Adolf Hitler and the Nazis Rise to Power
Uploaded by Admin on Jan 16, 2001
Adolf Hitler was one of the 20th century’s most powerful dictators. He was responsible for World War II and the death of millions. Hitler saw a nation in despair and used this as an opportunity to gain political power. He saw a nation of unemployed and hungry citizens and promised them economic prosperity in return for absolute power. Someone once said “The Nazis rose to power on the empty stomachs of the German people”.
Hitler was born in Austria-Hungary in 1889. His father, Alois Hitler, worked in Austrian customs service. Hitler had a relatively comfortable childhood. Although he was an above average student he was more interested in art than in academics. Like most German speaking citizens of Austria-Hungary, Hitler considered himself German and developed a strong sense of German nationalism. By 1908 both Hitler’s parents had died. Hitler pretended to continue his studies in order to receive an orphan’s pension.
In 1913, Hitler went to Munich to escape Austrian authorities who were after him because he failed to register for the draft. Hitler volunteered for the German army.When Germany was defeated in 1918, he blamed the Jews and decided he would go into politics to save the country.
After the war, Hitler returned to Munich. He was selected to be a political speaker by the local army headquarters. He was given special training in public speaking. Later in life Hitler used his skill in motivational speaking to gain the support of the German people for the Nazi party.
Hitler was selected as an observer of political groups in the Munich area. During this time period he was introduced to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known as the Nazi Party. The Nazis shared his dislike of the liberal democracy of the Weimar Republic as well as his violent racial nationalism and anti-Semitism. In 1921 he was named the absolute leader of the Nazi Party.
After its defeat in World War I, Germany was forced to give up land, demilitarize and pay war reparations. When Germany refused to pay all that was demanded, France and Belgium occupied the coal mines in the Ruhr industrial area. The German government ordered the workers to strike as a form of passive resistance. To compensate these workers the German government printed huge amounts of new money. This led to inflation. German currency rapidly lost value. Many people were unemployed and on the brink of starvation.