Antisemitism: Opposition to and discrimination against Jews.
Aryan: A term for peoples speaking the language of Europe and India. In Nazi racial theory, a person of pure German "blood." The term "non-Aryan" was used to designate Jews, part-Jews and others of supposedly inferior racial stock.
Beer Hall Putsch /pootch/: On November 8, 1923, Hitler, with the help of SA troops and German World War I hero General Erich Ludendorff, launched a failed coup attempt in Bavaria at a meeting of Bavarian officials in a beer hall.
Brüning, Heinrich /brooning hainrikh/: Appointed by President von Hindenburg in 1930, he was the first chancellor under the new presidential system which ruled by emergency decree rather than laws passed by the Reichstag.
Bystander: One who is present at some event without participating in it.
Cabaret /kabaray/: Large restaurant providing food, drink, music, a dance floor, and floor show.
Chancellor: Chief (prime) minister of Germany.
Communism: A concept or system of society in which the collective community shares ownership in resources and the means of production. In theory, such societies provide for equal sharing of all work, according to ability, and all benefits, according to need. In 1848, Karl Marx, in collaboration with Friedrich Engels, published the Communist Manifesto which provided the theoretical impetus for the Russian Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
Enabling Act: The Enabling Act, ratified on March 23, 1933, allowed the government emergency powers: to pass decrees without referring to the president and eventually create new laws. This helped the new (Nazi) regime to establish a firm footing in the Reichstag.
Fascism: A social and political ideology with the primary guiding principle that the state or nation is the highest priority, rather than personal or individual freedoms.
Führer /fewra/: Leader. Adolf Hitler's title in Nazi Germany.
German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) /doiche abaitapatai/: As the precursor to the Nazi Party, Hitler joined the right-wing Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) in 1919. The party espoused national pride, militarism, a commitment to the Volk, and a racially "pure" Germany.
Great Depression: A deep, worldwide, economic contraction beginning in 1929 which caused particular hardship in Germany which was already reeling from huge reparation payments following World War I and hyperinflation.
Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945) /ahdolf hitla/: Nazi party leader, 1919-1945. German Chancellor,1933-1945. Called Führer, or supreme leader, by the Nazis.
Hitler Youth: Hitler Jugend /hitla yoogend/ was a Nazi youth auxiliary group established in 1926. It expanded during the Third Reich. Membership was compulsory after 1939.
Homophobia: Fear of homosexuals.
League of German Girls: Female counterpart of the Hitler Youth formed in 1927 but not formerly integrated by Hitler until 1932.
Mein Kampf /mine kahmpf/: Meaning "My Struggle," it was the ideological base for the Nazi Party's racist beliefs and murderous practices. Published in 1925, this work detailed Hitler's radical ideas of German nationalism, antisemitism, anti-Bolshevism, and Social Darwinism which advocated survival of the fittest.
Nationalism: A movement, as in the arts, based on the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.
National Socialist Women's Association: The NS Frauenschaft /frouenshahft/ was an organization intended to recruit an elite group of women for the Nazis.
National Socialist Teachers' Association: Established in 1929, it assumed responsibility for the ideological indoctrination of teachers.
The Nazi (National Socialist German Workers') Party: The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei /natsional sotsialistishe doiche abaita patai/ or NSDAP was founded in Germany on January 5, 1919. It was characterized by a centralist and authoritarian structure. Its platform was based on militaristic, racial, antisemitic and nationalistic policies. Nazi Party membership and political power grew dramatically in the 1930s, partly based on political propaganda, mass rallies and demonstrations.
Nuremberg Laws: The Nuremberg Laws were announced by Hitler at the Nuremberg Party conference, defining "Jew" and systematizing and regulating discrimination and persecution. The "Reich Citizenship Law" deprived all Jews of their civil rights, and the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" made marriages and extra-marital sexual relationships between Jews and Germans punishable by imprisonment.
Pogrom: An organized and often officially encouraged massacre of or attack on Jews. The word is derived from two Russian words that mean "thunder."
Prejudice: A judgment or opinion formed before the facts are known. In most cases, these opinions are founded on suspicion, intolerance, and the irrational hatred of other races, religions, creeds, or nationalities.
Propaganda: False or partly false information used by a government or political party intended to sway the opinions of the population.
Reich /raikh/: German word for empire.
Reichskammern /raikskaman/: Reich government departments.
Reichstag /raikhstag/: The German Parliament. On February 27, 1933, a staged fire burned the Reichstag building. A month later, on March 23, 1933, the Reichstag approved the Enabling Act which gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial power.
SA (Sturmabteilung /shtoormabtailung/ or Storm Troopers): Also known as "Brown Shirts," they were the Nazi party's main instrument for undermining democracy and facilitating Adolf Hitler's rise to power. The SA was the predominant terrorizing arm of the Nazi party from 1923 until "The Night of the Long Knives" in 1934. They continued to exist throughout the Third Reich, but were of lesser political significance after 1934.
Scapegoat: Person or group of people blamed for crimes committed by others.
Social Darwinism: A concept based on the idea of "survival of the fittest." Based on Social Darwinism, Nazis created a pseudo-scientific brand of racism which was most virulent when directed against the Jews, but others, particularly Slavs, were not exempt.
Socialism: A theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of land, capital, industry, etc. by the community as a whole. In Marxist theory it represents the stage following capitalism in a state transforming to communism.
Sudetenland /zoodeytenlahnt/: Formerly Austrian German-speaking territories in Bohemia which were incorporated into Czechoslovakia after World War I.
Treaty of Versailles /versai/: Germany and the Allies signed a peace treaty at the end of World War I. The United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy negotiated the treaty at the Peace Conference held in Versailles beginning on January 18, 1919. The German Republic government which replaced the imperial administration was excluded from the deliberations. The treaty created the Covenant of the League of Nations, outlined Germany's disarmament, exacted massive reparation payments from Germany, and forced Germany to cede large tracts of territory to various European nation-states.
Volk /folk/: The concept of Volk (people, nation, or race) has been an underlying idea in German history since the early nineteenth century. Inherent in the name was a feeling of superiority of German culture and the idea of a universal mission for the German people.
Weimar Republic /vaimahr/: The German republic, and experiment in democracy (1919-1933), was established after the end of World War I.