Rise and fall of Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler was the ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Driven by his concepts of injustice and racism, he established a brutal totalitarian regime under the banner of Nazism. His drive for empire resulted in the devastation of World War II, culminating in Germany's defeat and the reordering of world power relationships. Hitler s rise to power was a vigilant achievement to which he used the asperity of his country to his advantage.

Early in 1919 a freely elected constituent assembly met in Weimar to write a constitution giving direct governing power to the Reichstag. This government soon resigned rather than signing the Treaty of Versi alles, the vindictive settlement imposed by the Paris Peace Conference. However, Germany really had no choice. In June 1919, the Weimar Assembly voted to comply with the treaty, which deprived Germany of large amounts of land, people and natural resources and forced it to pay enormous reparations. The payment of these reparations, in both cash and kind, placed a tremendous strain on a country already bankrupt by four years of war. During the later 1920 s, the German economy revived and politics settled down.

However, in 1929 the Great Depression hit Germany and the German economy collapsed. It was believed by many Germans that a strong leader would help restore strength and wealth to their once powerful nation. This was the situation that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power. Most Germans who supported Hitler during his rise to power did so out of desperation and the need for a strong leader.

The Great Depression opened the way for Hitler s success. Mass unemployment and vast insecurity among peoples and governments, dictated Hitlers way. He was a spirited and passionate speech maker, who appealed to the emotions of his audience rather than their reason and fed of their excitement, fears and hopes. Hitler s consolidation of power was a gradu a process consisting of a promise whereby Hitler presented himself as the saviour who would restore Germany to an advanced nation. He drew on many German beliefs, focusing mainly on obedience to the nation, militarism, anti-Semitism and anticommunism. He used these beliefs to attract the people of Germany to the Nazi party to which Halter was devoted leader.

Nazism refers to the beliefs and policies practiced by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers party. Although some views of Nazism, such as Nationalism and Anti-Semitism, had existed earlier in German history, the Nazi ideology as a whole was a product of the beliefs of Hitler, articulated in his book Mein Kampf. From the beginning, the Nazi party had offered the German people someone to blame and to hate - the Jews. The Nazis always promised that all Jews would be removed from public life if they came to power. Hitler, a brilliant master of the dark arts of propaganda, appealed to several groups within Germany. He offered aristocratic landowners and militarists share in government.

He promised the middle class and small farmers economic security and the promise to end unemployment attracted the millions of unemployed Germans. The character and political gifts of Hitler, and the appeal of the party to a wide range of Germans, played a major role in Hitler s rise to power. He had a special talent as a diplomat and this is the main factor in his ability to attract the masses of German people. With a display of ruthless determination to succeed at all costs, Hitler out manoeuvred the politicians around the President.

They were confident that he was under their control when he was appointed Chancellor, but within two months they, along with the rest of Germany, were under Hitlers control. The fact was that by 1932 there were simply not enough Germans who believed in democracy and individual freedom to save the Weimar Republic. No single figure had such an influence on 20 th century history. Hitler destroyed all previous standards of morality while creating a form of nationalism. Simplistic, charismatic, single-minded and lucky, this hostile, penniless, failed painter had somehow established a political party that very nearly ruined modern civilisation; killed 6 million Jews, 20 million Slavs and other inferior races. Word count 698 BIBLIOGRAPHY + Multimedia Encyclopedia, CD-ROMGroiler Inc.

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