GCSE Germany

GERMANY 1918-39

A series of questions and answers on Russia, Germany etc.

A website with numerous resources for Germany.

Informative and detailed article from a school in the UK all about Germany.

During the 1990’s the BBC produced a series entitled, ‘The Nazis, A Warning from History’. The title explains why so many students study this period of history. The series is aimed at a wide audience so some of the language may be difficult to understand. However, it is a fantastic series which is worth watching. The remainder series is available on Youtube although the first clip is below.

Key Topic 1– The Weimar Republic 1918 to 1933.

Pupils will analyse how the Weimar Republic struggled to hold onto power in the early years and debate whether the government was doomed from the beginning.

Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933 from Historyhome.

Weimar Republic revision podcast

1. What were the origins and early problems of the Weimar Republic 1918-22?

Weimar Republic origins from Spartacus.schoolnet.

Weimar Republic origins from the BBC.

The problems of Weimar from JohnDClare.

Weimar problems from Spartacus.schoolnet.

The Weimar Republic from Bitesize.

A podcast on the challenges to the Weimar Republic.

The various problems of the Weimar Republic in a short UK school made clip. Are there any missing?

A good explanation of the causes and consequences of hyperinflation. The first track accompanying the clip is fine but the second reminds me of the NCBIS inter-house singing competition.

A 5 minute clip asking what threats to peace were there in the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1923?

Another clip which will help revision of the Weimar Republic.

The revolts against the Weimar Republic threatened to destroy it before it had really started. The Spartacists, Freikorps and then the Nazis all took part in revolts. There were also smaller events such as the communists and nationalists to take power themselves. Below are several clips about the different revolts.

WWII-Episode 1


The Influenza Epidemic of 1918, from the History Channel.

2. To what extent was there a recovery in Germany under Gustav Stresemann from 1924 to 1929?

Stresemann years from Schoolhistory.

A short clip on Stresemann.

An essay on how far Stresemann improved Germany from Socyberty.

Gustav Stresemann from the History Learning Site.

The Stresemann Years from the BBC. Also revision ideas and tests.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact from Spartacus.

The Young Plan from Spartacus.

The Dawes Plan from Spartacus.

A common essay question for any exam board is ‘Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?’ This essay question may vary with the wording but it has been set many times. What would you need to include in this question? What skills are required to achieve the top grade? Hopefully, the following will help.

These ideas are taken from Edexcel’s markscheme.

You need a sustained argument to achieve the top marks. This means that you continue arguing with as much evidence as you can. Importantly, the evidence should be linked together and be persuasive. Bullet points and very short paragraphs do not score highly.

To begin with, the early problems of the Weimar Republic should be explained. Losing the war, November Criminals, the influenza outbreak at the end of the war, the forced acceptance of democracy and the new constitution, the Spartacist Revolt, the Treaty of Versailles, the Kapp Putsch, the violence in Germany because there was a power vacuum left after the Kaiser was forced into exile, the propaganda during the war which convinced people that they were winning the war and all of a sudden, they lost, and the new government could not govern from Berlin as a result, so Weimar was chosen as it was safer. Other problems a few years later on would be the Ruhr crisis, hyperinflation and the Munich Putsch.

These problems were severs but you should realise that they were not enough to bring down the new government of the Weimar Republic. However, were there any long-term problems which may bring down the government? You would have to identify these for level 4 in the essay question. The obvious problem is the Treaty of Versailles with its’ financial, military and political restrictions. However, just because the government survives, it does not mean that the majority of people in Germany support it. There were many who opposed it, and there would be who lived their life who acquiesced, (ignored the situation as it did not affect them). Furthermore, as long as there were economic problems in Germany, there would always be easy scapegoats…the Allied powers who won the war and signed the Treaty of Versailles and the politicians who signed the armistice. Germany’s problems were certainly still there in 1924.

3. What was the impact of the Depression on Germany 1929 to 1933?

The Rise of Hitler revision podcast

This was a period of immense suffering for the German nation. Questions on this topic are generally;

a. To what extent was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?

b. How did the support of the Nazis grow during the Depression?

The BBC on how the Wall Street Crash helped Hitler?

A valiant attempt from history teachers in the UK to explain how the Depression affected Germany.

How did the Nazis fare in the Stresemann Years?

WWII-Episode 2

Key Topic 2 – Hitler and the growth of the Nazi Party

You will have looked at the growth of the Nazi Party in the previous topic. Therefore, you will need to focus on how Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany. The Nazis became the majority political party in 1932 but their support was beginning to decline as more elections were called. Hitler therefore required circumstances to help him achieve power.

4. How did Hitler become Chancellor?

The clip above focuses on the effects of the Depression but also explains how Hitler came to power. Useful revision material.

The clip above is from the excellent ‘Nazis. A Warning from History’.

Historians today debate and argue why Hitler was able to achieve power despite the violent policies and methods of the Nazis. Even though Hitler toned down the violence during the 1920’s, the SA still disrupted opposition meetings and committed random acts of violence in the name of the Nazi party. Niall Ferguson claims that the Nazis would not have gained power if it was not for the growth of the Communist Party in Germany. They were becoming more popular and you can imagine why? Unemployment was high and the Communists were promising a sharing of wealth to solve the problems. The upper and middle class of Germany would lose their power and wealth if the Communists came to power. They therefore turned their attention to the Nazis and Hitler. Obviously many turned a blind eye to what violence took place, and perhaps, thought that once power was achieved, it would diminish.

Examples of questions on this topic area could be;

– What was the main reason why Hitler came to power? You may be given a statement here to argue against. Examples could include;

– ‘The Wall Street Crash was the main cause of Hitler coming to power’. How accurate is this quote?

– Hitler and the Nazis were destined to come to power. ‘It was his destiny’. How accurate is this quote?

Key Topic 3 – Nazi dictatorship 1933-1939.

Pupils will analyse how Adolf Hitler established a dictatorship within Germany. They will also study what methods the Nazis used to maintain control.

Hitler – Chancellor to Dictator. A powerpoint.

From Chancellor to Dictator.

A Student Room revision page on Hitler’s consolidation of power.

The Reichstag Fire

History website with a detailed page on the fire.

The Reichstag Fire from the History Place.

Night of the Long Knives

The Night of the Long Knives

How did Hitler become the dictator of Germany. The clip is produced by a UK teacher.

Why was there so little opposition to the Nazis?

The clip gives several answers to the question above. Quite why there is a 1980’s track in the background, I do not know. No complaints from me though!

Key Topic 4-Nazi domestic policies 1933-1939

Students will analyse which groups gained from Nazi rule and those which did not. They will also study the changes in society and judge themselves how much, if at all, Nazi policies improved Germany.

A school website giving useful revision advice

The NSDAP from 1914 to 1939. Great for revision.

The economy under Hitler. Can you trust the website ‘Adolf the Great’?

How did the Nazis control Germany?

Nazi Control revision podcast


The clips above are from a documentary about the Gestapo. They give an informed look analysis of the organisation. Do you think the clip below gives the same?

What was life like in Nazi Germany?

Life in Nazi Germany revision podcast

An article about Nazi animal welfare.

Is the article above sufficient to explain how the Nazis changed Germany?


Education and the Youth

How did the Nazis change the education policy in Germany? Read through the following web pages to find out.

Nazi education policy from the Spartacus website.

Useful clip but the music???

Book burning by the Nazis.

The Church

The clip above is short but limited regarding the church and its’ involvement with the church. What is missing?


Nazi Germany 1934-1939

Germany 1919-1945 The Weimar Republic

Germany 1919-1945 The Rise of Hitler

Life in Nazi Germany

How did the Nazis Keep Control?

The Stresemann Years

Examination Papers

January 2010 Question Paper

January 2010 Markscheme

June 2010 Question Paper

June 2010 Markscheme

June 2010 Examiner’s Report

January 2011 Question Paper

January 2011 Markscheme

June 2011 Question Paper

June 2011 Markscheme

January 2012 Question Paper

January 2012 Markscheme

Exam Technique

The mnemonic below will help you work out what skills are required to answer the exam questions. Your knowledge has to be very good in order to achieve a high grade on the German paper but you need to know how to apply it as well. All students must learn the mnemonic off by heart. There are 5 questions and obviously 5 different parts to the mnemonic.


SI –supported inference. What does the source suggest? What message does it give? Support this inference with evidence from the source.  ‘The source infers that …because….’. The folllowing points may help you work out the inferences;

– what is the attitude or tone of the source? Is the writer sarcastic, sad, pleased, angry, supportive etc?

SS – supported statement. You make a statement as an answer to the question and support it with evidence. The statement is usually a simple answer.

Supporting it is the hard part. Make sure you link the evidence to the statement.

DEL – you need to have developed explanations which are linked together.  A developed explanation is a paragraph. A point is made and it is explained with examples and other evidence.  To get the top mark in this question, you need to make links between the developed explanations.

DELOP – The first three letters obviously stand for Developed Explanation and Links. O is slightly more difficult. The fourth question asks ‘Explain why…?’ What was the intention of the action taken? This is the outcome. Your evidence should link to the outcome at all times. To gain full marks, you should explain which evidence is the most important? This is Priority.

DEL – as above but for the 5th question.

SAL – This is Sustained Argument with Links. A sustained argument is one where you keep on arguing a point of view using evidence. The evidence you select will require links to the other evidence you use.  You can also make two arguments in this question if you choose.

The sustained argument is a high level to achieve but with practice, you should be able to do it.  Linking causes for example is a skill you will have learned in previous years. This you can all do. Some of your evidence can be difficult to be linked together however.  Your analytical skills will be tested here.

  1. Yassin says:

    Dear sir,
    can me and mostafa please work together on the hitler assingment

    regards, yassin

  2. adamkg1915 says:

    You can work togeher but the pieces must be individual, i.e. different.

  3. Yassin says:

    dear sir,
    was my second draft essay any good

    • adamkg1915 says:


      Unfortunately, there are too many sentences from websites used in your piece. You must put everything in your own words, as this improves your understanding and is the correct process for academic work. Some of the arguments are fine but they need to be more convincing to achieve a high grade. You must think of different opinions and counter them in your piece. If you want to send me some work to check over, I will give you my email address.


  4. Yassin says:

    dear sir,

    did you mark my essay draft??


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