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Adolf Hitler's Ascent to Power: a Historical Analysis

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  1. Hitler’s Rise To Power: Essay
  2. The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (essay)

Hitler’s Rise To Power: Essay

Following the commencement of the first World War, the European nations that had fought in the war emerged economically and socially crippled. Economic depression prevailed in Europe for most of the inter-war period, and the nations suffering debt including Germany found it almost impossible to pay back the money without borrowing more. This worsened the economy to an even greater degree. Germany was immensely hit by this and therefore became destroyed economically by World War I and its aftermath. The league of nations was said to break the pattern of traditional politics and create international peace. However, it never grew strong enough to have a significant impact on this. Essentially, the terms of the treaty were very damaging to Germany, depriving them of their territory, as well as valuable industrial and agricultural income. This ultimately led the Germans to feel angry and humiliated. The treaty of Versailles greatly contributed to the alienation many Germans felt about their democratic government. This provided rich material that Adolf Hitler used to gain support on the right. Hitler exploited these vulnerable circumstances, leading to popularity within the German society which assisted with Hitler’s rise to power.

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Hitler was obsessed with the belief that the Jews had been behind the failure in World War I and therefore had to be removed to prevent failure in future wars. Once the economic depression struck Germany in the late 1920s, Hitler promised a way out and a large number of people turned to him.

Adolf Hitler was the undisputed leader of the Nationalist Socialist German workers party known as Nazis. Hitler showcased extreme viewpoints of what he believed would make Germany great again and fascism eventually took hold of the country. The extremist nature of his desperate ideologies was discussed in his book ‘Mein Kampf’, written in 1925. This book entails Hitlers youth, early days in the nazi party, plans for Germany, and ideas on politics and race. He communicates his strong opinion that physical appearance divides humans and that the superior race is what he calls Aryan and that he believes the racially inferior are the Jews and Slavic people. He wrote this book while serving time in prison for attempted treason. His purpose for writing this book was to present his goals and philosophy regarding his political beliefs and also his need for money at the time.

In 1930, Hitler’s alliance with Alfred Hugenberg helped him engage with a nationwide audience through newspapers. The alliance also enabled him to seek support from many of the magnates of business and industry who were in control of political funds and were anxious to use them to establish a strong right-wing antisocialist government. Hitler’s successful dealings with Hugenberg and the industrialists exemplifies his skill to use those who were out to use him. An important achievement was the establishment of a truly national party, which was unique in Germany at this time.

Through the usage of modern propaganda, including strong visual elements as well as simple yet powerful messages, Hitler was able to succeed in leading a candidate in Germany’s 1932 presidential elections, with over 11 million votes.

Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Reich President Paul Von Hindenberg on January 30 1933. At this point, Germany was suffering from the great depression with unemployment reaching almost 35%. ‘The proclamation to the German nation’ speech was his first radio address that took place on February 1st 1933, just two days after he was appointed Chancellor. He spoke to the German people about his visions for the future of the country. This government proclamation outlined the perceived affliction of German society and the Nazis plans to fix it. In this speech, he shared his visions for the future of the country and aimed to prove to his audience that he himself was Germany’s sole saviour. His goal was to show the rest of the world that Germany had not fallen into disgrace and eternal defeat instead, that Germany was destined to rise to greatness once again. This sounded appealing to his many supporters who at this point were willing to accept salvation from any remotely credible individual who offered it.

Hitler made it his goal to capture his audience. It is undeniable that Hitler used his audiences weaknesses and vulnerability to show that he was and will be the saviour of Germany, the one individual who can reestablish the proud and powerful nation. In retrospect, we now view Hitler as a nefarious figure in history rather than a saviour, as it was Hitler’s employment of fear and manipulation that would inevitably allow for Hitler to push his ideology even through the atrocities of the second World War. Right from the beginning, it’s evident that Adolf Hitler’s clear sense of purpose and determination allowed him to achieve such great power. World War I conditions and treaties ultimately held responsibility for the Rise of Adolf Hitler and his harsh perceptions that shaped and soon enough took over the German nation.

The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (essay)

The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in the late 1920’s and beyond was no coincidence. In 1928, the Nazis had only 12 seats in the Reichstag; by July 1932 they had 230 seats and were the largest political party. In only four years Adolf Hitler managed to take his fairly unknown party to be the majority leaders of Germany, and two years after that Hitler himself was Chancellor of Germany. In a little over a year, one man completely manipulated an entire government and legal system to acquire complete power over an entire nation. In saying that, Hitler’s rise to power can be attributed to many factors, but arguably the most significant factors were the Great Depression, his oratory skills and the propaganda used to confirm his supremacy.

When the stock market collapsed on Wall Street on Tuesday, October 29, 1929, it sent financial markets worldwide into a tailspin with disastrous effects. Germany was especially vulnerable as most of the nation was funded with borrowed money. When this borrowed money was recalled, Germany slid into full economic collapse. What made it so terrible for Germany was the suddenness of it all, and now the country that had bore humiliation in 1919 from the Treaty of Versailles had to bear it again. German families were thrust into poverty, desperately looking for a way out. Adolf Hitler saw that his opportunity had arrived. By 1930 there were over three million unemployed German citizens and the Nazi party relished the opportunity of the 1930 elections. The Nazis gained 95 seats in that election, becoming the second-largest party in the German government. Hitler was using the German population’s desperation for change in his struggle for power. There were a few hiccups along the way, with the Nazi party losing some elections, but it only took a further three years for Hitler to achieve his goal of complete power. In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, a title which held with it a lot of power.

There was no single factor to Hitler’s rise to power, however Hitler’s oratory skills were a significant factor in his rise to power. This is due to the fact that his success was largely accounted for by his popularity. Hitler’s oratory skills are renowned and even in modern day society he is known for his spectacular speeches, among other things. His style of an orator was the result of practice, often making up to 10 speeches per day. According to Bullock, “by the time he came to power in 1933 there were few towns of any size in the Reich where he had not spoken” (Bullock, 1952). Both Goebbels and Bullock agree that Hitler’s manner of speaking was not faultless, but the passion and energy with which he spoke made up for his small faults. “Hitler worked himself up into such a frenzy when he gave speeches that his eyes would bulge, his face would turn white and he would often spit all over the people in the front row!” (Malone, 2009) Hitler’s oratory skills were honed making speeches in beer halls to the working class and students in doing this he connected with the bulk of Germany’s population which would later help the Nazi political party in the government elections. He spoke about things that were relevant to the German people and played on their needs to blame someone for their losses. He knew how to twist their emotions like clay and in doing this; he managed to gain the majority following of the entire German population.

The use of anti-semantic propaganda that Hitler and the Nazi party used was a very important factor in the capture of their supremacy. “Of all the new weapons and tactics employed by Nazi Germany prior and during World War II, propaganda was one of the most important, both to the war effort and maintaining the loyalty of the German people to Hitler (Stout, 2011).” According to Adolf Hitler himself, “the art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotions of the masses and hitting those emotions” (Hitler, 1943). Hitler believed so truly in his propaganda that he created the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, spearheaded by Joseph Goebbels himself. Thibeault provides a useful model to describe why Hitler created the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda – “to keep people in line without force” (Thibeault, 1998).

In doing this, he managed to keep the near complete support of the German population. Simple themes and slogans repeated over and over were striking features of Nazi propaganda and the ministry. ‘Freedom’ and ‘victory’ in regards to Germany were two common motifs used in that time. Radio and film were crucial elements in Hitler’s propaganda network. In fact, in 1933, a cheap radio, the Volksempflänge (nicknamed the Goebbels blaster) was mass-produced and over 3.5 million were sold. Not only did this allow the mass broadcast of public ceremonies and speeches by Hitler and other Nazi leaders in their entirety, it also funded the propaganda ministry; between 1933 and 1943 the sale of radios and radio licenses covered almost 90% of the ministry’s expenses. The foundation of Hitler’s success was his energy and ability as a political leader. Hitler’s genius as a politician lay in his unequalled grasp of what could be done by propaganda, and his flair for seeing how to do it.

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Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the late 1920’s and beyond can be attributed to many factors. In looking at all the conclusive facts and arguments, the sensible conclusion that can be reached it that Hitler came to power due to a combination of methods. However, the backbone of his rise to power is based on his superior oratory skills and the effective propaganda circulated. Both of these methods helped Hitler to gain the majority following of the German population. He did this through propaganda techniques such as using simple themes and slogans, reoccurring motifs and hitting the emotions of the German people. His superior oratory skills can be directly attributed to his passion regarding the subject matter. All of these together helped to perfectly orchestrate Hitler’s rise to power.

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