During the 20th century, the Germans faced a terrible economic depression during which time the people lost trust in their government, and taking advantage of this opportunity, Hitler rose to power. The Treaty of Versailles, established post World War I, led Germany to humiliation. They lost their land, military, respect, and a say in world affairs. Germany became isolated, and to the German people, Hitler was their ultimate savior. In a matter of years, Hitler quickly rose to power and boosted the economy. He had satisfied Germany, in the early years, and came to power in a legal manner.
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Along with the rest of Germany, Adolf Hitler was depressed after World War I due to the loss and the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler, still enlisted in the German military, was assigned undercover duty as an agent. His main task involved finding out who were Marxists, and on September 12, 1919, he investigated them at a hall in Munich, Sterneckerbrau, where a meeting took place. During the meeting, he gave an emotional speech that mesmerized his audience, and as a result, he was asked to join the German Worker’s Party, to which he accepted. Abandoning his undercover spy mission, he became enthusiastic about the group and came to be highly involved with their activities. In addition, he placed ads for rallies and public meetings in anti-Semitic newspapers. Soon enough, the German Worker’s Party was changed to National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NAZI). For the party’s platform, Hitler created the twenty-five points that involved nullifying the Treaty of Versailles, revoking civil rights for Jews, confiscating war profits, and seizing land by decision of state. In addition, the Swastika (å) was adopted as the party’s symbol.
Hitler hoped that the party would allow him to gain national recognition as well as a respectable politician that the German people would favor. In addition, the party allowed Hitler to use Storm Troopers or Brown Shirts and this would help him gain support from the people. Deploying the Storm Troopers in rallies impressed the German people by raising nationalism. These Storm Troopers would be present in parades all across the country and during election rallies that would significantly influenced the vote of many. CITATION In addition, thousands would join the party because they were victims of hyperinflation and blamed the Jews for economic troubles. Joining the party would show that they supported Hitler and wanted serious changes in Germany, starting with the Jews.
On November 8, 1923, Hitler held a rally at a beer hall in Munich, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, to declare a revolution, and he led over two-thousand men to overthrow the Bavarian Government. The men all wore Brown Shirts to emphasize how much they supported Hitler and his beliefs to make Germany better. CITATION However, the rally resulted as a disaster and Hitler was charged with treason. He was taken to trial, which he used to his advantage by promoting the Nazi platform, and he gained popularity. He was ruled guilty by the court and sentenced to prison for five years, however, he had only served nine months due to a recommendation from the governor of Landsberg who stated that his behavior conduct in prison was satisfactory.
During the short time in prison, Hitler wrote the book, Mein Kampf, which made him rich by selling five million copies when published in 1927. The book spoke about his life and the future of Germany, which viciously attacked Jews as the root of Germany’s problems. The Jews were attacked so much because they were believed to have caused economic inflation, political instability, unemployment, and humiliation from World War I. CITATION The book also discussed how Germans were superior, the need to take Russia, failures of Communism and Democracy, and the Fuhrer principal.
Mein Kampf stated, “The Jews’ ultimate goal is the denaturalization, the promiscuous bastardization of other peoples, the lowering of the racial level of the highest people as well as the domination of his mishmash through the extirpation of the folkish intelligentsia and its replacement by the members of his own people.” CITATION By this statement, Hitler wanted to keep the German bloodline pure, and by this, he did not want intermarriage between Jews and Germans. The perfect Germans was known as Aryans, who were blond haired and blue eyed. Hitler marked Jews as enemies of Germany, along with Slavs, and labeled the Jews as an anti-race that would only harm the German people and destroy Germany as a whole because they were “invading” Germany. By “invading” Germany, Hitler believed they were stealing all business from the German people and started controlling Germany politically.
After Hitler was released from prison, he no longer wanted to take power by force but in a legal constitutional manner. He knew how to speak to the German people because his oratory skills were spectacular. Therefore, he spoke to large audiences mainly addressing issues with Jews and Communism. He wanted to create the Third Reich, and wanted it to last one-thousand years. The Nazi party became powerful as wealthy industrialists supported Hitler due to economic circumstances. Hitler received support from Erhard Milch, Alfred Hugenberg, Fritz Tyssen, and Emil Kidorf. Hitler would use Erhard Milch to his advantage by chartering an aircraft from him to go around the country in hopes for political success.
In April of 1932, Heinrich Bruening, Chancellor of Germany, banned the storm troopers in Germany to end the Nazi regime. The Nazis were outraged and wanted Hitler to fight the ban. However, on May 8, 1932, General Kurt von Schleicher held a secret meeting with Hitler to make an agreement to lift the ban. In addition to lifting the ban, the current government of Germany would fall, new elections would be called, and Chancellor Bruening would have no political value. In return, Hitler would support Schleicher in a conservative nationalist government. Soon everything went to play and Chancellor Bruening was labeled “The Hunger Chancellor” because of the economy and the unemployment rate of six million Germans. CITATION He looked like a Marxist by his estate proposals on dividing land to peasants, and eventually he resigned on May 29, 1932.
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Franz von Papen became Schleicher’s puppet and promoted him with the aid of President Hindenburg to become Chancellor of Germany. Hitler supported Papen and the ban on the Nazis was lifted as promised by Schleicher. The Nazis went on an all-out rampage across the country singing songs and causing fights with Communists. CITATION Papen was unable to form any coalition in Germany, and was forced to resign from his position. Schleicher believed that this was the right decision and a new Chancellor should be appointed.
Hitler asked President Hindenburg to be Chancellor of Germany on many occasions and he always replied with rejection to Hitler’s request because of the terrorizing behaviors of the Brown Shirts. Whenever President Hindenburg asked Hitler to cooperate with other parties, Hitler always replied with the same answer President Hindenburg gave him, no. Businesses and wealthy industrialists sent a petition to President Hindenburg to ask him to make Hitler Chancellor of Germany because it would be good for business. President Hindenburg did not know what to do, but he appointed Schleicher as Chancellor because he believed he could make the Nazis fall apart. Schleicher held secret meetings with a Nazi named Gregor Strasser, who was with Hitler since the beginning of the party. Schleicher offered Strasser the status Vice-Chancellor and control of Prussia, which was an appealing offer. However, Papen told Hitler all about this and was devastated. Hitler even became depressed and threatened to shoot himself because Strasser resigned as a Nazi and went off to vacation in Italy. Schleicher became furious and wanted to declare a state of emergency to control the Nazis, and President Hindenburg rejected that proposal. Soon Schleicher would resign because he and President Hindenburg could no longer get along or make decisions together. President Hindenburg even heard rumors that Schleicher was going to arrest him for some sort of treachery, and after that, he never talked to Schleicher again. CITATION
The Nazi party gained eighteen percent of the popular vote in the 1930 elections, and Hitler ran for President in 1932. He won thirty percent of the vote, which forced his competitor, Paul von Hindenburg, into a runoff election where a political deal was made. In this deal, Hitler could be chancellor of Germany in exchange of him supporting Hindenburg politically. Hitler agreed and was officially appointed to office in January 1933 as Chancellor of Germany. For a short time in 1932, the people believed that Hitler’s rise to power would fail due to the number of seats in the Reichstag that decreased from two-hundred thirty seats to one-hundred and ninety-six seats between July 1932 and November 1932. However, President Hindenburg believed that the Nazi party could come to power and he did that by making Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Hitler’s first act was to call for a new election, and to his advantage, the Reichstag building was burned exactly a week before elections took place. Hitler publicized that Communists were to blame for this action and he persuaded President Hindenburg to sign a decree that gave power to the Nazis to jail all political opponents that could have been responsible for the attack on their parliament. He used this as an excuse to limit all civil liberties and the Enabling Act was passed to give him more power.
President Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934 in his Prussian Estate, and Hitler was to be his successor. After taking the power of Hindenburg, Hitler made himself a dictator and eliminated all opposing parties and government institutions. Hitler named himself Fuhrer instead of President and gained huge appeal from the German people because he seemed as a World War I hero who would bring glory back to the country. After Schleicher resigned from his position as Chancellor of Germany, it only took Hitler fifty-seven days to rise to complete power in Germany.
Hitler had successfully risen to power in Germany, and soon he would use the Mein Kampf as an outline for the German people. The economy was succeeding due to the industries prepping for war. Anyone against him was either sent to prison or executed because Hitler made sure that there were no faults to his plan. Hitler wanted to take all actions necessary in order to make Germany prosper, gain world recognition, take revenge from World War I, and please the German people. Hitler had successfully convinced the German people that Germany would regain its glory, and soon Hitler started prepping for treacherous tasks, world domination, and complete annihilation of the Jewish population.
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