Nazism and the Rise of Hitler In the spring of 1945, a little eleven-year-old German boy called Helmuth was lying in bed when he overheard his parents discussing something in serious tones. His father, a prominent physician, deliberated with his wife whether the time had come to kill the entire family, or if he should commit suicide alone. His father spoke about his fear of revenge, saying, Now the Allies will do to us what we did to the crippled and Jews. The next day, he took Helmuth to the woods, where they spent their last happy time together, singing old children s songs. Later, Helmuth s father shot himself in his office. Helmuth remembers that he saw his father s bloody uniform being burnt in the family fireplace. So traumatised was he by what he had overheard and what had happened, that he reacted by refusing to eat at home for the following nine years He was afraid that his mother might poison him.
Nazismandand of Hitler Rise of Hitler Nazism the Rise the
Although Helmuth may not have realised all that it meant, his father had been a Nazi and a supporter of Adolf Hitler. Many of you will know something about the Nazis and Hitler. You probably know of Hitler s determination to make Germany into a mighty power and his ambition of conquering all of Europe. You may have heard that he killed Jews. But Nazism was not one or two isolated acts. It was a system, a structure of ideas about the world and politics. Let us try and understand what Nazism was all about. Let us see why Helmuth s father killed himself and what the basis of his fear was. In May 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies. Anticipating what was coming, Hitler, his propaganda minister Goebbels and his entire family committed suicide collectively in his Berlin bunker in April. At the end of the war, an International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was set up to prosecute Nazi war criminals for Crimes against Peace, for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Germany s conduct during the war, especially those actions which
New words Allies The Allied Powers were initially led by the UK and France. In 1941 they were joined by the USSR and USA. They fought against the Axis Powers, namely Germany, Italy and Japan.
Fig.1 Hitler centre and Goebbels left leaving after an official meeting, 1932.
NCERT History Textbook Solutions for Class 9th