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World History II: Fascism and WWII

by: Morgan Holt

World History II: Fascism and WWII HIST 1020 -012

Marketplace > Auburn University > History > HIST 1020 -012 > World History II Fascism and WWII
Morgan Holt
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About this Document

Covers the rise of Hitler, the beginnings of WWII, and an overview of the Holocaust
World History II
Donna Bohanan
Class Notes
world, history, Fascism, fascist, WWII, War, Hitler, Holocaust
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Holt on Saturday March 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1020 -012 at Auburn University taught by Donna Bohanan in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see World History II in History at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 03/05/16
Hitler and the Rise of Fascism I. Fascism vs. Communism A. Many people see them as the same because both tend to produce totalitarian states that  abolish civil liberties, highly regulate economies, etc. The truth, however, is that they  stem from completely different political ideologies, and generally tend to hate each other. a. Communism: evolved from long, enlightenment tradition of optimism; thought they  could create a perfect world. b. Fascism: very nationalistic; think in very hostile terms, talk of superior races. c. Communism had clearly designed documents and ideologies, while fascism was very  fuzzy and vague. Fascism was all about the middle class, while communism hated the middle class and strived to abolish it. In fascism, land etc. is privately owned (unlike  in communism), but is severely regulated.  II. Causes of Fascism: The Great Depression A. In the fall of 1929, people on Wall street were throwing money around, trying to get rich  quick by investing, but the consumption of goods wasn’t keeping up. Smarter people  noticed this and started pulling their money out. In October 1929, this turned into a  frenzy as everyone pulled out. American banks panicked and started calling in loans,  including some international ones, making it into a worldwide affair, plunging the world  into the Great Depression. Huge unemployment rates had people turning to governments  to fix it. Governments developed infrastructure to give people jobs and revved up the  military. III. Weimar Republic: Germany had president for terms of 7 years, alongside the Reichstag, a  form of Parliament. A. Occupation of the Ruhr: Ruhr river valley was an industrial zone rich in natural goods.  Germany was behind on the reparations they were supposed to pay after WWI to  Belgium and France. France decided to occupy the Ruhr valley to get their reparations  that way. German workers in the aria refused to cooperate.  B. Inflation of 1923: The government supported the workers, and to do this, decided to print  more money, causing huge rates of inflation, over the course of only a couple of months  making their money almost entirely worthless. C. Dawes Plan: the government realized that they would need to completely rebuild their  monetary system. They got loans from the U.S, and their reparations payments were  restructured to be more humane. D. Impact on middle class: the damage was already done. Most of the middle class lost all of their money and were forced into the proletariat (working class) IV.Rise of Hitler A. Early life: from a lower middle class family in Austria. Lived a while in Vienna before  WWI, when he served in the German army. B. Life after WWI: Hitler links up with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party  (Nazis) C. Munich Beer Hall Putch (1923): puts Nazis on political radar and put Hitler and others in  jail for their involvement. While there, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, an autobiography where he writes out all of his hatred and his strategies, plans, etc. D. Propaganda: Hitler and the Nazis were very convincing with their propaganda; used to  come to power. Hitler’s approach was repetition of a few simple ideas. He thought it was  necessary to lie, and when you did lie, you should lie big and bold.  E. Reichstag: Nazis get elected overwhelmingly into German’s version of Parliament, the  Reichstag. In the early 30s, they were the largest party. The president, Hindenberg, chose  Hitler to become Chancellor. In January 1933, here is a fire in the Reichstag building,  which the Nazis blamed on the communists, and used to argue that they country was  drifting into anarchy and they needed to do something desperate. F. Enabling Act (1933): Hitler was given dictatorial power for 4 years, presumably to  straighten things out. His first actions were to expunge all other political party, essentially making his dictatorship permanent.  V. The Nazi State A. Terrorism: the state used terrorism against its own people. Started with the S.A, an army  created around the same time as the Nazis, and later added the S.S., who were more  favored by Hitler and were specially recruited (personified Hitler’s “master race”, blonde  haired and blue eyed). These two private Nazi armies were originally met with public  approval as they put people to work, but they were eventually used to intimidate civilians  with violence. B. Military Expansion: secretly Hitler begins building up the German war machine, until it’s secure enough that it doesn’t have to be secret anymore. People were put to work both as  soldiers and building weapons etc. Built up infrastructure, created the Volkswagen as an  affordable car for the family in a time when cars were only for the rich.  C. Policy toward Jews: Hitler absolutely hated the Jews; he was not overly well educated,  and thought that all of the peoples of the world built a hierarchy that was determined by  their genetics. Believed that Germanic peoples were the highest, and Jews were some of  the very lowest. a. Nuremburg laws: targeted Jews, restricting their rights and gradually grew worse,  driving many Jews to leave Germany and go elsewhere out of fear. World War II: Beginnings I. Failure of Collective Security A. At the end of World War I, the League of Nations was created. It was created under the  concept of Collective Security, meant to prevent another world war. It was supposed to  help mediate conflict and, if one country started a war, the others would all band together  to take them down. B. In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, which belonged to China. Was part of Japanese  expansion/imperialism. The League did nothing because they didn’t want to upset Japan  for trade purposes. Hitler saw this as a clear sign that he could do what he wanted and the League wouldn’t do anything about it. II. Nazi Expansion A. Race and Space: Hitler thought the Germans were the master race, and everyone else was inferior. Therefore, they could take what they wanted, and he wanted space to expand for  the growing population of Germany (called Lebensraum, German for “living space”). He  also thought that all Germans should be in the same nation, but the populations of  Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia), Alsace­Lorraine (part of France), and Austria were all ethnically very Germanic.  B. Rearmament: Hitler secretly began to ream Germany in 1933. Starts building planes,  tanks, and other war materials. Had the added effect of boosting the economy and  building support for his campaigns. In 1935, he starts a military draft, in direct violation  of the Treaty of Versailles. Remilitarized the Rhineland (the region of Germany that  borders France). 1936: Hitler makes an alliance with Mussolini (Italy). a. The Prime Ministers of France (Deladier) and Britain (Chamberlain) decided their  response would be appeasement. Deladier was very reluctant, wanting to do  something more dramatic to put an end to it before it could begin, but had to go along with Chamberlain’s ideas because France needed Britain as an ally and France was  much weaker as an aftereffect of World War I.  i. Appeasement was designed to keep Hitler happy as long as there was a valid  reasoning behind his actions. Britain felt somewhat bad about what Germany had  been through, and they were pacifistic after the wars they had been through over  the previous centuries. They also saw the Germans as a buffer against the Soviet  Union and Communism because the fascists in Germany hated communism, so  they thought there was no way they would ever cooperate with each other. C. Anschluss (1938): The term used for Hitler’s annexing of Austria. Scared a lot of people,  especially in France in particular. Chamberlain let it pass because Hitler was doing it to  bring the Germanic people together. Had left the door open for expansion into  Czechoslovakia, to annex Sudetenland. It was decided that Hitler would be allowed to  have Sudetenland, but it was made clear to him that he was to leave the rest of  Czechoslovakia alone. Which, obviously, he didn’t.  D. Pact of Steel: the hardening of Germany’s alliance with Italy. E. Nazi­Soviet Pact: was a nonaggression pact. If war broke out, Germany and Russia  would not fight each other. France and Britain had been negotiating with Stalin (the  leader of Russia) and felt betrayed by this new pact. III. Early War: War begins September 1, 1939 with Germany’s invasion of Poland. A. Blitzkrieg: the German style of fighting; translates to “lighting war”. It was a war of rapid movements designed to avoid bogging down in the trenches, the reason Germany lost  World War I. Hitler had built up the air force (known as the Luftwaffe), tanks, and other  artillery in preparation. Started in Poland, bombing them heavily and destroying the  Polish air force from the beginning to prevent them from fighting back. Poland fought  back valiantly, the common people coming out to dig trenches around their cities to  defend themselves, but it was over within 4 weeks. B. Fall of France: over by July 1940. They were still weak from the experience of World  War I and were having economic problems from the Great Depression. Nazis divided the  conquered France into two parts, the northeastern section that was ruled directly by  Germany and a southern region, Vichy, where they set up a French government that  collaborated with Germany and didn’t resist. The government was thought to be trying to  minimalize the damage to France, led by Petain. There was an underground resistance,  but the government itself did nothing to fight back. C. Battle of Britain: Hitler wanted to invade and take over Britain too. The Royal Air Force  (RAF) was the British Air Force. It was far smaller than the Luftwaffe, but the pilots  were superbly trained and had the advantage of radar, which Germany didn’t get until  later in the war.  a. Germans, led by Goering, were sent to destroy the RAF before it could get off the  ground. They then shifted focus from military bases to industrial and civilian regions,  particularly London. Every night, they would bomb the cities. Civilians were  instructed to black out the city (turn off all lights) and calmly move underground (the  origin of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters). Civilians demonstrated remarkable  fortitude. In the morning, they went back to their lives when possible. RAF used  incredible training and managed to fight the Germans back by taking out crucial  numbers of German planes until Hitler finally gave up. The Holocaust I. Hitler’s Racial Theories: The New Order A. Nordic peoples: Hitler thought they were closely related to the Germanic peoples.  Included Scandinavians, Danes, Dutch, etc. Weren’t treated as badly as others. B. Latin peoples: Hitler had nothing but contempt for them; saw them as underachievers C. Slavic peoples: Hitler hated the Slavs. He planned to enslave the Slavic peoples of  Eastern Europe and Russia and work them to death so that all their lands would belong to the Aryan peoples (Germans), and the Slavs would be exterminated. He thought they  were sub­human. D. Jews: Anti­Semitism (hostility or prejudice against Jews) reached a new level under  Hitler’s reign. His feelings toward the Jews were more venomous and terrible than his  feelings toward any other peoples. Planned to ultimately exterminate the Jewish people. a. Nuremburg Laws (1935): Anti­Semitic laws that did everything possible to restrict  Jewish rights. Jews were not allowed to marry non­Jewish people, had to have  obviously Jewish names so they could be easily identified, could not have pretty  much any position of power, and weren’t allowed to have dogs as pets, among other  restrictions. Drove many Jews to other parts of the Europe, Canada, and the U.S. II. Concentration Camps A. Deportation: Hitler rounded up the Jewish peoples of Germany, Poland, and other regions of Europe that came under his control. The Concentration camps were originally meant to be work camps where people would be forced to work until they died of exhaustion or  starvation, but eventually they started quickly and efficiently killing a percentage of  people upon their arrival. a. Auschwits: largest extermination camp; people at one point called for the allies to  bomb Auschwits to end it because thousands of people died so horribly on such a  regular basis (allies didn’t actually do it). It’s estimated that between 1 and 2 million  people died at Auschwits alone. B. “Final Solution”: was meant to end the Jewish problem. Concentration camps were run  by Himmler and the S.S. Other victims included communists, gypsies, Mennonites, and  deviants (homosexuals and people with mental illnesses or disabilities). 


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