NCERT Class 9 History Chapter 3 - Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

Chapter 3 Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

Question and Answers
Question 1: Mention the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Versailles.

1. Germany lost is overseas colonies, a tenth of its population, 13% of its territories, 75% of its iron and 26% of coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania.
2. The Allied Powers demilitarized Germany to weaken its power.
3. The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and damages the Allied countries suffered.
4. Germany was forced to pay compensation amounting to £6 billion.
5. The Allied armies also occupied the resource-rich Rhineland for much of the 1920s.
6. Many Germans held the new Weimar Republic responsible for not only the defeat in the war but the disgrace at Versailles.

Question 2: Describe the problems faced by Weimar Republic.

1. The defeat of the Imperial Germany and the abdication of the emperor gave an opportunity to parliamentary parties to recast German policy.
2. Deputies were now elected to the German Parliament or Reichstag, on the basis of equal and universal votes cast by all adults including women.
3. This republic, however, was 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.
4. The infant Weimar Republic was being made to pay for the sins of the old empire.
5. The Republic carried the burden of war guilt and national humiliation and was financially crippled by being forced to pay compensation.

Question 3: The First World War left a deep imprint on European society.
The First World War left a deep imprint on European society and policy.
1. Soldiers came to be placed above civilians. Politicians and publicists laid great stress on the need for men to be aggressive, strong and masculine.
2. The media glorified trench life. The truth, however, was that soldiers lived miserable lives in these trenches, trapped with rats feeding on corpses.  They faced poisonous gas and enemy shelling. They witnessed their ranks reduce rapidly.
3. Aggressive war propaganda and national honour occupied centre stage in public sphere while popular support grew for conservative dictatorships that had recently come into being.
4. Democracy was indeed a young and fragile idea, which could not survive the instabilities of interwar Europe.

Question 4: What led to economic crisis in Germany in 1923?

1. Germany had fought the war largely on loans, and had to pay war reparations in gold.
2. In 1923, Germany refused to pay and the French occupied the leading industrial area, Ruhr, to claim their coal.
3. Germany retaliated with passive resistance and printed paper currency recklessly.
4. With too much printed money in circulation, the value of German mark fell.
5. This crisis came to be known as hyperinflation, a situation where prices rise phenomenally high.

Question 5: Explain the impact of Great Economic Depression on Germany.

1. The German economy was the worst hit by the economic crisis.
2. By 1932, industrial production was reduced to 40% of the 1929 level.
3. Workers lost their jobs or were paid reduced wages. The number of unemployed touched an unprecedented 6 million.
4. On the street of Germany, men with placards around the neck saying, 'Willing to do any work'.
5. Unemployed youth played cards or simply sat at street corners or desperately queued up at the local employment exchange.
6. As jobs disappeared, the youth took to criminal activities and total despair became commonplace.
7. Small businessmen, the self-employed and retailers suffered as their businesses got ruined.
8. The large mass of peasantry was affected by sharp fall in agricultural prices and women, unable to fill their children’s stomachs, were filled with a sense of despair.

Question 6: What were the inherent defects of Weimar Republic, which made it unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship?
The Weimar Constitution had some inherent defects, which made it unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship.
1. One was proportional representation. This made achieving a majority by any one party a near impossible task, leading to a rule by coalitions.
2. Another defect was Article 48, which gave the President the powers to impose emergency, suspend civil rights and rule by decree.
3. Within its short life, the Weimar Republic saw twenty different cabinets lasting on an average 239 days, and a liberal use of Article 48.
4. People lost confidence in the democratic parliamentary system, which seemed to offer no solutions.

Question 7: What steps did Hitler take to systematically destroy democracy in Germany?

1. On 30 January 1933, President Hindenburg offered the Chancellorship, the highest position in the cabinet of ministers, to Hitler.
2. A mysterious fire that broke out in the German Parliament building in February facilitated Hitler’s move. The Fire Decree of 28 February 1933 indefinitely suspended civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly that had been guaranteed by the Weimar Constitution.
3. On 3 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.
4. All political parties and trade unions were banned except for the Nazi Party and its affiliates.
5. The state established complete control over the economy, media, army and judiciary.

Question 8: What were the promises made by Hitler to the people of Germany?

1. Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved people. Promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of German people.
2. He promised employment for those who were looking for work, and a secure future for the youth.
3. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign ‘conspiracies’ against Germany.

Question 9: What were the steps taken by Hitler to reconstruct Germany?

1. Hitler assigned the responsibility of economic recovery to the economist, Hjalmar Schacht, who aimed at full production and full employment through a state-funded work-creation programme.
2. This project produced the famous German superhighways and the people’s car, the Volkswagen.
3. In foreign policy also Hitler acquired quick successes. He pulled out of the League of Nation in 1933, reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, and integrated Austria and Germany in 1938 under the slogan, One people, One Empire, One Leader.
4. He then went on to west German-speaking Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia, and gobbled up the entire country.

Question 10: How was Nazi ideology synonymous to Hitler’s worldview?
Nazi ideology synonymous to Hitler’s worldview.
1. According to this there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy.
2. In this view blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while Jews were located at the lowest rung.
3. Hitler’s racism borrowed from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. Darwin was a natural scientist who tried to explain the creation of plants and animals through the concept of evolution and natural selection. Herbert Spencer later added idea of survival of the fittest.
4. However, his ideas were used by racist thinkers and politicians to justify imperial rule over conquered peoples. The Nazi argument was simple: the strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish.
5. 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.

Question 11: How did Hitler accomplish their dream of creating a racial state of pure Aryans?

1. Once in power, the Nazis quickly began to implement their dream of creating an exclusive racial community of pure Germans by physically eliminating all those who were seen as ‘undesirable’ in the extended empire.
2. Nazis wanted only a society of ‘pure and healthy Nordic Aryans’.
3. They alone were considered ‘desirable’. Only they were seen as worthy of prospering and multiplying against all others who were classed as ‘undesirable’.
4. Many Gypsies and Blacks living in Nazi Germany were considered as racial ‘inferiors’ who threatened the biological purity of the ‘superior Aryan’ race.

Question 12: Explain Hitler’s policy towards Jews?

1. Hitler’s hatred for Jews was based on pseudoscientific theories of race, which held that conversion was no solution to ‘the Jewish problem’. It could be only solved only through their total elimination.
2. They had been stereotyped as killers of the Christ.
3. 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.

Question 13: How was Nazi ideology taught to children?

1. All the 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. Subsequently, ‘undesirable children’ – Jews, physically handicapped, Gypsies – were thrown out of schools. And finally in the 1940s, they were taken to the gas chambers.
3. School textbooks were rewritten. Racial science was introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race.
4. Stereotypes about Jews were popularized even through maths class.
5. Children were taught to be loyal and submissive, hate Jews and worship Hitler. 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.

Question 14: Explain the role of women in Nazi Germany.

1. Children in Nazi Germany were repeatedly told that women were radically different from men. They had to become good mother and rear pure-blooded Aryan children.
2. Girls had to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews, look after the home, and teach their children Nazi values.
3. Women who bore racially undesirable children were punished and those who produced racially desirable children were awarded. They were given favoured treatment in hospitals and were also entitled to concessions in shops and on theatre tickets and railway fare.
4. All ‘Aryan’ women who deviated from the prescribed code of conduct were publicly condemned, and severely punished.
5. Those who maintained contact with Jews, Poles and Russians were paraded through the town with shaved heads, blackened faces and placards hanging around their necks announcing ‘ I have sullied the honour of the nation’.

Question 15: Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews?

1. The Nazi regime used language and media with care.
2. Nazis never used the words ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ in their official communications. Mass killing were termed special treatment, final solution (for the Jews), euthanasia (for the disabled), selection and disinfections. ‘Evacuation’ meant deporting people to gas chambers.
3. Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radios, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets.
4. The most infamous film was The Eternal Jews. Orthodox Jews with flowing beards wearing kaftans, whereas in reality it was difficult to distinguish German Jews by their outwards appearance because they were a highly assimilated community.

Question 16: How did common people react to Nazism?

1. 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.
2. But not every German was a Nazi. Many organised active resistance to Nazism, braving police repression and death.
3. The large majority of Germans, however, were passive on lookers and apathetic witnesses. They were too scared to act, to differ, to protest.

Question 17: How did the world come to know about Holocaust?

1. Information about Nazi practices had trickled out of Germany during the last years of the regime.
2. But it was only after the war ended and Germany was defeated that the world came to realize the horrors of what had happened.
3. The Jews wanted the world to remember the atrocities and sufferings they had endured during the Nazi killing operations – also called the Holocaust.
4. This indomitable spirit to bear witness and to preserve the documents can be seen in many ghetto and camps inhabitants who wrote diaries, kept notebooks and created archives.

Question 18: What were the factors responsible for the rise of Hitler in Germany?

1. Germany’s defeat in World War I and abdication of emperor.
2. The Treaty of Versailles distressed people and Hitler’s propaganda in such a condition helped him acquire power.
3. During the Great Economic Depression, Hitler made promises to build strong nation and undo the injustice which gave a support of people.
4. He was a powerful speaker and his words moved people.
5. The Weimar Republic has inherent defects which made it unstable and vulnerable to democracy.

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