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The German People Did “Nazi” Hitler Coming

1338 words - 5 pages

In 1932, Germany was in turmoil. Mass inflation had caused the prices of all commodities to rise, while the German people lived paycheck to paycheck. This type of socio-economic climate is notorious for breeding radical political ideologies. Ever since Germany lost the Great War (now called World War I) in 1918, the Germans had been required to pay reparations to the countries they had fought. While the US and UK prospered during the 1920s, Germany suffered. In order to pay off its debts, Germany raised taxes on the people and this caused businesses to increase their prices without raising employee salaries. The stock market crash of 1929 only made the situation worse for Germany, as the US and Britain stopped paying loans to Germany. All throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the Nazi party and the Communist party took advantage of Germany’s newfound freedom of speech to propagate their ideologies. While the Communist party argued for complete socio-economic equality, the Nazi party advocated a government of tight authority, Aryan superiority, and German pride. In most circumstances, the public would avoid these radical parties but desperate times called for desperate measures. While the people could see how Communism had changed Russia arguably for the worst, the Nazis provided an alternative to both the monarchy of old and the communists. Dissatisfied with the democratic government under President Hindenburg, the German people elected Adolf Hitler of the Nazi party as Germany’s president in 1933. Although Hitler initially brought prosperity and wealth to Germany, the German people should have seen the red flags because of Hitler’s over-the-top charisma, hatred of certain groups of people, loss of freedom, and fear of repercussions for dissent.
Incidentally, it was Hitler’s charismatic personality and charm in the early years that persuaded the German people to want to vote for him. After 15 years of struggling, the German people needed salvation. Disillusioned by their bleak economic situation from the end of World War I, they were willing to follow anyone who offered promises of hope and change to their lives. Many people today believe that Hitler was a cruel, ruthless tyrant who frightened everyone he came into contact with. While this is true during the final years of his reign, in the early years of his rise in the Nazi party, he could be quite charming and convincing. He gave numerous motivational speeches on how to fix Germany’s problems and make better lives for the German citizens. To a broken and unemployed people, promises of jobs and prosperity are welcome sounds. Not only did they like his promises, the German people could relate to him. They saw him as one of their own; not just a spineless politician or an out of touch monarch. To the German people, Hitler was “a quasi-religious leader who offered almost spiritual goals of redemption and salvation.” (Rees) What many German people didn’t realize, however, was that Hitler seemed too...

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