In this IGCSE unit you will be looking at changes in Germany during the Weimar Republic era (1919-1933) and the Third Reich era (1933-1945). You will examine how Germany and its people were affected by; rebellions (Spartacist Rising 1919), international events like the Versailles (Paris) Peace Conference 1919 as well as the Wall Street Crash (1929), leaders like Ebert, Von Hindenburg and Hitler as well as Government laws and initiatives (Nuremberg Laws 1935).
You can identify 3 sections of German History 1918-1945 and by looking at it in 3 sections, this may help you to better manage your learning and understand watershed (change) moments in this course;
1. 1918-1933 – Weimar Republic (progressive democratic Republic). While preserving the private property, wealth and status of the German aristocracy, it did try to promote a new German leadership style and image. Internationally it tried to reject the old Prussian militarism image and domestically to encourage the working class community of Germany that it now had equality with other social classes and that it was an important part of the ‘new’ Germany – this was actively promoted by its first Reich President Friedrich Ebert the leader of the SPD (moderate socialist party and biggest party in the Reichstag).
2. Third Reich (part I) 1933-1939 (pre-WW2). This era focuses on Nazi economic and domestic reforms. For instance the changing policies towards women, minorities (Jews) and economic recovery methods. It also focuses on the downfall of the SA (Night of the Long Knives) and military rearmament.
3. Third Reich (part II) 1939-1945 (wartime). This era saw a radicalisation in policies in order to meet the needs of ‘Total war’ on German Government and society e.g. Economic policy changes finally saw women being encouraged to work and the implementation of the ‘Final Solution’ across the Nazi ‘Occupied Territories’ of Europe. As the Nazi war effort struggled after 1942 so there was a growth in tyranny against opponents of Nazism like the ‘White Rose Circle’ in 1942 and the ‘Valkyrie’ plotters in 1944.