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Nazism and Hitler

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Nazism and Hitler

In 1933, the German people accepted Adolf Hitler as their Chancellor. One year later, Hitler would be their Führer. Who was Adolf Hitler? Why did the German people accept Hitler and the Nazi party? Let's explore this and explain Nazism and the Rise of Hitler.

Adolf Hitler

On April 20, 1898, Adolf Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Poelzl in Austria. Adolf did not get along with his father but was very close to his mother. Alois did not like that Adolf wanted to be a painter. Alois died in 1803. Two years later Adolf dropped out of school. Klara died of cancer in 1908; her death was difficult for Adolf.

Hitler then moved to Vienna to become an artist. He was denied entry into the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts twice and was homeless. Hitler survived because he was given an orphan pension and sold his paintings. In 1914 Hitler joined the German army to fight in World War I.

Orphan Pension

An amount of money given to someone by the government because they are an orphan

Nazism and Hitler: Definition and Motives Hitler Painting StudySmarterPainting by Adolf Hitler, Wikimedia

World War I

Historians disagree about Hitler's time as a soldier during World War I. Historians used Nazi propaganda as their source of information about Hitler during World War I. In this propaganda, Hitler was a hero but propaganda often is untrue. Recently, Dr. Thomas Weber discovered letters written by the soldiers who fought alongside Hitler. No one had touched these letters in ninety years!

Propaganda

Media created by the government to make citizens behave a certain way

In these letters, the soldiers said that Hitler was a runner. He would deliver messages from Head Quarters miles away from the fighting. The soldiers thought little of Hitler and wrote that he would starve to death in a canned food factory. Hitler was awarded an Iron Cross but this was an award that was often given to soldiers who worked closely with older officers, not soldiers who were fighting. 1

Hitler During World War I, Wikimedia

Hitler and the Rise of Nazism

Nazism Definition

Nazism was a political belief. The goal of Nazism was to restore Germany and the "Aryan" race to their former glory. Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party from 1921 to his suicide in 1945. This political party hated anyone who was not what they considered to be "pure" Germans.

Aryan Race

A fake race of people who were the original Germans with blond hair and blue eyes

Nazism Timeline

Let's look at this timeline of the Nazi's rise to power, then we can take a deeper dive into these events.

  • 1919 The Treaty of Versailles
  • 1920 Beginning of the Nazi party
  • 1923 Beer Hall Putsch
    • Hitler's Arrest and Mein Kampf
  • 1923 Great Depression
  • 1932 Elections
  • 1933 Hitler became the Chancellor
    • 1933 Burning of Reichstag
  • 1933 Anti-Semitic laws
  • 1934 Hitler became the Führer

Rise of Nazism

To better understand how Hitler was able to come to power we must begin at the end of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Germany lost to the Allies: Britain, America, and France. The Allies used this treaty to put strict and harsh rules on Germany. It had to disarm the military, could not make alliances, and had to give land to the Allies. Germany also had to take full responsibility for the war and pay reparation.

Reparation

Money that is paid from one party to another because the paying party wronged the other

By taking full responsibility Germany had to pay the reparations on its own. Germany had allies during the war but those countries did not have to make payments. The German government at this time was called the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic are the ones that signed the Versailles treaty but they had only come into power that year.

The Germans were very upset by this. They thought it was unfair that alone had to pay an incredibly large sum to the Allies. The German Mark, German money, was losing its value as the Weimar Republic struggled to keep up with payments.

Creation of the Nazi Party

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, or the Nazis, was created in 1920 and consisted of German soldiers who returned from World War I. These soldiers were upset with the Treaty of Versailles and the Weimar Republic.

Adolf Hitler, a returning soldier, was the leader of this party by 1921. He rallied the Nazis with the "Stabbed in the Back" myth. This myth was that the Germans lost the war and accepted the Versailles Treaty because of the Jewish people. Hitler claimed that many of the original Nazi members were soldiers he fought with but this was not true.

Nazism's Motives were to further expand Germany and "purify" the Aryan race. Hitler wanted Jewish people, Romani, and people of color to be separated from his Aryans. Hitler also wanted to separate the disabled, homosexuals, and any other group of people who were not what he considered pure.

Beer Hall Putsch

By 1923 the Nazi party had a plan to kidnap Gustav von Kahr, Commissioner of Bavaria. Von Kahr was giving a speech in a beer hall when Hitler and a few Nazis stormed in. With the help of Erich Ludendorff, Hitler was able to capture the commissioner. Later that night, Hitler left the beer hall and Ludendorff allowed Von Kahr to leave.

The next day the Nazis marched to the center of Munich where they were stopped by the police. Hitler's shoulder was dislocated during the confrontation so he fled the scene. Hitler was arrested and served one year in prison.

Nazism and Hitler: Definition and Motives Hitler in Prison StudySmarter

Hitler (Left) in Prison Entertaining Visiting Nazis, Wikimedia

After his arrest, Hitler became more popular with the German people. Hitler wanted the Germans to believe that this was a difficult time for him but his prison cell was well decorated and comfortable. During this time, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggles). This book was about Hitler's life, plans for Germany, and Anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism

mistreatment of Jewish people

The Great Depression

In 1923 the Germans entered the Great Depression. Germany was no longer able to keep up with its reparation payments; one US dollar was worth 4 trillion marks! At this point, it was cheaper for a German to burn marks than to buy firewood. Workers were paid multiple times throughout the day so that they could spend it before the value of the mark dropped even more.

The people were desperate and looking for a new leader. Hitler was a talented speaker. He was able to win over crowds of Germans by appealing to different types of Germans in his speeches.

1932 Elections

In the 1932 election, Hitler ran for president. While he lost, the Nazi party won the majority of seats in Parliament. The winner, President Paul von Hindenburg, appointed Hitler Chancellor and put him in charge of the government. Within the same year, a government building was burned down. A communist boy claimed that he had started the fire. Hitler used this situation to convince Hindenburg to take away rights from the German people.

Nazism Germany

With this new power, Hitler reshaped Germany. He banned other political parties, had political rivals executed, and used paramilitary force to stop protests. He also passed laws meant to separate Jewish people from white Germans. In 1934, President Hindenburg died. Hitler named himself the Führer, meaning leader, and took control over Germany.

Paramilitary

An organization that is similar to the military but is not the military

Anti-Semitic Laws

Between 1933 and early 1934, Nazis began making laws that forced Jewish people out of their schools and jobs. These laws were forerunners of what the Nazis would do to Jewish people. In early April of 1933, the first Anti-Semitic law was passed. It was called Restoration of the Professional and Civil Service and meant that Jewish people were no longer allowed to hold jobs as Civil Servants.

By 1934 Jewish doctors would not be paid if a patient had public health insurance. Schools and universities would only allow 1.5% of non-Aryan people to attend. Jewish tax consultants were not allowed to work. Jewish military workers were fired.

In Berlin, Jewish lawyers and notaries were no longer allowed to practice law. In Munich, Jewish doctors could only have Jewish patients. The Bavarian Interior Ministry would not allow Jewish students to go to medical school. Jewish actors were not allowed to perform in movies or theaters.

Jewish people have guidelines for how they prepare food, this is called kashrut. The foods that Jewish people can eat are called kosher. In Saxon, Jewish people were not allowed to kill animals in a way that made them kosher. Jewish people were forced to break their dietary laws.


Hitler's First War, Dr. Thomas Weber

Nazism and Hitler- Key takeaways

  • The Versailles Treaty made Germans upset with the Weimar Republic
  • The original Nazi party was veterans who were upset with the Weimar Republic
  • The Great Depression gave Nazis a chance to take power
  • Hitler lost the presidential election but was made Chancellor
  • Hitler made himself the Führer after the president died


Frequently Asked Questions about Nazism and Hitler

Nazism became popular in by 1930 in Germany because Germany had entered the Great Depression. Germany had to pay reparations because of the Treaty of Versailles and this caused inflation. German people were desperate and Hitler promised them greatness. 

Hitler and Nazism gained power by becoming the majority seat holders in Parliament. Then Hitler became Chancellor which gave them even more power.  

Hitler and Nazism were successful because Germany had entered the Great Depression. Germany had to pay reparations because of the Treaty of Versailles and this caused inflation. German people were desperate and Hitler promised them greatness. 

Nazism is the ideology followed by the Nazi party. The Nazi party was led by Adolf Hitler.

Nazism in history was a German political party led by Adolf Hitler. Its goal was to restore Germany and the "Aryan" race.

Final Nazism and Hitler Quiz

Question

What was the goal of Nazism?

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Answer

To restore the Aryan race and to expand Germany

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Question

Which of these was not part of the Treaty of Versailles?

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Answer

Germany could only be allied with France, Britain, or America

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Question

What was the goal of the Beer Hall Putsch 

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Answer

To kidnap Commissioner Gustav Von Kahr

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Question

What was a pretend race of people who were the original Germans with blond hair and blue eyes?

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Answer

the Aryan race

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Question

What did Hitler want to be that he failed at as a young adult? 

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Answer

A painter

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Question

What was the book that Hitler wrote while in prison?

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Answer

Mein Kampf

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Question

What is the myth called that states that Jewish people caused Germany to lose the war?

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Answer

"Stabbed in the Back" myth

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Question

True or False:
Hitler became President of Germany in 1932. 

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Answer

True

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Question

Who was the target of the Anti-Semitic laws passed between 1933-1934?

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Answer

Jewish people

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Question

Why were Germans upset with reparations? 

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Answer

Reparations caused the Mark to lose value

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Question

What event gave Nazis a chance to tale power?

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Answer

The Great Depression

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Question

After the death of President Hindenburg, what did Hitler name himself?

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Answer

Führer  

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Question

What did Hitler use as an excuse to take power from President Hindenburg?

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Answer

The burning of a government building

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Question

What award did Hitler receive while in the military?

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Answer

Iron Cross

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Question

What is media created by the government to make citizens behave a certain way?

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Answer

Propaganda 

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