The ensuing “German Tragedy”
Trace Adolph Hitler’s career from 1919 to 1939 and the ensuing “German Tragedy” Describe Hitler’s early career (World War I through the 1920s), and assess possible formative influences that set the background for the beginning of the Nazi movement. Provide a brief synopsis of the beginning of the Weimar Republic. Why did the years of 1929-1933 bring the Weimar Republic to an end? Assess the significance of the economic conditions that contributed to the rise of Nazism. How then , did Hitter Germany out of economic depression ? How did Hitler manipulate constitutional policy to usurp power from 1933 – 1939 Why was Hitler’s message so convincing to the German people? How could such a psychopath gain total power?
German Tragedy: Hitler’s Rise to Power
Various circumstances contributed to Hitler’s rise to the helm of the Nazi leadership. Hitler was born in Austria in 1889 (Hett, 2018). However, when his parents died, he spends some time in Linz trying to figure out his life before moving to Munich in 1913 to be screened for Austrian military services. However, he failed due to lack of physical vigor. Nonetheless, he managed to get into the army after the onset of the Second World War and was deployed to Belgium after a successful training period. He took part in the first war of Ypres. His heroic acts in the war made him to be recognized by the Regime (Hett, 2018). In 1918, following Germany’s defeat in the First World War, The Weimar Republic was formed. It was composed of the Democratic Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party, shifting power from the hands of the military. The Weimar Republic was the government in place from 1919 until 1923, when Nazis took over. Hitler took a role in political work in Munich as a political agent, and joined the German Workers Party (Kovács, 2020). In 1920, he was made responsible for the party’s propaganda. Thus, he left the army and devoted his time popularizing the agenda of the party. Later the same year, the party was named National-sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NAZI).
The political conditions in the country were favorable for the formation of small parties, and Hitler would take advantage of that. He joined the Private Party Army and used his skills in propaganda to make the party recognized nationally (Kovács, 2020). His ability to attract a crowd based on propaganda attracted the leadership of Nazi. The Nazi party was hitting climax in its rapid growth in Bavaria, and Hitler and General Erich Ludendorff tried to seize power by forcing the government of Bavaria to proclaim a national revolution (Kovács, 2020). He was arrested and charged with treason. However, he served for nine months and was released. He was forbidden from making speeches in Bavaria and some parts of Germany until 1928.
Nonetheless, Hitler had established his position in the party by 1926, and he was ready to make his moves to become the leader of the party. Therefore, he took advantage of the advent of depression in 1929 to form alliance with Alfred Hugenberg, who was a respected nationalist (Kovács, 2020). He used Hugenberg’s newspaper to reach out to the national audience for the first time in 1930. Besides, he was able to reach wealthy business individuals who controlled the political finds of the country. They were ready to form a strong right wing and an antisocialist government.
The period between 1929 and 1933 saw many activities that resulted to the fall of the Weimar Republic. Hitler was successful in making emotional appeal to the lower and middle class, setting the people against the government (Kovács, 2020). Economic depression of 1929 had painted the Weimar Republic in bad light. Germany suffered the depression more than all European countries due to the recall of the American loans. The rate of unemployed increased in Germany. People were angry and desperate, they were looking for any source of hope, someone who could make things happen by giving alternative options(Voth, 2020). Therefore, it was easy for Hitler to convince people assuring them that Germany would defeat the economic challenges to regain its natural glory when his team ascends to power.
Hitler established a truly national party, which received support across all economic classes and religious alignment. This was not a defficult thin to achieve in Germany at the time. He had perfected his propaganda, and used it the tool to popularize his agenda. Nazi party emerged second most popular party in Germany. For instance, it moved from 2.6% votes received in 1928 elections to 18% in the 1930 elections (Kovács, 2020). In 1932, he opposed Hindenburg in a presidential election and garnered 36 percent of the votes. After a series of negotiations, he was made chancellor on January 30, 1933 (Voth, 2020). Hitler directed his focus to dismantling the democracy of Germany. Moving forward, he eliminated potential threat opposition parties to increase his chances of becoming the absolute leader of Germany. President Hindenburg died in 1934 and Hitler declared himself German leader.
Hitler got Germany out of economic depression by creating several plans that put Germany back to work. The government introduced laws to reduce unemployment. He funded the construction projects and encouraging business (Kovács, 2020). He introduced a policy that made women to stop working, this reduced job competition for men. Unemployed workers were encouraged to join the National Volunteer Labor Service. They were engaged to work on construction projects and public land (Voth, 2020). Germans believed in him since his plans were working. People got jobs and economy improved. Hitler used the constitution to usurp power, he forced the parliament to pass the Enabling Act that made Hitler most powerful leader in the country. He asked President Hindenburg to pass emergency protection law to allow him address the challenges of the country (Voth, 2020). The powers allowed him to arrest people and control newspapers among other issues. The Reichstag Fire Decree granted article 48 powers to Hitler.
Hett, B. C. (2018). The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic. Henry Holt and Company.
Kovács, K. (2020). Democracy in Lockdown. Social Research: An International Quarterly, 87(2), 257-264.
Voth, H. J. (2020). Roots of war: Hitler’s Rise to Power. The Economics of the Second World War: Seventy-Five Years On, edited by. S. Broadberry and M. Harrison, 9-17.