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Can The Rise Of Hitler Be Explained On Purely Economic Grounds?

1034 words - 4 pages

Can the rise of Hitler be explained on purely economic grounds?

The end of WWII proved to the world that Adolf Hitler's power in Germany was extraordinary and defeat less. Historians have plucked apart Hitler's life trying to find an explanation for his rise to power that took place in the 19th and 20th centuries of Germany. It has been thought that the course of Germany's history would have been drastically different if in fact Germany had won WWI. Is it right to make such a bold statement regarding an era that produced the worst genocide the world has ever seen? Can we take history and create an explanation as to why Hitler and the Nazi party came to power? The only way to devise a thesis is by looking into the background of the time, the people, the government, and the standing of Germany's economy of the time. It was after WWI in 1918 when Germany took a dive into an extreme ultra-nationalistic lifestyle and began a new political structure unlike any other. The series of catastrophic events that took place in Germany from 1918 onward helped pave the way for Hitler's rise to power. Through propaganda, Hitler used the turmoil's of the German people to expand his power. More than anything it was economics driving the population into the hands of a man who seemed like Germany's last resort.

On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Under the terms of the treaty, Germany was forced to accept responsibility for causing the war and had to pay immense war reparations for all the damage that had been done. The inflation that swept through Germany after WWI was triggered by a huge increase in the nation's money supply, caused in part by the heavy demands of the reparations placed upon Germany. Where merchants would raise prices automatically people would hoard food and goods, figuring the price would go up which caused huge shortages around the nation. Hitler spoke out endlessly against the treaty and placed much of the blame of WWI on the Jew's and Marxists which helped Hitler gain a massive amount of support throughout Germany. Even though during the hyperinflation the National Socialist party grew little if at all, there was a massive outbreak of propaganda used by Hitler to show the masses what he could do and others couldn't. Hitler and the Nazi party placed much of its focus towards the lower-middle classes of Germany and created a propaganda beast that would place these classes under Hitler's spell. Promising the end of large industries and corporations by replacing them with the old way of small businesses and independent work, Hitler soon became the artisans and shopkeepers new best friend. It was through the hardships of hyperinflation that the National Socialists were able to gain some support, but the people most effected by the inflation were still focusing their attention towards other right-wing groups of the Weimar Republic. It soon became clear that catastrophic event would have to take place for the masses to...

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