Hitler And The Nazi Party Essay
Hitler attained power in 1933 as the result of a complex set of factors. He was the right man at the right time to take advantage of the problems that had arisen in Germany in the post war years.
In the post war years of the 1920’s to the 1930’s, the German people had many grievances. The biggest of which was the economy. The hyperinflation of the early 1920’s, in January 1921 the German mark was 65 marks to the American dollar and on November 1923 it was worth 4 200 000 000 000 to the American dollar. Over a 12 week period the German currency lost 99.3% of it’s value. This meant that the price for eggs was 80 billion marks each. The hyperinflation meant that 90% of people’s savings were destroyed.
Germany lacked faith in democracy. The reason being was the corruption and mismanagement, which characterised the Weimar Republic (inflation). The Democrats were reasonable and well-meaning men, representing the inflation impoverished middle class and business. They relied on chronic credit inflation (which put them more and more into debt.
The Germans were also upset by the loss of World War 1, but the thing that made them the maddest, is the punishment enforced on them as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Such as redistribution of territory, reduction of Germany’s fighting power and imposition of harsh conditions, which meant Germany had to pay 6600 million-pound to the Allies in 1921. Germany thought that the punishment was too harsh.
The masses in Germany were crushed by the problems that they had, especially the Treaty of Versailles, which left Germany in debt. The hyperinflation left a lot of people unemployed. People were looking for answers and someone to blame. The Nazi party had the policies that the German people wanted to hear. Hitler offered the easy answer for Germany’s problems. The skills that Hitler had were that he was a manipulator, and could trick people into believing his views, which they did. He answered their problems in a way, which left him with advantages.
As I have said, Hitler was a manipulator. What he said, people believed, and those who didn’t, were killed. The ideas that he had (quote SOSE textbook page 57) ‘to be a strong nation, Germany had to have a strong leader, struggle was the basis of history and struggle occurred between different races and the main struggle for Germany, was with the Jewish race. He also believed that Germany had to have more land to safeguard itself if needed. The people of Germany listened and they turned against the Jewish people killing them and sending many to concentration camps where they lived and died amid great suffering and hardship. The effect of Hitler’s speeches caused alarm in the other European countries. Most didn’t believe what he said and when he went into office, thought he would be more restrained.
The Propaganda of the Nazi’s made Hitler appear strong, autocratic and firmly committed to his beliefs. That the German people loved uniforms, parades, and military formations and submitted easily to authority was no secret and Hitler played on this with displays of military prowess and the strong symbols eg. the SWASTICA. He used propaganda to spring fear into people by using emotional harangues. Another way used, to show his power was to send “Stormtroopers” or “brown shirts” onto the street causing a lot of violence, often against communists and Jews. They were also used to break up rival meetings. Hitler was the ‘man of the year’ in 1938 and the German people loved him.
The other nations of Europe were scared of Hitler, but they were also uncertain. They didn’t know whether he meant what he was saying, whether he would be more restrained once in power. They allowed Hitler too much freedom by ignoring the regulation of the treaty of Versailles.
Britain did nothing until Germany attacked Poland in 1939, which heralded the start of World War 11. The French did become apprehensive earlier though. In 1935 they held formal conversations with Italy (under Mussolini) seeking a common Franco-Italian front when it was seen that the League of Nations was doing nothing. The French continued to form an alliance against Hitler. They tried with Britain at Stresa and the USSR in Paris and also a similar pact with The Soviet Union and Czechoslouvakia. However Hitler showed complete disregard for this tightening ring around Nazi Germany. I believe the lack of effective control over Hitler, by the surrounding European Nations was a factor in allowing German expansion, which lead to World War 11.
Hitler was a vital part of the Nazi Party. The Nazi party needed Hitler for his ideas and his ability to con people into believing him, his skills as a public speaker and his overall plan to gain power in Germany.
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