January 10th, 2018
The Rise of Hitler
Hitler’s reign was marked by persistent racial discrimination but his rise to power was a consequence of increased liberty in Germany. Following years of suppression by the French and Napoleonic wars, the Germans found the idea of state nationalism appealing. However, probably of equal importance to such suppression in spurring Hitler’s rise, was adoption of a liberal constitution that allowed individuals to propagate their culture. Through the propagation of the German culture, eventually, the Germans could entertain the thought of their culture to be superior to cultures of other races, especially their neighbors, thus allowing them to accept the principles advanced by Hitler.
Adolf Hitler was a renowned German politician born in the Austrian village of Braunau Am Inn on April 20th, 1889 to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl (Payne 5). He was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party usually referred to as the Nazi Party and later he rose to become the Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 (Payne 215). Hitler is mainly commemorated for the central roles he played in the development of fascism in Europe, the Second World War and The Holocaust, an organized state-planned program aimed at exterminating all the Jews on the Nazi-occupied Europe.
Hitler was an honored veteran of the First World War; after the war he joined the antecedent of the Nazi Party (DAP), and rose to be the leader of National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in 1921 (Payne 215). In November 8-9, 1923, He unsuccessfully staged a coup d’état at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich. This is commonly referred to as the Beer Hall Putsch. Subsequently, he was jailed for his participation in the failed coup, and while still in jail, he wrote his chronicle titled My Struggle (Payne 215). He was set free on December 20th, 1924; he gained popularity by advancing Pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism and anti-communism with propaganda, oratory and charismatic character. After his appointment as the chancellor on January 30, 1933, he changed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich (Burleigh 460). The Third Reich was a one-party absolute rule based on the dictatorial and tyrannical philosophies of Nazism. Hitler ultimately sought to institute a New Order of supreme Nazi German supremacy in Europe. According to Burleigh (460) in order to realize this, he adopted a foreign policy with the affirmed target of conquering a wider region for expansion of the master race of German population (Aryan people); he mobilized and directed the state resources in achieving this misguided goal including the rearmament of Germany. His ambitions culminated in 1939 when the unified armed forces of Germany attacked Poland. This resulted to the outbreak of Second World War in Europe when France and the United Kingdom declared war against Germany in reaction to this attack (David 460).
In a period of three years, Hitler’s forces and his European allies had conquered a large part of Europe, and significant regions of North Africa. However, Allied Forces reversed the Nazi invasion and by 1944, they had managed to surround the German-controlled Europe (Burleigh 459). During the war, Hitler orchestrated systematic Nazi forces engaged in numerous violent acts including the systematic massacre of as many as 17 million non-Aryan people including six million Jews (in the Holocaust), approximately 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma, Poles, Slavs, war prisoners, disabled people, gays, political and religious rivals such as Jehovah’s Witnesses (Burleigh 462). The last stages of the conflict culminated in the Battle of Berlin in 1945; when Hitler realized that his forces would be defeated, he and his wife, Ann Braun, committed suicide in order to evade arrest by Soviet forces (Payne 624).