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Lindsey Chant

P. 1, History 12

The Rise of Adolf Hitler 1919 – 1934

Adolf Hitler had a remarkably huge impact on our world, and it was not a positive

one. In following his extreme political, racial and religious views, he slaughtered millions

of innocent people and led a kind of massacre that had never been seen before. Asking

oneself the question of how a man like Hitler got into power in the first place is a

question that needs answering to prevent history from repeating itself.

Hitler’s extremist views took their shape during the First World War, joining up

with a Bavarian unit at age 25. Corporal Hitler worked as a dispatch runner, transporting

messaged from the command centers to the units on the front line. Upon his return from

the ‘war to end all wars’, Hitler joined a party called the German Workers Party, a group

made up of 89 other members; within that same year, 1919, Germany becomes the

Weimar Republic, the liberal, democratic parliamentary republic that replaced the former

imperial style of government. Within the short span of two years, Hitler climbed through

the ranks of the German Workers Party to his position leading it. With his coming to

power there, it became the Nazi party, and his extremist ideals were matched in many of

the other party members.

Like Mussolini, the Treaty of Versailles paved Hitler’s path to power. Germany

had suffered greatly from the stipulations of the treaty, and the excessive printing of the

German currency caused the money’s value to drop. Hitler also had a private militia

called the Sturm Abteilung, known as the “Storm Troopers” or “Brown Shirts”. In 1923,

Hitler tried to seize power through forceful means in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, but he
failed. He was charged and sent to prison, where he wrote Mein Kampf, or “My

Struggle”

In 1928, the Nazi party ran in the German election, and won 230 seats in

Parliament, and in 1933 Hitler became chancellor. When Hitler requested the president

for the dissolving of the Reichstag, the Parliament building burned, and the communists

were blamed for the act. This gave Hitler the upper hand in the next election, crushing the

communist parties and giving Hitler the majority vote. The enabling act was passed when

Hitler gained the support of the Center Party, giving him a majority government and

allowing acts to be committed outside the limits of the constitution. Hitler was, by

definition, a dictator of a major military force.

Shortly thereafter, Hitler passed a plebiscite that combined the position of the

president and the chancellor, making him the Supreme Commander of Germany. He had

promised to pull the country out of the depression and create new jobs, in a similar way

to Mussolini. Hitler stockpiled armaments and enlisted more and more soldiers; Britain

and France’s use of appeasement on Nazi Germany gave its army the opportunity to

expand into a nigh unstoppable force with enough firepower for world-domination –

which was exactly what Hitler wanted.

Hitler’s rise to power was aided by the state of the economy and the chaos

enveloping his country. He drew opportunity from the Treaty of Versailles and the terror

of the threat of communism that held his nation in an iron fist. He had an angle for every

person: the economic depression gave him leverage with his promises of work and

money to those in need, and a promise to those who had what they needed that

communism would not take their possessions away. He worked for the best for both the
poor and the well-off, and succeeded in giving it to them; unfortunately, his main agenda

was world-domination and the extermination of the Jewish people. Without his extreme

values, he could have been remembered as Germany’s savior, but instead he is

remembered as one of the most hated individuals of the 20th century.