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Hitler Didn't Have Ethical Responsibility

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Part 1: Brief Biography

Adolf Hitler was born on 20th of April 1889 in Austria. As a young boy his father was very strict with him mostly because he was an only child. When he reached 14 years old his father passed away and three years later his mother also died. He then lived alone and had no financial security and thus in order to survive he sold his own paintings and postcards since he loved art. When the First World War began he joined Germany as a front line soldier in 1914. Four years later the war ended with Germany on the losing side and Hitler then got a job as a political training official. In that position he was given the chance to express his political beliefs where his ideas and speech impressed important people. He joined the Germans Worker Party where he later on became leader of and it was renamed to the Nazi group (Nationalist Socialist German Worker's Party). As a leader of the Nazi group he managed to manifest his ideas in his followers that it was the Jews and the Communists fault that Germany was defeated in WWI. "For Hitler, all men were not brothers: and of all peoples to whom Hitler refused as a brother were the Jews. The Jews were responsible for everything he disliked in art, politics, and social life.". [1] Hitler died on 30th of April 1945 after going through his life trying to conquer his dream which was to change Germany and to become a world leader by eliminating the Jews and their race who he believed were the obstacle to the society he dreamed to create.

Part 2: Germany

The aftermath of WWI left Germany in its ruins which lead to a major economic crisis which was getting worse year by year. In 1928 unemployment was up to 650,000 and went up to 3 million in 1930. Also in 1930 manufacturing had a big decrease, farming was suffering, the companies reached bankruptcy levels and the middle class was on the brink of disappearance. Hitler took advantage of this crisis and took opportunity to follow his dream of becoming a world leader by changing Germany into a whole new and improved country.

Part 3: Speech

The major weapon of Hitler's leadership was his main ability to aspire the audience that was sharing the same political concerns and issues through the way he was expressing himself, the power of his rhetoric, the tense of his prejudice and the conviction that his proposal of national rebirth was the only way for Germany to exit the crisis. His passion of speaking derived from his convincing way of talking and his certainty that he had pointed out and could mitigate the problems of Germany. The simplicity and repetition were the two main ingredients of his recipe of magnetizing the audience and were augmenting the central meaning of his speech: the exhaustion of internal enemies of the country (mainly Jews), the economic and psychological reconstruction in order to achieve a dominant position in the global map. His goal towards the crowd was to motivate their emotions in order to feel anger, feeling of rejection and hate. He spoke and people were willing to really listen. He held his audience captive by telling them his dreams for Germany - to rebuild the army and prepare to fight communism. He was telling them exactly what they wanted to listen since he promised jobs for everyone and a better future of the country. He had a great skill to negotiate due to his diplomacy that he used even when he was in jail. He was also argumentative but bad-tempered at the same time. He was the live depicture of the well-hidden passions of the German people and this is the reason that his willingness to become the leader of the nation could not be rejected.

Above all he was a perfect actor and this could be seen at his public appearances with his late arrival, the careful structure of his speeches, the stochastic choice of his phrases, his gestures and his body language. He always started his speeches with a pause and continued in a hesitating way. After using the right phrases at the right moment he increased the tense of his speech showing attention at the critical points. His ironic expressions were enough to give the exact meaning he wanted to pass to the audience. All these tactics were carefully chosen and implemented for the delivery of the best possible outcome.

Part 4: Type of Leader

Hitler was a highly task oriented leader because he was autocratic, pushy, demanding and overpowering. He liked to monitor and retain the control but as he was saying: "I am not a dictator and never will be a dictator... as a dictator any clown can govern". His conviction of his mission was unshakable because he perceived himself as Germany's guide. His focus on his mission made him criticize his partners, never diverge from his goal, be determined to reach the end and he knew what he should do showing no sensitivity at all but motivating and directing the rest towards the achievement of his goal. As far as his relations with his subordinates is concerned, he was trying to create strong and sustainable alliances and he was keeping contact only with the people that could be useful for him. He placed great emphasis on task and job requirements and viewed people as "tools" necessary in getting his instructions done.

Moreover, Hitler had a clear vision and goal to fulfil and his means were not only known to the public but also acknowledged. His actions were aligned with his words but there were concerns for his authenticity. The majority of the people around him believed that his was deceptively adapting to each situation. He was thought to be sociable and he could pretend to be someone's friend in public even if he was criticizing him/her behind his back. He also lacked integrity because he was not showing personal interest for his followers ("mocker of the human being"). The fact that he was an actor was also a part of his character since even in his personal life, he represented different roles towards the women. He was so determined and focused to his target that he was presenting himself as a messianic figure.

Starting for his childhood, his sociability was shown from the fact that he had many friends. Growing up, he was using contact with people to create alliances that would make him look stronger. In other words, he was taking advantage of the rest creating superficial relationships. He was not involved in dialogues, he was feeling great only when he was dominating in discussions and he was hiding his lack of knowledge behind monologue. His intelligence was not shown from the fact that he was an average student but from his plan to abandon his place on the right moment to an unable successor in order not to be accused for the outcome of his actions. In addition, he was an easy learner of the appropriate ways to realize his goals (for example the strategic alliance with England in order to attack Russia in the right time). Sometimes when he was under pressure he got anxious and hesitated to make the right decisions at critical times. Another example is the creation of VW (=people's car) Beatle model that was specially designed for the army so that its movements and direction could be detected for the air since the front and the back parts were the same. Hitler was also socially intelligent because he was provoking emotions to his audience and he was adjusting his behaviour to each condition. For example, he was characterized as adorable mostly by women since he was trying to attract and impress them. On the other hand, he was outraging on purpose when he had predetermined it or he was shaking hands strongly or staring having chief attitude. All these indicate that he was a charismatic leader and this status derived partially from his political skill and partially from his magnetism. He had gained the Germans' confidence because he managed to reduce unemployment, he reconstructured the transportation network (ports, airports, highways), and the industry's outcomes reached top levels since he recruited the best talents from all over Europe in order to accelerate the rhythms of technological advancement.

In my opinion, Hitler was an effective leader (level 4 leadership) because he had a clear and compelling vision to "bring Germany back to its feet from the First World War, make it strong and powerful" and expand its frontiers. He was behind the pursuit of his goal and he was stimulating the rest through his speeches and propaganda to outperform in order to reach higher standards. I could characterize him as a level 5 leader because of his professional will and focus to reach his goal ("The fact that Hitler came from a front-line soldier with no real future in a leadership role to the chancellor of Germany and the commander of a great army shows his great will and ability to meet his goals and to manipulate people to achieve a vision") [2] but he lacked humility and humbleness. He changed the way that our society looked at war and this is why he was characterized as a transformational leader. Moreover, he was a strategist because he created a broadly shared vision across different action logics that encouraged both personal and organizational transformations. He managed to handle Germans instinctive resistance to the cruel way he wanted to reach the change. "When looking at a leadership style or a model to compare Hitler to, there is one word that really stands out in most leadership models that all relate to Hitler: directive." [3] 

Part 5: Personal reflection- Conclusion

Hitler undoubtedly is one of the most powerful and clever strategic leaders after Napoleon and Alexander the great. I cannot ignore the fact that he killed a lot of people and made a lot of harm to the world. This is a crime which cannot be excused or taken lightly. Despite this, the reason for his action was because he believed that the Jews would at some point rule the world through money as it is happening nowadays with the Americans who are governing the human race by dollars. This also showed his intelligence and his ability to predict situations. He wanted to change Germany and consequently become a world leader but it was done at the wrong time and through wrong movements. Killing innocent people is illegal and unethical and Hitler became unethical. He had all the qualifications of a great and capable leader but he lacked a part of being the best leader: social responsibility. His intelligence lead him many times to the limits of arrogance as he characteristically said "What new could I learn?" when he was advised to learn a new language and move to another country. This is because he believed he knew better than anyone else since he was self-taught and trained himself for hundreds of hours. Sometimes his words were misinterpreted from his disciples and soldiers because he was task oriented rather than relationship oriented. Thus he did not have good relations with them and they lied to him which resulted to bad communication. Although he seemed to be very dynamic and did give up easily, he was not a risk taker and had many complexes which drove him to use violence in order to reach his goals.

Hitler was certainly gifted in some subjects, but he lacked self-control. He was argumentative and bad-tempered, and unable to submit to school discipline....moreover, he was lazy. He reacted with hostility to advice or criticism.

Eduard Humer [4] 

Though Hitler showed cruelty and evilness to the Jews and to the rest of the world, his greatness in leadership and determination to pursue his goals were clearly remarkable. From bringing Germany back up to its feet from the First World War, to conquering one country to another. How this German dictator managed to keep Germany fighting for 6 years with only one ally in Europe to count on, and the rest of the world against him was truly an example of greatness in leadership, determination, courage and perseverance. [5] 


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