The Rise Of Hitler Essay

1787 words - 7 pages

Adolf Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor of Germany and leader of the German people is often portrayed as the result of a sweeping electoral victory. In reality Hitler’s rise was incremental, requiring (a patchwork of political support from) an assimilation of support from various demographics as well as influential political figures. An area of perpetual historiographical debate is, specifically, which demographic was more essential to Hitler’s rise - one school of thought maintains the significance of the lower middle class in the (spread and rise to power of the) popularization of the Nazi party, while the other argues that it was the “German elite” who more effectively aided them. The following essay will focus primarily on the latter school of thought. As a result of the Industrial Revolution the structure of German society was dramatically changed affected; newly emerging social tension between the wealthy capitalists and the urban poor caused more traditional capitalist to seek out allies with similar socio-political views. The product of this alliance was a fusion of German aristocracy (Junkers) and the German industrialists. Junkers dominated the higher civil offices and the officer corps, while the industrialists controlled the means to production. This fusion created a new social elite -the traditional German elite. It is this traditional elite that played a fundamental role in assisting in Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.

The combination of the loss of the first World War and the Treaty of Versailles’ harsh punitive measures crippled Germany economically, militarily and psychologically. The German populace had been left resentful, searching for someone to blame. Reassurance came in the form of the traditional German elite, specifically from a man named Erich Von Luttendorf. During an investigation of the reasons behind Germany’s losses by the National Assembly, Luttendorf claimed “the army had been stabbed in the back by persons whom he need not point out.” Luttendorf, alludes that these person were of Jewish ancestry. these persons primarily were the Jews. However because communism was a rejected political and social thought these anathemas often were combined - Bolsheviks and Jews were one . Events like the formation of a Worker and Sailor council in the port of Keil in 1919 (a union originally formed in mutiny) only helped to solidify this fear which with time filtered down from the traditional elite to the grass roots of the German population. In German thought, Jews were profiteering on the home front while ‘good’ Germans were dying.
Lending further legitimization to these anti-Semitic and anti-Communist beliefs were the professionals of the traditional elite whose support for proto-Nazi groups became increasingly apparent at the beginning of the Weimar Republic .Scientist support of eugenics is an accurate indicator of the elite’s political inclinations within the medical profession. Like the Junkers, many...

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