Essay, Research Paper
Hitler’s Rise to Power The word Hitler stirs many emotions in the hearts of people. Hitler was one of the most powerful leaders in time. The purpose of this paper is to examine Hitler’s rise to power. He rose to be one of the most powerful and manipulative leaders in World War II! Defeat in World War I shocked the German people. Despair increased as the army returned to a bankrupt country. Million of Germans could find no jobs. A weak republic had replaced the defeated empire. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). Hitler fought in World War I and continued to serve the German army. He was recognized for his valuable services and was assigned to a political section of the army. On one occasion, his anti-Semitic beliefs brought attention to him and resulted in his being assigned as an educational officer, a bildungsoffzier. His job objective was to oppose dangerous ideas such as pacifism, socialism, and democracy. This was Hitler’s first big political break. (Shirer 34-35). Hitler was sent in by the army to investigate a group called The German Workers’ Party and eventually break it up. Instead he became intrigued by their ideas and eventually became the fifty-fifth member. (Gilfond 25-26). Hitler’s first impression on The German Workers’ Party was not a positive one. As he was leaving the meeting Hitler became involved in an argument about separating the nations. His intense violent argument impressed the party leaders so much that one member pursued him and presented him with the organizations booklet. The next day, as Hitler read through the books material he was intrigued with its similarity to his own personal beliefs. Ironically that same day Hitler received notice from the organization that they had accepted him as a member. Although he intended to tell them personally he was not interested, something about The German Workers’ Party appealed to him. They were small in size, disorganized, and led by a group of misfits. Yet Hitler saw an opportunity to begin to shape a movement. (Shirer 35-38). Hitler’s jointure with The German Workers’ Party was the beginning of national socialism movement which would engulf the country, become the strongest in Europe and become Germany’s Third Reich. (Shirer 39). April 1, 1920 marked the birth of Hitler’s’ “Nazi” Party. On this day The German Workers’ Party became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party which when abbreviated in German was “Nazi.” (Shirer 50). Hitler attracted many wealthy members to his Party, their generosity help to supply arms and uniforms for the military squads, in addition it helped to finance Nazi propaganda. (Gilford 30). The German people felt defeated and humiliated at the collapse of the German empire in World War I. They were looking for a way to restore their dignity and pride. (Gilford 30). In 1923, Germany was deep in troubles. Its money had lost almost all value because of severe economic problems. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). Hitler preached German superiority, more precisely the Nordic race. His wrath was turned toward the Jews who he blamed for Germany’s defeat and humiliation. (Gilford 30-31). Hitler did not believe in total truth instead he relied on halve truths, distortions, and big lies. (Gilford 33-35). By 1923 Germany was in a dismal economic state, shops were closing, no profits in production resulted in vast unemployment. Hungry and miserable the people turned to Hitler.(Gilfond 33-35). He was a skillful schemer, politician, and organizer. He became leader of the Nazis and built up party membership quickly, partly by his ability to stir street crowds with his speeches. Hitler attacked the government, and declared that only the Nazi Party could assure jobs for the workers and greatness for Germany. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). Hitler organized a private army who became known as storm troopers. By Oct. 1923 Hitler gathered 15,000 storm troopers. Wearing brown uniforms and the swastika on the arm to give them a sense of unity, they were armed with machine guns and rifles. There job was to fight communists and any opposing force trying to break up Nazi rallies. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). On Nov. 8, 1923, at a rally in a Munich beer hall, Hitler proclaimed a Nazi revolution. The next day he tried to seize the Bavarian government in what became know as the Beer Hall Putsch (revolution). Hitler led more than 2,000 storm troopers on a march against the government. The police opened fire and killed 16 Nazis. The plot failed. Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for treason. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). While Hitler was in prison he started writing his book called Mien Kampf (my struggle). His book included his thoughts and ideas for Germany’s future. Such ideas as his plan to take over much of Europe and retake territories lost in World War I. (”Adolf Hitler” 252). In his book Mien Kampf the first and most important principle was to go in masses. The movement was to avoid any influences that would weaken the power of the masses. (Bullock 69). After getting out of jail Hitler learned from his mistakes and concluded that while violence was useful in some aspects it was not the way to seize national power. He figured that he needed to do it by legal means. Hitler gained national attention by opposing the Young Plan. This plan was intended to help the Germans by reducing the obligation to pay back reparations from the war. Hitler felt that the payment of the reparations should be eliminated entirely. (Dupuy 18-19). Hitler’s opportunity came during the terrible worldwide depression that struck Germany in 1930. The Nazi party memberships were growing rapidly. Rallies had attacked thousands of rowdy Germans. (Dupuy 19). In the election of 1930 Nazi Reichstag seats reached up to 107, and in July 1932, it went up to 230. The Nazi became the single largest party in the Reichstag. (Dupuy 19). Hitler achieved his goal in January, 1933. Franz von Papen, on of the leading rivals for leadership urged Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, the old President, to appoint Hitler as Chancellor (Prime Minister). The respected President after some time gave in and made Hitler Chancellor. With this Hitler finally became the political leader of the republic.