Germany regained control of the Saarland through a referendum held in and annexed Austria in the Anschluss of Some of the conquered territories were incorporated into Germany as part of Hitler's long-term goal of creating a Greater Germanic Reich.
Several areas, such as Alsace-Lorraine, were placed under the authority of an adjacent Gau regional district. Beyond the incorporated territories were the Reichskommissariate Reich Commissariats , quasi-colonial regimes established in some occupied countries.
Areas placed under German administration included the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , Reichskommissariat Ostland encompassing the Baltic states and Belarus , and Reichskommissariat Ukraine.
Part of Poland was incorporated into the Reich, and the General Government was established in occupied central Poland. With the issuance of the Berlin Declaration on 5 June and later creation of the Allied Control Council , the four Allied powers temporarily assumed governance of Germany.
Germany was split into four zones, each occupied by one of the Allied powers, who drew reparations from their zone. Since most of the industrial areas were in the western zones, the Soviet Union was transferred additional reparations. In , Germany finalised her border with Poland by signing the Treaty of Warsaw. The NSDAP was a far-right political party which came into its own during the social and financial upheavals that occurred with the onset of the Great Depression in Influenced by the Völkisch movement , the regime was against cultural modernism and supported the development of an extensive military at the expense of intellectualism.
Hitler ruled Germany autocratically by asserting the Führerprinzip "leader principle" , which called for absolute obedience of all subordinates. He viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex. Party rank was not determined by elections, and positions were filled through appointment by those of higher rank. Germans speak with mystification of Hitler's 'hypnotic' appeal".
Top officials reported to Hitler and followed his policies, but they had considerable autonomy. Successive Reichsstatthalter decrees between and abolished the existing Länder constituent states of Germany and replaced them with new administrative divisions , the Gaue , headed by NSDAP leaders Gauleiters , who governed their respective regions. This led to a bureaucratic tangle of overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities typical of the administrative style of the Nazi regime.
Jewish civil servants lost their jobs in , except for those who had seen military service in World War I. In August , civil servants and members of the military were required to swear an oath of unconditional obedience to Hitler. These laws became the basis of the Führerprinzip , the concept that Hitler's word overrode all existing laws.
Most of the judicial system and legal codes of the Weimar Republic remained in use during and after the Nazi era to deal with non-political crimes. Thousands were arrested and confined indefinitely without trial. A new type of court, the Volksgerichtshof People's Court , was established in to deal with politically important matters. In September , the Nuremberg Laws were enacted. These laws initially prohibited sexual relations and marriages between Aryans and Jews and were later extended to include "Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring".
The wording of the law also permitted the Nazis to deny citizenship to anyone who was not supportive enough of the regime. The unified armed forces of Germany from to were called the Wehrmacht. This included the Heer army , Kriegsmarine navy , and the Luftwaffe air force.
From 2 August , members of the armed forces were required to pledge an oath of unconditional obedience to Hitler personally. In contrast to the previous oath, which required allegiance to the constitution of the country and its lawful establishments, this new oath required members of the military to obey Hitler even if they were being ordered to do something illegal.
In spite of efforts to prepare the country militarily, the economy could not sustain a lengthy war of attrition such as had occurred in World War I. A strategy was developed based on the tactic of Blitzkrieg "lightning war" , which involved using quick coordinated assaults that avoided enemy strong points.
Attacks began with artillery bombardment, followed by bombing and strafing runs. Next the tanks would attack and finally the infantry would move in to secure the captured area. The decision to attack the Soviet Union and the decisive defeat at Stalingrad led to the retreat of the German armies and the eventual loss of the war.
Röhm hoped to assume command of the army and absorb it into the ranks of the SA. Up to people were killed from 30 June to 2 July in an event that became known as the Night of the Long Knives.
Initially a force of a dozen men under the auspices of the SA, the Schutzstaffel SS grew to become one of the largest and most powerful groups in Nazi Germany. Himmler hoped it would eventually replace the existing police system. This holding company owned housing corporations, factories, and publishing houses. From forward, the SS was heavily involved in the persecution of Jews, who were rounded up into ghettos and concentration camps.
The most pressing economic matter the Nazis initially faced was the 30 percent national unemployment rate. Hjalmar Schacht , President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics, created in May a scheme for deficit financing.
Capital projects were paid for with the issuance of promissory notes called Mefo bills. When the notes were presented for payment, the Reichsbank printed money. Hitler and his economic team expected that the upcoming territorial expansion would provide the means of repaying the soaring national debt.
On 17 October , aviation pioneer Hugo Junkers , owner of the Junkers Aircraft Works , was arrested, and within a few days his company was expropriated. In concert with other aircraft manufacturers and under the direction of Aviation Minister Göring, production was ramped up industry-wide. From a workforce of 3, people producing units per year in , the industry grew to employ a quarter of a million workers manufacturing over 10, technically advanced aircraft annually less than ten years later.
An elaborate bureaucracy was created to regulate imports of raw materials and finished goods with the intention of eliminating foreign competition in the German marketplace and improving the nation's balance of payments. The Nazis encouraged the development of synthetic replacements for materials such as oil and textiles. Any profits in excess of that amount would be turned over to the Reich.
By , Farben regretted making the deal, as the excess profits by then being generated had to be given to the government. Major public works projects financed with deficit spending included the construction of a network of Autobahnen and providing funding for programmes initiated by the previous government for housing and agricultural improvements.
Envisioning widespread car ownership as part of the new Germany, Hitler arranged for designer Ferdinand Porsche to draw up plans for the KdF-wagen Strength Through Joy car , intended to be an automobile that everyone could afford. With the outbreak of World War II, the factory was converted to produce military vehicles.
None were sold until after the war, when the vehicle was renamed the Volkswagen people's car. Six million people were unemployed when the Nazis took power in and by there were fewer than a million. By early , the focus shifted from funding work creation schemes, towards rearmament.
By , military expenditures accounted for 73 percent of the government's purchases of goods and services. The Nazi war economy was a mixed economy that combined a free market with central planning.
Historian Richard Overy described it as being somewhere in between the command economy of the Soviet Union and the capitalist system of the United States. Factories were relocated away from rail yards, which were bombing targets. The wartime economy relied heavily upon the large-scale employment of forced labourers.
Germany imported and enslaved some 12 million people from 20 European countries to work in factories and on farms. Approximately 75 percent were Eastern European. Poor living conditions led to high rates of sickness, injury and death, as well as sabotage and criminal activity. Foreign workers brought into Germany were put into four different classifications: Each group was subject to different regulations.
In addition, the Nazis issued a ban on sexual relations between Germans and foreign workers. Women played an increasingly large role. By over a half million served as auxiliaries in the German armed forces, especially in anti-aircraft units of the Luftwaffe. A half million worked in civil aerial defence and , were volunteer nurses. They also replaced men in the wartime economy, especially on farms and in family-owned shops. Very heavy strategic bombing by the Allies targeted refineries producing synthetic oil and gasoline , as well as the German transportation system, especially rail yards and canals.
By November, fuel coal was no longer reaching its destinations and the production of new armaments was no longer possible.
Nazi Germany's racial policy was based on their belief in the existence of a superior master race. The Nazis postulated the existence of a racial conflict between the Aryan master race and inferior races, particularly Jews, who were viewed as a mixed race that had infiltrated society and were responsible for the exploitation and repression of the Aryan race. Discrimination against Jews began immediately after the seizure of power.
Following a month-long series of attacks by members of the SA on Jewish businesses and synagogues, on 1 April Hitler declared a national boycott of Jewish businesses. The regime used violence and economic pressure to encourage Jews to voluntarily leave the country. Citizens were harassed and subjected to violent attacks.
In November , a young Jewish man requested an interview with the German ambassador in Paris and met with a legation secretary, whom he shot and killed to protest his family's treatment in Germany. Members of the SA damaged or destroyed synagogues and Jewish property throughout Germany.
The Jewish community was fined one billion marks to pay for the damage caused by Kristallnacht and told that any insurance settlements would be confiscated.
Emigrants to Palestine were allowed to transfer property there under the terms of the Haavara Agreement , but those moving to other countries had to leave virtually all their property behind, and it was seized by the government. Like the Jews, the Romani people were subjected to persecution from the early days of the regime. As a non-Aryan race, they were forbidden to marry people of German extraction.
Romani were shipped to concentration camps starting in and were killed in large numbers. Action T4 was a programme of systematic murder of the physically and mentally handicapped and patients in psychiatric hospitals that mainly took place from to , and continued until the end of the war.
Initially the victims were shot by the Einsatzgruppen and others; in addition gas chambers and gas vans using carbon monoxide were used by early Mentally and physically ill people were also targeted. Most of the victims came from disadvantaged groups such as prostitutes, the poor, the homeless, and criminals.
Germany's war in the East was based on Hitler's long-standing view that Jews were the great enemy of the German people and that Lebensraum was needed for Germany's expansion. Hitler focused his attention on Eastern Europe, aiming to defeat Poland and the Soviet Union and remove or kill the resident Jews and Slavs.
The Generalplan Ost "General Plan for the East" called for deporting the population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to Siberia, for use as slave labour or to be murdered. Around the time of the failed offensive against Moscow in December , Hitler resolved that the Jews of Europe were to be exterminated immediately.
Some would be worked to death and the rest would be killed in the implementation of Die Endlösung der Judenfrage the Final Solution of the Jewish question. German citizens had access to information about what was happening, as soldiers returning from the occupied territories would report on what they had seen and done.
In addition to eliminating Jews, the Nazis planned to reduce the population of the conquered territories by 30 million people through starvation in an action called the Hunger Plan. Food supplies would be diverted to the German army and German civilians. Cities would be razed and the land allowed to return to forest or resettled by German colonists.
Poles were viewed by Nazis as subhuman non-Aryans, and during the German occupation of Poland 2. The German authorities engaged in a systematic effort to destroy Polish culture and national identity. During operation AB-Aktion , many university professors and members of the Polish intelligentsia were arrested, transported to concentration camps, or executed.
During the war, Poland lost an estimated 39 to 45 percent of its physicians and dentists, 26 to 57 percent of its lawyers, 15 to 30 percent of its teachers, 30 to 40 percent of its scientists and university professors and 18 to 28 percent of its clergy.
Between June and January , the Nazis killed an estimated 2. Antisemitic legislation passed in led to the removal of all Jewish teachers, professors and officials from the education system.
Frequent and often contradictory directives were issued by Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick , Bernhard Rust of the Reichserziehungsministerium Ministry of Education and various other agencies regarding content of lessons and acceptable textbooks for use in primary and secondary schools.
Detailed National Socialist indoctrination of future holders of elite military rank was undertaken at Order Castles. Primary and secondary education focused on racial biology, population policy, culture, geography and especially physical fitness. At universities, appointments to top posts were the subject of power struggles between the education ministry, the university boards and the National Socialist German Students' League.
When the Nazis seized power in , 67 percent of the population of Germany was Protestant , 33 percent was Roman Catholic , while Jews made up less than 1 percent. Under the Gleichschaltung process, Hitler attempted to create a unified Protestant Reich Church from Germany's 28 existing Protestant state churches ,  with the ultimate goal of eradication of the churches in Germany.
Persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the Nazi takeover. Catholic schools were required to reduce religious instruction and crucifixes were removed from state buildings. Pope Pius XI had the " Mit brennender Sorge " "With Burning Concern" encyclical smuggled into Germany for Passion Sunday and read from every pulpit as it denounced the systematic hostility of the regime toward the church.
Enrolment in denominational schools dropped sharply and by all such schools were disbanded or converted to public facilities. Nazi Germany had a strong anti-tobacco movement as pioneering research by Franz H. Müller in demonstrated a causal link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer.
Government-run health care insurance plans were available, but Jews were denied coverage starting in That same year, Jewish doctors were forbidden to treat government-insured patients. In , Jewish doctors were forbidden to treat non-Jewish patients and in their right to practice medicine was removed entirely. Medical experiments, many of them pseudoscientific , were performed on concentration camp inmates beginning in Josef Mengele , camp doctor at Auschwitz.
Women were a cornerstone of Nazi social policy and the Nazis opposed the feminist movement, claiming that it was the creation of Jewish intellectuals, instead advocating a patriarchal society in which the German woman would recognise that her "world is her husband, her family, her children, and her home".
Courses were offered on childrearing, sewing and cooking. Women were encouraged to leave the workforce and the creation of large families by racially suitable women was promoted through a propaganda campaign. Women received a bronze award—known as the Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter Cross of Honour of the German Mother —for giving birth to four children, silver for six and gold for eight or more.
Though the measures led to increases in the birth rate, the number of families having four or more children declined by five percent between and After the war started, slave labourers were extensively used.
The Nazi regime discouraged women from seeking higher education since Nazi leaders held conservative views about women and endorsed the idea that rational and theoretical work was alien to a woman's nature since they were considered inherently emotional and instinctive — as such, engaging in academics and careerism would only "divert them from motherhood". The number of women enrolled in post-secondary schools dropped from , in to 51, in However, with the requirement that men be enlisted into the armed forces during the war, women comprised half of the enrolment in the post-secondary system by Women were expected to be strong, healthy and vital.
The BDM's activities focused on physical education, with activities such as running, long jumping, somersaulting, tightrope walking, marching and swimming. The Nazi regime promoted a liberal code of conduct regarding sexual matters and was sympathetic to women who bore children out of wedlock. The same was the case for married women, who liaised with soldiers, civilians or slave labourers. For example, sex was sometimes used as a commodity to obtain better work from a foreign labourer.
With Hitler's approval, Himmler intended that the new society of the Nazi regime should destigmatise illegitimate births, particularly of children fathered by members of the SS, who were vetted for racial purity. Existing laws banning abortion except for medical reasons were strictly enforced by the Nazi regime. The number of abortions declined from 35, per year at the start of the s to fewer than 2, per year at the end of the decade, though in a law was passed allowing abortions for eugenics reasons.
Nazi society had elements supportive of animal rights and many people were fond of zoos and wildlife. In , the Nazis enacted a stringent animal-protection law that affected what was allowed for medical research. The Reich Forestry Office under Göring enforced regulations that required foresters to plant a wide variety of trees to ensure suitable habitat for wildlife and a new Reich Animal Protection Act became law in The regime promoted the concept of Volksgemeinschaft , a national German ethnic community.
The goal was to build a classless society based on racial purity and the perceived need to prepare for warfare, conquest and a struggle against Marxism. In addition to taking control of tens of thousands of previously privately run recreational clubs, it offered highly regimented holidays and entertainment such as cruises, vacation destinations and concerts. Sub-chambers were set up to control aspects of cultural life such as film, radio, newspapers, fine arts, music, theatre and literature.
Members of these professions were required to join their respective organisation. Jews and people considered politically unreliable were prevented from working in the arts and many emigrated. Books and scripts had to be approved by the Propaganda Ministry prior to publication. Standards deteriorated as the regime sought to use cultural outlets exclusively as propaganda media. Radio became popular in Germany during the s, with over 70 percent of households owning a receiver by , more than any other country.
Radio station staffs were purged of leftists and others deemed undesirable by July As with other media, newspapers were controlled by the state, with the Reich Press Chamber shutting down or buying newspapers and publishing houses.
By , over two thirds of the newspapers and magazines were directly owned by the Propaganda Ministry. His propaganda ministry issued two dozen directives every week on exactly what news should be published and what angles to use; the typical newspaper followed the directives closely. Authors of books left the country in droves and some wrote material critical of the regime while in exile.
Goebbels recommended that the remaining authors concentrate on books themed on Germanic myths and the concept of blood and soil. By the end of , over a thousand books—most of them by Jewish authors or featuring Jewish characters—had been banned by the Nazi regime. Hitler took a personal interest in architecture and worked closely with state architects Paul Troost and Albert Speer to create public buildings in a neoclassical style based on Roman architecture.
Neither structure was built. Hitler's belief that abstract , Dadaist , expressionist and modern art were decadent became the basis for policy. The exhibition proved wildly popular, attracting over two million visitors. Movies were popular in Germany in the s and s, with admissions of over a billion people in , and Exports of German films plummeted, as their antisemitic content made them impossible to show in other countries.
The two largest film companies, Universum Film AG and Tobis , were purchased by the Propaganda Ministry, which by was producing most German films. The productions were not always overtly propagandistic, but generally had a political subtext and followed party lines regarding themes and content. Leni Riefenstahl 's Triumph of the Will —documenting the Nuremberg Rally—and Olympia —covering the Summer Olympics —pioneered techniques of camera movement and editing that influenced later films.
New techniques such as telephoto lenses and cameras mounted on tracks were employed. Both films remain controversial, as their aesthetic merit is inseparable from their propagandising of National Socialist ideals. The Allied powers organised war crimes trials, beginning with the Nuremberg trials , held from November to October , of 23 top Nazi officials. They were charged with four counts—conspiracy to commit crimes, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity —in violation of international laws governing warfare.
The display or use of Nazi symbolism such as flags, swastikas or greetings is illegal in Germany and Austria   and other restrictions, mainly on public display, apply in various countries. Nazi ideology and the actions taken by the regime are almost universally regarded as gravely immoral. Historian Sir Richard J. Evans remarks that the era "exerts an almost universal appeal because its murderous racism stands as a warning to the whole of humanity".
The Nazi era continues to inform how Germans view themselves and their country. Virtually every family suffered losses during the war or has a story to tell, though Germans kept quiet about their experiences and felt a sense of communal guilt, even if they were not directly involved in war crimes. Once study of Nazi Germany was introduced into the school curriculum starting in the s, people began researching the experiences of their family members.
Study of the era and a willingness to critically examine its mistakes has led to the development of a strong democracy in today's Germany, but with lingering undercurrents of antisemitism and neo-Nazi thought.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Third reich. For the book, see Das Dritte Reich. Das Lied der Deutschen "Song of the Germans". Administrative divisions of Germany, January Nazi one-party totalitarian dictatorship. The German state from to , under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler's rise to power. If the experience of the Third Reich teaches us anything, it is that a love of great music, great art and great literature does not provide people with any kind of moral or political immunization against violence, atrocity, or subservience to dictatorship.
Anschluss and German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Mass suicides in Nazi Germany. Territorial evolution of Germany. Government of Nazi Germany. Economy of Nazi Germany. Nazism and race and Racial policy of Nazi Germany.
Anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany. Porajmos and Nazi eugenics. Nazi crimes against the Polish nation. German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war and Generalplan Ost. University education in Nazi Germany. Religion in Nazi Germany. Women in Nazi Germany. Animal welfare in Nazi Germany. List of authors banned in Nazi Germany. Art of the Third Reich. See Statistisches Jahrbuch It could not be expected that even for a brief period our Air Force could make up for our lack of naval supremacy.
Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz believed air superiority was not enough and admitted, "We possessed neither control of the air or the sea; nor were we in any position to gain it. The figure of 2 to 2. The German Red Cross still maintains that the death toll from the expulsions is 2.
Goebbel's propaganda campaigns carried out in the second half of and again in had failed to convert them". Evans , p. The German Churches and the Nazi State. End of the Thousand Year Reich. The Second World War. A Concise History of Nazi Germany: Germany and Eastern Europe: Cultural Identities and Cultural Differences. Yearbook of European Studies. Archived from the original PDF on 9 May Retrieved 12 May Journal of Social History.
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Conway, John S The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, — National Socialist Cultural Policy. Retrieved 14 July American Journal of International Law. Technology, Food Safety, and the Environment. The Economic History of the Twentieth Century.
University of California at Berkeley. Archived from the original on 11 May Retrieved 21 April Dönitz, Karl . Ten Years and Twenty Days. Inventing a Pathology of Catastrophe for Holocaust Survival: Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry series. University Press of New England.
Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte in German. German Churches and the Holocaust. Das Bundesarchiv in German. Archived from the original on 21 October Retrieved 19 May The Coming of the Third Reich.
The Third Reich in Power. The Third Reich at War. British Historians and the European Continent. Farago, Ladislas . International Propaganda and Communications.
The German Resistance to Hitler — Flint, Colin June University of Texas Press. Atlas of Nazi Germany: Nazi Germany and the Jews, — Life and Death in the Third Reich. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany. Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen Planungs- und Vernichtungspolitik by Mechtild Rössler; Sabine Schleiermacher". Retrieved 25 September Germany West Presse- und Informationsamt With an introduction by Konrad Adenauer in German.
A History of the German Resistance to Hitler. Theory and Practice of Leadership. How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University Press of Kansas. Suicide in Nazi Germany. Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Government of West Germany Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland in German. A Social History of Nazi Germany — Holt Rinehart and Winston. Aspekte und Erkenntnisse zur Geschichte der deutschen Bevölkerungswissenschaft in German.
Hagemann, Karen October Journal of Military History. Hahn, Hans Henning; Hahnova, Eva Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern. Legenden, Mythos, Geschichte in German. Genocide Studies and Prevention: International Association of Genocide Scholars. Retrieved 14 April You can access the complete discographies of your favorite stars with all their hits and albums by, for example, entering the name of a band or by using a special category for the top artists of a specific genre. With hardly any effort at all, you can have Audials deliver you the entire life works of a particular musician.
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