From Kaiser to Führer: Germany 1900-1945 discussion thread Watch

username202682
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Quite evidently this is the largest exam for most History students (at least in Edexcel) so I've made a thread for you to all discuss your joys and woes of the topic. You may also use this place to find notes, share notes and generally talk about the topic in relation to the exam.

So let us begin.

General Information



Broad analysis



Political Parties and groups in Germany

SDP - (Socialist/Social Democratic)
DAP- (Nationalist)
DNVP- (National-conservative)
Spartacus League
KPD - Communist
BVP - Conservative/ Christian Democratic
NSDAP - National Socialist

Information on particular issues.

The Arms Race (1905-14)
Statistics of the Arms Race

The Moroccan Crisis (1905-6)

The Daily Telegraph Affair (28 October, 1908)
Document from the Affair

The Haldane Mission
Document from the Mission (Feb 1912)

Books of interest -
Imperial Germany 1871-1918


Broadly speaking, your course is split into a number of issues and controversies

  • Controversy one - to what extent was Germany responsible for WW1? The main things you need to look at are German foreign policy c.1900-14 and the controversy surrounding Germany's 'war guilt'
  • Controversy two - how popular was the Nazi regime and how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933-39? The main issues for this one are degree of consent the Nazi regime received, extent to which this was reliant on terror and repression, the role of Hitler, cumulative radicalisation and whether Nazi state was a chaotic 'polycracy'.
.
But there are other issues that must be considered before tackling either controversy
  • The German Empire (1871 to 1918)
  • Weimar Republic (1919 to 1933)
  • The rise of the NSDAP/Nazi Party (1925 to 1933)
  • The Second World War (1939 to 1945)
  • The Final Solution (Jan 20, 1942 to 1945)



How long is the paper and how many marks is each question worth?
  • Two questions – Section a) 30 marks. Section b) 40 marks
  • 70 marks in total
  • 50-55 minutes, including planning should be spent on Section A
  • 65-70 minutes, including planning should be spent on Section B
  • Both units assume you have an understanding of the different historical perspectives relating to the question. Therefore historiography, not provenance is the most important aspect to understand when evaluating different perspectives.


This resource list is not exhaustive. If you feel that you would like to add to the links and resources here, please quote or PM me. Additionally if you have any questions relating to this course/events then please drop it in this thread :yy:

Thanks.
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username202682
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Anyone need a revision guide? Got a revision guide.
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Contributions made by other users -

Exam Layout:

Spoiler:
Show
Part A:

30 marks. (I would) Spend 10 minutes planning and 40 minutes writing. Choice of two questions from anything in the entire course (except the controversies, I think!) Possible questions / areas include:

2nd Reich:

Kaiser’s responsibility for political problems faced by the Second Reich pre -1914.
The role of moderate reform in maintaining the political status quo pre-1914.
'The political system of the 2nd Reich was primarily an autocracy of the elites' How far do you agree?
Impact of WW1 on existing social and political tensions.
Reason for Kaiser’s abdication?

Weimar Republic:

Stability of the Weimar republic.
Impact of Versailles terms on the stability of the Weimar Republic.
How far do you agree that Germany experienced a period of political calm, economic development, and social progress in the period 1925 - 29?
To what extent was the collapse of the Weimar Republic caused by the lurch to the right by leading politicians after 1930?

Nazi Germany:

Rise of the Nazis.
Nazi consolidation of Power.
Reasons for final solution.
Reasons for poor WW2 War Economy.

NB: All of the above sample questions that I have included were ones created by my (very good) history teachers. They have chosen which factor to focus the question on, but the actual question could ask about another factor instead. In any case, include 4 or 5 factors.

Part B:

40 marks. (I would) Spend 10-15 minutes planning 55-60 minutes writing. Choice of two controversies: Germany’s role in causing the First World War and the popularity and efficiency of the Nazi state, 1933 - 39.

There are 24 out of the 40 marks on part b for source use, so USE THEM THROUGHOUT. As a set, have them drive your answer, using own knowledge throughout to support your argument.

WW1:

Germany's fault:
-Long term expansionist aims of Germany = wanted an Empire, Weltpolitik (use both Moroccan Crises as an example), Flottenpolitik and the antagonisation of the British.
-Use of War as a distraction from domestic problems? = SPD became biggest party in Reichstag 1912 elections, long-term political and economic problems created by Industrialisation + Urbanisation threatened the political status quo, many elites believed war was the best way to preserve the monarchy.
-Power of military = Zabern affair, military potentially pushing Kaiser towards War.

NOT Germany's fault:
-Actions of other powers = Britain engaged in arms race to defend its naval superiority and Empire, A-H's aggressive actions in the Balkans
'-> LINKS TO: -Fear of encirclement = all European powers only felt safe in the rising tension by increasing armaments and staying close to their loyal allies (Entente powers of Br, Fr + Ru. Central powers of Ger + A-H)

NB: If you are choosing this one you SHOULD be aware of the historiography surrounding Germany's blame, particularly Fischer's thesis. In the exam, you will probably get a source where you can comment something along the lines of " '.......' (Source A) rejects Fischer's opinion that Germany went to war on imperialist ambitions alone", or whatever. Link this back to the question though... "and therefore it can be seen how Germany's fear of encirclement was a crucial factor, more so than supposed imperialist ambitions", if that is your argument.

Pop. + Eff. of Nazi State '33 - '39:

Well, I am not choosing this one, as I feel there is more to learn and more could be asked of you. However, I can say that you should focus on these areas:

-Groups that it gained popularity with (e.g. Youth was the most popular?).
-Lack of opposition + reasons (e.g. Terror, propaganda?).
-Hitler's role as dictator in the Nazi regime.

etc.

How popular was the Nazi Regime 1933-39?

Spoiler:
Show
Reasons for consent

Removal of the communist threat. Reichstag fire allowed for use of legal means of seizing power.
Propaganda. Goebbels moved quickly to ensure complete control of the media. Assosciation of German publishers purged of non-Nazis. Editor's law enforced racially pure journalism.
Cult of the fuhrer. Aimed to identify national rebirth with Hitler. Aimed to make Hitler seem benevolent.
Reduction of unemployed. State provided money to private companies to create new jobs. Conscription was re-introduced, taking a chunk out of unemployment. Labour Front built roads, further reducing. The unskilled working classes received apprenticeships.
Economic recovery. Schacht appointed president of Reichsbank. Great economist. Introduced the new plan: Trade agreements with other countries, i.e. in South America. Mefo Bills stimulated economy.
Fun stuff: KDF gave loyal workers evening classes, package holidays, sporting competitions.
Weltpolitik once more.

Gleichschaltung

The 'Nazification' of German society. People joined the NSDAP to further careers. Various institutions reformed under the Nazi banner (i.e Reich Corporation of German industry) - this eliminated the possibility of rival organisations or dissent.
All lawyers were co-ordinated into the Nazi lawyers association. This allowed Nazi legislation to be given full legal endorsement. The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended all civil liberties and rights, increased the power of the state, and re-introduced draconian penalties for crime.

Propaganda

Goebbels became minister of public enlightenment and propaganda.
He moved quickly to seize control of ALL forms of communication. The NSDAP had complete control of the media.
Association of German publishers was purged. The Editor's law enforced racially pure journalism. All Jewish, communist, and socialist journalists were dismissed.
The cult of the Fuhrer. Aimed to identify national rebirth with Hitler. Aimed to make Hitler appear benevolent. Goebbels used him sparingly to preserve his "god-like mystique"
The successes of the regime were all linked to Hitler. Most Germans blamed the problems on the extremists rather than the NSDAP.
Film used. Had innovative directors. Examples include the Triumph of the Will and Olympia.
State press agency, the DNB, monitored all news material.
Used the new technology of radio. Produced a very cheap radio for Germans. Could sustain huge audience.

Economic Recovery

Working class support was conditional on an improvement in the economic situation.
NSDAP introduced legislation and initiatives to reduce unemployment.
Work schemes introduced. Involved many Germans. Built the Autobahn. "The best possible way to bring the German people back into work is to set German economic life once more in motion through great monumental works"
The state lent money to private companies so that they could create jobs.
Military conscription was re-introduced which further reduced unemployment.
NSDAP also tried to help peasantry. Reich food estate took control of planning of agriculture. Reich Farm Law attempted to enhance security of peasant ownership of land.
A 'battle for production' aimed to stimulate grain production to feed the German population.
Training schemes for the unskilled and apprenticeships for the working class school leavers.

Indoctrination

Boys aged 10-14 joined the German Young People. From 14-16 they joined the Hitler Youth. The Youth Leader of the Reich was told to educate young people "Physically, Mentally, and Morally in the spirit of National Socialism.
Girls were taught to be loyal, submissive and prolific mothers. They joined the league of young girls at 10 and the league of German girls at 14.
Membership for groups became compulsory.
Jewish teachers were fired. Teachers encouraged to join NS Teachers alliance - 97% of teachers joined. Teachers went on courses in Nazi ideology.

Tensions between armed forces and state

Aristocratic generals let Hitler take power as they thought he could be tamed within a conservative dominated coalition.
To Hitler, the "Nazi revolution" meant bringing about cultural change based on the concept of race. The SA called for a "second revolution" - Hitler called for an end to revolution, and changed SA leader Rohm's role.
The SA got slightly out of hand. For example, in some areas it had its own police force. It had a huge membership. Rohm wanted to turn the SA into a militia - he demanded SA take over national defence.
Hitler instead gave his support to the Armed Forces. He told Rohm the SA's function was political not military.

How did the Regime curtail the army?

Hitler went out if his way to reassure the armed forces of his support. "My faith in the Wehrmacht in unshakable".
Some army leaders were sceptical about his plans to gain Lebensraum and expand eastwards. They felt Germany was not ready to go to war.
Hitler found out that War Minister von Blomberg's wife was a prostitute. He fired him.
Hitler took over the leadership of the army himself.
Hitler took the opportunity to remove from post those who were not considered to be completely loyal. Hitler had complete control.

Opposition from the left

The Communists/KPD are the most obvious threat. The German people themselves felt threatened by a Communist seizure of power. Hitler made it clear his intention was 'To destroy the Marxist threat'.
The Reichstag Fire gave the Nazis the legal opportunity (through the Fire Decree) to seize power. 10,000 communists arrested.
Himmler set up a concentration camp at Dachau to house political opponents in 'protective custody'. The repressive state made organisation very, very difficult.
Evidence of some working class opposition: Wages stagnated, working hour’s lengthened, industrial accidents increased.
Communist and Socialist divisions once again ****** things up, they couldn’t agree.
Exiles produced leaflets which were smuggled into Germany.

Opposition from the Right

Conservatives thought they'd be able to control Hitler once he'd gotten into power.
They agreed with Hitler's destruction of democracy. They actively worked towards the Fuhrer.
Few were willing to resist. Those who did felt that the NSDAP was undermining and morally corrupting Germany.
Von Papen's "Marburg speech". Praised some aspects of the Regime. Warned against the second revolution. Was a potential rallying call for the army to act. It clarified to Hitler the level of discontent in conservative circles. For the Regime to continue it needed continued economic growth and for this he needed the conservative support.
Operation Hummingbird was the name of a purge that took place on 30th June. Hitler had heard rumours of an SA rebellion. He arrested Rohm. Political enemies were murdered such as ex-chancellor von Schleicher and Von Bose (the author of the Marubrg speech) and Nazi Radical Strausser.
Lutze took over Rohm's place. SA's influential position was finished.

Opposition from Churches

Protestant national bishop was elected by Hitler.
Dissident Protestants formed the confession church led by Niemoller. They wanted independence from the regime. Didn't necessarily disagree with it as a whole.
Leading dissidents easily intimidate and imprisoned.
Catholics generally answered to the pope moreso than Hitler.
Hitler signed concordat with Catholics to give church control over education and youth groups in return for political neutrality.

Terror

The SS had been accumulating police powers. Goring incorporated the Prussian political police with the Gestapo. Himmler control of police in Bavaria. Himmler became 'inspector of the Gestapo'.
SS Created a huge concentration camp system in which enemies of the Nazi's could be imprisoned and their Labour exploited.
SS assumed complete control of running these camps.
After operation hummingbird, SS became main police arm of the NSDAP with the aim of eliminating opposition within the state.
Himmler became head of German police in 1936. Controlled everything.
"Never before in no other land, had an organisation attained such a comprehensive penetration of society, possessed such power and reached such a degree of completeness in its ability to arouse terror and horror".
Courts deemed that all police actions carrying out the will of the leadership must be legal. They were unrestrained.

Was the Gestapo overestimated?

Gestapo only had 32k members in all of Germany. Often short-staffed. In the city of Hanover there were on 42 officers.
Not that many informers.
Claims most prosecutions were the result of reporting from hostile or jealous neighbours.

Resistenz

Broszat claimed that indifference towards the regime undermined it's authority and impact.
Examples of resistants include independent institutions such as the church, the armed forces. Expression through groups i.e. factory strike, religious criticisms. Civil disobedience such as not going to NSDAP gatherings, refusal to give Hitler salute. Communities outside those of NS i.e. Social gatherings of SPD, youth groups.
They played an actual role in curtailing the impact of the nation socialist regime and national socialist ideology.

Loyal Reluctance

The idea of people and Resistenz was not so much from a desire to dissent against the regime but for other purposes. For example women wore make up to look good, not dissent.
A lot of the population were indifferent to politics.
Their grumbles would have been the same regardless of who had power.


This post will contain notes uploaded by other users.
Contribution list

dancinginrainbows
SirMasterKey


Revision notes on our very own wiki

I would be grateful for any new contributions :yy:
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Aj12
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Good thread wish it had been around when I did history last year.
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dancinginrainbows
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Thanks for all that information! I'll upload my notes (powerpoints, booklets) to TSR and link them to you later.
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takethyfacehence
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Thanks for this thread. If anyone has any example essays that have been marked (the higher the better obv) I would be eeeeeeeeeeeternally grateful and worship them as a GOD.
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dancinginrainbows
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^ I could really do with that too! I'd really like to see a full mark essay/as close to it as possible, especially for the foreign policy controversy.
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popeofgoogle
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this looks like a good thread! How far are people into revision? if at all?
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Geoff89
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I plan to begin revising for this exam after my Geography exam on the 24th of May, this thread looks like its going to be really useful though.

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what topics are more likely to come up in the exam?

My teacher was speculating that questions on the Origins of the First World war and the Weimar Republic are likely to come up this year as both Section A questions in June 2010 were to do with the Nazi's consolidation of power.

If this is the case then I will probably focus my revision on these areas.
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takethyfacehence
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Found this website guys http://fccfromkaisertofuhrer.blogspot.com/
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takethyfacehence
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Am I going mad? I thought I just posted asking if anyone knew the questions on the June 2010 paper. That I did sit, but can't remember the questions specifically.
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username202682
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(Original post by takethyfacehence)
Am I going mad? I thought I just posted asking if anyone knew the questions on the June 2010 paper. That I did sit, but can't remember the questions specifically.
The paper hasn't been publicly released so I don't think I can, sorry. But I could PM you if you wish.

Additionally that link above looks useful. It has some of the stuff I have already put up but I'm weary of the fact that many of it's links refer back to Wikipedia.
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takethyfacehence
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If you would PM please, I would be very grateful.

Ah I had not noticed that, but at least it's got all the topics set out I suppose!
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dancinginrainbows
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(Original post by Stricof)
The paper hasn't been publicly released so I don't think I can, sorry. But I could PM you if you wish.

Additionally that link above looks useful. It has some of the stuff I have already put up but I'm weary of the fact that many of it's links refer back to Wikipedia.
Could you PM it to me too, please?
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A.L. C-Brown
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*loves this thread*
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Ash1993!
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(Original post by Geoff89)
I plan to begin revising for this exam after my Geography exam on the 24th of May, this thread looks like its going to be really useful though.

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what topics are more likely to come up in the exam?

My teacher was speculating that questions on the Origins of the First World war and the Weimar Republic are likely to come up this year as both Section A questions in June 2010 were to do with the Nazi's consolidation of power.

If this is the case then I will probably focus my revision on these areas.
My teacher said that as well he said the exam is possible to have Germany 1900-1918 and or Weimar
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flower2563
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if anyone knows how to open word 2010/later files without actually having it, like .docx for example, i would be so grateful!
great thread!
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username202682
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(Original post by flower2563)
if anyone knows how to open word 2010/later files without actually having it, like .docx for example, i would be so grateful!
great thread!
Do you have an old edition of Microsoft Word? Here's a compatibility pack for you and you should be set.

If not then tell me and i'll convert them for you.
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flower2563
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tried the compatability pack but I think because I have a mac it doesn't seem to work
if you could convert them that would be a big help!
thank you
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toofaforu
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this looks like quite a good thread. i reckon we should make/find some resources in regards to exam technique for both questions.

in my revision i've personally read through the Layton textbook to get a quick understanding. going to be reading my friends notes, and probably the ones i've seen here which look good!
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