CHC2D Grade 10 Academic History – WW2 Key Terms


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World War II

Key Terms

Weimar Republic: Unofficial name for Germany (1919-1933).
Totalitarianism: A form of rule in which the government attempts to maintain “total” control

over society, including all aspects of public and private lives of its citizens.

Fascism: A form of totalitarianism government, in which it emphasizes a belief in national superiority.

Nazism: An extreme form of fascism that emphasizes not only national but racial superiority. It focuses on anti-semitism.

Communism: A form of totalitarian government which in theory, creates a classless society in which there shared and common ownership. However in reality, it created an absolute oppressive, and single-party government.

Fasces: Original symbol of Italian fascism. A bundle of sticks featuring and axe which represents power over life and death.

Swastika: Representing the Third Reich, the Nazis argues the Swastika was a symbol of the Aryan race. Red symbolizes the social idea of the Nazi movement, white as the national idea, and black as the symbol of the Aryan struggle.

German Workers Party: The original name for the Nazi Party. Also known as the DAP, founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler, the party was a right wing political party.

NSDAP: In 1920, DAP was renamed to the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party, as known as the Nazi Party for short.

Anton Drexler: The founder of the original German Workers Party.
Mein Kampf: Hitler’s autobiography written in prison. It outlines Hilter’s ideology and visions

for Germany.
Third Reich: The new era for Germany Hitler says it will last 1000 years.

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Munich Putsch (Beer Hall Putsch): It was Hilter’s and Nazi’s attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923. Hilter failed and was imprisoned from 1927-1928.

Reichstag: The German equivalent of parliament.
Gestapo: A secret police task force under Hitler’s control. Along with the SA they were known

as the “brownshirts”.

SA: (Sturmabteilung) were early private Nazi soldiers that protected Nazi leaders and opposed rival political parties.

SS: (Schutzstaffel)) were Hitler’s defence corps. They were an elite force from with and without SA.

Hitler Youth: A training program for young male and females to learn how to become a good Nazi in the future.

Wehrmacht: The German Army.

Luftwaffe: The German Air Force.

Einsatzgruppen: Nazi Mobile killing units.

Lebensraum: “Living space”.

Volk: ‘The people/nation/race’ of Aryan Germans.

Adolf Hitler: The German Chancellor (Fuhrer) from 1933-1945. He was the leader of the Nazi Party.

Joseph Goebbels: The minister of propaganda. He was responsible for what Germans see, read and hear.

Heinrich Himmler: The head of the SS and Chief overseer of the final solution

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Herman Goering: The commander of the Luftwaffe.

Adolf Eichmann: The architect of the holocaust.

Benito Mussolini: “II Duce”. The leader of the National Fascist Party from 1922-1943.

Brownshirts: Stormtroopers, SA.

Blackshirts: Mussolini’s army that violently suppressed all oppositions. Hitler’s defence corps (SS).

Stab in the Back Myth: A belief spread by Nazis that German did not lose WWI, but was instead betrayed by the Home Front who “surrendered”. This fuelled anti-semitism in Germany.

Appeasement: A policy of trying to stop aggressive behaviour by giving the aggressor what they want.

Neville Chamberlain: Britain PM (1937-1940), who was famous for his foreign policy of appeasement.

Winston Churchill: British Prime Minister (1940-1945), during WWII. Wanted a hard stance against Hitler and was against appeasement.

Munich Agreement: The leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Germany meet in Munich to discuss Hitler’s demands in the Sudetenland. In the end, Hitler ignores the agreement and eventually takes over the rest of Czechoslovakia.

Isolationism: When a country does not get involved in international issues and events but instead, focuses on issues at home. During the 20’s and 30’s, the U.S. adopted a policy isolation.

Phony War: A period when no fighting took place. In WWII, it was between September 1939 to May 1940. While the Allies were not ready, Germany continued to conquer Europe.

Non-Aggression Pact: A treaty of non-aggression in which Germany and the Soviet Union promised to not invade each other, not to ally with the enemy, and to devise plans of betrayal. As known as Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

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Blitzkrieg: German term meaning “lightning warfare”. By utilizing planes, tanks and soldiers, all forces would charge deep into enemy territory before spreading out.

Maginot Line: A defence strategy by the French, in which heavily fortified trench were built. Nichy France: Southern France was given a “puppet government” in the town of France. R(C)AF: Royal (Canadian) Air Force.

Blitz: After a retaliated bombing from Britain on Berlin, Hitler redirected bombing raids from Britain airfields to the capital city of London for 57 nights. This gave the RAF time to repair their airfields and build planes.

Pearl Harbor: On December 7th, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pear Harbor, Hawaii. As a result, FDR asks congress to declare a state of war against Japan and its Allies on December 8th.

Black Christmas: In the Battle of Hong Kong, Canadians fought hard but were forced to surrender on Christmas Day, 1941

Red Army: The army of the Soviet Union.

Mouseholing: A military strategy developed by the Canadians based on the door-to-door combat. Soldiers would blast a hole through the side wall, drop grenades, enter the house and repeat.

D-Day: On June 6th, 1944, under air and naval cover, the Allies launched Operation Overlord, ferrying almost 160 000 soldiers to the beaches of Normandy.

“The Beaches”: Each Allied nation was responsible for capturing a different beach: USA; Omaha and Utah, Britain; Sword and Gold, & Canada; Juno

Operation Dynamo: The evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. The operation provided a morale boost for the Allies when they were on the brink of defeat.

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Operation Barbarossa: Code name for Germany’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union beginning 22 June, 1941. Result; two-front war (Allies in West, Soviets in East). Soviet Union joins Allies.

Operation Overlord: Code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied plan to launch a successful invasion of German-occupied western Europe during WWII.

Operation Reinhard: (1941) Nazi plan to murder all Jews of occupied Poland
The Rhine Offensive: Liberating the Netherlands- 175 000 Canadian soldiers liberated the

Dutch from German occupation.

Plebiscite: A vote by citizens on a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question asked by the government. Internment Camps: Japanese-Canadian sent to internment camps by government.

Internment Camps: Canadian government took action against Japanese-Canadians, some went to internment camps.

Concentration Camps vs Death Camps: Death camps were made to kill. Concentration camps were meant to work in, in horrible conditions

VE Day: Victory in Europe
VP Day: Victory in the Pacific.
FuhrerBunker: Where Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. Harry S Truman: Decides to use atomic bomb.
Little Boy: Name of first atomic bomb, dropped on Hiroshima. Enola Gay: Plane that dropped “Little Boy” bomb.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Little boy, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Fat Man, the second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Anti-Semitism: Hatred against Jews.
Final Solution: The plan to annihilate Jews of German. Nuremberg Laws: A series of anti-semitism laws passed by Nazis Kristallnacht: (Crystal Night) Facilities macle anti-Jewish. Ghetto: Isolated part of society inhabited by a group.
Mackenzie King: Canadian Prime Minister.
Zyclon B: Killer gas used by Nazis during the holocaust.
Action T4: Nazi programs- for life unworthy of life.
Joseph Stalin: British Prime Minister.

World War II