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A Democracy Destroyed

Student introduction

A study of history can teach us what democracy involves, and how to deal with attacks on or threats to it.

We need to be clear about the part we might play and the parts played by those in power.

Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party came to power in Germany by promising a better life than democracy seemed to have provided and by playing on people's fears. People felt threatened by civil disorder and economic collapse. A majority of Germans were persuaded to give democracy up, to trade democracy for dictatorship.

The results were catastrophic for Germany, and for the whole world. How did this destruction of democracy occur? Was democracy taken from the German people, or did they give it up in exchange for security and development? Could and should the German people have opposed this process? And what lessons might there be in this history for Australia today? These are the key issues focused on in this unit.

Back to 'A Democracy Destroyed - At a glance'

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