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History of Germany: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Michael Gott

Mike is a veteran of the New Hampshire public school system and has worked in grades 1-12. His role has varied from primary instructor to special needs support.

Germany went through many changes since World War II and was split into two countries. East Germany thrived while West Germany was left in ruins. Germany is now one of the most industrialized and technologically advanced countries in the world.

Germany: Europe's Comeback Kid

Once you fall, you have to pick yourself back up. After being left in ruins after both World War I and World War II, Germany has rebuilt itself to become one of the strongest countries in Europe today.

World War I

A need for raw materials and nationalism in Germany and many European countries in 1914 led to World War I . Nationalism is the belief that your country is better than others and, because of this, can take any action it wants. German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II gave total support to Austria-Hungry's war effort against Serbia, and its allies. This was very bad for Germany when the war ended. Germany was defeated and held primarily responsible for the fighting by the victorious countries.

Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, ended World War I and forced Germany to take full responsibility for World War I. This meant they had to pay for every country's costs during the war, as well as give up valuable land.

Worldwide Depression

Ten years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, a worldwide economic crisis began. This was known as the Great Depression. This resulted in fewer resources, jobs and less money. Countries like Germany suffered more than others during this time because they were already struggling with these problems.

In attempt to create jobs, Germany made their military larger. Germany was proud of its built-up military and was eager to find excuses to use it in the pursuit of more resources.

Adolf Hitler Promises to Fix Germany

Since most Germans didn't feel it was fair to be blamed for World War I, they became desperate. It was then they turned to a man named Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler promised to make Germany great again, and blamed various groups of people both inside and outside of Germany for the problems the country faced.

After Adolf Hitler was elected, his Nazi party took over the country by force. He became the ruler of Germany, and Germans who opposed him, or tried to alert the people of these actions, were murdered. During World War II, the Nazi party also murdered people based on their race or religion. These killings are known as the Holocaust.

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