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Key pointsMussoliniHitlerA Jewish person in Nazi GermanyReview QuestionsAnswers

Europe After World War 1

Key points

This section of the exam paper concentrates on the main political developments in Europe from the end of world war one to the end of world war two. The key topics that you should study are as follows:

World war one - you only need to know this very briefly.

  • Who were the main countries involved?
  • Where did most fighting take place?
  • When did the war begin and end
  • What made this war so different than previous wars?

Treaty of Versailles

  • Who drew it up?
  • Where was it signed?
  • When was it signed?
  • What did it say?


  • Early life
  • Rise to power
  • Achievements
  • Involvement in war
  • Fall from power


  • Background
  • Rise to power
  • Domestic policies
  • Foreign policies
  • Involvement in war
  • Fall from power

Jewish persecution

  • Why were Jewish people hated by Nazis?
  • When did persecution really begin?
  • What happened to Jewish people?
  • Consequences

World War Two

  • Causes - who is to blame?
  • War in western europe
  • War in eastern europe
  • Role of USA
  • V-E day
  • V-J day
  • What made it different?


Early life

  • Born Italy 1883
  • Fought in W.W.I
  • Wounded – discharged
  • Angry with Treaty of Versailles
  • Angry with treatment of Italy

Involvement in politics

  • Fascist party formed
  • Very Nationalistic
  • Very anti-Communist
  • Own private army – Blackshirts
  • Massive street riots

His achievement of power

  • Italy in chaos
  • Mussolini wanted to “March on Rome” 
  • King very scared and in a panic
  • Makes Mussolini PM.
  • Part of Coalition government

Forming a Dictatorship

  • Dictatorship quickly formed
  • Only one party allowed
  • Secret police everywhere
  • Very strict censorship
  • Propaganda used widely

The economy of Italy

  • Economy controlled
  • Corporations formed
  • Controlled by Fascists
  • Motorways built
  • Marshes drained
  • Increased food production

Relations with the Catholic Church

  • Lateran Treaty signed with Pope
  • Vatican state formed
  • Catholic church - official religion
  • More support for Mussolini

Foreign policy aims

  • 1930’s – wanted an Italian empire
  • 1935 – invaded Abyssinia
  • Condemned by most nations
  • Supported by Germany
  • Special alliance formed

World War II

  • Italy joined with Germany
  • Fought allies in Africa
  • Italian army defeated
  • People turned against Mussolini
  • Shot dead in 1945

Adolf Hitler

Early life

  • Born Austria 1889
  • Failed to enter art college
  • Lived in Vienna
  • Joined German army in 1914
  • Fought on western front
  • Injured in action
  • Awarded iron cross for bravery

After the war

  • Very angry with Treaty of Versailles
  • Worked as army spy after war
  • Spied on political party meetings
  • Joins a Party and changes name to Nazi Party
  • Very gifted speaker
  • Becomes leader of Nazi party
  • Private army formed - Stormtroopers (SA)

Rebellion and jail

  • Organises a rebellion in Munich
  • Rebellion crushed
  • Hitler and leaders jailed
  • Wrote “Mein Kampf” in jail
  • Contains azi ideas and plans
  • Released in 1924
  • Nazi party very small and weak

Rise to power

  • Wall Street crash in 1929
  • Major economic crisis in Germany
  • Unemployment reaches over 6 million
  • Nazi ideas win huge support
  • Largest party in 1932
  • January 1933 - Hitler appointed Chancellor

Hitler in power

  • Reichstag building burned
  • Hitler blamed communists
  • Communist party banned
  • Enabling Act passed- 1933
  • Majority of parliament agreed
  • Hitler could rule by decree
  • End of democracy in Germany
  • SA became a threat
  • Over 2 million members
  • Leader criticised Hitler
  • Over 400 SA killed by SS
  • Called “Night of the long knives
  • Secret police formed (Gestapo)
  • Only Nazi party allowed
  • No unions allowed
  • Concentration camps opened
  • German President dies
  • New title for Hitler - Fuhrer
  • Army swore oath of loyalty to him

Control of young people

  • Education strictly organised
  • Subjects carefully selected
  • Youth movements formed
  • Aim – prepare young for war

Very strict censorhip

  • Dr. Goebbels minister in charge
  • Public burning of banned books
  • No freedom of the press allowed
  • Huge public rallies

Tackled unemployment problem

  • Huge public works schemes
  • New road system developed - the Autobahn
  • New jobs in arms factories
  • Massive increase in army numbers
  • New peoples car produced - VW Beetle
  • Strikes forbidden – wages controlled

A Jewish person in Nazi Germany


  • Hitler appointed Chancellor
  • First Concentration Camp opened at Dachau
  • SA organise first nation-wide boycott of Jewish shops
  • Jews excluded from jobs in Civil service
  • Jews banned from College lecturing positions
  • Jews banned from Journalism


  • Nuremberg Race Law passed
  • Marriage and sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews prohibited
  • Jews deprived of the right to citizenship
  • Jews forbidden to fly German flag


  • Jews required to report all financial interests and property
  • All Jews to carry ID cards
  • Jewish passports marked with a J
  • May no longer attend plays, concerts
  • All Jewish children to attend their own schools
  • May no longer attend German Universities
  • All Jews must hand over drivers’ licenses
  • Kristallnacht - mass destruction of Jewish property
  • Thousands of Jewish men arrested - sent to camps
  • Jews could no longer own or manage a business


  • Jews placed under a curfew
  • Forced to hand over valuables and jewels
  • Not allowed to have a radio
  • Had to wear a yellow Star of David
  • No longer allowed to have a phone
  • More and more Jews taken into “protective custody”
  • Jewish ghettos created in many German cities
  • As WWII began many moved to forced labour camps


  • Poland invaded and placed under Nazi control
  • Huge Jewish population there
  • Rounded up and moved to urban ghettos
  • Jewish businesses, homes and property confiscated
  • Invasion of USSR in June 1941
  • Einsatzgruppen moved in after the army
  • Nearly 70,000 Jews rounded up and killed
  • Wansee Conference takes place in 1942
  • A “Final Solution to the Jewish problem” is decided on
  • Mass extermination facilities created at centres in Poland
  • Jews transported from all Nazi occupied countries
  • Approx. 6 million die in Death camps

Review Questions

1. When did World War One occur and how long did it last?
2. Name some of the main countries involved.
3. What made War World One so different than all previous wars?
4. List the main terms of the Versailles Treaty
5. Name the main world leaders who drew up the Treaty of Versailles
6. Why was the League of Nations created?
7. Why was the League so weak?
8. Explain what Communism means?
9. What was the first Communist country in the world?
10. Why did people in some European countries support Communism?
11. What did all Dictators have in common?
12. What were the main problems in Italy after WWI?
13. What were the main aims of Mussolini’s Fascist Party?
14. Who were the Blackshirts?
15. Why was the March on Rome so important?
16. In what ways did Mussolini destroy democracy?
17. How did Mussolini use propaganda?
18. Why were the Secret Police so important for Mussolini?
19. Why did Mussolini order the attack on Ethiopia?
20. What was the Rome-Berlin Axis?
21. What happened to Italy during WWII?
22. Why did many Italian people turn against Mussolini in 1945?
23. What happened to Germany after WWI?
24. Why were many German people angry about the Treaty of Versailles?
25. What were the major problems facing Germany in the 1920’s?
26. Where was Adolf Hitler born?
27. What is meant by anti-Semitism?
28. Name the political party of Hitler
29. Who were the SA and the SS?
30. Why was Hitler jailed in 1923?
31. What are three  main ideas contained in Mein Kampf?
32. What problems did the Wall Street Crash create for Germany?
33. When and Why did Hitler become Chancellor of Germany?
34. Explain what the Enabling Act was.
35. What happened on the Night of the long Knives?
36. Why was Hitler popular with a majority of German people in the period after 1933
37. Who were the Gestapo?
38. What was Dachau?
39. What were the Nuremburg Laws?
40. What happened on ‘Kristallnacht’?
41. What was meant by the ‘Final Solution’?
42.  What were Hitler’s main foreign policy aims?
43.  List 3 ways that Hitler broke the treaty of Versailles?
44.  What was meant by ‘appeasement’?
45.  What was the Anschluss?
46.  What was the main result of the Munich conference of 1938?
47.  What caused the outbreak of WWII?
48.  What was meant by a ‘blitzkrieg’ war?
49.  What happened at Dunkirk?
50.  What happened to France during World War Two?
51.  What was the Battle of Britain?
52.  What happened during the Blitz?
53.  What was ‘Operation Barbarossa’ and what were the main   consequences?
54.  Why did the USA enter WWII?
55.  What was D-Day?
56.  Who were the main Allied military commanders in WWII?
57.  Who were the main German commanders in WWII?
58.  What brought WWII to a final end?
59.  How was WWII different from all previous wars?
60.  What were the Nuremberg trials?


1. It began in 1914 and lasted 4 years.

2. France, Britain and Russia fought against Germany, Turkey and Austria. Italy joined in 1915 and the USA in 1917. Both fought against Germany.

3. It lasted longer than anyone thought possible. Most of the fighting took place in trenches dug by both sides. New and more deadly weapons were used for the first time such as poison gas, tanks, huge shells, planes and machine guns. Over 9 million died in the war.

4. Germany had to accept FULL responsibility for the war and had to pay a huge bill for all the damage caused. Germany was only allowed an army of 100,000 men and was not allowed to have any U-Boats or airforce. Union with Austria was forbidden and the Rhineland was to remain a de-militarised zone.

5. Clemenceau of France, Lloyd George of Britain and President Wilson of the USA.

6. It was set up after WWI and was mainly the idea of President Wilson of the USA. The idea was to get countries to join and to settle disputed by negotiation rather than going to war and creating the misery and carnage of the previous few years.

7. The USA never joined which came as a major surprise. Also, it had no army of it’s own to enforce any decisions made by the Council of the League.

8. This was a political system which wanted to abolish private ownership of property and wanted the State to control all industry and agriculture
9. The USSR after a Revolution led by Lenin in 1917.

10. People were sure that a Communist system would bring better equality for all people. Poor people believed that the State would look after them better.

11. All very nationalistic, believed their race was superior, anti-Communist, wanted total control.

12. Massive unemployment, constant strikes, street riots , anger over the way Italy had been treated in the Versailles treaty.

13. To make Italy a strong, powerful nation.

14. Private army of Mussolini who attacked socialists and communists.

15. Mussolini threatened to take power by force. The Prime Minister wanted the King to declare martial law and defeat the Fascists. However, the King was scared for his own position so he made Mussolini the new Prime Minister in a coalition government.

16. He banned all political parties except the Fascist Party. He was able to rule by decree which means he could rule without Parliament. He also created his own secret police and introduced very strict censorship.

17. He used newspapers and radio to make himself look like a superman.

18. He used them to spy on people to make sure there was no opposition allowed to Fascist rule.

19. Because he wanted a great Italian empire, just like the glory days of the old Roman Empire.

20. This was a military alliance between Hitler and Mussolini which began in the mid 1930’s and became the Pact of Steel in 1939.

21. They joined the war on the side of Germany and fought many battles in north Africa where they were beaten by the Allies.

22. Because the Allies landed in Italy and defeated their army and there was a lot of destruction of property. Mussolini tried to escape to Germany. He was captured by partisans and executed in April 1945.

23. A new State was created called the Weimar Republic which had to accept the treaty of Versailles.

24. They felt it was unfair because they had to take all the blame for causing the Great war of 1914-18 and pay for all the damage caused.

25. Massive unemployment, money became almost worthless and government often collapsed leading to more elections.

26. Austria.

27. A hatred of Jewish people.

28. Nazi party.

29. SA were Hitler’s private army (stormtroopers) and the SS were his elite bodyguards.

30. Because he led a rebellion in the city of Munich which was crushed by the army. This was called the Munich Putsch and his aim had been to overthrow the government of Bavaria, a State in Southern Germany.

31. The Aryan race are superior, that the Versailles treaty should be overturned and that German people deserved more living space (lebensraum). Communism was a great evil.

32. Because American banks collapsed and no more loans were sent to Germany. This closed thousands of factories and  this created massive unemployment of well over 6 million by 1932.

33. January 1933 and  he promised the German people that he would solve the jobs crisis and restore German pride. His anti-Communism won him support from many large business leaders. He was also a very gifted speaker and he was able to convince large numbers of people to vote for his Party.

34. The Enabling Act allowed Hitler to rule by decree and it marked the end of democracy in Germany.

35. Hundreds of SA members whom Hitler did not trust were killed by the SS on Hitler’s orders. The leader of the SA, Ernst Rohm was also killed.

36. His greatest achievement was to significantly reduce unemployment by creating jobs in arms factories, by starting huge public-works programmes and by increasing the size of the army.

37. Hitler’s secret police who operated all over Nazi Germany to put down all opposition.

38. It was the first concentration camp built in Germany, and the first people in it were mainly socialists and communists.

39. Deprived all Jewish Germans of the right to citizenship and marriage between Jews and non-Jews was forbidden.

40. Hundreds of Jewish people were attacked and killed, thousands were arrested and large number of Jewish businesses were destroyed.

41. This was the plan of Hitler to wipe out the whole Jewish population of Europe. Six Death Camps were built in Poland for this.

42. Hitler wanted to smash the treaty of Versailles, get more living space for Germans.

43. He expanded the German army, he created a German airforce, he united Germany with Austria.

44. This was when the leaders of France and Britain gave in to Hitler’s demands in order to prevent war at all costs.

45. This was the union of Germany and Austria.

46. Hitler was allowed to take control of a German speaking part of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland. The British leader Chamberlain was one of those who agreed to this.

47. The invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939.

48. This was a new type of war. First planes attacked and bombed targets. Then tanks were sent in. And finally large numbers of troops on trucks moved in to take control. This was first used in Poland by the Germans.

49. Large numbers of French and British troops were completely surrounded by the German army. They were forced to evacuate from the port of Dunkirk. Every available boat was sent over from Britain to do this.

50. All of northern and western France came completely under German control. Hitler walked in victory under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The Southeast of France had a government of its own. It was called Vichy France because it was based in the town of Vichy. It was very pro-German.

51. This was when the German airforce attacked Britain. Battles took place between the Luftwaffe and the RAF. Both sides suffered huge losses. However Britain had the great advantage of radar.

52. This was when Hitler decided to change his tactics. Instead of attacking the RAF, the Luftwaffe bombed British cities every night for nearly six months. Huge damage was caused and thousands were killed. Worst hit were London and Coventry.

53. This was the German attack on the USSR in the summer of 1941.

54. Because Japan attacked their main naval base at Pearl harbour. Japan was on the side of Germany in WW2.

55. This was when the Allies launched a massive beach landing of troops in Normandy in France in June 1944. They then began to drive the Germans out of France.

56. General Montgomery and General Eisenhower.

57. General Rommel.

58. When the USA dropped 2 atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in august 1945. Over 100,000 people were killed instantly. Japan then surrendered and this was the end of WW2.

59. Millions more died, blitzkrieg war used, millions of civilians died, atomic bombs used for first time.

60. This was when the leaders of Nazi Germany were put on trial at the end of WW2.

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