Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

13 Dec 2022  Read 615 Views

We’ve all heard this story where an eleven-year-old German kid overheard his parents discussing whether they should attempt suicide or kill the entire family. His father said, ‘Now the allies will do what we did to the crippled and Jews.’ The very next day, his father committed suicide in his office. His father was a Nazi and a big supporter of Adolf Hitler. Who was Hitler? How did he rule Germany, and why he hated Jews? Let us know in the article below.

What is Nazism?

Under Adolf Hitler's leadership, the fascist political movement known as the Nazis developed in Germany after World War One. Nazism promoted extreme nationalism, militarism, and expansionism while severely restricting individual freedom. Nazis believed that Germans were Aryan descendants. They argued that because Jews, Slavs, and other ethnic minorities were genetically inferior, they had no purpose in residing in Germany. Nazis opposed democratic political ideologies such as democracy, communism, socialism, and others. In principle and in practice, they opposed liberalism and any manifestations of individualism. Nazis pledged to create a peaceful, well-organized, and prosperous society for Germans. They brought war, terrorism, and mass murder.

Hitler made Germany ready for war after seizing political power in 1933 through questionable means. He rearmed the country, first covertly and then overtly violating the Treaty of Versailles. He formed an alliance with Italy's fascist leader Mussolini. Later, Japan became a part of this alliance, becoming the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. Nazi propaganda was secretly spread throughout India by the Axis countries, especially Nazi Germany, as war clouds began to gather over the continent of Europe.

Origin of the Weimar Republic

The first World War was fought between Germany with the Austrian empire and against the allies, i.e., England, France and Russia, which the allies won. A National Assembly established a democratic constitution with a federal form in Weimer. However, the terms the republic was compelled to accept in the wake of Germany's defeat at the end of the First World War did not sit well with its own citizens. Many Germans blamed the new Weimer Republic for the humiliation at Versailles and the country’s war failure.

The conflict had a severe psychological and economic effect on the entire continent. Europe went from being a creditor to being a debtor. The Weimer Republic's supporters faced criticism and were frequently attacked by conservative nationalists. Civilians are now subordinate to soldiers. National pride and aggressive war propaganda gained importance.

The Spartacist League's revolt, which followed the lead of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, occurred at the same time as the founding of the Weimer Republic. The Spartacists established the Communist Party of Germany. The 1923 economic crisis increased political radicalisation. France invaded Germany's most important industrial region, the Ruhr because Germany refused to pay the war reparations. Germany replied by rashly producing paper money. The mark's value plummeted. The cost of things increased. Hyperinflation was experienced.

Although it was built on sand, 1924 to 1928 showed considerable stability. Germany completely depended on short-term loans, most of which came from the US. This support was cut off when the Wall Street Exchange crashed in 1929. The German economy suffered terribly. The fear of proletarianisation gripped the working class and the middle class. The Weimer Republic had a few flaws from the start:

1. Proper Representation

2. Article 48 granted the President the authority to declare an emergency, suspend civil liberties, and rule by executive order.

The treaty of Versailles

On June 28, 1919, Germany and the Allies signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World War One. Under the treaty’s terms, Germany was obligated to make financial reparations, disarm, cede territory, and give up all of its colonies abroad.

The rise of Hitler

In 1889, Hitler was born in Austria. He received many medals for his courage during the First World War.

He was shocked at the German defeat. He was enraged by the Versailles Treaty. As a member, he changed the name of the German Workers Party to the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The Nazi Party later became the name for this group. Only during the Great Depression did Nazism grow to be a widespread movement. Nazi propaganda instilled dreams of a better tomorrow. Hitler was a charismatic and persuasive orator. He assured them that a strong country would provide jobs for everyone.

On January 30, 1933, Hitler rose to the top of the cabinet of ministers. Hitler then set out to destroy the institutions of democracy. The Fire Decree curtailed the freedoms of speech, the press, and assembly on February 28, 1933. Communists were hastily transferred to freshly built detention camps. Every political party was outlawed. Specialised surveillance and security units were established to keep the populace under control and govern with impunity.

Hitler’s beliefs about Jews

1. Religious tussle – For many years, there have been conflicts between Christianity and Judaism, which in part contributed to the rise of antisemitism in Europe.

2. Anti-semitism in Vienna - Hitler spent a portion of his early years in Vienna, Austria, where antisemitism was widely accepted and practised. He might have been affected by some of the ideologies prevalent in that setting.

3. Jewish Economic Power - At the start of World War 1, most banks, financial institutions, and big corporations were under Jewish control. Hitler attributed Jewish capitalism as the cause of Germany's defeat in the war, its economic collapse, and the misguided policies of the Weimar Republic.

4. Conspiracy theory - According to Hitler, Jews were plotting to take over the world and would stab Germans according to their will.

5. Biological differences - Hitler and many other Nazis held that the Aryan (German) race was superior and that Jews were so drastically degraded to be almost non-human. He believed that by eradicating the Jewish race, he would be doing the world a favour.

Youth in Nazi

Hitler believed that by teaching Nazi philosophy to young people, a powerful Nazi society could be built.

German teachers were provided to every school. Desirable and undesirable groups of kids were differentiated. Books were altered, and the purpose of sports in schools was to foster an aggressive and violent mindset. Jungvolk required ten-year-olds to enrol. All boys joined "Hitler Youth" at age 14, and at age 18, they enlisted in the labour force.

The Nazi Cult of Motherhood – Women were encouraged to have pure-blooded Aryan children and to be good mothers. They were urged to have several offspring.

The Nazi dictatorship used language and media with care and frequently to manipulate public opinion. They propagated anti-Jewish sentiment using movies, images, radio, posters, etc.

Crimes against Humanity – People spoke and perceived the world through Nazi lenses. At times, the Nazi preconceptions about Jews even started to spread among them.

Knowledge of the Holocaust – It wasn't until the war was over that people learned what had happened. Jews wanted the entire world to be aware of the horrors and hardships they had gone through during the Nazi murder campaigns. They merely desired to live, even if only for a few periods, to inform people about the Holocaust. 

About the Author: Gurpreet Kaur Dutta | 63 Post(s)

A legal content writer who pursued BBA-LL.B.(H) from Amity University Chhattisgarh. She has a keen interest in corporate and IPR sectors. 

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