Date of Award
Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project
Dr. David Doellinger
Honors Program Director
Dr. Gavin Keulks
This project explores the way in which the Nazi Party used the Treaty of Versailles, which laid out the Allies’ terms of defeat for Germany after World War I, in their propaganda before 1933. The First World War had disastrous effects on Germany. The volatile conditions of post-war society created many roadblocks to recovery and left millions feeling alienated and disconnected from the newly established democratic government. The Treaty of Versailles was incredibly unpopular and factored into much anti-government propaganda during the interwar years. In my research I analyzed Nazi publications, speeches, and member testimony from 1918-1933 and discuss how the Treaty was politicized by the Party to fit their agenda. I found that the Nazi Party used the Treaty to build their movement by identifying people or groups who had caused Germany’s collapse and to justify the purging of those elements. Through the extreme rhetoric of violence and conflict the Nazi Party also used the animosity toward the Treaty of Versailles to create their own set of cultural values for Germany to rebuild the national community and restore Germany as world power.
Yonkman, Michaela, "The Treaty of Versailles and the Rise of Nazism in Germany, 1918-1933" (2021). Honors Senior Theses/Projects. 255.