Check NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History: Chapter 3 - Nazism and the Rise
of Hitler (Social Science). This chapter is important for the preparation of CBSE Class 9 Social Science (SST) exam.
NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History: Chapter 3 - Nazism and the Rise of Hitler (Social Science)
Question 1. Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
A National Assembly met at Weimar and established a democratic constitution with a federal structure. Deputies were now elected to the German Parliament or Reichstag, based on equal and universal votes cast by all adults including women.
However, it 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.
The peace treaty at Versailles with the Allies was a harsh and humiliating peace. Germany lost its overseas colonies, a tenth of its population, 13 percent of its territories, 75 per cent of its iron and 26 per cent of its coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania.
The Allied Powers demilitarised Germany to weaken its power. The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and damages the Allied countries suffered. Germany was forced to pay compensation amounting to £6 billion.
The Allied armies also occupied the resource-rich Rhineland for much of the 1920s. Many Germans held the new Weimar Republic responsible for not only the defeat in the war but the disgrace at Versailles.
Question 2. Discuss why Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930.
It was during the Great Depression that Nazism became a mass movement. After 1929, banks collapsed and businesses shut down, workers lost their jobs and the middle classes were threatened with destitution.
In such a situation Nazi propaganda stirred hopes of a better future. In 1928, the Nazi Party got no more than 2. 6 per cent votes in the Reichstag – the German parliament.
By 1932, it had become the largest party with 37 per cent votes.
Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passion and his words moved people. He promised to build a strong nation, undo the injustice of the Versailles Treaty and restore the dignity of the German people. He promised employment for those looking for work, and a secure future for the youth. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign ‘conspiracies’ against Germany.
Hitler devised a new style of politics. He understood the significance of rituals and spectacle in mass mobilisation.
Nazis held massive rallies and public meetings to demonstrate the support for Nazi propaganda skilfully projected Hitler as a messiah, a saviour, as someone who had arrived to deliver people from their distress. It is an image that captured the imagination of a people whose sense of dignity and pride had been shattered, and who were living in a time of acute economic and political crises Hitler and instil a sense of unity among the people. .
Question 3. What are the peculiar features of Nazi thinking?
Nazi ideology or Nazi thinking was synonymous with Hitler’s worldview. According to this there was no equality between people, but only a racial hierarchy. In this view blond, blue-eyed, Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while Jews were located at the lowest rung.
They came to be regarded as an anti-race, the arch-enemies of the Aryans. All other coloured people were placed in between depending upon their external features.
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 the idea of survival of the fittest. According to this idea, only those species survived on earth that could adapt themselves to changing climatic conditions.
We should bear in mind that Darwin never advocated human intervention in what he thought was a purely natural process of selection.
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. The Aryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.
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. This would enhance the area of the mother country while enabling the settlers on new lands to retain an intimate link with the place of their origin.
It would also enhance the material resources and power of the German nation. Hitler intended to extend German boundaries by moving eastwards, to concentrate all Germans geographically in one place. Poland became the laboratory for this experimentation.
Question 4. Explain why Nazi propaganda was effective in creating a hatred for Jews.
The Nazi regime used language and media with care, and often to great effect. The terms they coined to describe their various practices are not only deceptive. They are chilling. Nazis never used the words ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ in their official communications.
Mass killings were termed special treatment, final solution (for the Jews), euthanasia (for the disabled), selection and disinfections. ‘Evacuation’ meant deporting people to gas chambers.
Media was carefully used to win support for the regime and popularise its worldview. Nazi ideas were spread through visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans and leaflets.
In posters, groups identified as the ‘enemies’ of Germans were stereotyped, mocked, abused and described as evil. Socialists and liberals were represented as weak and degenerate. They were attacked as malicious foreign agents. Propaganda films were made to create hatred for Jews.
The most infamous film was The Eternal Jew. Orthodox Jews were stereotyped and marked. They were shown with flowing beards wearing kaftans, whereas in reality it was difficult to distinguish German Jews by their outward appearance because they were a highly assimilated community. They were referred to as vermin, rats and pests. Their movements were compared to those of rodents.
Nazism worked on the minds of the people, tapped their emotions, and turned their hatred and anger at those marked as ‘undesirable’.
The Nazis made equal efforts to appeal to all the different sections of the population. They sought to win their support by suggesting that Nazis alone could solve all their problems.
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.
Children in Nazi Germany were repeatedly told that women were radically different from men. The fight for equal rights for men and women that had become part of democratic struggles everywhere was wrong and it would destroy society.
While boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine and steel hearted, girls were told that they had to become good mothers and rear pure-blooded Aryan children.
Girls had to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews, look after the home, and teach their children Nazi values. They had to be the bearers of the Aryan culture and race.
In 1933 Hitler said: ‘In my state, the mother is the most important citizen.’ But in Nazi Germany, all mothers were not treated equally.
Women who bore racially undesirable children were punished and those who produced racially desirable children were awarded.
All ‘Aryan’ women who deviated from the prescribed code of conduct was publicly condemned and severely punished. 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’.
Many received jail sentences and lost civic honour as well as their husbands and families for this ‘criminal offence’. This scenario was completely different from the role of women in the French Revolution where women played important roles in many movements. They fought for equal rights and wages.
Question 6. In what ways did the Nazi state seek to establish total control over its people ?
Hitler set out to dismantle the structures of democratic rule. A mysterious fire that broke out in the German Parliament building in February facilitated his 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
Then he turned on his archenemies, the Communists, most of whom were hurriedly packed off to the newly established concentration camps. The repression of the Communists was severe.
Out of the surviving 6,808 arrest files of Duesseldorf, a small city of half a million population, 1,440 were those of Communists alone. They were, however, only one among the 52 types of victims persecuted by the Nazis across the country.
On 3 March 1933, the famous Enabling Act was passed. This Act established a dictatorship in Germany. It gave Hitler all powers to sideline Parliament and rule by decree. All political parties and trade unions were banned except for the Nazi Party and its affiliates. The state established complete control over the economy, media, army and judiciary.
Special surveillance and security forces were created to control and order society in ways that the Nazis wanted. Apart from the already existing regular police in green uniform and the SA or the Storm Troopers, these included the Gestapo (secret state police), the SS (the protection squads), criminal police and the Security Service (SD).
It was the extra-constitutional powers of these newly organised forces that gave the Nazi state its reputation as the most dreaded criminal state.
People could now be detained in Gestapo torture chambers, rounded up and sent to concentration camps, deported at will or arrested without any legal procedures. The police forces acquired powers to rule with impunity.