UNIT 7. THE SOVIET UNION, A NEW MODEL OF STATE ().

7.1. Russia: 1905.

Rusia no es un país industrializado. La revolución industrial sólo ha llegado a algunos lugares como San Petersburgo, la capital del imperio de los zares. El resto del territorio aún sigue siendo predominantemente rural. Hace apenas unas décadas se ha liberado a los campesinos de la servidumbre hacia los nobles. El ejército zarista está más enfocado a ser un agente de represión interna que de conquista externa. En 1905 por vez primera un país europeo será derrotado por un asiático: Japón. La mala marcha de la guerra unido a la escasez de alimentos hace que la población reclame mejoras. El 9 de enero una multitud de gente se dirige al palacio del zar para entregar un escrito demandando mejores condiciones laborales y de vida. Las tropas de palacio reprimieron salvajemente la protesta. Campesinos, obreros, intelectuales y liberales se unirán para demandar un cambio político al zar. Será la revolución de 1905 que concluirá cuando el zar prometa una Constitución para Rusia y una Duma o Parlamento con poderes. Sin embargo, todo fue una farsa, a los pocos meses el zar cerró el Parlamento y siguió gobernando de forma absoluta.

En junio de 1905 la tripulación del Acorazado Potemkin hartos de los malos tratos infringidos por los oficiales zaristas y por sus pésimas condiciones de vida deciden rebelarse contra sus oficiales y el zar. Tras la revolución comunista de 1917 se encargará la realización de una película sobre los hechos al director Serguei M. Eisenstein.


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7.2. Russia: 1917.

7.2.1. Wladimir Ilich Ulianov (1870-1924): Lenin.

Lenin se puso este apodo en recuerdo del río Lena, en cuyas inmediaciones vivió desterrado durante tres años.

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La Momia de Lenin: levantado por el gobierno soviético tras la muerte de Lenin en 1924. El Mausoleo se sitúa en la Plaza Roja de Moscú y muestra en su interior al público el cuerpo embalsamado del fundador del estado soviético.

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7.2. León Davidovich Bronstein (1879-1940): Trotsky.

El apodo de Trotsky viene de uno de sus carceleros cuando estuvo desterrado en Siberia.

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7.3. Iosiv Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (1878-1953): Stalin.

Detenido y exiliado a Siberia varias veces, su fuerza y determinación le valieron el apodo de Stalin (acero).

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7.4. October Revolution and the Civil War ()..



7.5. Stalin and the collectivization.

7.6. Stalin Purges Listening Exam ().
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White Sea-Baltic Sea Channel was constructed by forced labor of gulag inmates. During its construction by a total of 126,000 workers, about 12,000 died, according to the official records, while other estimates 25,000 deaths. The total length of the route is 227 kilometers. The canal sees only light traffic. Its economic advantages are limited by its minimal depth of 3.5 metres.

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“It was these Siberian camps, devoted either to gold-mining or timber harvesting, that inflicted the greatest toll in the Gulag system. Such camps can only be described as extermination centers… The camp network that came to symbolize the horrors of the Gulag was centered on the Kolyma gold-fields, where outside work for prisoners was compulsory until the temperature reached −50C and the death rate among miners in the goldfields was estimated at about 30 per cent per annum.”

“People who are imprisoned today are condemned to be incarcerated, deprived of their freedom. … They have been convicted in court, helped by defense lawyers, both sides have been given a hearing, and so on. When we talk about the Gulag, it should be understood that these are not just convicted criminals. Most of them got there by an extrajudicial decision… . And they were condemned not just to incarceration. They had to work somwhere on Kolyma or beyond the Arctic Circle in Norilsk, to work in the harshest permafrost conditions for just a ration of bread. They were habitually condemned to inhuman conditions. … So let’s not confuse imprisonment in jail for a criminal act and a person sent by an extrajudicial decision to a death-by-starvation in a camp.”



7.7. How Stalin motivated workers.


7.8. Pictures Censorship.
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This picture is a meeting of the St. Petersburg chapter of the Union of Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class taken in 1897. Shortly after the picture was taken the whole group was arrested by the Tsar secret police. Lenin was arrested, imprisoned and exiled to Siberia (in exiled he read Plekhanov's marxists theories). To the left standing is Alexander Malchenko. At the time of this picture he was an engineering student and his mother would let Lenin hide out at her house. After his arrest he spent some time in exile before returning in 1900 and abandoning the revolution and working as a engineer. In 1929 he was arrested by Stalin orders and accused of being a "wrecker" and executed.



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May 5th 1920, Lenin gave a speech to a crowd of Red Army troops in Moscow. Trotsky and Kamenev have been edited out.


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November 7th 1919, Soviet leadership celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution. Trotsky and Kamenev (the long moustache and bearded man) have been edited out.





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The background of the original image includes a store that says in Russian, "Watches, gold and silver". The image was then changed to read, "Struggle for your rights", and a flag that was a solid color before was changed to read, "Down with the monarchy - long live the Republic!"


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Nikolai Yezhov: head of the Soviet Secret police from 1936 to 1938. During his time in office he arrested and executed several million people. In april 1939 he was arrested by Stalin orders and accused of: wrecking, treason, collaboration with German spies, sexual promiscouos, homosexuality, theft of government funds, etc etc etc. He was executed.



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Avel Enukidze: a prominent bolshevik. He wrote a book about a famous printing press which had distributed Lenin's writings during the Czarists period. He was accused of "diminished Stalin contributions to the Boshevik party". In 1937 he was expelled from the party and executed.


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1925, before Stalin consolidated his power.

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UNIT 6. 1929 CRASH AND ECONOMIC CRISIS.

6.1. 1929 Crash and Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal ().




6.2. Economic Crisis Pictures (Imágenes Crisis 1929).

UNIT 8. FASCISM AND NAZISM ().

8.1. Mussolini rise to power ().

8.1.1. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini.

Nacido en 1883, su padre era un líder socialista local. Su nombre Benito es en homenaje de Benito Juárez, presidente reformista de México y su otro nombre Andrea es en honor de Andrea Costa, primer diputado socialista elegido para el Parlamento italiano.

A consecuencia de la influencia de su padre en 1900 se afilia al Partido Socialista Italiano. En 1902 para huir del reclutamiento obligatorio decide huir y asentarse en Suiza. En Suiza será arrestado varias veces y expulsado a consecuencia de su propagando socialista del país. (En la foto su ficha policial en la ciudad suiza de Lausana). En Suiza comenzó su carrera como periodista colaborando para distintos medios socialistas.

En 1904 vuelve a Italia una vez que es concedida una amnistía a consecuencia del nacimiento del heredero del rey Victor Manuel. Entre 1904 y 1915 prosigue su carrera dentro del Partido Socialista Italiano y su colaboración en periódicos y revistas socialistas, siendo director de la publicación socialista Avanti en Milán. Sin embargo, en 1915 rompe con el Partido Socialista, al negarse el partido a votar a favor de la entrada de Italia en la Primera Guerra Mundial. Pocos meses más tarde Mussolini funda su propio periódico, El Pueblo de Italian, de tendencia ultranacionalista.

Entre agosto de 1915 y febrero de 1917 combatió en el ejército y llegó a ser nombrado CABO, el mismo grado al que llegó Hitler. A consecuencia de unas heridas de guerra en febrero de 1917 es licenciado del ejército y volverá a su antigua profesión de articulista y director del periódico "El Pueblo de Italia", sólo que si antes de la guerra defendía con ardor el socialismo, tras la guerra su primer artículo defendía a los soldados del frente y reivindicaba para ellos el gobierno de Italia.

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8.1.2.. March on Rome. October 1922.

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8.1.3. Taking over the power.


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8.1.4. Matteoti's Assassination.

El 16 de noviembre Mussolini se presenta ante el Parlamento y en una moción de confianza es elegido primer ministro. Poco después el Parlamento le confería plenos poderes en el ámbito económico y administrativo hasta finales de ese mismo año.

El 9 de junio de 1923 Mussolini presenta ante el Parlamento "la LEY ACERBO", la cual establecía que cualquier partido que lograra más de un 25% de votos en las elecciones automáticamente se le daría una mayoría de 2/3 en el Parlamento.

Las elecciones del 6 de abril de 1924, desarrolladas en un clima de violencia política de las escuadras fascistas hacia sus enemigos políticos, Mussolini y sus aliados consiguieron un 60% de los votos.

El 30 de mayo de 1924 el diputado socialista Giacomo Matteoti hizo una denuncia del fraude cometido en las elecciones y pidió la anulación del resultado. Días más tarde, el 10 de junio, el diputado Matteoti fue secuestrado por un grupo de fascistas y su cuerpo en avanzado estado de descomposición sería encontrado el 16 de agosto en un bosque cercano a Roma. Sobre su asesinato, surgen múltiples hipótesis, desde que fue el propio Mussolini el que lo ordenó hasta que sería una iniciativa propia de varios fascistas. El caso es que cuando Matteoti pronunció su discurso en el Parlamento lo finalizó con estas palabras, dirigiéndose hacia sus compañeros socialistas:

"Yo ya he hecho mi discurso. Ahora os toca a vosotros preparar el discurso fúnebre para mi entierro".

Ante el asesinato de Matteoti, la respuesta de los socialistas fue abandonar el Parlamento y retirarse a la colina del Aventino para protestar (en la antigua Roma la plebe en varias ocasiones se había retirado al Aventino para protestar contra el Senado y los patricios ricos). Algunos políticos italianos intentaron presionar al rey Victor Manuel para que procediera a la destitución de Mussolini pero ante la mayoría parlamentaria de las recientes elecciones, el rey decidió no intervenir.

En enero de 1925 ante un Parlamento sin oposición Mussolini hizo un discurso que en la práctica suponía declararse dictador y otorgarse plenos poderes:

"Declaro aquí, a esta Asamblea y al pueblo italiano, que asumo, solo yo, la responsabilidad política, moral, histórica, de todo lo sucedido. ¡Si las palabras más o menos son suficientes para colgar a un hombre, traigan el poste y la cuerda! ¡Si el fascismo ha sido solo aceite, y no una pasión arrogante de la mejor juventud italiana, es mia la culpa! ¡Si el fascismo ha sido una asociación criminal, entonces soy el jefe de esta asociación criminal! Si las violencias han sido resultado de un clima histórico, político y moral, denme a mí la responsabilidad de esos actos, porque este clima histórico, político y moral lo he creado con una gran publicidad desde sus inicios hasta hoy"

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8.1.5. Lateran's Accords, 1929.

Los Estados Pontificios habían sido anexionados al nuevo Reino de Italia en 1870, a consecuencia de ellos el Papa y el Vaticano estaban sometidos a la jurisdicción italiana, lo cual obviamente no agradaba al Santo Padre. En 1929 las nuevas autoridades fascistas de Italia firmaron unos Acuerdos con la Iglesia: los Pactos de Letrán.

1. Se crea el Estado Independiente del Vaticano.

2. Se regulan las relaciones entre el Estado y la Iglesia en Italia: entre otros, se declara a la religión Católica la oficial de Italia y se le conceden extraordinarios privilegios en el ámbito de la educación.

3. Se compensa económicamente a la Iglesia por los daños sufridos por la pérdida de su soberanía desde 1870.

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8.1.6. Mussolini's foreign policy.

En 1912 a Italia le fue reconocida su soberanía sobre Libia y temporalmente sobre las Islas del Dodecaneso. Con Mussolini ya en el poder, en la Conferencia de Lausana de 1923, Gran Bretaña apoyó las reclamaciones de soberanía italiana en vez de las griegas. En agosto de 1923 un choque entre las tropas italianas y las griegas se saldó un derrota para los italianos, pero Mussolini en una demostración de fuerza ordenó el bombardeo y la toma de la isla griega de Corfú. Mussolini demostraba así su decisión y contentaba a las masas más nacionalistas.

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En 1924 Italia y el Reino de Yugoslavia llegaban a un acuerdo por el cual era reconocida la soberanía de Italia sobre la región fronteriza del Fiume.

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La Guerra de Etiopía: desde fines de 1934 italianos y etíopes están enzarzados en escaramuzas fronterizas. El ejército etíope, aunque numeroso, está pobremente armado y no contaba ni siquiera con radios para comunicarse. Desde octubre de 1935 cien mil hombres del ejército italiano, sin declaración previa de guerra, invaden Etiopia. Los italianos emplearon todo su arsenal, incluyendo el lanzamiento masivo de gas mostaza y el bombardeo aéreo de civiles. Para mayo, apenas ocho meses después de iniciada la guerra, los italianos entraban en la capital de Etiopia/Abisinia, Addis Abeba. El 7 de mayo de 1935 Italia oficialmente se anexionaba Etiopia y Victor Manuel III era declarado emperador.

El emperador abisinio Haile Selassie marchó al exilio. Se dirigió a la Asamblea General de la Liga de Naciones pidiendo ayuda.

La Liga de Naciones constató su fracaso. La organización creada tras la Primera Guerra Mundial para solventar de manera pacífica los conflictos fracasó estrepitosamente. La Liga de Naciones sólo llegó a aprobar un embargo económico sobre Italia que no incluía ni alimentos de primera necesidad ni minerales o recursos estratégicos como el hierro o el petróleo.

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Emperor Haile Selassie appeals to the League of Nations to stop Italy’s aggression.

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8.1.7. Friendzone.

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8.1.8. Death.


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8.2. Weimar Republic Listening Exam ().

8.2.1. Hyperinflation.

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8.3. Nazism ().


8.3.1. Adolf Hitler.

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Adolf Hitler was born in Branau am Inn, Austria, a village close to German-Austrian border, on April 20, 1889, and was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. When Hitler was 3 years old, the family moved from Austria to Germany. As a child, Hitler clashed frequently with his father. His father did not approve of his interest in Arts. Hitler's father died suddenly in 1903. Hitler left school at 16 with no qualifications and struggled to make a living as a painter in Vienna. In Vienna he worked as a casual laborer and a watercolor painter. Hitler applied to the Academy of Fine Arts twice and was rejected both times. Out of money, he moved into a homeless shelter, where he remained for several years. Hitler later pointed to these years as the time when he first cultivated his anti-Semitism.

A Watercolour painter.
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Vienna Secession.
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At the beginning of World War I, Hitler applied to serve in the German army. He was accepted in August 1914, though he was still an Austrian citizen. Although he spent much of his time away from the front lines. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross First Class.

Hitler became embittered over the collapse of the war effort. The experience reinforced his passionate German patriotism, and he was shocked by Germany's surrender in 1918. Like other German nationalists, he believed that the German army had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists. He found the Treaty of Versailles degrading, particularly the demilitarization of the Rhineland and the stipulation that Germany accept responsibility for starting the war.




8.3.2. FreiKorps (Free Corps).

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The Freikorps was the name adopted by some right wing nationalists after World War One had ended.Members of the Freikorps could be described as conservative, nationalistic, anti-Socialism/Communism and once it had been signed, anti-the Treaty of Versailles. Many members of the Freikorps had fought in World War One and had military experience. They did not believe that Germany had suffered a military defeat in World War One and members of the Freikorps were very vocal supporters of the ‘stab-in-the-back’ legend.

The Freikorps was used to put down the German Revolution of 1918-1919 and it crushed the Bavarian Soviet Republic in May 1919. A Freikorps unit in Berlin attempted to overthrow Ebert’s government (first president of the German Republic from 1919 to 1925, member of the Socialist Party).

Members of the Freikorps also murdered leading communists Karl Liebknicht and Rosa Luxemburg. Many of the Freikorps escaped without punishment for their crimes or sentenced to only brief periods in jail.


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Karl Liebknecht

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Rosa Luxermburg


The Freikorps officially disbanded in 1920 but many members joined the Nazi Party and became the party’s original enforcers.

8.3.4. Beer Hall Putsch, 1923.

After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich and continued to work for the military as an intelligence officer. While monitoring the activities of the German Workers’ Party (DAP), Hitler adopted many of the anti-Semitic, nationalist and anti-Marxist ideas of DAP founder Anton Drexler. Drexler invited Hitler to join the DAP, which he did in 1919.
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The DAP was a comparatively small group with fewer than 60 members. Nevertheless, it attracted the attention of the German authorities, who were suspicious of any organisation that appeared to have subversive tendencies. In July 1919 while stationed in Munich, Hitler was appointed intelligence agent of th army. Hitler's assignment was to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the DAP. While attending a party meeting on 12 September 1919, Hitler became involved in a heated argument with a visitor, Professor Baumann, who questioned the soundness of Gottfried Feder's arguments against capitalism and proposed that Bavaria should break away from Prussia and found a new South German nation with Austria. In vehemently attacking the man's arguments, he made an impression on the other party members with his oratory skills. Impressed with Hitler's oratorical skills, Drexler invited him to join the DAP and Hitler accepted. Hitler became DAP member 555 (the party began counting membership at 500 to give the impression they were much larger than they actually were). Among the party's earlier members were Ernst Röhm, journalist Dietrich Eckart; then University of Munich student Rudolf Hess, Freikorps soldier Hans Frank; and Alfred Rosenberg, often credited as the philosopher of the movement. All were later prominent in the Nazi regime.

To increase its appeal, the DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP). Hitler personally designed the party banner, featuring a swastika in a white circle on a red background. Hitler soon gained notoriety for his speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews. In 1921, Hitler replaced Drexler as NSDAP party chairman.
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Hitler's trial began on 26 February 1924 and lasted until 1 April 1924. Hitler moderated his tone for the trial, centering his defense on his selfless devotion to the good of the people and the need for bold action to save them; dropping his usual anti-Semitism. He claimed the putsch had been his sole responsibility, inspiring the title "Fuhrer," or "Leader. Hitler and Hess were both sentenced to five years for treason. In the end, Hitler served only a little over eight months of this sentence before his early release for good behaviour. However, Hitler used the trial as an opportunity to spread his ideas. The event was extensively covered in the newspapers.

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Two Honor Temples were erected at the east side of the Königsplatz in severe neo-Greek. They "enshrined" the remains of the sixteen Nazis killed in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, they were worshipped by Nazis as martyrs. The Nazi flag they carried, which in the course of events had been stained with blood, came to be known as the Blutfahne (blood flag) and was brought out for the swearing-in of new recruits. Both temples were demolished by the US-Army in 1947.

Hitler's beer-hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization, the Sturmabteilung (SA), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents.

On November 8th and 9th 1923, Hitler used the anger felt against the Berlin government in Bavaria to attempt an overthrow of the regional government in Munich in prelude to the takeover of the national government. This incident is generally known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

On November 8th 1923, the Bavarian Prime Minister, Gustav Kahr, was addressing a meeting of around 3000 businessmen at a beer hall in Munich. Kahr was joined by some of the most senior men in Bavarian politics including Seisser, Bavaria’s police chief, and Lossow, the local army commander. Then, Hitler and the 600 SA stormed the public meeting. Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government. After a short struggle including 20 deaths, the coup, known as the "Beer Hall Putsch," failed.

Imprisonment. Hitler was arrested three days later and tried for high treason. He served a year in prison, during which time he dictated most of the first volume of Mein Kampf ("My Struggle") to his deputy, Rudolf Hess. The book laid out Hitler's plans for transforming German society into one based on race.

8.3.5. Elections


1928 (Reichstag Elections 1928)
1930 (Reichstag Elections 1930)
1932 (Reichstag Elections 1932)
1933 (Reichstag Elections 1933)

8.3.6. Rise to Power.


8.3.6.1. The Triumph of the Will, by Leni Riefenstahl.














8.3.6. Members of the NSDAP Party.

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Adolf Hitler

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Anton Drexler, fundador del Partido NSDAP. Dejó el Partido tras la toma del poder de Hitler. Murió en 1942 en el anonimato.

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Ernst Rohm, fundador de las SA (Sturmabteilung), secciones de asalto del Partido. Fue asesinado en la Noche de los Cuchillos Largos.

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Hermann Goering. Héroe de la IGM. Fundador de la Gestapo (policía política). Durante la IIGM era Jefe de la Aviación y Comisario General del Reich (número 2 del Estado Nazi). Capturado por los aliados, fue juzgado y cometió suicidio en prisión.

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Heinrich Himmler. Jefe de las SS e ideólogo del Holocausto. Capturado por los aliados se suicidó en prisión.

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Rudolf Hess. Secretario personal de Hitler. En 1941 se escapó en un avión a Inglaterra en un intento de negociar la paz. Se suicidó en prisión.

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Joseph Goebbels. Ministro de Propaganda. Se suicidó con Hitler en el bunker de Berlín.

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Reinhard Heydrich. Creador de la Solución Final contra los judíos.

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Adolf Eichman. Organizador de los planes de la Solución Final contra los judíos.

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Josef Mengele. Médico de las SS responsable de innumerables experimentos con humanos.


8.3.7. Reichstag Fire.

On the night of February 27th Hitler and Goebbels were having dinner at Goebbel’s Berlin home. There, Goebbels received a phone call informing him that the Reichstag building was on fire. Hitler declared that the fire was the work of the Communists and Socialists and the SA was put on alert to maintain order if and when the communist insurrection started.

The Nazis captured the alleged perpetrator of the crime, a Dutch communist. The Reichstag ceased all its activities after the fire and it could not be used. The March 5th election went ahead as planned but now in the shadow of the ‘attempted communist revolt’. Even so, the Nazis only obtained 288 seats out of 647. But Hitler had already decided that the Reichstag as a properly working entity should cease to exist and be replaced by himself.

The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Hitler also engineered the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave his cabinet full legislative powers for a period of four years and allowed deviations from the constitution.

Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his political allies embarked on a systematic suppression of the political opposition. On July 14, 1933, Hitler's Nazi Party was declared the only legal political party in Germany.
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8.3.8. The Night of the Long Knives.

By the summer of 1934, the SA' had two million men. They were under the control of Ernst Röhm, a loyal follower of Hitler since the early days of the Nazi Party. The SA had given the Nazi's an iron fist with which to disrupt other political parties meetings before January 1933. The SA was also used to enforce law after Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933. There is no evidence that Röhm was ever planning anything against Hitler.

However, Röhm had made enemies within the Nazi Party. Himmler, Goering and Goebbels were angered by the power he had gained and convinced Hitler that this was a threat to his position. On the night of June 29th - June 30th 1934, units of the SS arrested the leaders of the SA and other political opponents.

The Night of the Long Knives, which took place from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Ernst Röhm and other SA leaders, along with a number of Hitler's political enemies, were arrested, shot or executed. After this date, the SS lead by Heinrich Himmlerwas to become far more powerful in Nazi Germany.
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Ernst Rohm, jefe de las SA

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Gregor Strasser, presidente del NSDAP entre 1923 y 1925.

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Kurt von Schleicher, militar y último canciller de la República de Weimar.

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Adalbert Probst, líder de las Juventudes Católicas.

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8.3.9. Kristallnacht (The Night of the Broken Glasses).

On November 7, in Paris, a 17-year-old German Jewish refugee shot and killed the third secretary of the German embassy. He had intended to avenge the deportation of his father to Poland and the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany by killing the German ambassador.

As revenge for this shooting, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, and Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS after Heinrich Himmler, ordered "spontaneous demonstrations" of protest against the Jewish citizens of Munich. They ordered the destruction of Jewish homes and businesses. The local police were not to interfere with the rioting stormtroopers, and as many Jews as possible were to be arrested and deported to concentration camps.

In Heydrich's report to Hermann Goering after Kristallnacht, the damage was assessed: "...815 shops destroyed, 171 houses set on fire or destroyed... 119 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed... 20,000 Jews were arrested, 91 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36..."

The extent of the destruction was actually greater than reported. Later estimates were that as many as 7,500 Jewish shops were looted, and there were several incidents of rape. This, in the ideology of Nazism, was worse than murder, because the racial laws forbade intercourse between Jews and gentiles. The rapists were expelled from the Nazi Party and handed over to the police for prosecution. And those who killed Jews? They "cannot be punished," according to authorities, because they were merely following orders.

To add insult to massive injury, those Jews who survived the monstrous pogrom were forced to pay for the damage inflicted upon them. Insurance firms teetered on the verge of bankruptcy because of the claims. Hermann Goering came up with a solution: Insurance money due the victims was to be confiscated by the state, and part of the money would revert back to the insurance companies to keep them afloat.

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8.3.10. Nazi Racial Measures and the SS.

After president Hindenburg's death in August 1934, Hitler became head of state as well as head of government, and was formally named as leader and chancellor. As head of state, Hitler became supreme commander of the armed forces. He began to mobilize for war. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations, and Hitler announced a massive expansion of Germany’s armed forces.

A main Nazi concept was the notion of racial hygiene. New laws banned marriage between non-Jewish and Jewish Germans, and deprived "non-Aryans" of the benefits of German citizenship. Hitler's early eugenic policies targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities, and later authorized a euthanasia program for disabled adults. The Holocaust was also conducted under the auspices of racial hygiene. Between 1939 and 1945, Nazis and their collaborators were responsible for the deaths of 11 million to 14 million people, including about 6 million Jews, representing two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. Deaths took place in concentration and extermination camps and through mass executions. Other persecuted groups included Poles, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and trade unionists, among others.

The Schutzstaffel, translated to Protection Squadron or defence corps, abbreviated SS—or external image 16px-Schutzstaffel_SS.svg.png with stylized "Armanen" sig runes) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP). It began at the end of 1920 as a small, permanent guard unit made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for Nazi Party meetings in Munich. Later, in 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and renamed the "Schutz-Staffel". Under Himmler's leadership (1929–45), it grew from a small paramilitary formation to one of the largest and most powerful organizations in the Third Reich. Built upon theNazi ideology, the SS under Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II(1939–45). The SS, along with the Nazi Party, was declared a criminal organization by the International Military Tribunal, and banned in Germany after 1945.

The nature of the SS was based on an ideology. The SS also stressed total loyalty and obedience to orders unto death. It became a powerful tool used by Hitler and the Nazi state for political ends. A main ideology of the SS was to fight against "sub-humans": jewish and Bolsheviks.

After 1934, the running of Germany's concentration camps was placed under the total authority of the SS. The SS was first organized as several battalions, each based at one of Germany's major concentration camps, the oldest of which was at Dachau. In 1939, the SS expanded into a military division, which in 1940 would become a full division within the Waffen-SS.

With the start of World War II, the SS began a large expansion that eventually would develop into three branches covering each type of concentration camp the SS operated. By 1944, there existed three divisions of the SS-TV, those being the staffs of the concentration camps proper in Germany and Austria, the labor camp system in occupied territories, and the guards and staffs of the extermination camps in Poland that were involved in the Holocaust.

Oath of the SS:

"What is your oath ?" - "I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God !"

"So you believe in a God ?" - "Yes, I believe in a Lord God."

"What do you think about a man who does not believe in a God ?" - "I think he is overbearing, megalomaniac and foolish; he is not one of us."

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8.3.11. Holocaust.

Soon after they took power, the Nazis began their persecutions with several anti-Jewish laws, including the Nuremberg Laws (1935), which defined Jews according to 'racial' criteria and stripped them of citizenship. However, the Nazis at first refrained from major acts of violence.

By late 1938, the Nazis could claim an impressive series of successes. Germany had staged the 1936 Olympics, annexed Austria and part of Czechoslovakia, and was in the midst of a strong economic recovery fuelled by rearmament. These triumphs had increased the Nazis' popularity and their confidence. President Hindenburg had died and all opposition parties had been abolished. The last conservatives in the cabinet had been replaced by Nazis. The way was clear for radical action.

On the night of 9-10 November 1938, Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr Josef Goebbels organised the violent “Night of broken glass”. Nazi stormtroopers in civilian clothes burned down synagogues and broke into Jewish homes throughout Germany and Austria, terrorising and beating men, women and children. Ninety-one Jews were murdered and over 20,000 men were arrested and taken to concentration camps. Afterwards the Jewish community was fined one billion Reichsmarks to pay for the damage.

After that, Jewish businesses were expropriated, private employers were urged to sack Jewish employees, and offices were set up to speed emigration. Imprisoned Jews could buy freedom if they promised to leave the country. By September 1939, half of Germany's 500,000 Jews had fled, as had many Jews from Austria and the German-occupied parts of Czechoslovakia.

Organised killing began with the beginning of war in September 1939, but the first victims were not Jews. The Nazis set about killing people with physical and mental disabilities, whom they regarded as a burden on the state and a threat to the nation's 'racial hygiene'. About 170,000 people were eventually killed under this so-called Euthanasia programme.

When the Nazis occupied western Poland in 1939, two-thirds of Polish Jews, Europe's largest Jewish community, fell into their hands. The Polish Jews were rounded up and placed in ghettos, where it is estimated that 500,000 people died of starvation and disease.

With the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22 1941, the Nazis launched a crusade against 'Judaeo-Bolshevism', the supposed Jewish-Communist conspiracy. Behind the front lines, four police battalions called Einsatzgruppen(operations groups) moved from town to town in the occupied Soviet territories, rounding up Jewish men and suspected Soviet collaborators and shooting them. Using local volunteers, the Einsatzgruppentargeted Jewish women and children as well. In total, the Einsaztgruppenmurdered some two million people, almost all Jews.

The Final Solution

While these massacres were happening, the Nazis elsewhere were laying plans for an overall 'solution to the Jewish question'. Death camp operations began in December 1941 at Semlin in Serbia and Chelmno in Poland, where people were killed by exhaust fumes in specially modified vans, which were then driven to nearby sites where the bodies were plundered and burnt. 250,000 Jews were killed this way at Chelmno and 15,000 at Semlin.

More camps opened in the spring and summer of 1942, when the Nazis began systematically clearing the ghettos in Poland and rounding up Jews in western Europe for 'deportation to the East'. The killing of the Polish Jews was carried out in three camps: Treblinka, near Warsaw (850,000 victims); Belzec, in south-eastern Poland (650,000 victims); and Sobibor, in east-central Poland (250,000 victims). Some Jews from western Europe were sometimes taken to these camps as well, but most were killed at the biggest and most advanced of the death camps, Auschwitz.

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INDUSTRIAL KILLING: AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU.

Originally a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners, Auschwitz was greatly expanded in 1941 with the addition of a much larger camp at nearby Birkenau. In all, Auschwitz-Birkenau and its sub-camps held 400,000 registered prisoners including 205,000 Jews, 137,000 Poles, 21,000 Gypsies, 12,000 Soviet soldiers and 25,000 others (including a few British soldiers).

But Auschwitz-Birkenau became more than a concentration camp. In the spring of 1942 gas chambers were built at Birkenau and mass transports of Jews began to arrive. The great majority of the Jews were gassed immediately. These gassing operations were greatly expanded in the spring of 1943 with the construction of four new gas chamber and crematorium complexes. Each crematorium could handle 2,000 victims daily. In a nearby group of barracks, nicknamed 'Canada' by the prisoners, victims' belongings were sorted for transportation to the Reich. The victims' hair was used to stuffmattresses; gold teeth were melted down and the gold deposited to an SS account.

In all about 900,000 people were gassed at Birkenau without ever being registered as prisoners, almost all of them Jews. This brought the total death toll of the Auschwitz complex to about 1.1 million, of whom one million were Jewish.

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THE END OF HOLOCAUST.

As Allied forces began to close in on Germany in 1944, Germans began digging up and burning the bodies of those killed by the Einsatzgruppen. Prisoners remaining in Auschwitz and other concentration camps were transported or force-marched to camps within Germany. Thousands of prisoners on these death marches died of starvation, exhaustion and cold, or were shot for not keeping up the pace. Jewish prisoners were concentrated at Bergen-Belsen.

When British troops came across the camp on 15 April 1945, they encountered 10,000 unburied corpses, a typhus epidemic and 60,000 sick and dying prisoners into overcrowded barracks without food or water.










8.3.12. ODESSA.

The ODESSA, from the German Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning “Organisation of Former SS Members,” is an international Nazi network set up towards the end of World War II by a group of SS officers. The purpose of the ODESSA was to establish and facilitate secret escape routes, l to allow SS members to avoid their capture and prosecution for war crimes. Most of those fleeing Germany and Austria were helped to South America and the Middle East.

Adolf Eichmann was a Gen nazi SS (lieutenant colonel) and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust. Eichmann was charged by Reinhard Heydrichwith facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportationof Jewsto ghettosand extermination campsin German-occupied Eastern Europe during World War II. In 1960, he was captured in Argentinaby the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service. Following a widely publicised trial in Israel, he was found guilty of war crimes and hanged in 1962.

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Josef Mengele was a SS officer and physician in Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He was notorious for the selection of victims to be killed in the gas chambers and for performing unscientific and often deadly human experiments on prisoners. After the war, he fled to South America, where he evaded capture for the rest of his life.Mengele used Auschwitz as an opportunity to continue his anthropological studies and research on heredity, using inmates for human experimentation. The experiments were unscientific and had no regard for the health or safety of the victims. He was particularly interested in identical twins, people with heterochromia iridum (eyes of two different colours), dwarfs, and people with physical abnormalities. Witness Vera Alexander described how he sewed two Romani twins together back to back in an attempt to create conjoined twins. The children died of gangrene after several days of suffering.Assisted by a network of former SS members, Mengele sailed to Argentina in July 1949. He initially lived in and aroundBuenos Aires, then fled to Paraguay in 1959 and Brazil in 1960 while being sought by West Germany, Israel, and Nazi hunterssuch as Simon Wiesenthal so that he could be brought to trial.
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UNIT 9. WORLD WAR II.

World War II
World War II Pictures and Videos



UNIT 10. SPAIN: 20TH CENTURY.

10.1. ALFONSO XIII AND PRIMO DE RIVERA DICTATORSHIP ()

10.2. II REPUBLIC ().