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Answer 1. Nazism became popular in Germany by 1930 on account of various reasons. The most apparent being the Great Depression. The Weimar Republic did little to remedy the country’s economic downfall, and Hitler was presented as a saviour to the humiliated German people living in economic and political crises. Nazi propaganda stirred hopes in times when banks were shut down, unemployment reigned and destitution was a common sight. At such a time, Hitler promised jobs, restoration of national dignity and a better future. Consequently, by 1932, the Nazi Party became the largest party with 37% votes in the Reichstag.
Answer 2. The peculiar features of Nazi thinking are a belief in racial hierarchy and Lebensraum or living space. Hitler and his followers believed that Nordic German Aryans were at the top, while the Jews formed the lowest rung of the racial ladder. They believed that only the strongest race would survive and rule, and for them, this race was that of the Aryans.
Regarding living space, the Nazis were of the idea that new lands must be gained for settlement, and for enhancing the material resources and power of Germany. Nazi views were largely a mouthpiece of Hitler’s own ideology.
(i) Nazis believed in the idea of one people, one empire and one leader.
(ii) It did not tolerate other parties and tried to crush all other organizations and parties and wanted to remove socialism, communism and democracy from Germany.
(iii) According to Nazism there was no equality between people. In this view, the blue eyed Nordic German Aryans were at the top while the Jews were located at the lowest rung.
(iv) It was propagated that the Jews were responsible for the economic misery of the Germans.
(v) Nazis propagated war and glorified aggression.
(vi) Nazis believed in the idea of Lebensraum on living space, i.e., new areas should be acquired so that more space is available for the Germans to settle.
(vii) Nazis wanted to create a separate racial community of pure Germans by physically eliminating all those who were seen as undesirable by them.
(viii) The Nazi argument was simple. The strongest race would survive and the weak ones would perish.
(ix) The Aryan race was the finest. It had to retain its purity, become stronger and dominate the world.