Historians put a great deal of their focus on the Nazi party when they discuss events like the Holocaust and World War II. Everyone knows that Hitler and his bunch were demented, evil, and overbearing, but rarely does one question how they came into power. After all, it did not happen just by accident. In fact, there were many reasons why the Nazi party came to prominence and why Hitler himself gained the kind of power that he would eventually utilize. The economic and political factors are equally important, especially when one tries to understand the Nazi party itself in Germany at the time.
Still, that does not do nearly enough justice in trying to explain how a person like Hitler could gain the trust of a whole nation. With Germany in disarray, they were absolutely primed for such a move to power by a person like Hitler. Though certain economic factors such as hyperinflation played a role in helping create the Nazi party, it was Hitler’s oratory skills and his strategic use of Goebbels propaganda that helped him gain the confidence of the German people and it was the stimulus for what would eventually be a highly brutal reign.
The primary reasons why Hitler was able to gain power in Germany had to do with the state of the nation at the time. Without looking at any of the other pertinent evidence, most people assume that the German people were “bad” people that did not have a good sense of how to choose a leader. A little bit of research will show that this is false. The German people were about like any other large group of people in a nation, except for one difference. They were desperate. With the events that happened in World War I and the resulting fallout from those events, Germany was a nation that was looking for answers to their many questions.
The first World War left them looking for these answers because it nearly devastated their government system, their economy, and truthfully, their entire way of living. ThinkQuest’s article on the country at the time sheds an interesting light on the situation and gives and equally interesting perspective. In that article, it reads, “Germans were left in a humiliated, chaotic country that became entrenched in a Civil War. Right wing members of the Freikorps fought with the left wing and lost, and the unstable democratic Weimar Republic gained control of the country” (ThinkQuest.
com). This clearly shows the state of the nation at the time. It was a nation that so desperately wanted a solution for all of the madness that they were willing to listen to just about anything that anyone had to tell them. This is where Hitler came into play, though it was not by chance that he was able to have such a significant impact on the country. Hitler himself was no ordinary leader and he carried with him no ordinary cause. Despite all of his other faults and all of his known grievances, Hitler was a leader that had a strong penchant for public speaking.
In order to truly understand Hitler’s ability to persuade people with his public speaking, one has to know the extent of his background. Hitler did his fair share of work in schools during his childhood development. Unlike many children around him during that time in Germany, his parents had a significant focus on education and forced him to become well studied. According to a Britannica Encyclopedia article, “He studied at Linz and Steyr, and attended an art school in Munich” (Britannica). This taught him the language and how to speak well. There, he learned to be persuasive, as well.
Later, he even went on to serve in German military, where he was commanding officer. As one can clearly see, Hitler’s entire background was built upon learning how to use persuasive speech in order to get people to take action. Hitler’s oratory skills might not have fully been utilized had he come up in any other situation in any other nation. In fact, one might even say that Adolf Hitler and the rest of the Nazi party was in the right place at the right time. As has been well documented, there were numerous problems in Germany that existed between the World Wars.
Most of these came as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. This was a good treaty in that it ended the conflict in World War I and put the world back at peace. On the surface, it appeared that everything was going to be alright following the conflict. The actual, real life result of the treaty was not nearly as kind to Germany, though. Because the Allied forces had won the war, they could pretty much impose whatever sort of sanctions they wanted in the treaty. Germany was beaten down in a military sense, so they were happy to comply.
This combination led to the complete taking advantage of Germany and set them up for economic failure in the time following the war. Because so many trade sanctions had been put on Germany, their dollar was basically worth nothing and their people had no purchasing power. The hard working people of Germany had no recourse, because all of these things had been agreed upon without their understanding. That meant that the people of Germany were working extremely hard at their jobs to try to make enough money just to survive.
The whole economy was destroyed, they kicked their government out of office, and they had to put up with a Civil War that was fought because many different parties sought control of the new nation. Hitler and his band of Nazis were one of the most influential groups that sought this control. As one might expect, their party was able to exist and gain broad support in the country because it wanted vast economic reform. In a nation of desperate people, reform is a very popular idea. The party gave just about anyone a chance to improve their situation. In a way, their idealistic mantra was a perfect fit for the country at the time.
This does not fully explain how Hitler came to power in the country, though. Even though the people of Germany were desperate did not mean that they just put him in office and told him to do whatever he deemed necessary. In fact, Adolf Hitler did more than his share of lobbying to the people of his country. As indicated earlier, that was his strong suit. Not only did he know how to speak to people, but he also knew the right things to say to people in order to get what he wanted. Some might call this leadership, while others could clearly mark it as manipulation. Either viewpoint would be correct, in this case.