NCERT Folder 9th History Chapter 3 : Nazism and The Rise of Hitler

History

Class 9

Chapter 3

Nazism and The Rise of Hitler

Revision Notes

Important Terms

  • Wall Street Exchange : The name of the world’s biggest stock exchange located in the USA.
  • The Great Depression : A worldwide economic slump lasting from 1929 to 1935.
  • Reichstag : Name given to the German Parliament.
  • Deplete : Empty out, reduce
  • Reparation : Compensate for a wrong doing
  • Axis Powers : A group of countries, namely, Italy, Germany and Japan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia who opposed the Allied Power.
  • Allied Powers : Formed by Britain, France, Russia and USA.
  • Second World War : Global war that took place from September 1939 to May 1945. About 50 million people were killed in this war.
  • Pearl Harbour : Situated on the Hawaiian island of Honolulu. It was the main base of the US Pacific Fleet.
  • Gestapo : The secret state police in Nazi Germany.
  • Holocaust : The persecution and mass murder of Jews by German Nazis between 1933 and 1945.
  • Propaganda : Specific type of message directly aimed at influencing the opinion of people through the use of posters, films and speeches.
  • Persecution : Systematic and organized punishment of those belonging to a group or religion.
  • Jungvolk : A separate section for Nazi boys upto 14 years of age.
  • Allies : The Allied Powers led by the UK and France.
  • Genocidal : Killing on a large-scale leading to destruction of large sections of people.
  • Nazism : A political system introduced by Hitler in Germany.
  • Nazi : The short form of Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party. It was formed by Hitler in 1921.
  • Gypsy : The groups that were classified as `gypsy‘ had their own community identity. Sinti and Roma were two such communities. Many of them traced their origin to India.
  • Jew : One whose religion is Judaism.
  • Pauperised : Reduce to absolute poverty.
  • Usurers : Moneylenders charging excessive interest; often used as a term of abuse.
  • Ghetto : A quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live.

Important Dates

  • 1889 : Adolf Hitler was born in Austria.
  • 1918 : Establishment of Weimar Republic.
  • 1919 : Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.
  • 1929 : The Economic Depression occurs in USA.
  • 1933 : Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany.
  • 1934 : Hitler became the President of Germany.
  • 1935 : World War II, Italy attached Ethiopia, German rearmament. Hitler announced Germany would rebuilt its military.
  • 1936 : Stalin introduced a new constitution.
  • 1937 : Attack of Japan on China during the Second World War.
  • 1938 : German troops entered Austria. Integration of Germany and Austria.
  • 1939 : Germany attacked Czechoslovakia.
  • 1940 : Declaration of war by Italy on Britain and France and surrender of France.
  • 1940-1944 : Ghettoisation of Jews.
  • 8th April 1941 : Germany invaded the Balkans.
  • June, 1941 : Germany attacked USSR.
  • 1942 : United Nations declaration signed by the representatives of 26 nations.
  • 1943 : Defeat of Italy and Germany by the Allied Powers in North Africa.
  • 1945 : Hitler committed suicide by gunshot in Berlin.

Summary

The Growth Of Social Democracy And The Crises In Germany

  • Birth of the Weimer Republic
    • Germany, a powerful empire in the early years of the twentieth century, fought the First World War (1914-1918) alongside the Austrian empire and against the Allies (England, France and Russia.)
    • The defeat of Imperial Germany and the abdication of the emperor gave an opportunity to parliamentary parties to recast German polity.
    • A National Assembly met at Weimar and established a democratic constitution with a federal structure.
    • Deputies were now elected to the German Parliament or Reichstag, on the basis of equal and universal votes cast by all adults including women.
    • Many Germans held the new Weimar Republic responsible for not only the defeat in the war but the disgrace at Versailles.
  • The Effects of the War
    • The war had a devastating impact on the entire continent both psychologically and financially.
    • From a continent of creditors, Europe turned into one of debtors.
    • Those who supported the Weimar Republic, mainly Socialists, Catholics and Democrats, became easy targets of attack in the conservative nationalist circles. They were mockingly called the ‘November Criminals’.
    • The First World War left a deep imprint on European society and polity.
    • Soldiers came to be placed above civilians. Politicians and publicists laid great stress on the need for men to be aggressive, strong and masculine.
  • Political Radicalism and Economic Crisis
    • The birth of the Weimar Republic coincided with the revolutionary uprising of the Spartacist League on the pattern of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
    • Those opposed to this – such as the Socialists, Democrats and Catholics – met in Weimar to give shape to the democratic republic.
    • The Weimar Republic crushed the uprising with the help of a war veterans organisation called ‘the Free Corps’.
  • The Years of Depression
    • The years between 1924 and 1928 saw some stability. German investments and industrial recovery were totally dependent on short-term loans, largely from the USA. This support was withdrawn when the Wall Street Exchange crashed in 1929.
    • On one single day, 24 October, 13 million shares were sold. This was the start of the ‘Great Economic Depression’.
    • Over the next three years, between 1929 and 1932, the national income of the USA fell by half. Factories shut down, exports fell, farmers were badly hit and speculators withdrew their money from the market. The effects of this recession in the US economy were felt worldwide.
    • The German economy was worst hit by the economic crisis. Workers lost their jobs or were paid reduced wages.
    • The number of unemployed touched an unprecedented 6 million.
    • As jobs disappeared, the youth took to criminal activities and total despair became commonplace.
    • Politically too, the Weimar Republic was fragile. The Weimar Constitution had some inherent defects, which made it unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship.
    • Another defect was Article 48, which gave the President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree.
    • Yet the crisis could not be managed. People lost confidence in the democratic parliamentary system, which seemed to offer no solutions.

The Basis Of Hitler’s Rise To Power

  • Hitler’s Rise to Power
    • This crisis in the economy, polity and society formed the background to Hitler’s rise to power.
    • In 1919, he joined a small group called the ‘German Workers’ Party. He subsequently took over the organisation and renamed it the ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party. This party later came to be known as the ‘Nazi Party’.
    • The Nazis could not effectively mobilise popular support till the early 1930s. It was during the Great Depression that Nazism became a mass movement.
    • By 1932, the Nazi Party had become the largest party with 37 per cent votes.
    • Hitler effectively mobilized popular support in Germany :
      1. Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved people.
      2. He promised to build a strong nation.
      3. He promised to undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of German people.
      4. He promised employment for those looking for work and a secure future for the youth.
      5. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign conspiracies against Germany.
      6. He understood the significance of rituals and spectacle in mass mobilization. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people.
      7. The Red banners with the Swastika, the Nazi salute, and the ritualised rounds of applause after the speeches were all part of this spectacle of power.
  • The Destruction of Democracy
    • On 30th January 1933, President Hindenburg offered the Chancellorship, the highest position in the cabinet of ministers, to Hitler.
    • On 3rd March 1933, the famous ‘Enabling Act’ was passed. This Act established dictatorship in Germany. It gave Hitler all powers to sideline Parliament and rule by decree.
    • Special surveillance and security forces were created to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted.
    • Apart from the already existing regular police in green uniform and the SA or the ‘Storm Troopers’, these included the Gestapo (secret state police), the SS (the protection squads), criminal police and the Security Service (SD).
  • Reconstruction
    • In foreign policy also, Hitler acquired quick successes. He pulled out of the League of Nations in 1933, reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, and integrated Austria and Germany in 1938 under the slogan, ’One people, One empire, and One leader.’
    • In September 1940, a ‘Tripartite Pact’ was signed between Germany, Italy and Japan, strengthening Hitler’s claim to international power.
    • By the end of 1940, Hitler was at the pinnacle of his power.

The Ideology Of Nazism

  • The Nazi Worldview
    • Nazi ideology was synonymous with Hitler’s world view. According to this, there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy.
    • In this view blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while Jews were located at the lowest rung.
    • They came to be regarded as an anti-race, the arch-enemies of the Aryans.
    • All other coloured people were placed in between, depending upon their external features.
    • The other aspect of Hitler’s ideology related to the geopolitical concept of Lebensraum, or living space. He believed that new territories had to be acquired for settlement. This would enhance the area of the mother country, while enabling the settlers on new lands to retain an intimate link with the place of their origin.

The Impact Of Nazism

  • Youth in Nazi Germany
    • Hitler was fanatically interested in the youth of the country. He felt that a strong Nazi society could be established only by teaching children Nazi ideology. This required a control over the child both inside and outside school.
    • Effects of Nazism on the School System :
      1. All schools were ‘cleansed’ and ‘purified’. This meant that teachers who were Jews or seen as politically unreliable were dismissed.
      2. Children were first segregated – Germans and Jews could not sit together or play together.
      3. Subsequently, undesirable children – Jews, the physically handicapped, Gypsies were thrown out of schools.
      4. ‘Good German’ children were subjected to a process of Nazi schooling, a prolonged period of ideological training.
      5. School textbooks were rewritten. Racial science was introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race.
      6. Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler.
      7. Even the function of sports was to nurture a spirit of violence and aggression among children. Hitler believed that boxing could make children iron-hearted, strong and masculine.
    • At 14, all boys had to join the Nazi youth organization – Hitler Youth – where they learnt to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy, and hate Jews, communists, Gypsies and all those categorised as ‘undesirable’.
    • At the age of 18, the youth had to serve in the armed forces and enter one of the Nazi organizations. The Youth League of the Nazis was founded in 1922.
  • The Nazi Cult of Motherhood
    • Children in Nazi Germany were repeatedly told that women were radically different from men.
    • While boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel-hearted, girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children.
    • Girls had to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews, look after the home, and teach their children Nazi values.
    • In Nazi Germany all mothers were not treated equally.
    • Women who bore racially undesirable children were punished and those who produced racially desirable children were awarded.
  • Ordinary People and Crimes against Humanity
    • Many saw the world through Nazi eyes and spoke their mind in Nazi language. They felt hatred and anger surge inside them when they saw someone who looked like a Jew. But not every German was a Nazi.
    • The Nazi killing operation was also called the holocaust. It comes from the Greek word ‘Holo’ and ‘Kaustos’, which literally means completely burnt. It is used to describe the mass murder of Jews by German Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

Nazi And The Jews

  • Establishment of the Racial State
    • Nazis wanted only a society of ‘pure and healthy Nordic Aryans’. They alone were considered ‘desirable’. Only they were seen as worthy of prospering and multiplying against all others who were classed as ‘undesirable’.
    • Jews were not the only community classified as ‘undesirable’, many Gypsies and blacks living in Nazi Germany were considered as racial ‘inferiors’ who threatened the biological purity of the superior Aryan race.
    • Even Russians and Poles were considered subhuman, and hence undeserving of any humanity.
    • Jews remained the worst sufferers in Nazi Germany. They had been stereotyped as killers of Christ and usurers.
    • They lived in separately marked areas called ‘Ghettos’.
    • From 1933 to 1938, the Nazis terrorized, pauperised and segregated the Jews, compelling them to leave the country.
    • The next phase, 1939-1945, aimed at concentrating them in certain areas and eventually killing them in gas chambers in Poland.

Intext Questions

Activity

(Page No. 61)

Question: Read Sources A and BSource ASource B

  1. What do they tell you about Hitler’s imperial ambition?
  2. What do you think Mahatma Gandhi would have said to Hitler about these ideas?

Answer:

  1. The two texts tell that Hitler’s imperial ambition was to expand the boundaries of Germany till wherever they could possibly reach. He believed that an aggressive nation will find methods to adjust its territory to its population’s size. In source ‘B’ he was comparing Germany’s size to that of Russia and wanted Germany to become a world power of similar size.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi would have told Hitler to remove the idea of aggression against other nations from his mind, as violence begets violence.

Activity

(Page No. 63)

See the next two pages and write briefly:
Question 1: What does citizenship mean to you? Look at Chapters I and 3 and write 200 words on how the French Revolution and Nazism defined citizenship.
Answer: To me, citizenship means the right to live freely in the country of my birth or the country where I desire to live. The French Revolution defined citizenship in a way which was different from the way that the Nazism defined it. The French people thought that all men have equal rights as they are born equal. The rights of a citizen include liberty, security, owning of property and resisting oppression. Also they believed in the freedom of expression, whether verbal or in writing, art, etc. They believed in the rule of law and that no one can be above it.

However, the Nazi definition of citizenship was quite different. It was defined with the perspective of racial discrimination against all except the ‘pure Aryan’ Nordic race. So they said that Jews and other ‘undesirable population would not be considered as citizens of Germany. These people were given very harsh treatment like death in the gas chamber or banishment to concentration camps. Many of them were forced to flee to other countries because of this.

Question 2: What did the Nuremberg Laws mean to the ‘undesirables’ in Nazi Germany? What other legal measures were taken against them to make them feel unwanted?
Answer: Basically, the Nuremberg Laws meant that the ‘undesirables’ had no rights to live along with the other citizens. These included Jews, Gypsies, ‘Blacks’ and other nationalities like Polish and Russian people.
These laws, promulgated in 1935, stated

  1. Only persons of German or related blood would be German citizens, enjoying the protection of the German Empire.
  2. Marriages between Germans and the ‘undesirables’ were forbidden. Extramarital relations between them also became a crime.

Other legal measures included

  1. Boycott of Jewish businesses.
  2. Expulsion of Jews from government services.
  3. Confiscation and forcible selling of the properties of Jews.

Activity

(Page No. 66)

Question 1: If you were a student sitting in one of these classes, how would you have felt towards Jews?
Answer: If I had been a student sitting in one of these classes, I would have felt very bad, as I would be missing my friends, who used to play with me earlier. I would have felt sympathetic towards them and would have hated the government for this action.

Question 2: Have you ever thought of the stereotypes of other communities that people around you believe in? How have they acquired them?
Answer: I have thought about the stereotypes of other communities they believe in. They are usually acquired from their ancestors and the traditions and customs of the community to which they belong.

Activity

(Page No. 67)

Question: Look at Figs. 23, 24, and 27. Imagine yourself to be a Jew or a Pole in Nazi Germany. It is September 1941, and the law forcing Jews to wear the Star of David has just been declared. Write an account of one day in your life.Fig 23Fig 24Fig 27
Answer: Germany decreed that Jews over the age of six were required to wear a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing in public at all times. The Nazis in Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe implemented the yellow star as a means to publicly identify, humiliate, and isolate Jews. In many cases, this public identification and stigmatization preceded the mass deportations of Jews to ghettos and killing sites.

On September 1, 1941, the Reich Minister of the Interior decreed that Jews over the age of six in the Greater German Reich were required to wear a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing in public at all times. While ghettos were generally not established in Germany, strict residence regulations forced Jews to live in designated areas of German cities, concentrating them in “Jewish houses” (“Judenhäuser”).

Within Germany, the sight of neighbors forced to wear the yellow badge often elicited sympathy from non-Jewish Germans. This response was widespread enough that the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment felt compelled to issue pamphlets instructing Germans on how they should respond when encountering neighbors wearing the yellow star.

Activity

(Page No. 69)

Question 1: How would you have reacted to Hilter’s ideas if you were:

  • A Jewish woman
  • A non-Jewish German woman

Answer:

  • If I was a Jewish woman, I would have condemned these ideas as they were against our community and also against women.
  • If I was a non-Jewish German woman, I would have condemned them as being too restrictive to women’s roles in life. Also, I do not agree with Hitler about the idea of Jews being ‘undesirable’, as I have a number of Jewish women as my friends and I find them likeable, just like other human beings. They should not be called ‘undesirables’.

Activity

(Page No. 69)

Question: What do you think this poster is trying to depict?Figure
Answer: The poster is making fun of Jews, by depicting that they are only interested in making money, by whatever means at their disposal. It is trying to show that Jews are greedy. The fatness of the man depicted indicates that the poster maker felt that the greed of Jews is excessive.

Activity

(Page No. 70)

Question: Look at Figs. 29 and 30 and answer the following: What do they tell us about Nazi propaganda? How are the Nazis trying to mobilize different sections of the population?
Fig 29 and 30Answer: The first poster is addressed to the German farmer, while the second one is addressed to the German worker. This tells us that through this kind of propaganda, the Nazis were trying to win the support of the working classes. The second poster is telling them to vote for Hitler, who has fought on the front line in the First World War. The first poster is condemning the Capitalists and the Bolsheviks, because they are the enemies of Nazism. By this method, the Nazis tried to mobilise different sections of the population to their cause.

Activity

(Page No. 71)

Question: Why does Erna Kranz say, ‘I could only say for myself’? How do you view her opinion?
Answer: She said this because at that time, she personally felt that the economy was being revived. However, since she was not able to see the conditions of others at that time, being too young to go out and see what was happening elsewhere. Her opinion may be correct as far as she was concerned, but as she had no idea about what was happening in the rest of the country, it is difficult to say whether others felt similarly.

Activity

(Page No. 74)

Question: Write a one page history of Germany

  • as a schoolchild in Nazi Germany
  • as a Jewish survivor of a concentration camp
  • as a political opponent of the Nazi regime

Answer:

  • As a Schoolchild in Nazi Germany: I have been conditioned to behave in a particular manner since I was three years old. First I was given a flag to wave, to show my patriotism. I was told that men’s and women’s roles in life were totally different. We were told that the fight for equal rights of men and women was a thing of the past as it would destroy our society today. We boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel hearted, while the girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children.
    The girls had to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews, look after the home, and teach their children Nazi values .They had to be the bearers of the Aryan culture and race. I had to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler, proclaiming him as the savior of the country. I have been told that after finishing school, I will join the Hitler Youth Organization. This will be followed by military service, which is compulsory.
  • As a Jewish Survivor of a Concentration Camp: Thanks to the Lord for saving my life. I am happy to have survived three years of torturous life in the concentration camp. Of course, I am now very weak and ill, but I am still alive. So many of my friends, relatives even family members died before my eyes due to the bad treatment meted out to them in the camp. They were regularly beaten, left to starve and worked in very harsh conditions. Many of them were sent to the gas chambers and l was always afraid of my number coming next. Luckily I have survived to tell this tale.
  • As a Political Opponent of the Nazi Regime: Since the Nazis have captured power, they are making life hell for all people who do not follow their doctrine. I do not understand what they will gain by trying to conquer other nations. The bombing by the British on our homes has killed many of my relatives and friends.
    Aggression on other countries will definitely cause war with them and we will also lose men and property in war. The way the Nazis are going about increasing their power, I feel, in the long run, we will lose out, as this war will make all other nations to go against us. I hope Hitler sees sense and stops this war soon.

Question 2: Imagine that you are Helmuth. You have had many Jewish friends in school and do not believe that Jews are bad. Write a paragraph on what you would say to your father.
Answer: If I was helmuth i would tell my father that jews were very good people. They don’t discriminate people as the nazis do. They are very polite. They bare the cruel torture of the nazis but still they don’t raise their voice against them. They do their work obediently. I’m very lucky to have friends who are jews.

NCERT Solution

(Page No. 48)

Question.1. Describe the problems faced by the Weimer Republic. OR
How was the Weimar Republic born in Germany? Explain.
Answer. A National Assembly met at Weimer and established a democratic constitution with a federal structure. The republic was, however, not received well by its own people largely because of the terms it was forced to accept after Germany’s defeat at the end of the First World War. Many Germans held the new Weimer Republic responsible for not only the defeat in the war but the disgrace at Versailles. This republic was finally crippled by being forced to pay compensation. There was another problem which the Weimer Republic faced just at its inception. Its birth coincided with the revolutionary uprising of the Spartacist League. The political atmosphere in Berlin was charged with demands for Soviet-style governance. Though the uprising was crushed by the Republic, the Spartacists founded the Communist Party of Germany. Both parties now became enemies and could not combine together with Hitler.

This was followed by the economic crisis of 1923. The value of the German mark fell considerably. The Weimer Republic had to face hyperinflation. Then came the Wall Street Exchange crash in 1929. America had bailed Germany out of the hyperinflation but with this crash it was evident that the stability was just temporary. The USA withdrew its support with the crash. The situation in Germany became worse. The currency lost its value, business was ruined and deep anxiety and fears haunted the people. Unemployment created an atmosphere of crime and total despair. The Weimer Republic within its span of power saw 20 different cabinets, lasting for an average 239 days and a liberal use of Article 48.

Question.2. Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
Answer. The Nazis could not effectively mobilise popular support till the early 1930s. Nazism became a mass movement only during the Great Depression. After 1929, banks collapsed and businesses shut down, workers lost their jobs and the middle classes were threatened with destitution. The Nazi propaganda stirred hopes of a better future at this time. In 1928, the Nazi Party got no more than 2.6 per cent votes in the Reichstag – the German Parliament. By 1932, it had become the largest party with 37 per cent votes.

Hitler was a powerful speaker. He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of the German people. He promised employment for the unemployed, and a secure future for the youth. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign conspiracies against Germany. Hitler understood the importance of rituals and spectacle in mobilising people. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people. The red banners with the Swastika, the Nazi salute, and the ritualised rounds of applause after the speeches were all part of this spectacle of power. The people whose sense of dignity and pride had been shattered, and who were living in a time of acute economic had political crises, saw in Hitler a messiah and a saviour who would deliver them from their difficulties. This was projected by the Nazi propaganda.

Question.3. What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Answer. Nazi ideology was synonymous with Hitler worldwide. According to this there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy. In this view, blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while Jews were located at the lowest rung. They came to be regarded as an anti-race, as arch enemies of the Aryans. All other coloured people were placed in between, depending upon their external features. Hitler’s racism was borrowed from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. The Nazi argument was simple: the strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish. The Aryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.

The other aspect of Hitler’s ideology related to the geopolitical concept of Lebensraum, or living space. He believed that new territories had to be acquired for settlement. This would enhance the area of the mother country, while enabling the settlers on new lands to retain an intimate link with the place of their origin. It would also enhance the material resources and power of the German nation.

Their dream was to create an exclusive racial community of pure Germans by physically eliminating all those who were seen as ‘undesirable’ in the extended empire. Nazis wanted only a society of ‘pure and healthy Nordic Aryans’. They alone was considered ‘desirable’. Only they were seen as worthy of prospering and multiplying, others had no such right.

Question.4. Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Answer. The Nazi regime used language and media with care, and often to great effect. Media was used to gain support for the regime and to make it popular all over the world. They spread their ideas through visual images, radio, posters, slogans, speeches, films, etc. All enemies of Germans, especially the Jews were mocked, abused and called as evil. They were termed as bad-meaning foreign agents.

The most infamous film “Eternal Jew” was shown all over to the people. All orthodox Jews were stereotyped and shown as supporting long beards and wearing loose clothes. But in reality, it was not so. These Jews were called names such as rats, pests and vermins. Nazi propaganda completely brainwashed the people who began to believe that Jews are to be hated and dispised. The Nazi propaganda worked on all sections of the society and sought to win their support by glorifying Nazism and suggesting that Nazis alone could solve their problem. Most people began to see Jews through the Nazi vision, they even spoke in the Nazi language. Whenever they sighted a Jew, hatred and anger welled up inside them. Jews were looked upon with suspicion and even their living areas marked.

Question.5. Explain what role women had in Nazi society. Return to Chapter 1 on the French Revolution. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the role of women in the two periods.
Answer. It was made obvious that women were radically different from men. Boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel-hearted, girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children. They had to be the bearers of the Aryan culture and race. They had to look after the homes and teach children Nazi values. They were encouraged to bear many children. But the children had to be ‘desirable children’. Honour crosses were awarded to them. If the Aryan women deviated from the prescribed code of conduct they were publicly condemned and severely punished.

In other parts of Europe, women were actively participating in democratic struggles. In countries like France women formed clubs for protest and were ever involved in violent uprisings. They were politically more aware of their rights and were brave enough to demand them.

Question.6. In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people?
Answer. The Nazis established control over its people by various means. Propaganda popularising and glorifying Nazism was one. Media was carefully used to win support for the regime and popularise it. Nazism worked on the minds of the people, tapped their emotions and turned their hatred and anger against those marked as ‘undesirable’.

Special surveillance and security forces to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted, was created. It was the extra-constitutional powers of these newly organised forces that gave the Nazi state its reputation as the most dreaded criminal state. The police forces had powers to rule with impunity.

Genocide also created an atmosphere of fear and repression which helped them to establish total control over its people. Hitler played on the bitterness of the German people for the defeat in World War I. He promised to restore Germany’s military power and told Germans that they were the greatest people in the world. Secondly, he and his party promised to carry out radical changes in Germany and get rid of the leaders who had failed to provide jobs to the German people.

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