A-Level Topic Guide: Germany 1871-1991

Published: 29th January 2020

German history in the nineteenth and twentieth century is a popular area of study at A-level across the examination boards. Whichever board you are studying with and whatever the focus of your study unit on German history, the resources in this unit will support you as you develop your subject knowledge, write essays and revise. 

This resource is FREE for Corporate Secondary Members

This resource is FREE for Student HA Members.

HA Members can sign in to access this content or you can Join the HA if you are not already a member.


  • Introduction

Changing regimes

  • Introduction
  • 1848: Revolution in Germany
  • Germany after the 1848 Revolutions
  • Germany: The Two Ottos, 1848-1871
  • Bismarck, German Unification & the Rise of the German Empire
  • The German Industrial and Scientific Revolution
  • Bismarck after Fifty Years
  • Weltpolitik and German Nationalism
  • How unified was Germany in 1914
  • How democratic was Germany by 1914?
  • Verdun: the endless battle
  • Was the Weimar Republic the heir to the German Empire?
  • The End of Germany‚Äôs Colonial Empire

The Weimar Republic

  • Introduction
  • The German Revolution of 1918-19
  • The Versailles Peace Settlement
  • How stable was the Weimar Republic,1924-29
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic?

Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party

  • Introduction
  • How was the Nazi Party formed?
  • The Rise of the Nazi Party
  • The Coming of War in 1939
  • Personality and Power: the individual's role in the history of twentieth-century Europe

The collapse of democracy

  • Introduction
  • Taking tea with Frau von Papen
  • Fascism in Europe 1919-45

Nazi policies and tactics

  • Introduction
  • Nazism and Stalinism
  • What was Nazi ideology?
  • What was Hitler's role?
  • Nazi creation of a Volksgemeinschaft
  • Nazi aggression: planned or improvised?
  • The 'Era of the Dictators' reconsidered

Life in Nazi Germany

  • Introduction
  • How popular was the Nazi regime?
  • The Nazi Economy
  • German Women 1900-1945
  • Romani History

Treatment of the Jews

  • Introduction
  • From persecution to extermination
  • Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
  • Polychronicon 135: Post-modern Holocaust historiography
  • Vichy France and the Jews
  • Kristallnacht

Post-War Germany

  • Introduction
  • Did Denazification fail?
  • An Introduction to the German Democratic Republic
  • Cold War Germany
  • Life in East Germany and the collapse of the GDR

Interpretation Films

  • Introduction: Interpretations
  • Germany 1871-1945: Introduction
  • The Weimar Republic
  • Germany 1914-1929: Discussion
  • Nazi Germany
  • Germany 1945-1991: Introduction
  • The Two German Economies
  • Ideas and Ideology
  • Key Personalities and Opposition
  • Social & Cultural Change


  • Revision Quiz
  • Reading List
  • Timeline
  • Viewing, listening and fiction
  • Past Exam Papers