stopping all shipment of reparations to France and Belgium.  Ordered a strike of all German workers in the Rhur.


Rhur strike was an expensive failure for the French, but it was a disaster for Germany. 


85% of Coal, and 80% of Steel & Iron came from the Rhur.  The strike made the already weak German economy collapse completely.


In June of 1922, 1 Million Marks = $1US.

In August of 1922, 5 Million Marks = $1US.

Ebert asked Gustav Stressemann to come in and fix the economy.


Stressemann ordered the end of the Rhur Strike, and ordered the German government to pay the reparations in principle.  He organized an investigation to determine how much $ Germany can pay.


November 1922 - Experts studied reparations payment.  The US heads of the Allied commission, Charles G. Dawes (later VP under Coolidge) and David McKenna submitted the Dawes plan in April 1924.  The Allies approved it at the same time.


Dawes Plan


Hans Luther balanced government debt.


Dalimar Schacht - head of Reichsbank, issued new currency (reichsmark) to stabilize the economy.  4.2 Reichsmarks = $1 US


German middle class had the old mark.  There wasn't any exchange between old and new marks.  This led to lots of support for Hitler.


Speculation in the stock market (lots of the richest speculators were Jews) increased anti-Semitism.


France encouraged making the Rhineland a separate state - fell out in 1924.


Saxony and Hamburg had communist uprisings.


Bavaria - November 1923 - Beer Hall Putsch


Led by Hitler and Ludendorff.  In an 8 November Monarchists meeting, SA surrounded the building and Hitler took the podium.  He told the leaders that he was going to take Munich.  On 9 November, Hitler, Ludendorff, and Goering led a demonstration.  Police let them pass because Ludendorff was in front.  The second group of police stopped them.  Hitler fled, was arrested, tried, and convicted of high treason.  He was sentenced to 5 years, but served 8 months.  He wrote Mein Kamph while he was in jail, and Rudolph Hess took dictation.  Ludendorff was acquitted.


11 September 2001


1924 brought a good period for Germany economically.  The Dawes plan was accepted; there was lots of foreign money, a stabilization of foreign affairs, and better relations with foreign powers.  There were about 5 years of economic prosperity.


Stressemann gets lots of public support and credit.  He resigned as chancellor in 1924, but remained foreign minister until his death in October 1929.







Stressemann was called the "Good European".


Stressemann talked publicly about fulfilling the Treaty of Versailles, but privately, he was rearming Germany on Russian soil (Treaty of Rapallo).  He said he'd fix the borders in the east (read: Poland).


Within 10 years, Germany had 1 presidential election and 4 parliamentary elections.


Ebert died in February of 1925 - he originally favored a parliamentary republic.  He was from the lower class (a master saddle-maker), which helped keep the working classes away from communism.


Ebert's death brought on the first election.  Germany's electoral procedure required 1 or 2 elections.  1st time, winner has to have a majority, 2nd time, plurality.


29 March 1925 -7 candidates, none received a majority.  Second vote necessary, so some parties combined to get more votes.




Election 1 -    Centrists

                Democrats            - 13 Million votes combined

                Social Democrats


For the second election, the Centrists, Democrats, and Social Democrats all supported the Centrist candidate Wilhelm Marx.


Communists wouldn't join - their candidate was Thälmann.


The parties of the Right dropped all previous candidates and named Paul von Hindenburg.  He was considered above partisan politics because he was a war hero.


26 April 1925


Weimar Coalition -   Marx       13,655,615

Communists -         Thälmann   + 2,000,000

Right Parties -      Hindenburg 14,655,766


Communists were blamed for the Weimar coalition's loss.


Fear of a military dictatorship under Hindenburg - Hindenburg was sincere in the beginning; the question is if he changed from 1932-1933.


In early parliamentary elections, the main competition was between the Leftist parties, the Rightist parties, and the Weimar coalition.  The elections usually varied with the economic conditions.


June 1920 election -       Right and Left parties won.

May 1924 election -        Right gained at expense of Middle

December 1924 election -   Nationalist party gained, 2d only to

Social Democrats

May 1928 election -        Nationalists lost heavily, Social Democrats gained, and Socialists gained to 6th.


Müller became chancellor of the Grand Coalition.  The Grand Coalition was the:

People's Party      

     Centrists                  (all joined but the Commies &

     Bavarian People's Party    nationals.  SD disagreed over

     Democrats                  budgets & coalition was

     Social Democrats                dissolved.)


Social Democrats didn't want to cut spending…


March 1930 - Müller's government fell.


Hindenburg named Heinrich Brüning chancellor.  Brüning was a conservative centrist.  Financial crisis (Great Depression) began after a major bank in Vienna collapsed. Germans were laid off as production stopped.


Brüning wants to balance the budget, but there's lots of internal conflict.  Class antagonisms begin to come to the forefront.


September 1930 - Reichstag rejects Brüning's budget.


Hindenburg dissolves Reichstag, calls for elections in September.  Hindenburg rules by decree.  He makes financial program that's the same as the one that Brüning proposed.  Program cut welfare, balanced budget, and cut spending.


From 1930 on, there was very little parliamentary government.


13 September 2001


Political group that benefited most from the Depression was the Nationalist party.


Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889, son of a minor customs official, Alois Hitler.  Alois was illegitimate, and didn't change his name from Alois Schickelgruber (his mother's) until his 20's.


Adolf went to Vienna in 1909, applied for admission to the art academy, was turned down.  Applied to the technical building school, was turned down.  He said there were Jews on the admissions boards of both academies and that's why he was declined.  Began his anti-Semitism.  Became acquainted with anti-Semitic politicians who pushed their ideals.  Stayed in Vienna after the rejection - he painted and sold postcards, was very poor.  Large groups of Marxists, Slavs, Czechs, Poles, and Jews caused him to develop hostility towards those groups.  Left Vienna in 1913 "hating" the city.  Made lots of anti-Austrian remarks.


Hitler moved to Munich and joined the Bavarian army for a 4-year enlistment in 1914.  Even though he had a "job" he was still very poor.  In Mein Kamph, Hitler said he thanked God to be alive during the war.


Hitler was wounded twice.  The second time was in 1918 during a gas attack.  He was awarded the Iron Cross.  He returned to Munich still in his uniform.  By now, Munich has lots of political groups - Communists, Nationalists, Royalists. 


In 1919, Hitler got a job with the army as a political training official - he had to keep soldiers out of clandestine political organizations.


Two of Hitler's friends during this time who later became Nazis were Ritter von Epp and Ernst Roehm. 


September 1919 - Hitler ordered to attend and report on a meeting of the German Worker's Party.  It was descended from a group founded by Anton Drexler (a toolmaker).  Drexler's idea was to make a nationalistic party with lower class appeal.  By 1919, Drexler affiliated with Austrian parties.  They brought the swastika.


Several original members played an important role after Hitler took over.


Dietrich Ekert - Journalist, Nationalistic writer.

Godfried Feder - Economist, hates big business and the "slavery of interest".  Wants to have nothing but small, privately owned stores.


While at the meeting, Hitler made a speech on German unity.  (Everyone else was talking about Bavarian separatism) The leaders were impressed by Hitler's speaking ability and asked him to join.  He was enrolled as member number 555 and placed on the central committee of Nazis as member number 7.


In Spring, 1920, he cut his ties with the army.


April 1920, the German Worker's Party renamed themselves the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) and established their 25-point doctrine.  It was effective until 1945.


(General doctrine was very nationalistic.)


(Economic doctrine was very socialistic.)


Major characteristic of Nazism was the lack of a positive program.  In 1920's the Nazis were a destructive unit.


What are they for??



     Adolf Hitler and others made the basic tenets of Nazi regime.  Hitler assumes complete control.  He realized the importance of party uniforms, flags, rallies, songs, swastika, and the party colors of red, black and white (they were the ties to Imperial Germany).


In the mid 1920's, Hitler came up with the brown shirts - he needed a group to protect party meetings and break up other people's meetings.  They were called the SA - Sturm Abteilung - made up of the old freikorps and a hoodlum element.


Late 1920

     Röhm persuaded von Epp to raise collection to buy a bankrupt Munich newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter - "People's Observer".  Permitted the party to spread their propaganda outside the beer halls.  Eckert was the editor, later replaced by Alfred Rosenberg.


Some men joined Hitler and stayed with him for a long time.


Hermann Göring - Born 1893, son of a German consular official.  Took over Baron von Richstoffen's (The Red Baron's) squadron.  Göring became Germany's leading ace.  He left Germany after the war and went to Switzerland where he became a commercial pilot, married a wealthy woman, and developed a morphine habit.  He returned to live in Germany (near Munich) joined the Nazi party, and led the SA.  Westerners liked Göring the best - he was a good host for visiting dignitaries.


Rudolf Höss - born in Alexandria, Egypt to a German merchant.  Enlisted as an infantryman, went to the Air Force during the war.  After the war, was in the Freikorps and went to University of Munich.  Became influenced by Dr. Karl Haushofer who taught geopolitical theory.  Hess told Hitler everything from class - Germany needs more territory, policy of eastern expansion.  Höss was Hitler's secretary, took down Mein Kamph while Hitler was in prison.  Höss died in 1987 in Spandau Prison.


Alfred Rosenberg - Born of German stock in a Baltic state.  Fled Russia in 1917 because of the revolution.  Hates Jews and blames everything on them.  Took the party ideology very seriously, including the replacement of everything non-German.  Wanted to use Nordic religions.  Rosenberg wrote book "Myth of the 20th Century" it was the second requirement on the Nazi reading list.  Adolf Hitler didn't read it.


November 1923 - Beer Hall Putsch - disappointing failure for the Nazi leadership.  Hitler spent his time in prison writing and keeping in touch with his people in command of the NSDAP.  While in prison, Hitler realized three things:


December 1924 - Hitler started reforming the party as soon as he was released from prison.  While he was in prison, "Deviationist Tendencies" arose in the party.



SS - Elite corps founded at first to protect Hitler.  All are chosen for their racial purity.  They took oath to protect Hitler.  1929 - Hitler put the SS under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler - considered the "worst Nazi".  Himmler eventually controlled all of the concentration camps.




Hitler was outlawed from speaking publicly after he was released.  In 1927, Bavaria said that Hitler could speak in public.  August 1927 was the 1st Nazi Congress at Nüremburg.  30,000 SA paraded before Hitler.


1928, Nazis had 108,000 dues paying members, but in an election they still weren't a threat.


May 1924 - Bad Economy       2 million votes / 32 seats    (regular)

Dec 1924 -  Better            1 million votes / 14 seats    (special)

May 1928 - Good              <1 million votes / 12 seats   (regular)

Sep 1930 - Really Bad        6.5 million votes / 107 seats (regular)

            Soc. Dem.         8.5 million votes / 143 seats

            Communists        4.5 million votes / 77 seats



Despite losses in the middle parties, Brüning continues as Chancellor because the Social Democrats gave him a vote of confidence.


In 1931, Hindenburg invoked article 48, because the Reichstag wouldn't come together and vote.  They'd have disruption on the floor of the house - the Nazis and the Communists would break out in song during sessions singing their party songs. (Horst Wessel Leid and Communist Internationale)


11 October 1931, Hitler and a group of Nazis met in Hartzburg, Germany with Hugenberg (the Nationalist leader) and a group of industrialists.  Fritz Thyssen was a very rich ironworker who met with Hitler.  Hitler convinced conservatives and industrialists they had nothing to worry about.  Said the Nazis were against radicals and communists.


After 1931, the Nazis got lots of support from industrialists because the big industries are scared of communists.


Hindenburg's term ended in 19932.  Brüning wants Hindenburg to postpone the election by invoking article 48, but Hindenburg says no.


ELECTION 13 March 1932 - Hindenburg wants to retire (he's 85) Brüning wants him to run, just to keep Hitler out.  He agrees, as long as Brüning runs the campaign.


Nazi            Adolf Hitler


Nationalists    Theodore Duesterberg


Communists      Ernst Thälmann


Social Democrats

Centrists       Paul von Hindenburg



Hindenburg missed a majority by <1%.


ELECTION - Runoff with Hitler - Nationalists support the Nazis now.


April 10, 1932  Hindenburg gets a majority and wins, against -




State elections bring a lot more Nazi support.  In Prussia - Nazis are largest party in the state parliament.


Brüning resigned as chancellor - he proposed to break up the bankrupt East Prussian estates and divide the land between the peasants.  When Hindenburg said no, Brüning submitted his resignation.


New chancellor appointed -


Colonel Franz von Papen - aristocrat, catholic, military attaché in Washington, recalled by Wilson because he was directing German agents in espionage.  Papen organized a cabinet of Nationals and Conservatives who weren't really allied with any party, but were mostly aristocrats.  With a cabinet like this, he got even less support from the Reichstag than Brüning.  Papen wanted to dissolve the Reichstag.  Hindenburg dissolved Reichstag.


ELECTION - 31 July 1932, the Nazis became the largest single party, but didn't have a majority.  They got 37.5% of the vote, with 320 seats.  Göring was named presiding officer.


Reichstag met for the first time on 12 September 1931, von Papen had Hindenburg dissolve it the same day.  


ELECTION - 6 November 1932

Nazis -    lost 2 Million votes /     196 seats total

Comm. -                              100 seats

Soc. Dem -                           121 seats

Centrists -                          70 seats


17 November 1932 - von Papen offers resignation, but expects Hindenburg to decline.  Hindenburg accepts von Papen's resignation.




20 September 2001


Hindenburg invited Hitler as chancellor, but he (Hitler) couldn't get the Reichstag's support.  Hitler asks Hindenburg to rule by Article 48, and Hindenburg declines.  He didn't appoint Hitler chancellor.


2 December 1932 - Kurt von Schleicher (who had been behind the scenes as one of Hindenburg's advisors for a long time) was appointed Chancellor.  von Papen went to Hitler to try to undermine Schleider.  Schleider asks Hindenburg to rule by Article 48, but Hindenburg refuses.


28 January 1933 - Schleider resigns.


30 January 1933 - Hindenburg names Hitler chancellor - on von Papen's recommendation.  He says that they can control the Nazis, but still let them be in the government.  The appointment is made with the following conditions: 1.  von Papen is vice-chancellor, and 2.  only two other Nazis (besides Hitler) would be allowed in the cabinet.


Hitler's Cabinet


Herman Goering:  appointed minister "without a portfolio" (at large).  Goering would later be appointed minister of the Air Force.


Wilhelm Frick:  Minister of the Interior - controls the national police.  Frick is a Nazi.


Hugenberg:  Minister of Economics and Agriculture - Nationalist Party leader (See Harzberg Front).  Appointment of a loyal nationalist assures the communists won't take over industry.


Baron Constantine von Neurath:  Foreign Minister - hold over from von Papen's "baron's cabinet".


General Werner von Blomberg:  old line general, sympathetic to the party but not a card-carrying Nazi.


Goering named Minister of the Interior in Prussia.


Nazis still didn't have the majority in the Reichstag.


Hitler got Hindenburg to rule by Article 48 and call for new elections


27 February 1933 - Before the new elections took place, the Reichstag building burned.  There are several versions of the story, several places for blame.


28 February 1933 - Hitler began blaming the Communists, he said this was the first step towards a Communist revolution.


One version says the SA who got in through the passageway from Goering's house deliberately set the fire.


Marinus van der Lubbe, a half-witted Communist in his late teens was picked up drunk saying he was going to set more fires (he'd already set several) and his next target would be the Reichstag.  Van der Lubbe and other Communists were arrested - all were acquitted but van der Lubbe - he was beheaded.


Increased Nazi propaganda brought 39 Million voters for 5 March 1933 elections.



Nazi            17 million (Nazis and Nationalists campaigned Nationalists    3 million  as allies.)

Soc. Democrats  7 million

Centrists       5.5 million

Communists      +4 million (ended up having 81 seats)


Returns don't show an increase for other parties, just for the Nazis.  Hitler wasn't happy without the vote unless he got a majority.  With the Nationalists vote added, Hitler had a majority.  Only problem is that with the Nationals on his side, Hitler would have to compromise to get legislation passed.


Hitler said all communists were involved in the fire, so he excluded them from the Reichstag.  Without communists in the Reichstag, Hitler got his majority without having to compromise.


21 March 1933 (During the Reich, this day was recognized as the "Day of National Regeneration") - Reichstag met in Potsdam at the Garrison Church (Frederick the Great was buried there.) There was a fairly elaborate ceremony.  Lots of diplomats present, Hindenburg was there in uniform, Hitler was formally dressed.  Hindenburg read a speech on the new Germany.  Hitler spoke on the continuity between the 3d Reich(he didn't actually use that term, though).  Hindenburg went with Hitler to the crypt where Frederick was buried and they paid their respects.  The Army, SA, and Stalhelm (Nationalist paramilitary group) marched past Hitler, Hindenburg, and the Crown Prince.  Later that night they saw a Wagner Opera. (Which one??)


23 March 1933 - Hitler demanded dictatorial powers for 4 years from the Reichstag.  They passed the Enabling Act "The Law for Removing the Stress on the People and the Reich".  It was a constitutional amendment allowing Hitler to decree any law or treaty without the approval of the Reichstag.


94 Social Democrats voted against the bill, all Centrists voted for it.


With the passage of the Enabling Act, Hitler had become dictator by virtually legal means (except for the 81 Communists).


31 March 1933 - Hitler dissolved state parliaments and reorganized them without an election to have the same proportion of parties holding seats as the Reichstag.  The Statthalter (governor) was appointed for every state.  This position was usually filled by the Gauleiter - the top party leader in the state.


Hitler named himself Governor of Prussia, and made Goering the President of Prussia.


Ritter von Epp named Governor in Bavaria.


Liquidation of states was complete in January 1934 when the Reichsrat was dissolved.


Hitler encouraged state's individual ethnic organizations to have activities, but they didn't have any power.


April 1933 - All Jews kicked out of the Civil Service.

1933 also saw the first concentration camps, although they were for political opponents and not the Jews (unless the two happened to coincide.)


Spring 1933 - Social Democrats banned.  Nationalists, Centrists, and the Bavarian People's Party all dissolved themselves.


14 July 1933 - Hitler said the Nazi Party was the only party in Germany.


2 May 1933 - Labor union assets and membership were transferred to the German Labor Front, which was led by Robert Ley.

25 September 2001


Review:  Order of Chancellors - Brüning, von Papen, von Schleicher, Hitler.  Ceremony was held at Potsdam because there wasn't a building, to increase nationalism.


October 1933 - Hitler's first diplomatic action.  Germany gave its two-year notice that it would leave the League of Nations (it had been a member since October 1926) and the Geneva Disarmament Conference begun in 1932.  Germany's involvement had gotten her some concessions from the rest of the world.


Geneva Disarmament Conference - involved most of the big countries - in effect implemented the Kellog-Briand Pact.  Mostly applied to Army and Air Forces, Naval disarmament happened earlier.


Dissolved Reichstag, called for new elections on November 12.  Hitler asked the German people to vote in such a way to show the world they were solidly behind Hitler and refusing to accept a position of inferiority.


Hindenburg gave his full support. 


43 Million Germans participated - most for the first time.


Included in the Reichstag election was also a plebiscite on the question of Germany's withdrawal of the League and the Geneva Conference.


96% approved

92% voted for the Nazi list of candidates for the Reichstag

100% inmates at Dachau voted for the Nazi list


Non-partisan observers agree there were strong-arm tactics.  Even taking that into consideration, Hitler had tons of support not because he was Hitler, but because he was anti-Versailles.


By the end of 1933, Hitler had come a long way in establishing a totalitarian state.  Still there were (at least during the early years) a number of institutions that held themselves aloof from National Socialism.  In many cases, Hitler would have to grant concessions to these institutions.  They're often called Islands of Separateness.


o        Army - Minister of defense von Blomberg was considered the most sympathetic to the Nazis, but the remainder of the Army were anti-nazi.  General Werner von Fritsch was commander in chief of the army.  Von Fritsch was very anti-Nazi.  In February 1938, the semi-independent army state in Germany was ended.  Von Blomberg was forced to resign after he married a secretary in Hitler's office who ended up being a former prostitute.  Von Fritsch (generally considered the most honorable Nazi officer) was fired on trumped-up charges of homosexuality.  Following their termination, Hitler reformed the ministry of defense to control the Army, Navy and Air Force, called it the Ober Kommand der Wehrmacht (OKW) - Armed Forces High Command, and made himself the supreme commander.  Named Wilhelm Keitel the Chief of Staff.  (Keitel was a loyal, ardent and virulent Nazi - he was hanged at Nuremburg.)

o        Bureaucracy - bureaucrats tend to stay - a few changes at the top happen, but the people who work in the offices are usually the same, no matter who's in office.  Most prestigious of the offices was the Foreign Office.  The higher echelons were filled by "good families" (the "vons") until 1938.  Until 1938, Baron Constantine von Neurath directed the foreign office.  (he was originally in von Papen's cabinet).  Generally a nice guy, not very strong.  February 1938 - von Neurath replaced by (big-time Nazi) Ribbentrop. (Ribbentrop had already been playing a pretty vital role in formulating foreign policy.  Ribbentrop's "Bureau Ribbentrop" had almost replaced the foreign office in dealing with world leaders.) There continue to be some bureaucracies who are anti-Nazi throughout the war.

o        Churches - both Protestant and Catholic.  Most Protestants (N. Germany) willingly accepted the German Christian Church.  In a special election in late 1933, Hitler's candidate for bishop won an election.  There arose a conflict between the Lutherans and the GCC.  Many anti-Nazis remain in the church.  In 1939, Nazis gave up any real effort to force a State church.  July 1933, Hitler signed a concordat (A Concordat is always an agreement between a government and the Catholic church) Nazis promised the Church the same rights enjoyed by the state sponsored Lutheran churches.  In return, the Church promised not to participate in political matters.  Friction soon developed - The church opposed Nazi efforts to destroy Cathloic Youth Organisations and Catholic Churches.  Nazis wanted everyone to be a member of the Nazi Youth.  Nazis were pretty much against Christianity in general.  They wanted to revert to the "Norse gods".


For all practical purposes, Hitler's in complete control of Germany.  Eliminates his primary political opponents outside the party by eliminating parties and the labor unions.


Hitler's first major threat in the first part of his rule comes from fellow Nazis in the radical (socialist) arm of the party.  Opposition for the most part centers on Major Röhm and the SA.  Their aim was to destroy the reactionary strongholds in Germany - Big Business, Big Industry, Officer Corps/Army.  Röhm's idea was to let the SA absorb the Army.  Röhm dismissed as SA commander in 1925, asked to return in 1930 by Hitler because he was well liked by the men.  By spring of 1933, SA has between 2-3 million men; some of them had been with Hitler since the beginning of the party.  Army only had 100,000 men under the provisions of the treaty.   At the beginning of the regime, everyone sees the SA as heroes.  They get lots of credit.  For a while, the SA is quite active in terrorism.  Fairly small scale in 1933 as compared with 1943, but they still had to keep down the subversive elements, underground opposition.  By summer 1933, the opposition was practically nil.  They didn't have anything to do, didn't have any authority, and there were still people in command that weren't Nazis or either not very good Nazis.  Goebbles, Feder, and Strasser began to reassert the socialist ideals of the party.  Hitler had stopped talking about that approach after the Harzberg Conference and disagreed with the Socialist side (or the economic points) of Nazi party doctrine.  Sachat (president of the Deutschbank) and Goering supported Hitler in going against the Socialist doctrine. 


SA designs on the Army made Hitler more uncomfortable than anything.  Röhm and others demanded the SA, Army and Freikorps combine, the "good nazis" should be in charge, and the Prussian "vons" should be removed from power.  Röhm wanted social recognition from the old officer corps.  Hitler opposed the SA's demands.  Hitler had always respected the army since his service in WWI.  He admired officers, etc.  He also knew that in 1923 when he didn't have the army, he lost.  He knew that he had to have the army to get and maintain power.  Also, Hindenburg supported the army.  Hitler decided that when the time was right for the change to happen, he HAD to have the army on his side.  Hitler says the Army is for defense of Germany, and SA is to defend Germany in political matters. 


Winter 1933-34, Hitler tried various types of bribery.  Gave Röhm a seat in the cabinet, and at the same time Rudolf Hess got a seat in the cabinet.  Even then, Röhm wouldn't be quiet.  Goering and Himmler were feeding Hitler anti-SA propaganda - they don't like Röhm.  Himmler was SS leader, under Röhm and he hates Röhm. 


Everyone knew that Hindenburg would die before long.  The last thing Hitler wants is for a strong leader to be in the President's position.  By late 1933, Hitler knew he had to combine the Presidency and the Chancellery.  In order to make the combination, he'd have to get army support.


11 April 1934 - Hitler makes final decision to destroy SA.  Hitler went aboard a naval vessel to watch maneuvers with other high-ranking military officials.  General Werner von Blomberg; Minister of Defense, General Werner von Fritsch; Commander in Chief, and Admiral Erich Raeder; Naval Commander were all there.  Hitler made a deal with the military.  Hitler would support the Army against the SA (Röhm) and the military would support Hitler as president when he needed them. 


Over the next few months, Hitler et al. developed a lie of a planned coup supposedly plotted by Röhm and the SA.  Hitler would have to convince the public that Röhm and the SA were dangerous to the Reich.  The SA was sent on summer leave, most were encouraged to evacuate their barracks.  Röhm and his staff went to a hotel in the Bavarian Alps near Munich. 


30 June 1934 - Blood Purge- Night of the Long Knives.  On June 29, Hitler and Goebbles flew to Munich, were joined by the SS.  During the night, they ride to the Hotel where they find Röhm and his entourage in bed together.  Hitler pretended to be shocked that Röhm was a homosexual; he'd known for a long time.  Some of the officers were shot there on the spot. Röhm is brought to Munich, placed in a prison cell.  Hitler talked to him; they discussed how long they'd been together, the early days of the party.  Hitler gave Röhm a pistol to kill himself with, but Röhm refused.  Hitler had him killed the same night.  In Berlin, Goering and Himmler rounded up SA leaders and had them killed. The Night of the Long Knives wasn't reserved just for the SA, it was a night to settle some scores with enemies Hitler had from the early days of the party.  No one knows exactly how many were killed (primarily Munich and Berlin) - certainly more than 100, at Nuremberg, they said more than 1,000.  

Gregor Strasser, General Schleicher and his wife, Von Papen's secretaries, a number of laymen from a Catholic action organization. 


Later, von Papen found out he was on the list to be shot, he was saved only because Hindenburg gave orders that he be placed under army protection.  Von Papen stayed on, and served Hitler in some capacity later in the Reich.  Night of the Long Knives eliminated the SA.  It is announced that this was an attempted coup and that Hitler's life was in danger.


13 July 1934 - Hitler called Reichstag to hear his views on the coup.  Gave a long speech in which he insisted Röhm and his lieutenants had plotted to kill him and take over the government, and his only option was to resort to violence.  Also attacked Röhm's sexual perversion.  Hitler promised Reichstag that the revolution was over.


2 August 1934 - Paul von Hindenburg finally died.  Within minutes, government radio announced the cabinet enacted a law combining offices of President and Chancellor and that Hitler was now the President.


Führer - translates basically to "top leader" a higher "leader" than a leiter.  Führer was a party title. Chancellor was his first title.  Hitler got title President after Hindenburg dies, but he never uses it he insisted on being called the Führer of Germany.  Foreign heads of state called him Chancellor or Herr Hitler.


General von Blomberg ordered all officers to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler.  Not taking an oath to Germany or the flag but to Hitler.  Goes back to the old empire when the oath was to the Emperor.  Many officers hesitated, but they all took the oath.  This oath apparently prevented several officers from helping in the 1944 assassination attempt.


Plebiscite held on August 19, 1934 to decide voter approval of the combination of president/chancellor and if they approve of Hitler holding both offices.


97% of voters went to the poles, 38 Million approved, but 4.5 Million voted no.  Plebiscite frequently considered the end of the Nazi revolution.  Except for infrequent revolts, there weren't any more revolutionary actions.


26 September 2001


Hitler now has 3 titles - Führer - the Nazi party title, Chancellor - the state political title, and President - the national political title.  Führer was the one he preferred, after 1933, most German nationals called him Der Führer, foreign heads of state called him Chancellor Hitler or Herr Hitler.  No one used the title president.


First Reich:  Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages

Second Reich:  1871-1918 Bismarck

Third Reich:  Hitler


After 1934, Hitler was virtually unchallenged as the head of the totalitarian state.


The Totalitarian state and Authoritarian state are virtually the same thing.  Totalitarian controls every aspect of society.  Hitler and Stalin had Totalitarian states, Franco and Mussolini had Authoritarian states.


Really couldn't have a totalitarian state until the 20th century.  Napoleon had a pretty authoritarian state, but it wasn't totalitarian.  Why not?  You can't have a totalitarian state prior to the 20th century because there was a lack of technology.  (Listening devices in apartment houses,etc.)


As Führer, Hitler was head of the party and the state.  The two were never officially combined at any level, much less for Hitler.  Party members were considered the elite of German society.  Membership in theory meant that one qualified to serve as a model for the masses.  In practice, membership requirements weren't strict until 1933-4 in order to build up a large following. 


1937 after all state officials were forced to be party members.  Many are really lukewarm Nazis, but their names go on party roles nonetheless. 


1937 - party membership was 9 Million.  During the course of the war, membership rose.  Party leadership was always concerned about the loyalty of new members.  This established an unwritten caste system within the party.  On top are the Old Nazis, the ones who had been with Hitler since 1919, and then the New Nazis who came in after 1933 or 34.  Old Nazis and leadership were suspicious of the new Nazis, thought they might have joined just to save face.


In practice not many people admitted after 1933 could hope to enter the inner circle of the party or hope to attain any high post in the party or state.  Old Nazis dominate throughout the war.


Nazi Party Hierarchy:


1.   Adolf Hitler

1.1.                       Party Title - Führer

1.2.                       The German people were involved in a kind of Führer worship.  Hitler represents the General Will - German people may not know what they want, but Hitler does.

2.   National Leadership (Reichsleitung):  Party VIP's, exercise the most important party policies, some also hold important state positions.

2.1.                       In 1934, there were 15 Reichsleiter.

2.2.                       In 1945, there were 40 Reichsleiter.

2.3.                       Ex:  Rudolf Hoess, Hermann Goering (Luftwaffe Commander), Joseph Goebbles (Propaganda Chief), Dr. Heinrich Himmler (Head of Gestapo and SS), Robert Ley (Head of German Labor Front), Balder von Shirach (Head of Hitler Youth), and Alfred Rosenberg (Head of Ideological Training and Education)

2.4.                       Most of these are around until 1945, some were there for Nuremberg in 1946.

3.   Gauleitung:  Top party leader in the state.  In many cases, the governor of the state was also Gauleiter.

3.1.                       Germany was divided into 32 Gaue, more or less along the old state lines.

3.2.                       The Reichsleitung and Gauleitung overlap occasionally, as in the case of Goebbles who was Gauleiter of Prussia and one of the Reichsleitung as well (Propaganda Chief).

3.3.                       Appointed directly by the Führer and in turn delegated powers to others.

3.3.1.                   Kreisleiter - district party leader

3.3.2.                   Orstgruppenleiter - branch or chapter leader

3.3.3.                   Blockleiter - responsible for 40-60 houses or flats, said to be the only party official in direct contact with all categories of the population.  He'd live in a big apartment house in Berlin or Munich and keep tabs on what everyone is doing.  In some cases, the Blockleiter was a woman or married to a woman who was at home most of the time and could pay attention to everyone's activities.


German State Hierarchy:  Not entirely created by the Nazis, but they did reinvent the governmental apparatus within each state.  In many respects the Nazi state hierarchy is the same as what was under the Republic, and that is the same as what was there during the Empire.  They didn't revolutionize the whole bureaucracy. 


1.   Unless a person was Jewish, Communist, or vocal critic of Hitler, you could stay on.  In 1937, they were all required to become members of the party, but most of the time it was a token membership.

2.   Most were loyal Nazis, but like Constantine von Neurath, who was von Papen and von Schleicher's foreign minister, even some of the higher-ups could stay throughout the governmental changes.  Von Neurath held nominal party membership from 1933 on, but because he wasn't a more ardent Nazi, he was dismissed in 1938.  von Neurath was kept as foreign minister to keep the diplomats happy.

3.   Around 1938, the position of minister became much less important. Hitler didn't convene his cabinet very often, preferring to make major decisions on his own, with a trusted advisor or two, or not make them at all and leave up to the Reichsleitung.

4.   Reichstag - chosen by the führer - by 1938, the function of the Reichstag was basically reduced to "cheering the Führer and singing Deutschland Ubër Alles".


In theory, there existed in Germany a dual state - party positions paralleled state positions from Chancellor/Führer all the way down.  Before WWII, foreigners looked at the German governmental system and thought it was the most effective way to run a government.  In actuality, it's not effective at all.  Overlapping duties caused infighting between mid-level leaders; everyone was trying to get Hitler's ear; even today you can't look at most party records and tell who made any given decision. Ex:  you can't find a document with Hitler's signature that says, "Kill the Jews".


For the most part, those who served it to the end as "instruments of power" or "instruments of terror" protect party organization.  The protected the party from interference from real and (often) imagined foes.  In the beginning this role is played by the SA.  During the 20's and 30's they protected the party from the Communists.  Carried out searches, demonstrations, confiscations.  After the blood purge, the SA isn't important at all.  In its place, two other organizations grew.


1.   Gestapo - In April 1934 - before the Blood Purge, about the same time that Hitler gave Himmler control of the concentration camps, Himmler also got a new post.  Already, he had gained control of all of the state police forces except for Prussia. (Controlled by Goering).  In April 1933, Hermann Goering, as Prussian minister of the interior had issued a decree creating the secret state police.  (Die Geheime Staadspolizeiamt) or the Gestapo for short.  A guy named Diels initially headed them.  The Gestapo almost immediately proved their worth in Hitler's eyes by smashing a Communist revolt and then rounding up a number of Anti-Nazi civil service employees.  Like Himmler and the SS, Goering and the Gestapo had sought to undermine Rhöm and the SA by emphasizing Rhöm's homosexuality and the SA's brutal treatment of prisoners in concentration camps.  In April 1934, Goering named Himmler his chief deputy for the Gestapo.  In effect, the Gestapo spread throughout Germany and Himmler had control of all of Germany's police forces by summer 1934.

1.1.                       January 1934 All police were under Reich control but administered by the states.

1.2.                       1936 - all police were controlled and administered by the Reich.

1.3.                       Himmler named Reinhardt Heydrich - already a fairly important name in the party.  In 1932 Heydrich was appointed director of the Security Service of the SS (SD).  SD and Gestapo functions often overlap.  In general, SD had responsibility for gathering political intelligence.  They found out where the underground political groups met and what they wanted.  They located Catholic clergy and laity that were opposed to the regime.   The Gestapo had the exclusive right to executive powers - carry out searches, arrests, interrogations, and determine who goes to the camps.

2.   SS - 1925 the SS was established as a special bodyguard unit for Hitler.  In 1929, Himmler became head of the SS.  The SS was still theoretically a branch of the SA, and Himmler answers to Rhöm.  In 1929, the SS numbered 280 members.  From the beginning, Himmler was determined the SS would form the Party's elite police group.  In 1933, the SS numbered 30,000 men, carefully selected for their racial purity and loyalty to the party doctrine.  This contrasted to the 4-4.5 million SA still under Rhöm's direction.  Himmler and the SS got Hitler's ear and began to undermine Rhöm and other SA leaders by emphasizing Rhöm's homosexuality and the SA's bad dealings at the concentration camps.  Himmler set up a new branch of the SS for the purpose of guarding the concentration camps called the Death's Head Regiments.


Best-known function of the SS and Gestapo was the administration of concentration camps and (toward the end of the war) extermination camps.  The idea of concentration camps isn't original to the Germans - 1) British used concentration camps during the Boer War to punish natives who helped the Boers.  Some people died from starvation, lack of medical care.

2) Spaniards in Cuba used a form of the concentration camp because native rebels were aiding revolutionaries against Spain.

3) Stalin's Gulags are also comparable.


What functions did the concentration/extermination camps serve?


1.   At first, concentration camps were in effect prisons designed to eliminate any trace of opposition. 

1.1.                       Threat of being sent to a camp would usually be enough to scare you to the straight and narrow.  Reeducation wasn't a goal in the camps.  Usually just scaring an inmate did the trick. 


2.   During the war, camps served to liquidate those who were labeled by the party as undesirables.

3.   In addition, the camps supposedly served as training grounds for the SS. 

4.   During the war they served as places to go to collect slave labor.

5.   Also inmates were often used in large-scale medical experiments.


During the 1930's there weren't more than 20-30,000 inmates at a time.  They were for the most part political prisoners who were too vocal about their support for Stalin.  There were some Jews early in the war, and finally there were ordinary criminals.


Early in the war, the main camps were Dachau (near Munich), Buchenwald (near Weimar), and Sachsenhausen (near Berlin).  These camps in the 1930's weren't exactly humane, but they were nowhere near what they would be.  There was provision for capital punishment and execution, and there were a few scattered instances of prisoners being shot on a whim by camp guards.


Systematic execution would have to wait until after the war starts because they needed lots of non-Germans.


Estimates of the deaths in the 40 concentration camps vary greatly - between 4 and 8 million, although the Germans kept extensive records, as the war drew to a close it was common practice to burn any records to keep the Russians from getting them.  6 million is traditionally accepted as the number of Jews killed in the camps.


Most of the people who went to the camps in the early 30's didn't stay very long.


The leadership principle is one of the main tenets of National Socialism.  Hitler was regarded as being the bearer of the general will.  If at times it becomes necessary for the leader to act contrary to the convictions of the citizenry if those convictions weren't in accord with their destiny.  The people must realize the Führer is always right, and cannot be wrong. 


Another big deal in National Socialism is Racialism - for Nazis, this means the supremacy of the Aryan race.  The Nazis don't just make up the doctrine; it comes from several 19th century writers.


Heinrich von Treitschke - 19th century German Historian (died in 1892).  Praised all things German, particularly the Prussians.  Said south Germans were polluted by the Slavs, etc.


Richard Wagner - glorified mystical German past


Count Alfred Gobineau - wrote in 1850's an essay on the inequality of the races.  In this he supports the superiority of the Nordic people.


Huston Stuart Chamberlain:  Englishman, Wagner's brother-in-law.  1899 published his "Foundations of the 20th Century" also put forth the superiority of Aryan race.

Freidrich Neitzsche:  Idea of the Nordic Superman as the ideal man.


According to Rosenberg, the real foundation of progress is found in the law of nature that decrees that all crossing of species, stocks, or races results in weakness.  He says:


2 October 2001


Nazi party view was the only way to save civilization is to keep the Nordic/Aryan (the two words are used interchangeably) race from contamination.


Hitler contended that all art and culture originated from the Aryan race.


Aryans are purported to be: truthful, energetic, persistent, predisposed to leadership and overly intelligent.  The Aryan race still wasn't pure in Germany (especially not south Germany) but it is still the best (dominant over the rest of Europe).  Since they're dominant, it is their responsibility to fashion laws and shape the state in terms of government and society.  The adoption of this Nordic philosophy led to a growth in Anti-Semitism.


To Nazis, the Jews embody the enemy.  They are the NOVEMBER CRIMINAL, the INTERNATIONAL MARXIST, and the INTERNATIONAL CAPITALIST.  They are allied with FREEMASONRY and CLERICS.  Above all, they are DEBASERS OF THE PURITY OF THE GERMAN RACE.


Der Stürmer was a tabloid edited by Julius Streicher, who also wrote Anti-Semitic children's stories.  The tabloid started running cartoons that became a mainstay of Nazi propaganda.  They showed the "leering Jew" lying in wait for the "innocent, naïve German maiden". 


Surprisingly, the Jewish target served several practical purposes:


Eventually the Nazis found it necessary to sacrifice their ideology to maintain power.  I.e.: Racialism was subjected to compromise from the beginning.  Originally it read that most Germans were mixed blood - therefore unfit to hold any party or civil service positions and subject to interment.  Since the party couldn't put everyone with more than 1/8 Jewish/Slavic/Polish blood in a camp, they decided the racially pure in the north would provide the basis of party leadership.


In 1936 and 1937 Hitler signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan and Italy, in effect making both of them honorary Aryans.


Volk - group of men and women united by racial and cultural ties not necessarily corresponding to state or political boundaries.


The idea of a volk was a big deal to the party ideology.  It also constituted a difference between Hitler and Mussolini.  Mussolini emphasized the state as most important while Hitler said the people created the state and were thereby most important.


Volkstaat - combination of nation and state into one unit. Hitler said in Mein Kamph that the importance rests in creating a single unit for all of mankind.




The problem of maintaining peace isn't keeping the defeated nation down, but it is holding the victorious coalition together.  In this case, it was impossible to keep Russia, Italy, and Japan together for a variety of reasons.


1.   Russia

1.1.                       Bolshevik Revolution:  Was the first big break in the anti-German coalition.  Western countries are scared of Communism.

2.   Turkey

2.1.                       Nationalist revolution in 1920's

3.   Reparations

3.1.                       France and Belgium wanted their money immediately.  England and the US thought that reparations should be reduced to maintain a stable economy.

4.   United States

4.1.                       Never joined the league.  It really never had a chance anyway, not just because we didn't join, but also because the League had no legal recourse to enforce its laws.

5.   Italy

5.1.                       1922 - Mussolini was given power in Italy, and he had a fascist government.

6.   Japan

6.1.                       Early 1930's Japan withdrew and invaded Manchuria.


In 1933, Berlin became the center of European diplomacy.  In the mid-1930's, Hitler established a close relationship with Italy and Japan.  He became convinced that the "Western Democracy" of Great Britain and France wouldn't do anything but protest, offer concessions and request negotiations.  They did exactly that - in that order.  From the beginning, Hitler said he would expand Germany's Lebensarum and it would require war.  Most viewed these speeches as "campaign rhetoric".  They thought he would moderate when he got power.


Great Britain and the US thought it was okay for Hitler to go west.  They were both more scared of Communism than him.  Hitler's first step to complete power was his announcement in October 1933 that he was withdrawing from the Geneva Disarmament Conference.  At the same time he gave his required 2-year notice that he would withdraw from the League of Nations.  No one actually attended for Germany after October 1933.


Prior to 1933, Germany had made great progress in the Geneva Conference - they got parity in armament ownership among European nations.


After January 1933, France insisted that the process of rearming Germany should happen gradually and under close Allied control.  They also wanted to count the SA in German armed forces.


July 1933: GREAT BRITAIN, FR, ITALY, and GER signed the Four Powers Pact - It reaffirmed Germany's adherence to the League and their loyalty to Locarno and Kellogg-Briand.


The English thought that if Germany was treated fairly, they would return to the League and Geneva.  Even in the spring of 1939, Neville Chamberlain told reporters that he thought there was a good chance the Geneva Disarmament Conference would reopen with Germany at the table.




January 1934:  Hitler's first success - NON-AGGRESSION PACT WITH POLAND



The diplomatic advantages gained by Germany with the Non-Aggression pact of 1934 were more than offset by two events in 1934.


1.   Blood Purge - 30 June 1934

2.   Vienna Putsch - 25 June 1934:  Bavarian Germans and Austrians were very friendly.  The exiled Austrian Nazis went to Bavaria (just across the border) and made the Austrian Band.  A group of Austrian Nazis who had defected to Germany attempted to take over the government and assassinated Englebert Dollfuss, Chancellor.  Germany and Austria had paralleled each other in terms of their republican governments after Versailles.  There was a rivalry between the Christian Socials (who were the dominant political party throughout the 20's) and the Majority Socialists.  In early 1934, armed fighting between the two broke out and became a full-scale civil war.  Dollfuss became dictator and outlawed Social Democrats, Communists and Nazis.  He was dedicated to Austrian Independence and the unification of the Church and the State.  On 25 July 1934, the Austrian Nazis shot Dollfuss.  He asked for a doctor, and they refused.  He asked for a priest and they refused.  Later that day, he died.  The leaders were promised safe conduct to Germany, but when he died ten of the leaders were hanged.  At the time, everybody thought Hitler set it up, but now it's doubtful.  Mussolini guaranteed the integrity of the Austrian and Italian frontier in accordance with the 1934 Rome Protocols under which Italy would protect Austria and Hungary.  Mussolini took this as an opportunity to create his own sphere of influence.  Dollfuss's successor was Schuschnigg (from the same party).


Hitler of course disclaimed any involvement; this was the diplomatically correct thing for him to do.


Four years later, ITALY and GER are friends and AUS is out of luck.


France protested the putsch but let Italy do the work because France itself was divided.  In February 1934, there were riots and many people killed.  The French middle almost collapsed under pressure from the Communists, Socialists, and the Neo-Fascists (whose doctrine was synonymous with the Italian Fascist party doctrine).  After this, France strengthened their anti-Hitler policy.


French Foreign Minister was Louis Barthou.  He is credited with changing French policy.  He strengthened their alliances in Europe and abroad, increased army/navy/air force size, etc.


In April 1934, Barthou went to Warsaw, and in June he went to many other European capitals to sell his "Eastern Locarno" - a Defense alliance providing for immediate military assistance in event of aggression.  Germany, Soviet Union, Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and France all signed the Eastern Locarno.  The USSR is the question in the Eastern Locarno treaty.  USSR fears Hitler, but the west fears the USSR worse than they do Hitler.  The USSR entered the League in 1934.  They generally favored Barthou and his policy.  The Czechs were possibly the strongest ally - they had become the most economically powerful and democratic nation on the continent.  The Germans reject the treaty because they refused to go to the aid of their ideological enemy USSR.  Poland refuses to sign because they're still scared of Russia.  (During the 1917 revolution, Russia got almost all the way to Warsaw and Poland didn't like it.  Also, Poland was carved out of Russian territory when they decided to recreate the country.)


4 October 2001


October 1934 - Louis Barthou assassinated along with King Alexander of Yugoslavia.  They were discussing mutual assistance.  The assassination brought about a big change in foreign policy.  Pierre Leval took over foreign policy.  He has no desire to negotiate with the Russians.  Leval was convinced that France should cultivate an Italian friendship.


January 1935 - Leval went to Rome on 7 January 1935, signed agreement with Mussolini.  The agreement did little more than settle French/Italian colonies in Africa.  Italy's colonies:

France had a huge African Empire.


In return, Italy recognized that all concessions under the 1915 Treaty of London had been fulfilled.


Treaty of London:  1915 France and GREAT BRITAIN agreed to give territory in Africa to Italy for their help in WWI.


There is no question that their negotiations improved relations.  There has always been some uncertainty about the negotiations  - Mussolini said that Leval said he could have Ethiopia.  Leval said he agreed Italy could have some industrial rights in Ethiopia.  At any rate, the agreements gave France the time to devote their attention to Germany.


HITLER'S FIRST TERRITORIAL GAIN - IT'S TOTALLY LEGAL.  By 1935 the Saar plebiscite returns Saar basin to Germany.


France (with the support of GREAT BRITAIN) abandoned containment policy and decided to grant concessions and placate.  GREAT BRITAIN and FR planned to give GER equality in arms provided she'd agree to:


GREAT BRITAIN foreign secretary Sir John Simon (liberal party) agreed to go to Berlin to meet with Hitler for diplomatic discussions during the first week of March 1935.


Hitler contracted a "diplomatic cold" and asked to postpone the discussions indefinitely.  On successive Saturdays in March, he made announcements (Saturday Surprises) that nullified his previous agreements with both France and Italy.  (AH made the announcements on Saturday because diplomats wouldn't be in the office.)


8 March 1935:  Hitler announced that Germany has a military air force. 


16 March 1935:  Hitler denounced disarmament clauses in Versailles, announced that conscription would be introduced immediately, and announced the army would increase in size to 550,000 men in 36 divisions.


April 1935: Stresa Front - London, Paris, and Rome begin consultations at the resort town of Stresa in Italy.  They were going to plan a common action against Germany.  They all speculated that the action they came up with would stop Hitler.


They didn't really take any action against Hitler.

  1. Formally condemned Germany's actions
  2. Reaffirmed their loyalty to Locarno and Kellogg-Briand
  3. Guaranteed Austrian Independence and her borders
  4. Referred their actions and Germany's digressions to the League


Later that month, the League agreed.


Mussolini didn't trust Germany after the Blood Purge.  He already wanted a African Empire.  He knew he would antagonize GREAT BRITAIN and FR if he went into AF, but he couldn't make GER mad because she had lost all of her African colonies with Versailles.


Neither FR nor GREAT BRITAIN public opinion could be swayed to think that Hitler's "Saturday Surprises" were a problem.


21 May 1935: Hitler spoke to the Reichstag, said GER had no plans for territorial expansion and wanted to live in peace with all its European neighbors.


The London Times - the voice of the government in London in the 20's and 30's (edited by ? Dawson) said in the "leader" (editorial) - "Hitler's speech removes absolutely all cause for alarm." … "No fair-minded person could doubt Herr Hitler's sincerity."


2 May 1935 - Franco-Soviet pact (because of the first Saturday Surprise) said: Should either FR or RUS be subject to an unprovoked attack by a European state (read: GER) the other would lend assistance.


16 May 1935 - Czech-Soviet pact - If either nation is attacked by a European state, the other would lend assistance, ONLY IF FRANCE HONORED HER PROVISION IN THE FRANCO-SOVIET PACT.


Both of these treaties were weakened by Poland's absence.


9 October 2001


Polish Prime Minister - Beck


The Franco-Soviet Pact is very popular in France.

France is having problems, though.  The government is either fascist or socialist.  The middle parties in France are almost gone.


The Franco-Soviet pact is very unpopular in Italy and Germany.


GREAT BRITAIN didn't like Hitler, but they thought he was better than Communism.


Sir Samuel Hoare - British Foreign Secretary.  Started negotiations on the navy with von Ribbentrop.  Eventually he made a deal with Hitler.


18 June 1935 - GREAT BRITAIN and GER sign the Anglo-German Naval Agreement.


Hoare was proud of himself - in retrospect we realize that GREAT BRITAIN basically agreed to forget Versailles.  France said that GREAT BRITAIN betrayed them.


After this, not much is left of the Stresa Front.  What was left disappeared in October 1935 when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia.  Ethiopia was a member of the League.  President Haile Selassi was Emperor.  The upper classes in Ethiopia are Coptic Christians - an old version of Christianity that had been separated from the other Christians by Arab invasions.


Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two free nations left in 1896.  Italy lost really bad at the Battle of Adowa, so they wanted revenge.


In 1922, Mussolini came to power as the Prime Minister - Victor Emmanuel is still his boss.  He says he will make a new Roman Empire.


1933 - Mussolini and his military commanders start planning their Ethiopian attack.


5 December 1934 - Italian and Ethiopian forces face off at Walwal - on the poorly defined border of Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland.  30 ITALIANS killed, 100 ETH killed.  Both countries had claimed Walwal for years - both said the other was the aggressor.


5 January 1935 - ETH appeals the League charging ITALY with aggression

     League asks them to settle by arbitration


17 March 1935 - ETH appeals again

League requests that both sides settle peacefully


May 1935 - Ethiopia protests to League of Nations because ITALY is moving troops to the Red Sea for war.


July 1935 - League council goes into discussions about Walwal.


September 1935 - Declared neither ITALY nor ETH guilty of aggression.


Later September 1935:  Samuel Hoare addresses the League general assembly, says GREAT BRITAIN will support resistance to aggression.


Shortly before -  Hoare and Leval agreed there would be *no naval blockade of ITALY, *no Suez closing to ITALY, and *no sanctions.  In other words, they didn't want to do anything to provoke war with Italy.  The assumption is that Italy finds out about this discussion.


3 October 1935 - Italy declares war and invades Ethiopia without a declaration of war.


7 October 1935 - League council found Italy guilty of aggression.


11 October 1935 - General assembly found ITALY guilty of aggression and imposed sanctions.


Austria, Hungary, and Albania don't.


Coal and Oil weren't on the sanction list.  It did include arms, credit, raw materials, and imports.


US did attempt to reduce arms sales to the Italians.  Standard Oil made lots of money selling oil to the Italians.


Mussolini got mad and denounced the League, GREAT BRITAIN, and FR.


GREAT BRITAIN and FR determined to avoid an open break with Italy just in case Germany gets any worse, but GREAT BRITAIN wants to keep ITALY out of Africa because of the Suez.


June 1935 - the "Peace Ballot" - do you want to get GREAT BRITAIN to support the league and oppose collective aggression?


November 1935 - General Election in GREAT BRITAIN - Winning coalition was led by Stanley Baldwin (elected new PM) and will support the League.


December 1935 - news leaked out that Sir Samuel Hoare and Leval had told Ethiopia that they should surrender 2/3 of its territory to ITALY in spite of the government that had just been elected.


Baldwin replaces Hoare with the pro-League and anti-Fascist Anthony Eden.  Eventually he campaigns to add oil to the sanction list.


GREAT BRITAIN had a fleet in the E-Mediterranean.  France and smaller states agreed to support GREAT BRITAIN in case of attack


Italy completes conquer over Ethiopia with leadership of Pietro Badoglio.  He was marshal over command.  The win was slow because of the terrain.


Ethiopia didn't really have weapons - they had 1896 weapons and spears.  By early 1936, ITALY was using planes and poison gas.


5 May 1936 - ITALY in Addis Ababa. 

Victor Emmanuel declared emperor on 9 May 1936.


Ethiopia, Italian Somaliland, and Italian Eritrea declared Italian East Africa, and Badgolio was Viceroy.


League recognized the conquest, ended the sanctions.


Domestic opposition to the invasion stops.


League was discredited by its failure to stop ITALY, but the Italians resented GREAT BRITAIN and France.  Mussolini thanked Germany for not invoking sanctions.  The Ethiopian crisis opened Italian and German relations.


11 October 2001


Key factor in Mussolini's success in Ethiopia and an action that made the addition of oil to the sanction list unimportant took place on -


7 March 1936.  German Foreign Minister (von Neurath) called meeting with the Prime Ministers of Britain, France, and Italy.  He then gave them diplomatic notes denouncing the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno Pact, and announced at that very moment there were "symbolic detachments" were in the Rhineland.


At the same time, Hitler was addressing the Reichstag.  Hitler denounced Versailles and Locarno, and announced that there were strategic troops in the Rhineland.  Ended his speech by saying his sole desire is for peace.


This is called is called the remilitarization of the Rhineland, considered the most daring.  The generals thought this would lead to total war.  Hitler said that the Allies wouldn't stop him.  They didn't.


The French cabinet was divided.  The French Military High Command didn't want to go to war.  Britain didn't act.


After the fact, France wondered why GREAT BRITAIN didn't do anything.  GREAT BRITAIN said that they would have if they had been asked, but they weren't.


After the German invasion the only thing keeping Germany out of France was the Magniot line.  It didn't cover the Belgian or Swiss borders.


Rhineland invasion destroys the Locarno treaty, and lowered stock that everyone had in Versailles.


In addition, Belgium is worried, ends alliances, and declares neutrality.  Poland would have acted with France - until this, and then Poland decided they weren't aligned.  Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary do the same.  Only Russia and Czechoslovakia remained loyal to France.


The Rhineland remilitarization helped Mussolini.  He knew no one would worry about him with Hitler going into the Rhineland.


The Rome/London/Paris relationship is worse.


June 1936 - Mussolini persuaded the Austrian foreign minister Kurt Schuschnigg to seek improvement in German/Austrian Relations.  Initiates negotiations.

11 July 1936 - Austrian-German Treaty.

     Hitler agrees to respect Austria's independence.

Schuschnigg agrees to follow a foreign policy based on principle that Austria sees itself as a German State.


German social and cultural organizations in Austria, and Austria will politically recognize the Nazi Party.  This agreement ends dissention between Germany and Italy.


18 July 1936 - Spanish Civil War breaks out.

     Spain was still far behind other European nations - Spain had not dealt with the problems of clericalism, land reform, and industry.


Spain was ruled by an oligarchy - controlled by the royalty, clergy, army, and big business forming 2% of the population.


Spain was divided in 1914 - but declared their neutrality.

     The Oligarchy was for the Central Powers, and the rest of the nation was for France.


When the war ended, Spain's economy fell - but government expenditures increased due to problems in Spanish Morocco.  In 1911 and 1912, Spanish Morocco had rebellions.


Battle of Annual - Riffians (tribe) led by Abdel Krim killed 12,000 Spanish soldiers.  The soldiers retreated to the Moroccan coast.  There was a demand for Parliament to investigate.  Finally, it was discovered that King Alfonso XIII probably helped plan the Riff campaign and was partially responsible.


Alfonso was a Bourbon. 


13 September 1923 - Just before the commission report on Annual, General Miguel Primo de Rivera - commander-in- chief of Catalonia began a revolt.  Within hours, garrisons declared their support for Primo. 


15 September 1923 - Alfonso asks General to be PM.  Primo suspended the constitution of 1876 - dissolved the Cortes, jury trials, press censorship instituted, talked of himself as a dictator in Mussolini's image. 


24 November 1923 - Alfonso and Primo visit Mussolini.


August 1926 - Spain and Italy begin a friendship with the signing of the Spanish/Italian non-aggression pact.


1925 - Primo declared end to dictatorship


1926 and 1927 - Italy and France put down the Riffs.  Fransisco Franco was made a General at the age of 34.


Early 1928 - Primo persuaded France for more power in Tangiers.  Tangiers is a French city, but technically under Allied control in Africa.

At the same time, Primo started public works projects, reformed taxes and welfare.


Early 1929 - Liberal faculties and student bodies start small-scale military mutinies.


Depression makes Primo lose some popularity, and on 28 January 1930, king Alfonso asks for Primo's resignation.  Primo dies on 16 March 1930, and the Spanish government collapses.


Republicanism gains in popularity - Ramon Franco is the Republican leader.


January 1931 - Alfonso announces full restoration of the constitution.


March 1931 - King calls for municipal and provincial elections and will son call for a constituitent assembly.


12 April 1931 - Republicans and Socialists win


14 April 1931 - Alfonso leaves Spain without abdication - went to Rome, and died there.  Republican leaders (Alcala Zamora) proclaim a provisional government, call for elections.  Anti-clericals burn 200+ churches, and kill lots of nuns.


8 June 1931 - Left-leaning Republicans (LL republicans from here) proclaim a constitution - the Democratic Republic of Workers.  It has a President, a responsible ministry, and Proportionally elected one-house parliament.


Manuel Azana was the head for most of the government's duration.  He followed the anti-clerical policy, turning the Catholics against republicanism.


Moderates lost heavily - people looked to extreme groups.  Commuinsts, Syndicalists, Anarchists made gains in both the city and the country.  Monarchists were very active - in Northern Spain, Carlism became popular - Carlists were very conservative monarchists.


New parties were generally fascist - Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera founded the Falange España.  Jose Antonio looked to Rome for Economic and Social guidance.  He emphasized Spain's catholic heritage and appealed to Spanish national pride.


16 October 2001


Essay section of the exam - possible questions - Write an essay on one of the following: "Nazi foreign policy 1933-1936", "The Provisions and Ramifications of the Treaty of Versailles", "Nazi Rise to Power 1919-1934", "Politics of the Weimar Republic".


July 1936 - Italy and Germany acting separately intervene in Spain.  Shortly After, Russia intervenes, too.


January 1936 - Cortez dissolved, new elections scheduled for February 16. Parties of the left unite to form the People's United Front.  It consists of Republicans, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, and Syndicalists.  The Right formed the National Front - SEDA formed by Gil Robles was Monarchist and Catholic.


Elections showed a sharp division in the country.  The left barely had the Majority in the Cortez, if they could stay united.  PM Azana held the office until May 1936 when he was elected president.  Spain descended further into Anarchy with continued land reform and Catholic massacres.  Some areas had radical mobs that burned churches and convents, killing hundreds of nuns.


The Falange attracted young men - adopted a policy of terrorism with street fights and assassinations. - Jose Calvo Sotelo was a monarchist spokesman in the Cortez.  12 July 1936, the republican militia knocked on his door and shot him.


Shocked everyone, caused military to decide to revolt - since the popular front election, there was widespread public discontent - Jose Sanjurjo led the rebellion against the Left government.


Falanges and Carlist leaders conspired separately.


17 July 1936 - Melilla, Morocco - SP Civil War begins - Col. Seguí gets control of Melilla.  The next day, Franco flew from the Canary Islands (where he was exiled) to Morocco and took command of the Spanish Foreign Leigon and Moorish troops.


Garrisons throughout Spain rebelled when they heard that Franco had taken over.  Within a few days, nationalists controlled the whole country without the exception of Barcelona, Madrid, and the Northeastern coast.  Both sides start looking for foreign support - they realize that it might take a little while. 


Franco's most obvious foreign ally was Portugal.  The Portuguese Prime Minister Salazar was a devout Catholic, anti-communist, and thought Portugal would be threatened by Spain's LL government.  Throughout the Civil War, Salazar was Spain's biggest ally.  He gave equipment, small numbers of troops, and border protection.


Germany and Italy both said they were trying to keep communists out, but they wanted a sympathetic government to use against France (creating a two front war in France) when war comes.  They both wanted Spain's Cu, Hg, and Fe.  Both nations tested tactics they would later use in WWII in Spain.


22-24 July 1936 - Nationalist agents talked to Mussolini and Ciano (the Italian FM) - they got a promise of support from both.


30 July 1936 - First Italy bombers in Morocco - 2 were forced to land in French Morocco, and the other was forced down in Algeria.  Italy's contribution was such a failure that by 1938 Franco said thanks for the help and asked them to leave.


22 July 1936 - Franco tries for German support - Franco sent an agent to Berlin in a German airplane.  Johann Bernhardt was the Orstgruppenleiter in a Spanish Community.  26 July 1936, Hitler and Goering decide to intervene, ignoring advice to the contrary from the OKW and Foreign Office.  On 28 July, Germany begins to transport food and troops from Morocco to Spain.


16,000 Germans served in Spain as volunteers.  Germany also gave artillery, armored vehicles, and the Condor Legion of the Luftwaffe - 6,000 men.


Russia was the chief Republican Ally - they gave 1-2,000 troops, in addition to planes, tanks, and artillery.  International Brigades from the Comintern began going in 1936, and pulled out in 1938.  40,000-100,000 Comintern forces went in - 10,000 French; 5,000 GER/AUS; 3,000 Italians, and 2,800 US - in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion.  In October and November of 1936, the International Brigades and Soviet airplanes saved Madrid from Nationalist capture.


23 October 2001


GREAT BRITAIN Public opinion was mostly divided, generally conservatives support Franco, and Left supports the republic.


GREAT BRITAIN took the lead in keeping this war (Spanish Civil) from becoming worldwide.  In September 1936 GREAT BRITAIN started the Anti-Intervention Commission.  Every European country joined it, even, France, Italy, and Germany.  United States and GREAT BRITAIN stayed out of SP - the Anti-Intervention Commission did succeed in keeping the SP Civil War from becoming worldwide.


SPCW lasted from July 1936 to April 1939.


Germany and Italy intervene early and separately.  Co-operation between the two countries increases.  Diplomats realize that a common foreign policy could be good for both countries.


For Hitler, the Spanish Civil War was an opportunity to bring Mussolini to Germany's side.


21 October 1936 - Count Galleazzo Ciano (Italian Foreign Minister) went to Berlin to discuss and sign with von Neurath a secret protocol showing their desire to follow common foreign policy and interest in Franco's victory in Spain.  Then, Ciano went to Berchtesgaden to see Hitler.  Hitler described Mussolini as the leading statesman of the world, and of course, Ciano told Mussolini.


1 November 1936 - Huge speech in Milan - Mussolini said Germany and Italy signed the protocol, and used the term "AXIS" for the first time to describe their partnership.


A common theme between Germany and Italy was the defense of Western civilization against "Godless Bolshevism".


25 November 1936 - Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.  Arranged by von Ribbentrop (now he's only the German minister to GBR).  Japan and Germany agree to work together to protect each other and the world against Bolshevism.


Japan had been an outcast since their 1931 withdrawal from the League over their invasion of Manchuria.  Germany used the pact as propaganda for the British conservatives.


November 1937 - Mussolini signs the Anti-Comintern Pact.


Italian submarines began attacking neutral ships helping the republican side in Spain.  Other than that, 1937 was a relatively calm year in Europe. 


World attention instead focused on the Far East.  July 1937 - Japanese attacks on China were renewed.


Hitler begins to doubt Italian loyalty to his cause - especially after this:


Mussolini continued his foreign policy supporting an independent Austria and keeping German influence out of Austria.


September 1937 - Mussolini assured Germany he would remain loyal to their cause.


25 September 1937 - Addressed 1M cheering Germans, Hitler introduced Mussolini as "one of those lonely men not made by history, but who create it". 


November 1937 - von Ribbentrop went to Rome to get Mussolini's signature on the Anti-Comintern pact.  Mussolini told Ribbentrop that Italy was no longer concerned with Austrian independence.


May 1937 - Stanley Baldwin retired, and was replaced by Neville Chamberlain.  There was no question that he wanted peace.  Chamberlain tried to be proactive, but was too willing to make concessions sometimes.


November 1937 - The First Concrete Step in Appeasement - Chamberlain sent Lord Halifax (former viceroy of India, soon to be Foreign Minister) to Germany, asking Lord Halifax to find out what Germany wants.


19 November 1937 - Halifax and Hitler meet at Berchtesgaden