The Holocaust and the Cultivation of Bigotry and Hate
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe was about 9.5 million people. The number represented more than 60 percent of the world's Jewish population at that time, estimated at 15.3 million. So how could two out of every three European Jews be dead by the end of World War 2? The answer to this question lies in the hands of Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler has helped destroy the lives of millions of families around the world, but how was he able to take part in these mass killing of Jews all around Europe.
When Adolph Hitler was 18, he became interested in German nationalism, because he lived on the German-Austrian border. He became interested in politics, only after failing in art. Hitler became close friends with the mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger. Lueger was an anti-Semite and Jew hater. Even though Hitler still had a few Jewish friends, the messages from Lueger began to sink in. In World War 1, Hitler volunteered his services to Germany, claiming a sense of pride and belonging to the German army. He was not a great solider, but Hitler was stoic, loyal, and courageous. After the war he became increasingly anti-Semitic, which won the attention of his superiors.
The Rise of the Nazi party
At the end of 1919, the German army had Hitler, now age 30, and looks into an organization called the German Worker?s Party. Soon after, Hitler joined and became head of propaganda. The party fiercely attacked Communism, and was heavily anti-Semitic. As more and more people feared Communist revolution in Germany, the more and more people joined the party. In 1920, Hitler modified a common ancient symbol to form the swastika, or twisted cross, as a symbol for his party. He then changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Worker?s Party, or, in the shortened German form, the NAZI party. By 1921, the Nazi party had over 3000 members, mostly drawing in large numbers of ultra-conservatives from Munich. Between 1921 and 1923, Germany had collapsed into financial ruin. Germany was presented with a 33 billion dollar bill, as reparations as a result of World War I. Inflation hit the roof, and the economy was finished. Life savings were completely wiped out. As a result, riots broke out. These riots incited extremist political groups into action, quickly bringing Germany to the brink of chaos. In 1923, the Nazi?s had a party population of 55,000 members, far more than any extremist group vying for power (Encarta). Hitler, knowing this, devised a plan, in which the Nazi?s would kidnap the leaders of the Bavarian government, and hold them at gunpoint until they accepted Hitler as their leader. The kidnapping was supposed to take place at a beer hall in Munich.
Of course, none of this was true, but the people in the beer hall did not know the difference. Hitler ordered the 3 Bavarian officials to a back room, and proclaimed ??I have four bullets in this gun: three for you...