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Political and Economic Reunion
Section 3 pg.315
7th Grade
Germany’s Dark History
• After losing WWI in 1918, the
German government had to pay
billions of dollars as punishment for
attacking other countries.
• During this time, the German
economy collapsed and prices
increased. Germans everywhere felt
Hitler and World War II
• Adolf Hitler was upset and bitter in 1918 when he learned
that Germany had lost the war.
• He promised himself that his country would never suffer
such a defeat again.
• He became deeply involved in politics, and in all his speeches
he promised to make Germany great again.
– In 1933 he becomes dictator of Germany.
• Hitler blamed the economic problems on the Jews.
• He spread hateful theories about Jews,
gypsies, and other ethnic groups in Germany
(he thought they were inferior or not as
good as Germans).
• He is responsible for the start of WWII in
• Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States joined
other nations to stop Hitler and the Germans.
• By the end of the war, Europe was in ruins.
• It wasn’t until towards the end of the war that the allies discovered the
death camps and what Germans were doing to the Jews, gypsies and
other groups.
– This horrible mass murder of six million Jews is called the Holocaust
– The deliberate murder of a racial, political, or ethnic group is called genocide.
The Cold War
At the end of the war, the Americans, the
British, the French, and the Soviets divided
The American, British, and French sections
were joined into a democratic country called
West Germany.
The Soviet Union created communist East
Berlin was in the Soviet part of Germany, but
the western half of it, called West Berlin,
became part of democratic West Germany.
The Berlin Wall divided the two halves of the
city, but it divied more tha Berlin. It was a
symbol of a divided world.
Conrad Schumann – a soldier of East Germany whose responsibility
was to prevent other citizens from escaping into West Berlin.
The Communists Weaken
-East German economy was falling
further behind the West German
*West Germans had a better life than East
Germans. So, to keep East Germans
happy, the government allowed some of
them to VISIT West Germany.
-In the late 1980’s, changes in the
Soviet Union helped to cause the
collapse of East Germany.
-The soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev made it clear that he
would not use force to protect
communism in Eastern Europe.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
• On November 9, 1989, crowds of Germans began climbing
over the wall. Some people raced to see friends and relatives,
others just wanted to enjoy a different life.
• People helped each other over the wall and crowds tore at
the wall and took it apart block by block.
• Less than a year later, the governments of East and West
Germany united.
Germany had become a single country again.