Hitler’s Rise to Power Essay

Hitler’s Rise to Power Essay:

Adolf Hitler is one of the most outstanding as well as one of the most brutal people in the world history. It cannot be deined that he was an exceptionally bright and charismatic, on the other hand, it seems to be very hard to admit the positive characteristics of a world-known tyrant. In my paper I would like to shed some light on how Hitler rose to power. Of course, I would present it in a nutshell because the process of Hitler’s rise was very long and thorny.

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To begin with I would like to give some background information about the economic and political situation in Germany in 1920s-1930s. During this period of time the mood in Germany was gloomy. The economic depression after the WWI had hit Germany especially hard. The inflation was high, millions of people were unemployed, as well as the government, known as the Weimar Republic, was weak. The spirit of Germans was low because the memory of the degrading defeat a decade earlier was fresh in their minds. These and other circumstances gave a chance for the rise of a new leader, Adolf Hitler, and his party, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi party for short.

The rise of the Nazi party to power was very rapid. Before the depression struck, the Nazis were practically unknown. In the elections of 1924, they won only 3 percent of the vote to the German parliament (Holocaust Encyclopedia). Adolf Hitler as the leader of the party was also mostly ignored during the ‘roaring twenties’ and was thought of as “a vicious little man with program of hatred”. However, when the depression and frustration in Germany reached the apogee, the Nazis and other similar groups felt the time was right to strike. (Payne, 1973)

The Nazis based in Bavaria, one of the German states, that became a “hotbed” of groups opposing to the government in Berlin. What Hitler wanted was to create a new government that would lead the country out of the miserable state. Conversely, even at that time, Hitler’s idea of government was destructive. Feeling some power, Hitler began turning his political group into a kind of military force. Such attitude, attracted many leaders who remembered past German military strength, and they started supporting the Nazi party and its troops.

Hitler was a powerful and mesmerizing speaker, he had a keen and menacing insight into mass psychology, and he was a master of intrigue and maneuver. Having a rather unremarkable look, he was capable of attracting a vast amount of Germans who were aggressively desperate for change. He promised the dissatisfied a better life and a new and glorious future for Germany. To Germans loaded with reparations to the victors of World War I, and threatened by economic downfall, and a possible Communist takeover, Hitler offered scapegoat, in the face of Jews, and solutions for other problems. Nazis were especially appealing to the unemployed, young people, and members of the lower middle class.

Having gained some power, Hitler realized he was not satisfied with just discussing of the ideas anymore. To begin with he tried to involve more people in his movement. He organized evening speeches, for which he sent out handwritten invitations. Only the committee members came to the first couple of lectures, but Hitler remained determined. He changed tactics and sent out mimeographed invitations for the next evening, which in fact eleven people came to. It was not a triumph, of course, but it was definitely the beginning. In order to attract more followers Hitler decided to use anti-Semitism as a tool to stir the emotions of the working class up. And that was when the success came to him. (Evans, 2004)

Having the former army leaders and the working class on his side, Hitler felt the time had come for direct “battle”. He put this plan into action when he learned there would be a large political gathering in Munich. On November 8, 1923, Hitler’s troops surrounded the place, and then broke into the hall, causing panic. Hitler shot into the ceiling, proclaiming, “Silence!”,then he forced his way to the podium declaring “The National Revolution has begun! No one may leave the hall.

Being overwhelmed with emotions, Hitler rushed out of the room back to the podium and shouted. This made everyone believe the officials had given in to Hitler and were joining the Nazis. That was, of course not true, still the crowd howled their approval and sang “Deutschland über Alles”. (Germany is above everybody)Hitler was overjoyed, he did not know what was expecting him later in the night. Couple of hours later, Hitler got a message about the mischief going on in the city, and he had to leave. In his absence, the government leaders escaped after falsely promising they would remain loyal to Hitler. When he arrived back at the beer hall he was horrified to see his operation fail. (Holocaust Encyclopedia)

Next day the Nazis marched toward the War Ministry building in the center of Munich but they encountered a police blockade on the way. Facing armed policemen, Hitler ordered to them to surrender, and then the fire started. During the fire Hitler was arrested. Still, he was soon after freed from prison and turned back to the work of building and expanding his party and its troops. After a long work, the Nazi party won six and a half million votes in the election of 1930, thus becoming the second largest political party in Germany. (Fest, 1974, pp. 45-46)

On January 30, 1933 Hitler was named chancellor, and things were never the same after that. Being a chancellor, Hitler had made laws which turned a free state into a cruel totalitarian dictatorship. By 1937, Hitler was ready to put his master plan, as summarized in Mein Kampf, into life. Gathering his top military aides together in November 1937, he proclaimed his plans for global domination (Shirer, 1990). That was the way Hitler raised to power, the outcome of which is well known to everybody.

History is a great teacher, but sadly, it does repeat itself sometimes. We should just hope that the next time a person with unique oratory skills and psychological insight appears, the humanity would not let him/her climb his/her way to the top.

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