Hitler Rise To Power Essay, Research Paper
Adolf Hitler s Rise to Power
Adolf Hitler was a very influential man whom through many adversaries came to power in Germany, by manipulating the people of that time. Hitler a very persuasive orator, raised the ranks of the government quickly, and even after losing the 1932 election in Germany to Hindenburg, Hitler was made chancellor in 1933, which also brought total control to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or Nazi s. Hitler did not become chancellor because he was a great speaker, but he manipulated the people in Germany, by blaming the depression on Jews, and that an Arian race would end all social ills. Since the Germans were stuck in such a deep depression, they believe in Hitler and his cause, hoping it would get them out of the depression. This paper plans to explain, in detail, how Hitler abused the powers of his time to come to power by convincing the Germans that his views would end all social problems and it will show how Hitler used propaganda to influence the people s opinions in Germany. This paper will also show that if Germany was not in the position that it was during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Hitler would have never came to power and World War II would have been avoided.
Hitler was born in Braunau, Upper Austria, in 1889, the fourth child of Klara and Alois Hitler. Hitler s father worked his way up in the Austrian customs service to a position of considerable status, and as a result Hitler had a comfortable childhood. Hitler began school in 1900, and his grades were above average. It was decided that he would attend Realschule, a secondary school that prepared students for further study and emphasized modern languages and technical subjects. After having conflicting views with his father over the future, Hitler ended up failing out of Realschule. After school Hitler began to form his political views: a strong sense of German nationalism, the beginnings of anti-Semitism, and a distaste for the ruling family and political structure of Austria-Hungary. Like many German-speaking citizens of Austria-Hungary, Hitler considered himself first and foremost a German.
To understand the how s and why s Hitler came to power, one must understand what events took place leading up to Hitler coming into power. After Germany s defeat in World War I the German government was left disheveled and had to deal with the payment of extraordinary reparations given by the French and British governments. When the Germans could not afford to pay their debts, the French and Belgians seized control of the coal mines in the Ruhr industrial area in west central Germany. In January 1923, this move aggravated the Germans very much, so the government told all of the coal miners to walk out and strike. In order to get and keep the miners striking the government had to pay the strikers the money they would be making while working. In order for the German government to obtain the money needed the government had to print an immense amount of money, with enviably caused major inflation. As the inflation rose, the German currency rapidly lost value, which caused the people s life savings to be worth nothing, and the prices of food and necessities rose at an astronomical rate.
At this point the German government threw out their plans of passive resistance, and attempted to work things out. When Hitler realized what was going on he organized himself and 600 Nazi supporters to try and take over the Germany government. The vigilant group marched on a Munich beer hall where Gustav von Kahr, head of the provincial Bavarian government, was addressing a public meeting, and forced von Kahr to give the Nazis full control over the German government. After von Kahr was released, he quickly retracted his statements, outlawed the Nazi party, and ordered for the Bavarian police to crush Hitler s revolution. As Hitler marched to the center of Munich, he was caught and arrested by the state police, put before a jury and found him guilty of treason and sent to spend five years in jail, but he only serve one year of the five. Even though the revolution failed, it proved useful to Hitler; he received a great deal of publicity and learned an important lesson about the way to destroy democracy. It was not to be destroyed by outside force, but by working within its system to build up popular support, always avoiding a confrontation with its police and military power. (Flood p 466)
While in jail Hitler published his first book in 1925, Meim Kampf, which meant My Struggle. This book, the first of two, outlined Hitler s goals for how Germany should be governed. It included the making of one superior race, the Arian race, and the way Hitler wanted to achieve this perfect race was by eliminating all the other races. The book also contained Hitler s plans on Lebensraum, or living space. Hitler wanted to gain more land so that the Germans could have room to expand, and room to have huge families. Hitler explained that acquiring these lands would involve wars, but not for political or economical goals. Hitler felt the Germans need to expand their territory inorder to have more room to procreate, he felt that if many lives were lost in the wars to acquire the territory, it would be ok, because the population would be able to grow quickly in a short amount of time, due to the increased amount of room for large families to succeed.
Shortly after Hitler s release from jail in December of 1924, Hitler regained control of the Nazi party. In the years from 1925 to 1930, Hitler built up a network of local party organizations over most of Germany, and reorganized the SA. At the same time he organized the black-shirted Schutzstaffel (defense corps), or SS, to protect him, supervise and control the party, and perform police tasks. When Hitler came to power in the Nazi party, he started very quickly in raising the popularity of the party, by first entering into the 1928 election where the party only received three percent of the total votes. Although the party did not receive as many votes as they wanted, this election provided a starting point for the Nazis, because after the election of 1928 the German public knew about the Nazis and their views.
After the German republic passed the Young Plan, which was a scheme adopted in 1929 to facilitate the German payment of reparations for damage caused in World War I. The Young Plan replaced an earlier schedule of payments, the Dawes Plan, which had threatened the value of Germany’s currency. The Young Plan would bring an early end to the remaining foreign occupation of a portion of Germany. Such an event might stabilize the republic, and in fear of this, the republic s opponents organized a national initiative against the plan. This initiative provided Hitler with opportunities to speak throughout Germany. Although initiative to stop the Young Plan failed, Hitler had recruited many new followers who not only believed his message but also were willing to finance the Nazi Part. In the late 1929, the depression hit Germany at full blast and the German government was not able to cope with the major crisis and fell in March of 1930. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed a new government led by Heinrich Br ning as chancellor or prime minister. However, Br ning and the Reichstag could not agree on how to resolve the crisis. Hindenburg dissolved the legislature and operated the government by emergency decree, rather than through the normal legislative procedure.
In the new elections held that September, the Nazis scored a great electoral breakthrough, increasing their representation in the Reichstag from 12 to 107. Due to the increased number of Nazis involved in the government, many of the foreign bankers withdrew their money from the banks in German, which caused the German banking system to collapse. As the economic problems worsened, many of the German people lost interest in many of the other parties, and started looking to the Nazis, because they were the only group that seemed to have logical answers to all the problems. Much of the Nazis support came from people who had never voted before, but were drawn to the Nazi party, because of their simplistic views and how the party did not favor any one group or ideal. By the election of 1932 the Nazi party had received more votes than any other party, therefore Hitler felt that he should be made the Chancellor of German. When Hitler put his demands in front of President Hindenburg, he first refused to allow Hitler to be chancellor, but on the advice from some of his advisers the president quickly changed his mind and appointed Hitler to be chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933.
Germany s current position was not the only reason Hitler came to power, but Hitler manipulated the people during a time of crisis, the depression, by using propaganda to brain wash the people, and make Hitler and the Nazis look like the ideal Germans. As the Nazis climbed to power from the mid-1920s, Hitler increasingly monopolized the use of technology for propaganda. Most of the funding for the Nazi party came from the opponents of the Young Plan, with the money the Nazis and Hitler exploited modern media completely. Through the use of media Hitler was able to create an image of omnipresent, dominating German politics. Hitler created an image of organization and leadership, by adopting the swastika as the Nazis symbol. Hitler put the newly formed symbol over every piece of media, walls, and anywhere else the public eye would see. This served as a brainwash, because it forced the people to think about the Nazi party every time they walked down the street, or even went to a little political speech, the swastika was every where.
Hitler recognized that the fundamental theory behind propaganda is that, it must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses (Hitler p364). Hitler proved his theory correct, while he as he was rising to the position of chancellor, Hitler gave many speeches to several large numbered groups, and through the posters and use of media, Hitler made himself to be seen as the embodiment of the German ideal – a strong, courageous, and brilliant Hitler that personified a restored Germany.
Another way Hitler created an emotional field was largely from the Nazis ability to exploit German fears through propaganda. The lack of nationalism was chiseled into poster campaigns, and radio and film, which targeted the unmotivated German people.
Hitler would use such things as posters depicting the true German woman, which was a
woman surrounded by several blond blue-eye boys. Hitler also showed the ideal of German strength, with a picture of two men fighting. Effective ad campaigns created an atmosphere of fear mixed with hope, by manipulating the media like so; Hitler proved that effective campaign with brutal force won elections.
Through the use of propaganda Hitler was able to influence the people with his own thoughts and feelings, especially the ones dealing with anti-Semitism. Through the use of propaganda Hitler was able to get the German people to agree with him that the Jews were a major problem of the German society, and the only way to deal with them was to get rid of them. Hitler felt that must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan (Hitler p390). ” Hitler made sure have enough ads in the public so that every one would understand it and would follow it; Hitler wanted total support from the people.
Poster and media ads were not the only forms of propaganda in Germany, but the S.A. was created as a marching propaganda machine. The S.A. stood as a symbol of what power Germany could have if they united into one single, organized army. The S.A. also acted as an enforcer both physically and psychologically as Hitler was enlisting support. To make sure the S.A. was seen as a unified group, Hitler commanded that whenever the S.A. appeared in public they were in a closed formation. The sight of a large number of men inwardly and outwardly uniform and disciplined makes the deepest
impression on every German and speaks a more convincing and inspiring language to hisheart than speech, logic, or the written word is ever capable of doing.
In essence, the omnipresence of Hitler and the S.A. is evident in all forms of propaganda he utilized to create an almost mythical image. However, the near total success of Nazi propaganda is seen in the enormous amount of voter popularity Hitler earned. Hitler created a charismatic self-image through continual reinforcement at Hitler was a god, which in extreme cases could be considered deification. The success of election propaganda was dependent on how effectively Hitler could appear as the only choice for leading the German people. Hitler promised to solve problems common to the everyday citizen, and for the most part kept his promises. The self-promoting image of one strong leader to lead one unified nation created a national pride.
Hitler never would have became an influential leader if Germany was not in such bad shape; Hitler used the depression to his advantage, he realized that the people as well as the government were week and it would be easy for him to gain control. If there was not depression Hitler s success would have been limited, because the government would be able to put up a fight against his propaganda and would be able to keep the people from following the Nazi party. As the depression weakened the German people s self esteem Hitler took it upon himself to give the people what they wanted to hear, he promised the people a quick answer to the social problems of the time, such as unemployment, inflation, and the formation of a sound government.
Once Hitler established that Germany was ruined, and it would be easy for him to become a major political leader, he began his extensive use of propaganda, in order to
brain wash the people into choosing Hitler as a god. Not only did Hitler use posters and
media to pass his views on to the people, but also used the power of the S.A. to instill fear
into every Germans body, which would create a lower self-esteem and make Hitler seem even stronger and better. Through the use of extensive ads and the help of the S.A. s power housing the German people into a deeper desperation, Hitler quickly rose the ranks of the government and became the chancellor and even dictator of Germany. From this position and through effective ad campaigns Hitler was able to get his views and policies to be accepted by the Germans.
The major underlining point of this paper is that Hitler would not have been able to reach the position he did if the Germany government was not destroyed by the depression. If the depression never happened the people s self-esteem would not be lowered, and Hitler would not have been able to manipulate the people through powerful ad campaigns and brutal enforcement. The people would have realized that Hitler s intentions were not for the good of the Germany people, but for his own crazy needs.