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The Great Depression As The Main Reason For Hitler's Rise To Power

2508 words - 10 pages

The Great Depression as the Main Reason for Hitler's Rise to Power

On 20th April 1889, at 18.30, Adolf Hitler was born in a small
Austrian village. There is not one sole reason as to why this young
farm boy grew up to become one of the world’s most well known leaders,
but the main factors in Hitler’s rise to power were his natural
leadership skills, clever use of words, charisma, passion for German
nationalism, abhorrence of Jews, communists, foreigners and his
ability to use the Treaty of Versailles, Wall Street Crash, Munich
Putsch, Weimar Constitution and Enabling Act to his advantage.

Hitler’s father, Alois, greatly influenced Hitler’s personality;
having retired from the Austrian civil service when Hitler was six, he
was used to giving strict orders and seeing them obeyed. He was a
strict authoritarian figure that watched over his children and
expected them to be disciplined. This enforcement of discipline, need
for order and traditionalism emotionally scarred young Adolf. He
wanted to pursue his artistic talents but was forced, by his father,
to attend a technical college in preparation for a career in the civil
service, this left him feeling resentful and rebellious which was
expanded on in Hitler’s semi autobiographical work, ‘Mein Kampf’; "I
thought that once my father saw what little progress I was making at
the (technical school) he would let me devote myself to the happiness
I dreamed of”. Being the oldest in his year he developed leadership
qualities from a very young age, and considered himself the ‘ring
leader’ of his fellow peers. As a young boy Hitler enjoyed playing war
games, of ‘cowboys and Indians’, as the tales of west America were
popular with young German and Austrian boys. Using Karl May’s stories
of how a white man always defeated the Native Americans through will
power and bravery alone, Adolf re-enacted scenes and improved on his
confidence and developed a racial intolerance, especially for the
Slavs. These leadership qualities that Adolf had built up were
enhanced further, as at the age of thirteen, his father died, leaving
Hitler to become the head of the household. Hitler hence became a
good, confident public speaker, and was defiant about what he believed
in, showing his stubbornness and short temper that he inherited from
his father. At a young age Adolf found and read a book on the war
between the French and Germans, he soon became obsessed with it and
read it over and over again, convincing himself that it had been a
‘glorious event’. Another of Adolf’s interests was the opera; he saw
his first opera at the age of twelve and was captivated by its
Germanic music, pagan myths, tales of ancient Kings and Knights and
their glorious struggles against hated enemies. This led to another
obsession of German nationalism, where he and his friends would use
...

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