Hitler And Germany Essay, Research Paper
Hitler and Germany
Adolf Hitler, one of the 20th century’s most powerful dictators, was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary. He first became interested in politics after witnessing a large protest by German workers. Finding the outbreak of World War I as an opportunity to show his loyalty to Germany, Hitler volunteered for the Imperial Army. Later faced with fierce resistance from the British and French armies and an economy in ruins, German generals requested armistice negotiations with the Allies in November 1918. Hitler and the German soldiers found it impossible to swallow defeat (History Place). Because he believed that the Jews betrayal caused their defeat, Hitler acquired a hatred for socialism and came to equate it with the Jews. He held that the superior Aryan race would be the final victor and would rule the world, but to win this struggle, Germany would have to be ruled by a dictator and would have to have hatred for all other inferior races, especially the Jews. It was then that his extreme dislike for the Jews developed (Encarta).
After the war in March 1918, Hitler was employed by a Munich army to keep tabs on the racist German Worker s Party, later changing its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). After speaking at a meeting held by this organization he amazed the crowd with his speech in outlining the political platform of the organization s Twenty Five Points , which included the union of all Germans, the exclusion of citizenship of anyone other than a German, and a strong central government, thus gaining recognition as a prominent leader. Hitler seized the moment and announced he would return on the condition that he was made chairman and given dictatorial powers.
Hitler and the Nazis created a plot in which they would kidnap the leaders of the Bavarian government forcing them at gunpoint to accept him as their leader. Then, according to their plan, they would win over the German Army, proclaim a revolt, and bring down the German democratic government in Berlin. Unfortunately for him, his plan failed. Hitler was arrested and sentenced for treason. Released around Christmas in 1924 he had a new idea on how to conquer the government for himself. Hitler decided to seize power constitutionally rather than by force of arms. The Nazi Party would be organized like a government so that when power was achieved he could just slip right into place.
Hitler spoke to mass audiences, calling for the Germans to resist the Jews and Communists. In his speeches he gave them vague promises while avoiding the details. He offered something to everyone: promising to bring order, vowing to make Germany strong again, and dealing harshly with the Jews (History Place).
In the 1932 presidential election President Hindenburg reluctantly announced his candidacy for re-election. Hitler decided to oppose him and run for the presidency. Hitler received 30% of the votes, and Hindenburg received 49%, but Hindenburg didn t get the absolute majority, making a run-off election necessary. On April 10, 1932, the people voted. They gave Hitler 36% of the votes and Hindenburg got 53% of the votes, giving him another seven-year term.
Hitler requested a meeting with Hindenburg demanding to be Chancellor. They agreed to make Hitler the next Chancellor of Germany. Within weeks, Hitler would be absolute dictator of Germany and would set in motion a chain of events resulting in World War II and the eventual deaths of nearly 50 million humans through that war.
The new Chancellor of Germany had no intentions of abiding by the rules of democracy. He intended only to use those rules to legally establish himself as to begin the Nazi revolution. The Nazis began a systematic takeover of the state governments throwing out legitimate office holders and replacing them with Nazi Reich commissioners. This was the very beginning of the Nazi concentration camp system.
The Nazis had brought down the German Democratic Republic legally after getting enough votes to pass the enabling act that would vote democracy out of existence in Germany and establish the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Now, for the first time as dictator, Adolf Hitler turned his attention to the driving force that had propelled him into politics in the first place, his hatred of the Jews. Just a week after becoming dictator, boycotts of Jewish shops were organized. Shortly thereafter, Jews were sent to concentration camps by the thousands. They were sentenced to hard labor. The secret of these crimes (gas chambers, crematoria) was so carefully guarded that the majority of Germans, although they knew of the existence of the camps, didn t suspect the horrible things happening there. Hitler stepped up the elimination of the Jews once and for all. Towards the end of his reign, thousands of Jews were killed (Geary pg 35-41).
The people of Germany were fed up with Hitler s dictatorship. Colonel Claus von Staufenberg made an attempt on Hitler s life. On July 20, 1944 Staufenberg went to a military conference that was being held and placed a bomb under a table. After hearing explosions he was sure Hitler was dead, but instead he escaped with minor scratches and four officers were killed. Feeling the wrath of his destruction in Germany and fearing his assassination, Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945 (David 130-137).