Did you know the Holocaust happened less than 80 years ago? Many people thing that The Holocaust is something that happen so many years ago, (think about it, my father is 78 years old. You may have a father or a grandfather that is older than the Holocaust). I was one of those people. Some may say that they knew someone or that they have a relative that was there. For me it was not the case. I have to admit there are times in this world, that you get an Oh My God moment, for me, it was this research paper. My moment came while learning how this phenomenon came about. Looking at Hitler's life and the forming of the Nazi Party We can see that every action taken during the years of the holocaust has affected all of the lives of the Jewish and non- Jewish race.
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party:
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Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria. To Alois and Klara Hitler, Mr. and Mrs. Hitler had five children, two that died before Adolf was born, and two after Adolf, one boy named Edmund who died by the age of six, and Paula, who survived to outlive Adolf. His father died when he was thirteen, his mother raised him and his sister by herself. From the age between sixteen and nineteen Adolf did not work, nor went to school. Do to the fact that Hitler was not a good student he left school at a young age, but he did have an interest in politics and history. Adolf Hitler loved to paint. Eventually he tried to enroll in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, but was denied several times. He was nineteen, when his mother died of cancer. He decided to move to Vienna, and in a year's time he was living in homeless shelters. Hitler survived by working in low paying jobs, and by selling some of his paintings and advertising posters, whenever he could. He then moved to Munich in Southern Germany. Were he volunteered for the Reserve Infantry Regiment of the First World War. Hitler was given two medals for his bravery, and was promoted to corporal. One of them was the Iron Cross First Class, this was the medal you see him wearing in all his pictures, and he would wear till the day he died.
In 1919, Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart formed the German Worker's Party (GWP) in Munich. The Army was worried that the solders that were coming back from the war were communist, so they sent Hitler as a spy for the German Army. In which he discovered that the party's political ideas were similar to his own. He was pleased because Drexler was of German nationalism and of his anti-Semitism. When he was in one of the meetings he made a speech regarding his disapproval of what he heard the other members of the party saying. Do to this speech he was asked to join the party, and at first he was relented, eventually he agreed. He was also asked to be part of the executive committee and was later appointed the party's propaganda manager. (Strokes, P. 2010)
In October, 1919 Hitler gave his first speech. In which only a hand full of people showed up. In February of 1920 he gave his second speech in Munich Hofbrauhaus, in which a crowd of more than two thousand (2000) people showed up. Even thou Hitler was not the main speaker he was successful in calming the rowdy audience. Where he presented his ideas with a twenty-five point program in which he thought were to be the basis of the Nazi party. Some of his ideas were; that the only citizens were those of "True" German blood, and that any other race were "Foreigners" or "Aliens" and were to be treated as such. He also demanded profit sharing from every large industry, and that the age for the "old-age pensions" be increase generous. In the following weeks Hitler bought several members of his army into the party, including one of his commanding officers Captain Ernst Rohm. Rohm was very important to Hitler's cause, because he had access to the army political fund and was able to transfer some of the army's money into the GWP. This money was used for advertising the parties meetings.
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Hitler had always been hostile to socialist ideas, especially those that involved racial or sexual equality. However, socialism was a popular philosophy in Germany after the First World War. This was reflected in the growth of the party. In April, 1920 he advocated that the party should change its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) (in German this means Nazi). In 1921 the Nazi Party was not pleased with what Hitler was doing. When he was away in Berlin, some members got together and propose a merger with a like-minded political party in Nuremburg in the hopes to dilute Hitler's influence. When he discover what was being done, he rushed back to Munich to confront the party and threatened to resign. The other members knew that this was not good for the party, because he was the one bringing in all the money from donations, and other sources. They also knew that without him they would not succeed. In turn he asked to be the head of the party and to be given dictatorial powers.
In 1933 the Nazi try to overthrow the government, but they did not succeed. The government in turn sentence Hitler to five years in prison. Hitler only served six months of his five year sentence. While in prison he wrote "Four Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice" and the publisher said this title was too long and renamed it "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle). Were he expressed his thoughts and philosophies. He also expressed that the German race was being threatened by intermarriage, in he wrote "Every manifestation of human culture, every product of art, science, and technical skill, which we see before our eyes today, is almost exclusively the product of (Aryan) German creative power." Hitler, Mein Kampf (1938) about how Germany should be. When Hitler was released from Landsberg prison, the Nazi Party and its associated newspapers were banned by the government, and Hitler himself was forbidden from making public speeches. Upon his release from prison, he formed his own private army called Sturm Abteilung (Storm Section). SA. (Also known as the Storm Troopers or the Brownshirts). This army was instructed to disrupt the meeting of any political opponents and to protect Hitler from any attacks. Captain Ernst Rohm of the Bavarian Army became there leader.
In 1929 with the collapse of Wall St. came a worldwide recession which hit Germany especially hard. Foreign countries that before had lent money to Germany had stopped, unemployment was high, and all of these problems were actually good for Hitler's plans.
In the same year, Chancellor Bruening, was not able to pass a new financial bill threw the parliament, and asked then President Hindenburg for a new election in the following September. When this was done Hitler decided he was going to run as the Nazi candidate. When the results were announced, the party had won 6.4 million votes this made them the second largest party in the Reichstag.
In 1932 Hitler decided to stand against Hindenburg in the forthcoming Presidential elections. In order to do this he became a German citizen on 25th of February 1932. The results of the elections were on the 13th of March 1932, Hindenburg took 49.6 percent of the votes, and so there was to be a second election in which this time Hindenburg got 53 percent of the votes. In June of 1932 Chancellor Bruening was unable to maintain his popularity support, because of the pressure from the President his government was forced to resign. With the new elections for Chancellor the Nazi party had 13,745.00 votes that were 230 out of 608 seats in the Reichstag. Even thou they were the largest party, they were still short of a majority vote. However, Hitler demanded that he be made Chancellor. He was denied, but was offered the Vice-Chancellor in the coalition government, but he refused the position.
President Hindenburg had tried to keep Hitler from becoming Chancellor, but after several of the other appointee had fell to gain support from the Nazi Party he had no choice in the matter, and appointed Hitler to Chancellor on January 30th 1933. By the end of 1933 Hitler had manage to have the individual German States stripped of any autonomous powers. By doing this he had Nazi officials installed as state governors.
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In May, 1934 Hitler meet with the chiefs of the Army and Navy. He explained that if they supported him as the successor to Hindenburg he would increase the Army and the Navy by suppressing the SA. The chiefs agree to this, and so in June 1934 Hitler order the entire SA to go on leave for the entire month. Because of this the rowdiness and lawlessness of the Nazi thugs had grown, and President Hindenburg had threatened with declaring a state of Marshall Law if Hitler did not curb these excesses. This gave Hitler the opportunity to gather and execute some of the leaders of the SA and others that were not connected with the SA, and that were against the Nazi leader. In which Hitler had a score to settle with them. One of these others included the former Chancellor General Von Schleicher.
Upon the death of President Hindenburg in August 2nd 1934 Hitler had already agree with the Cabinet to combine the President and Chancellor's offices. The last wishes of President Hindenburg were that the Monarchy be restored. Hitler managed not to publish the late Presidents will. Hitler made the whole armed forces swear an oath of loyalty to him personally. He let the public decide on whether they approved of the changes already made, in which 90% of the voters agree and Hitler became "Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor" so the title or President was abolished. Following his rice to power Hitler set about the "Nazification" of Germany. Censorship was extreme and covered all aspects of life. The press were not allowed to print anything that was against the Party or otherwise. School books and library books that were written by Jews were taken and burned. Doctors, Lawyers, or any other businesses that were owned or operated by Jews were no longer able to practice or stay open. All youth associations were re-formed as Hitler Youth Organization. Under the Nuremburg Laws of September 1935 Jews were no longer considered to be German citizens, therefore did not have any legal rights. In October, 1934 Hitler order the Army to be increased from 100,000 to 300,000 men. He also started to build submarines, which were against the Versailles Treaty. Hitler was very clever in the things he did and the way he acted with the other surrounding countries. He had a policy of making speeches proclaiming a desire for peace and the folly of war. Hitler also announced that he was prepared to mutually disarm the heaviest of weapons and limit the strength of the German Navy. He was once quoted by saying "Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos."
In 1936 he occupied Rhineland without meeting any opposition. He also began to supply military aid to Spain, this helped Spain with their victory of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). By the middle of 1940 he had taken over, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg and France. At the end the only country to stand firm was Britain. The Britain Royal Air Force prevented the Luftwaffe from securing aerial control over the English Channel. This was the first setback for Hitler. His plans on invading the British Isles were postponed. He turned to Balkans and North Africa, where the Italians had a great lost. His army overran Greece, Yugoslavia, the Island of Crete and drove the British from Cyrenaica. In June 22, 1941 Hitler made the most important decision of his career, the invasion of Russia. He said that the destruction would prevent Great Britain from continuing the war with any prospect of success. He was convinced that once he kicked the door in, as he told Jodl "the whole rotten edifice (of communist rule) will come tumbling down."
By the end of 1941 the United States had entered the struggle against the Axis powers
Hitler had given the name of "international Jewry" to his enemies.