Question 1: Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
Answer: The Weimar Republic was politically fragile. Its constitution had some inherent defects and hence the Weimar Republic was prone to be unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship. The provision of proportional representation meant that majority by a single party was impossible and coalition government was the norm. Article 48 gave the President the powers to impose emergency to suspend civil rights and to rule by decree. The average life span of a cabinet was just 239 days and emergency was declared many times. People were losing confidence in the republic.
Question 2: Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
Answer: Most of the German were not happy with the way the Weimar Republic meekly surrendered to the clauses of the Versailles Treaty. Heavy burden of war-time reparations led to all around poverty and economic hardships for people. Hitler projected himself as the messiah who could cure all the ills of Germany. He used oratory skills and symbolism to great effect. These were the reasons of growing popularity of Nazism in Germany by 1930.
Question 3: What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Answer: Nazi thinking was synonymous with Hitler’s thinking. It believed in policy of expansion to bring more resources under its control; to ensure economic development. It believed in stifling the protesting voices. It also believed that the Nordic German Aryans were the only superior race and only they had the right to live in the German empire.
Question 4: Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
Answer: The Nazi used the media and language with great care and to great effect. They used films, radio, banners, posters and rituals to propagate hatred against the Jews. Moreover, the long tradition of stereotyping the Jews helped the Nazis in increasing a feeling of hatred against the Jews.
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: Women did not play an active role in the Nazi society. Hitler believed that a woman’s duty was to bear ‘racially pure’ children and to do her domestic duties. On the other hand, women played good role in the French Revolution. Many women led the suffragate movement to ensure voting rights for women. It can be said that while women played an active role in the French Revolution, they were the passive spectators in the Nazi society.
Question 6: In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people?
Answer: Hitler felt that by teaching the Nazi ideology to children, a strong Nazi society could be established. In order to do so, schools were first ‘cleansed’ by removing Jew and other ‘undesirable’ teachers. Schools were converted into all-German school. Children were brainwashed with the Nazi ideology. There was a system of taking adolescents into the Nazi organization so that they could be mentally trained in Nazi ideologies. The youth had to serve in the youth organization of the Nazi party.
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