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The Rise Of Nazism Puzzle Logo
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The causes and events of World War II are firmly established within the concluding events of World War I, and the rebuilding period following 'The Great War'. The bitterness caused by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and the pressure of massive war reparations enforced on Germany by the victorious Allies, would lead the world into a far worst conflict that it had just endured.

In 1921 the Allied Reparations Commission, mostly dominated by the French, put the price of £7,000,000,000 that Germany should pay, and also suggested that it may not have stopped there.

But by 1922 the German economy was hit with a very high inflation and the German people were left penniless. Even the price of a loaf of bread was thousands of marks one week, then rose to millions the following week. By the end of 1922 the German mark was worth nothing. The stage was set for someone to step in and promise to lead the people out of the darkness and ruins. It would be such a time that a desperate population would follow anyone that would promise them work, bread and a bright new future.

The political and economic instability of the 1920's opened the door for extreme political parties to gain support, and then finally achieve power. In 1929 the world market crashed, sending the world into a 'Depression'. Germany already hit with hardship suffered more than most, due to their already unstable financial position.

Between 1930-1932 the average rate of unemployment in Germany was as high as 33%. Hitler promised full employment for the German people, and in successive elections Hitler and the Nazi party gained popular support, much of the support coming from the unemployed.

This new Nazi Germany looked for its enemies within, and focused its hatred and violence on non-Nazis such as communists and members of the Jewish community. It organized boycotts on Jewish businesses as part of a terror campaign that would escalate into the horror known as 'The Holocaust'. This would be part of Hitler's plan to rebuild Germany, and fulfil his dream of a thousand year Reich.....to use scapegoats to point the finger of blame for Germany's situation. These scapegoats would be seen as 'Enemies of the State'.

The simple promise of "Work and Bread for the masses" was enough for a desperate people to follow. The National Socialist (Nazi) party's power grew within the German parliament, and so Hitler's personal power grew. In the election of 1930, the Nazi party became the second strongest party in the Reichstag.

In the 1932 election the Nazi party won 230 seats in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party, and on January 30th 1933, President Hindenburg reluctantly offered chancellorship of Germany to Hitler.

On 27th February, 1933, the Reichstag burnt to the ground in mysterious circumstances. Some say by Hitler's orders and executed by Hitler's followers, which gave Hitler the perfect excuse to declare Marshall law, and tighten his grip on power. At the same time the event was used to create paranoia among the government, the media and the populace. This would create a situation for Hitler, and the Nazi party, to exploit to their advantage.

On August 2nd 1934, President Hindenburg died and Hitler seized his chance to further his grip on Germany. He abolished the office of President and declared himself sole leader of Germany. The Führer.

That very same month Hitler made the army swear an oath to him personally, this would bring the German army under his direct power, and they would now have to obey his every order.

In early 1935 Hitler announced conscription, which produced a peace time army of over 500,000 men. This was a total violation of the Treaty of Versailles, but this was nothing new. The armed forces had been expanding under Hitler for many years, and by 1938 the army would grow nearly seven fold.

Hitler now had an enormous power base within Germany. He had reinstated national pride and was credited with improving Germany's economy, although the world market was already improving as Hitler came into power. Hitler still hungry for power looked towards regaining territories annexed in the Treaty of Versailles.

With the rearmament of the armed forces Hitler started to test the Allies resolve. Hitler helped Generalissimo Franco in the Spanish civil war, as Fascism started to spread across Europe. Then on March 7th 1936 German troops moved into the Rhineland, decreed as a non-military zone by the Treaty of Versailles, and the Allies failed to act. On March 12th 1938, by popular consensus of the Austrian people, the German army marched into Austria and Hitler proclaimed Austria as part of the German Reich.

On September 29th/30th 1938, European leaders met Hitler in Munich. Hitler promised no further territorial demands after the return of the Sudetenland, a border area inhabited by German speaking people. The Sudetenland land was annexed to the new state of Czechoslovakia in 1919, the state being created directly by the Treaty of Versailles.

Hitler's troops moved into the Sudetenland in December, as agreed at Munich. But his promise was soon to be broken, and his lust for expansion was soon to be continued.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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