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World War II

World War II

5.7 million, that are about 78% of the Jewish population in Germany, were victims of the Holocaust in World War II. 6.000.000 Jews were in total killed. To reconstruct the way of thinking of the main leaders these days you must start at the beginning.

After the First World War Germany was left in ruins, and according to the Treaty of Versailles (1919) Germany had to pay the reparations by themselves, return all conquered countries and had to limit its navy and army. This decision didn’t affect the government mainly, but the society.  Poverty spread out all over the nation and the unemployment rate increased. During the First World War the idea (Dolchstosslegende, 1919) was rumored that Jews and Communists are to blame for these conditions and for the loss of WWI. Hitler tried to overtake power; he promised the population to care for food, working places and better live conditions, but he failed: he overwhelmed the citizens with aggression, therefore they wanted a revolution. Germany was on its way to become a communist state, Hitler was against it and with the support of the police and right-winged group “Freikorp” they could crush down the left-winged parties. In 1923 Germany occupied the Ruhr, therefore it was afflicted with hyper inflation, more and more money was printed and lost its value, and couldn’t continue pay the reparations. These circumstances were utilized by the Nazi party, who under the lead of Hitler attempted to seize power starting with the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. Hitler’s idol was Mussolini – he wanted to reconstruct his “March of Rom”: “March of Berlin”. But Hitler failed and was arrested for five years, but he was released after six months by Nerdhart. In prison he started to write his famous book “Mein Kampf”. After his release he entered policy again and wanted to become chancellor. But Weimar Germany’s president Hindenburg refused, although the NSDAP have already had 37% of the votes, his excuse was that Hitler was intolerant towards other parties. Franz von Papen could persuade Hindenburg to make a deal with him (von Papen thought he could tame Hitler): Hitler would become chancellor and Franz von Papen vice chancellor (1933). Everyone was surprised that Hitler became chancellor of Germany. He wasn’t well known and not even German. William Shire said in 1984: “The man with the Charlie Chaplin mustache, who was not even German but Austrian, had just been administered the oath as Chancellor of the German Reich“.

In February 1933 Hitler hired Görring, the Minister of the police, to create 50.000 auxiliary police to overtake the executive power. Five days later the Reichstag was burned down by Nazis, but the communists were blamed. Communism was forbidden, people were allowed to arrest and kill them. On the 23 of March 1933 the Enabling Act was established: The German cabinet had the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag for four years. In 1934 Paul von Hindenburg died, Hitler became Commander and Chief. He became 90% of the total votes and therefore “Der Führer”.

In 1936 the Hitler conquered the Rheinland. Hitler marched into Austria in 1938 he conquered it and bond. In the same year the Munich Agreement was agreed: After Germany conquered Austria they also wanted the Sudetenland, the German speaking part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain, the president of the UK, promised Germany the Sudetenland under the condition that they’d leave the rest of Czechoslovakia alone. Chamberlain can be accused for not stopping Hitler by appeasement. He let Germany rearm, occupy the Rheinland and the Munich Agreement enabled Hitler to conquer the Sudetenland, which guaranteed them to march into the rest of Czechoslovakia of Czech Republic and the attack Poland. At that point the allies acted and the Second World War started. Winston Churchill said in his first speech as prime minister in 1940, that his only goal is to win: “without victory, there is no survival”.