Germany from 1450-present

Protestant Reformation:

Martin Luther & Creation of Protestantism

  • Martin Luther, a theology professor at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, believed the Catholic church was corrupt
What was Wrong with the Church?
  • Luther believed people go to heaven by way of god rather than through the Catholic church

  • Luther hated the sale of indulgences (Catholic church sold forgivenesses of sins to people)

  • Luther hated that the Bible was only available in Latin as opposed to regional and common languages

  • Hated pluralism (a practice where some clergymen held multiple leadership positions)

Hover for the Answer

  • In 1517, Luther wrote 95 Theses, a pamphlet with 95 arguments against the church & nailed it to the door of Wittenberg Church

  • Pope Leo X excommunicated him in 1520

  • At Diet of Worms (1521), Luther refused to recant his ideas

    • Luther's refusal to recant his ideas led more people to hear about his ideas

  • Protestant Church was created at Diet of Speyer (1529)

    • Believed god initiated salvation​

    • Religious authority rest in the Bible alone

    • Only approved religious practices that can be supported by the Bible or other scriptures

      • The Sacraments were rejected as the scriptures didn't write about them

  • Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss man, helped Luther spread his ideas

    • Believed in only using the New Testament, as it contained the true words of god​


Spread of Protestant Reformation

Appeal of Protestantism

  • Protestant ideals spread quickly via the printing press

    • Humanists liked Protestantism because of its idea of leading simple lives based on faith

  • Luther & Zwingli appointed pastors in local cities to help spread Protestantism

  • A group known as "Radicals" wanted a religious institution separate from state & mounted revolts

    • Known as anabaptists as they baptized adults

    • Didn't believe in a state church, wanted church to be separate from state

    • Peasants got angry due to crop failures & confiscation of property by government, so they led a massive rebellion

      • They wanted church-state separation

      • Government crushed this, 75,000 died

  • Protestants believed all women should be married

    • Hated prostitution, forced brothels to close

    • Believed clergymen should marry, and their wives would have respectable positions as pastors' wives

    • Believed marriage represents spiritual equality of men & women

    • Forced monasteries/covenants to close

    • Women could not be members of clergy

  • Charles V, ruler of Habsburg domain, signed Peace of Augsburg (1555)

    • Charles V acquired this land through family marriages, ruled large area from Austria to Spain

    • Called Diet of Augsburg (1550) to promote Catholicism & stop religious division

    • Protestants mounted coalition against him, so he signed Peace of Augsburg (1555)

      • Allowed each st​ate to choose its own religion (Catholicism or Lutheranism)

  • Protestantism appealed in Scandinavia

    • King Christian III of Denmark-Norway (union of the two states) adopted Lutheranism

      • Spread easily in Denmark & slowly in Norway & Iceland​

    • King Gustav I of Sweden adopted Lutheranism

      • Later altered Lutheran doctrine slightly to create their own church

  • Czechs in Bohemia first partially embraced Lutheranism but then reconverted to Catholicism

  • Poland-Lithuania (joint government) first initially had some converts to Lutheranism & Calvinism, but later reverted to Catholicism after counter reformation

  • Hungarians hated Germans so they didn't embrace Protestantism

    • After Ottoman invasion of Hungary, part of Hungary became Lutheran

    •  In late 1600s when Ottomans retreated & Habsburgs retook power, Catholicism became dominant again


Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

  • War between Catholics & Protestants of Holy Roman Empire

  • Treaty of Augsburg (1555) was signed between Lutherans & Catholics

    • Allowed each ​German state to choose their own state religion

  • Treaty of Augsburg was deteriorating as people kept converting to other branches of Christianity

  • Lutherans formed Protestant Union (1608), Catholics formed Catholic League (1609)

  • Started out as Catholic Bohemians challenged Protestant rule of Holy Roman Empire

  • War is divided into 4 phases

  • War ended with Peace of Westphalia (1648)

    • Recognized independence of over 300 German states

    • Allowed each state to worship Lutheranism, Calvinism, Catholicism

    • Mostly Northern German states were Protestant & Southern states were Catholic

Bohemian Phase (1618-1625)

Civil War in Bohemia among Protestants & Catholics. Catholics defeated Protestants at Battle of White Mountain (1620)

Danish Phase (1625-1629)

King Christian IV of Denmark led Protestants against Catholics (led by Albrecht Wallenstein). English King Charles I (Protestant) allied against France & Spain but failed. Habsburgs issued edict of Restitution, allowed Catholics to regain land they lost. 

Swedish Phase (1630-1635)

Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus supported Protestants. French minister Cardinal Richelieu supported Swedish. Adolphus died in war. 

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French Phase (1635-1648)

French feared Catholic Habsburgs would gain power, so French declared war on Catholic Spain (Spain supported Habsburgs). Peace was achieved in 1648, but Spain was harmed miserably. 

Absolutism in Prussia

  • Frederick I, King of Prussia, unified his 3 provinces (Brandenburg, Prussia, Rhine) in 1640

    • Each province was ruled by wealthy landowners called Junkers

    • Frederick I persuaded Junkers to raise taxes to finance Frederick's army in exchange for giving Junkers the right to control their privileges

    • Expanded his army with the taxes, crushed all opposition to his rule in nearby towns

  • In 1713, his son became emperor Frederick William I of Prussia

    • Transformed Prussia into a military state, forced all men to undergo military training​

    • Built bureaucracy, fostered economic development


Frederick the Great of Prussia & Seven Years' War (1756-1763)

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great), son of Frederick William I, expanded into Austria 

Queen Maria Theresa of Austria hated this as it violated the treaty made by the War of Austrian Succession

Maria Theresa allied with France & Russia against Prussia & Britain, known as 7 Years' War (1756-1763). Britain & Prussia won

  • Frederick II used idea of enlightened absolutism in Prussia

    • He was still the monarch with absolute authority, but he gave freedom of religion to his subjects (Enlightenment principles)

    • Reformed legal system, promoted rebuilding of infrastructure & economy after 7 years' war

  • Used idea of cameralism in government

    • This was the German form of mercantilism

    • Believed in more centralization of economy

In 1806, Napoleon established a protectorate over 15 German states (Confederation of the Rhine)

Aftermath of French Revolution

  • Austria, Prussia, Russia formed Holy Alliance (1815) to repress revolutionary movements

    • Organized Germany into loose confederation of 38 states with ambassadors to a Confederation Diet

      • Issued Karlsbad Decrees​ (1819), suppressing liberal organizations & press in Germany


Spread of Industrial Revolution throughout Germany

  • Britain banned the export of industrial machines so it could maintain its economic lead, but still, some people exported them

    • Fritz Harkort, a Prussian army officer who served in England, spread industry to Germany

      • Built heavy industry but lost lots of money

  • Western European nations were easily able to industrialize

    • Strong governments prevented foreign domination, so their governments could easily control industry

    • Already had skilled artisans through putting-out system

    • Didn't need to test out new machinery as Britain already did so

  • Western governments supported industrialization

    • Raised tariffs on imports to protect domestic industry​

    • Often financed heavy industries or payed private businesses to build heavy industry

    • Central banks adopted limited liability, allowing them to support more industry with little risk

    • Germany supported free trade among German states to allow for cheap transport of machinery​

Revolutions of 1848 in Prussia & German Confederation

Liberal Germans wanted autocratic Prussia to be constitutional monarchy. Also wanted to unite the 38 German states (including Austria)

Liberals (mostly lower classes) rioted in Prussian Capital of Berlin (1848)

Prussian King Frederick William IV reluctantly agreed to liberal constitution, also agreed to unite all 38 states in German Confederation

Elections happened throughout the 38 German states (German Confederation) to elect parliament (known as Frankfurt Parliament). They would write a federal constitution to lead to unification

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Prussian Constituent Assembly met to write liberal constitution. Gave freedom of speech/religion, abolished aristocratic privileges, but ignored radical socialist changes sought by peasants. Conservatives urged the king to stop

Lower classes still wanted more liberal reforms. Wanted more socialist & democratic reforms

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Sought to unify all German states (including Austria) into Greater Germany but Austria refused. Later sought Lesser Germany (all German states w/o Austria)

In 1849, Prussian King Frederick William IV reasserted royal authority, disbanded Prussian Constituent Assembly & Frankfurt Parliament, made Prussia an autocracy

All hopes of unification were gone: Other German monarchies didn't recognize authority of Frederick William IV & state security suppressed liberal organizations

Unification of Germany

Otto von Bismarck (prime minister of Prussia) defeated Austria in Austro-Prussian War (1866) & acquired Austrian-controlled northern German states

Bismarck defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) & acquired the French-controlled southern German States

Bismarck combined his holdings (north + south German states), unifying Germany in 1871. Known as Second Reich (First Reich was Holy Roman Empire)

State-Building in Germany

  • German government was combination of Prussian states + 24 other German states

    • Strong national government was led by emperor & chancellor

    • Lower legislative house, Reichstag, had some authority

    • Otto von Bismarck (chancellor) kept ignoring requests of Riechstag & pursued his own goals

  • Kulturkampf was the Catholic Church's attack on German authority

    • Pope Pius IX believed he has absolute authority & wanted ​German Catholics to be more loyal to church than to German government

    • Catholic Center Party blocked kulturkampf laws in Riechstag

  • Bismarck later tried to suppress the German peasants

    • Switched his support to Catholic Center Party, gained support of Catholics & wealthy Protestants

    • Raised taxes on imports to protect domestic industry, which actually raised food prices

    • Suppressed activities of German Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1878 & passed anti-socialism laws

  • Bismarck also urged Riechstag to pass social security laws

    • Retirement benefits, accident insurance, etc. in 1883

  • In 1890, new emperor, William II, opposed anti-socialism laws

    • Fired chancellor Otto von Bismarck, legalized SPD

    • Tried to decrease size of SPD, but more members of SPD won seats in Riechstag, was largest party by 1912

    • SPD later became more patriotic, focused on military goals & expansion


Initial Nationalist Rivalries & Alliances in World War 1

  • Germany was becoming most powerful nation in Europe, threatening other nations

    • France was defeated in 1871 (after Franco-Prussian war), so Germany sought to further weaken it

    • Otto von Bismarck (Germany) formed alliances with Austria-Hungary & Russia to isolate France

    • As William II (new German emperor) fired Bismarck in 1890, he repealed the alliances

    • France thus allied w/ Russia in 1894 against Germany

  • Britain also hated growing German power

    • German industrial power was approaching that of Britain

    • German military was threatening British navy

    • German colonial expansion was threatening British colonies

    • Britain thus improved relations w/ US & Japan, signed alliance w/ France in 1904

  • Germany declared French Morocco a free territory in 1905 to test the response of other nations

    • Britain, France, Russia opposed Germany, became known as Triple Entente (Allies)

    • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy formed alliance, known as Triple Alliance (Central Powers)

  • People believed war was heroic & good

    • Wanted to test their nation's nationalist response, often stimulating national pride

    • Ruling classes wanted to pursue a war to distract the lower classes from domestic issues

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Germany declared war on Russia & France. Britain declared war on Germany as Britain allied with France

Initial War Plans

  • All nations were initially happy about war
    • Believed war would be a quick victory
    • Common saying: "the boys will be home by Christmas" (the war started in August)
    • Nations formed specific timetables of when to attack whom, assuming the war would be quick
  • Schlieffen Plan was German military plan

    • Would initially attack France through Belgium

    • Then would attack Russia after defeating France

    • This failed as beating France took long

  • Germany used submarines to sink British boats, while Britain imposed a naval blockade on Germany


German Battle on Western Front (with France)

Germany tried attacking France through Belgium (according to Schlieffen Plan)

France stopped Germany at River Marne. British also helped Belgian army attack Germans. Later attacked Germans at Battle of Somme

Battle was a stalemate for 4 years

German Battle on Eastern Front (with Russia)

Germany & Austria-Hungary invaded Balkans

Russia invaded Prussia to help Balkans

Germans invaded Russia, causing Russia to lose miserably

Germany acquired many Russian-occupied territories (present-day Poland, Belarus, Baltic nations). Russia still continued to fight

Trench Warfare & New Battle Techniques

  • Trench warfare was used on the Western Front
    • Soldiers would stay in dug-up trenches & occasionally come up and fire machine guns
    • No Man's land was between trenches, very deadly as opposing side would easily fire machine guns & kill you
    • Trenches were dirty as disease spread easily
    • Trench warfare caused endless stalemates as no one would advance forward from their trench
  • New weapons were developed

    • Barbed wire was used to guard & fence trenches 

    • Chemical weapons (poison/mustard gas) were used, caused harm to lungs & eyes of opponents

    • Airplanes were invented but mostly used during World War 2

    • Submarines were used by Germans to sink British boats


Home Front & Death Toll

  • Government needed maximum production of resources, so it took full control of economy
    • Imposed production quotas, wages, prices
    • Put government control in all private enterprise, abolished laissez-faire economics
    • Formed many unemployed people to work
    • Labor unions got more power & were able to campaign for better rights
  • Many women went to work as men were at battle

    • Some worked as police or postal services

    • Worked as physicians, nurses, communications clerks at battle

    • Some worked in munitions industries & were exposed to dangerous conditions

  • Nations manipulated propaganda to support war

    • Portrayed enemies as weaker​

    • Suppressed those who were against war effort

  • To control the home front, nations imposed military dictatorships

    • German​ generals Paul von Hindenburg & Erich Ludendorff removed chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg from office

  • Many people also revolted against war efforts

    • German socialists ​rioted in Berlin against the war

    • Irish nationalists declared independence from Britain in Easter Rising of 1916 (actually got independent a few years later)

    • French prime minister Georges Clemenceau suppressed anyone who opposed the war

    • Many soldiers became tired of war & mostly central powers were collapsing

  • Many people died from the war

    • 8 million soldiers, 7-10 million civilians died​

    • 20 million died from the influenza pandemic of 1918 that followed the war

    • Germany had the worst fate as 10% of its civilians died

    • Many people were left orphaned or widowed

    • Many suffered from shell shock (PTSD)

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End of the War

British imposed a naval blockade on Germany, preventing food from reaching there. There were many German protests for more food

France also had a protest among soldiers, but Germans didn't hear it due to censorship

Germany decided to give one last attack westward to France

Bulgaria, Ottomans, Austria-Hungary, and Germany surrendered to the Allies (1918)

France easily defended, Germany ran out of resources

Paris Settlement & Treaty of Versailles (1920)

  • Woodrow Wilson (US), Lloyd George (UK), George Clemenceau (France) led meeting at Paris
    • 28 nations were invited, none of Central Powers​
    • Meeting was in chaos due to conflicting views
    • Discussed how to punish Germany for the war
  • Eventually they passed Treaty of Versailles (1920)
    • Made Germany pay reparations for the war
    • Made Germany reduce armaments production
    • Restricted size of German military
    • Banned Germany from having air force & navy

Revolution in Germany

  • Germany experienced a radical democratic revolution​

    • German republicans & liberalists crushed William II's authoritarian regime, established democratic Weimar republic​

    • German socialists didn't take power because  German SPD wanted gradual decline of capitalism & still wanted to retain civil liberties

      • Communism does not have civil liberties while republicanism does

  • Radical socialists Karl Liebknecht & Rosa Luxemburg attempted to seize power during Spartacist Uprising in Berlin (Jan 1919)

    • German democratic gov killed Luebknecht & Luxemburg, causing lots of protests

    • Communists & socialists depised the gov for murdering the 2 socialist leaders

    • Nazi party believed Germany didn't actually lose WW1 but was deteriorating due to German socialists


Problems in Germany & Start of Hitler's Regime

German Reparations

Germany didn't want to pay the WW1 reparations listed in the Treaty of Versailles. France needed these reparations for economic recovery

France allied with Central European nations against Germany because France needed German reparations

Germany agreed to pay $33 billion in reparations in annual installments of $2.5 billion

Germany told people of Rhine-Ruhr to stop working so French would leave. French sealed Rhine-Ruhr from rest of Germany (only allowing food to pass through) & forced inhabitants to pay war reparations

French & Belgian armies conquered Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany, forced them to pay reparations

Germany payed reparations in 1921 & 1922 but then called for 3 year moratorium. Britain accepted but France didn't

German economy was collapsing, printed paper money, which actually caused inflation. New German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann called for reexamination of Germany's ability to pay  

French PM Raymond Poincare agreed. American banker Charles Dawes made Dawes Plan (1924), said reparations are proportional to German economic output

France & Germany accepted common border in 1925. In 1928, 15 nations signed Kellogg-Briand Pact, agreeing not to have war

Start of Hitler's Regime

  • In Germany, the fascist regime was gaining momentum

    • Adolf Hitler sought to have a socialist revolution, but the German gov heard about this plan & imprisoned Hitler

    • Still, Hitler's regime attracted anti-Semites and extreme German nationalists

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Cultural, Artistic, and Intellectual Developments

Uncertainty & Pessimism

  • German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche attacked human progress

    • Believed we overused rationality & were entering a period of darkness

    • Believed religion was useless

    • Believed human society was meaningless

  • Still, Christianity experienced a revival

    • People believed you need to interpret the Bible to understand science & humanity

    • Believed people needed to use religion in times of anxiety & depression

  • New discoveries in physics proved the uncertainty of truth

    • Albert Einstein discovered theory of special relativity​

      • Taught that time and space are relative to the viewer and not the same for everyone

    • Werner Heisenberg created the uncertainty principle

      • Taught that it's impossible to know the exact position & velocity of an object

    • These discoveries questioned the uncertainty of truth

  • Sigmund Freud created psychoanalytic theory

    • Believed human mind was irrational & governed by a subconscious mind

    • Promoted the idea of dreams


Developments in Art, Architecture, Literature, Music

  • Architects stressed function over form

    • Believed a building should focus on its functions & purposes rather than design

    • Bauhaus was a German architecture school that stressed this idea

    • Led to creation of tall glass buildings seen in in modern city skylines

  • Many artistic developments happened

    • Abstract art developed because since cameras were invented, real paintings were useless

    • Dadaism developed in Switzerland where artists made completely useless paintings to show how useless society is

    • Impressionism was a movement where artists used sensory impressions & often drew quick blurry scenes (rarely added their own feelings)

    • Some artists depicted the unconscious self, as seen in Freud's psychoanalytic theory

  • Literature depicted the uselessness of society

    • Often rejected society, talked about the truth of society

    • Some used monologues to depict the human soul & inner subconscious (psychoanalytic theory)

  • Composers used dissonant/random sounds in music, just like abstract art was full of random drawings

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Consumer Revolution

  • Consumer culture became more popular

    • With more factories, goods were produced at cheap prices, allowing more people to buy them

    • People produced variations of goods, and department stores sold all kinds of products

    • More women's products like perfume became common

  • Cinema & Radio also became common

    • Cinema was common in Europe, especially Britain

    • In some places, people went to the movie theatre once a week

    • By late 1930s, most households had a radio

    • Radios were used by communist leaders to broadcast messages

      • Sometimes used by democratic leaders as well to gain popularity

    • Cinema was sometimes used to show patriotism & spread propaganda 


Rise of Hitler's Regime & His Policies

  • Adolf Hitler was racist & believed Germans were superior

    • Went to Vienna, became exposed to ideals of racism & anti-Semitism

    • Joined extremist German Workers' Party in 1919​

    • Believed Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. were the causes for German loss in WW1

  • In 1923, Hitler organized armed uprising to take over German Weimar Republic, but he failed & was jailed

  • Hitler later gained followers by preaching German superiority

    • His party was National Socialist German Workers' Party (known as Nazi)

    • During Great Depression, he promised economic recovery

    • Many believed Weimar Republic was corrupt as it stopped gov spending in Great Depression

    • Appealed to lower classes through ideals of anti-capitalism

    • Appealed to middle class through ideals of racism

  • By 1930s, Nazis had more seats in Reichstag (German parliament) than other parties

    • Communists & Social democrats combined outnumbered Nazis but couldn't prevent Nazi takeover as they fought among each other

    • Hitler was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg in 1933

  • After taking control, he created one-party dictatorship

    • Abolished communist party & jailed its members​

    • Executed or imprisoned all political dissidents

    • Put Nazi control of all German institutions

  • Hitler persecuted Jews & promoted German nationalism

    • Passed Nuremberg Laws in ​1935, which persecuted Jews from German society

    • In 1938, his allies looted many Jewish businesses at night (known as kristallnacht or "night of broken glass")

    • Forced Jews to give their jobs to Germans

    • Sought to create a people's community among Germans

      • Created volkswagen (people's car)

    • Forced women to return to subordinate roles

      • Forced them out of their careers, promoted births & banned abortions

    • Nazis used eugenics to promote the births of Germans and mandate the abortions of "racially inferior" people

World War 2:

Causes & Start of World War 2

Initial German Aggression

  • Nazi Germany's main goal was aggression: They wanted to create a union of all German-speaking places

    • Nazis also sought to kill all the Jews ("racially inferior people") to create more living space for Germans

    • Signed alliance with Fascist Italy in 1936 (Rome-Berlin Axis)

    • Also signed alliance with Fascist Japan

    • Germany, Japan, Italy were Axis powers

    • US, Britain, France, China, Russia were Allies powers

    • Signed nonaggression pact with Stalin's Russia in 1939

    • Nazis first sought to conquer German-speaking Austria

      • Austria allowed Nazis to control part of it

    • Nazis later looked to Sudetenland, a region in Western Czechoslovakia with ethnic Germans

      • Britain & France didn't want war, so they agreed to let Hitler take it (1939)

  • Later, Nazis sought to conquer the rest of Europe

    • First wanted to conquer Danzig in Poland

      • Wanted to remove the Jews there to create more living space for Germans

      • France & Britain agreed to protect Poland, so once Nazis invaded Danzig, France & Britain declared war on Germany (WW2 had started)


Battles of World War 2

German Victories Throughout Europe

  • After invading Poland, Germany rapidly conquered the rest of Europe

    • Took over Poland while Russia invaded East Poland & Baltic States

    • Took over Denmark, Norway, Netherlands

    • Broke into France through Belgium in 1940

      • Germans trapped British army on French beach of Dunkirk​

    • This war technique was known as blitzkrieg or "lightning war," where Germany quickly conquers other lands

  • By 1940, Hitler ruled most of Europe and sought to conquer Britain

    • He used his air force to bomb London & other British industrial cities

    • Britain thus produced more planes & had 3x more planes than Germany

      • Britain thus successfully defended against Germany

    • Still, Britain was devastated due to the damage caused by German planes

  • In 1941, Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and invaded Russia

    • Germany conquered Leningrad, Moscow, Ukraine

      • Known as Operation Barbarossa

    • After conquering Moscow, Hitler's army wasn't prepared for Russian wintertime, causing many German soldiers to die of cold & starvation


Nazi Administration Throughout Europe & Holocaust

  • Nazis cruelly ruled their conquered lands & forced them to support German war effort

    • Ruled each land based on racial hierarchy

    • France was divided into 2 parts

      • North was ruled by Nazis

      • South was ruled by Vichy regime (founded by WW1 veteran Marshal Henri-Philippe

        • South supported Nazi war effort & supplied all Jews to Nazis

    • Nazis stole goods & crops from these lands

    • Nazis forced these lands to pay for war cost & the cost of the Nazi governance itself

    • Nazis bought luxury goods for low prices and sent it to Germany to increase their standard of living

    • Often destroyed cities & factories

  • Nazis encouraged Germans to settle in these areas

  • Few resistance groups fought back because the different resistance groups weren't united among themselves

    • Nazis censored Polish press to remove any anti-Nazi propaganda

    • Still, Polish people had underground network of newspapers

      • A group of these people exiled in London would give German secrets to the Allies powers 

  • Nazis initiated the Holocaust as they sought to kill the Jews

    • Most Jews were in Western Poland​

    • Nazis enslaved Ukrainians, Russians, Poles

    • Forced Jews to live in communities called ghettos, which were poorly built & maintained

    • Later, Nazis came up with the idea of sending all Jews to concentration camps to kill them

      • Nazis sent Jews to one of 6 concentration camps

      • Largest camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, killed 1 million Jews

    • In total, 6 million Jews died


End of World War 2

Allies Victories

  • US, Britain, and Russia created Grand Alliance (China & France were also part of it later on)

    • Sought to kill the Nazis, then Japan​

  • Germany started expanding into North Africa

    • At 2nd Battle of El Alamein in North Africa, Allies beat Axis, preventing further Axis expansion (known as "hinge of fate")

  • US & Britain took over Italy & overthrew Mussolini, but Germany rescued him & occupied North Italy

    • Thus, Allies had Southern Italy & Axis had Northern Italy

  • US & Britain developed sonar technologies to detect German submarines

    • German submarines previously would sink Allies ships, preventing food from reaching Allies

  • US & Britain also boosted their industrial production & bombed German industrial centers

  • Russian army later defeated Germans at Stalingrad, causing Germans to retreat


Allied Victory & Axis Surrender

  • On D-Day (6/6/1944), US & British troops landed in Normandy, France

    • 2 million troops & 500,000 army vehicles from Allies pushed the German front lines all the way to the German border

    • By 1945, the Allies forces had crossed the Rhine into Germany

    • Also, Allies forces pushed Germans out of Italy in 1945​

      • The same year, Italian communists executed Mussolini

  • Meanwhile, Russian forces defeated Germans & pushed westward into Germany

    • In 1944, the Polish underground army took over Warsaw (Warsaw Uprising), but Soviets didn't enter Warsaw as they predicted the uprising

    • Thus, Germans crushed the Warsaw Uprising & allowed Soviets to freely advance

    • Soviets took over Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary

    • Soviets entered Germany from the east in Jan 1925 & met US & British forces there

  • Germans were forced to surrender on May 8, 1945

    • Hitler committed suicide a week earlier

  • In the Pacific, US took over many Japanese Pacific Islands & dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima & Nagasaki

    • Japan surrendered in Sep 1945

  • Overall, WW2 killed 50 million people


Legacy of Germany After WW2

  • After World War 2, the 4 Allies (USSR, UK, US, France) would occupy Germany & Austria to prevent them from becoming powerful again

    • USSR was ruthless & confiscated all industrial machinery & railroads & sent it to the USSR

    • The 4 Allies held the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946) where they tried high-ranking Nazi officials for war crimes, often sentencing them for year in jail


Fall of East Germany & Reunification of West Germany

  • Reform-minded communists took power in East Germany in Oct 1989, wanting democratic socialism

    • After anti-communist protests, East Germany was in turmoil

    • East German communist leaders that the only way to stabilize the situation would be to tear the Berlin Wall

    • Thus, many people crossed from East to West Germany

      • Also, as Hungary opened its borders, many crossed into West Germany via Hungary & Austria

  • Germans knew unification was inevitable as the Berlin wall was torn down & many crossed into West Germany

  • West German chancellor Helmut Kohl created a plan for unification

    • Offered economic opportunities & social welfare benefits for East German citizens

    • Created Alliance (political party) in East Germany to favor unification

      • Alliance won majority of East German parliamentary seats & supported unification

    • Germany was fully reunified in Oct 1990

  • Since unified Germany would be most powerful state in Central Europe, Kohl signed agreement with Gorbachev to limit German military power

  • Reunification led to decrease in Cold War tensions

    • US, USSR, European nations signed Paris Accord (Nov 1990), agreeing to scale down arms race & accepting that existing European borders couldn't change

Divided Germany

  • As part of the Yalta Compromise, Germany would be divided among US, France, UK, and USSR to prevent it from becoming powerful & starting another war

  • US, UK, and France (West Bloc) took over West Germany while USSR (East Bloc) took over East Germany

  • Additionally, Berlin was completely surrounded by East Germany but was also divided among the West & East Bloc

    • Thus, West Germany was completely surrounded by East Germany​

    • To get to West Germany, one had to travel through East Germany

  • USSR issued a blockade of West Germany, preventing people from accessing West Germany by traveling through East Germany

    • Thus, West Bloc members had to airlift supplies (e.g. food) to West Germany

  • Many East Germans crossed the border into West Germany to escape communist rule

    • Thus, a wall was built (Berlin Wall) to surround West Germany, preventing people from migrating there

    • The wall had multiple layers of barbed wire & many checkpoints that shoot anyone who crosses