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Unraveling Adolf Hitler: His Leadership and Impact

Jul 22, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 22, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Introduction

For most people, the name Adolf Hitler brings three words to mind; dictator, socialist, and murderer. Best known for spearheading the holocaust, Hitler is regarded as the face of cruelty and inhumanity. Naturally, everybody is entitled to their own beliefs and philosophies, and so did Adolf Hitler. In comparison to other historical leaders, like Joseph Stalin, Hitler is often considered as the worst. This notion of thinking comes from previous knowledge or information from different literary sources or people. There can be no excuse for the evil things that Adolf Hitler did as a leader, neither can they be fixed. However, despite his undoing, some people argue that Hitler had a good side to him to some extent in his leadership. Although his brutal dictatorship caused a lot of suffering and deaths for many, ironically, his decisions and actions are considered, by some, to have bettered the nation of Germany in a lot of ways. Contrary to the numerous pieces of literature that only talk about Hitler as a monster, this paper looks at Hitler’s rise to power and what good came out of his leadership.

 

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Hitler’s Rise to Power

Born in Austria, bred in Germany, between the ages of 16 and 19, Hitler became interested in politics and history after he failed to achieve his ambition of being a great painter. His political career grew more and more until he became Germany’s Chancellor in 1933 and later the Fuhrer in 1934 till death. He established and led the National Socialist German Workers Party, also referred to as the NAZI party (Selb, 2018). Since Germany got defeated in World War II, Hitler, the Nazis, and the outcomes of Nazism have often been compared or related to evil.

Aiding his rise to power, even more, was the crashing of the stock market in the United States. Germany was greatly affected by this since she highly depended on foreign trade. Consequently, this led to the commencement of the great depression, and the Germans slowly dived into poverty and deep misery, and started a search for any possible resolution (Welch, 2014). Adolf Hitler saw this as his biggest opportunity. When depression occurs in a country, political trends turn into radicals and thus the Nazis thrived; Adolf presented both a victim and himself as a tough leader that Germans could count on (Nagorski, 2012). The depression presented an edge, much sought after by Hitler, to garner ninety-five seats in the Reichstag and finally proceed from being the minority party leader to the dictator of the Third Reich.

The depression consequently shed light on how weak the Weimar constitution was; as paucity and joblessness grew, esteem for the egalitarian structure radically diminished. The Germans resented having a democratic government governing them since it was a similar governing body that signed the Versailles Treaty (Blunt, 2015). Hatred for the Versailles treaty was very widespread in German and so Hitler, who openly voiced out his hatred for the treaty, turned out to be the apparent choice to lead the Germans at the time. In addition to this, people still vividly remembered the problems of 1923, and a repeat of that was to be avoided (Kershaw, 2014). The opposition to Hitler’s rule was not so cooperative and therefore was incapable of dealing with the depression, thus rendering the Nazi party as the better option.

Also, Hitler’s rise to power was not only aided by his opponents’ witnesses, but also by his own strengths. One member of the Nazi party, Otto Strasser, who was not particularly a fan of Hitler as a person, once termed him as one of the greatest speakers of the time. According to Blunt (2015), since Strasser did not like Hitler, it seemed like any positive analysis of him would be trustworthy, nevertheless, Strasser was a Nazi and so more likely to agree with Hitler’s opinions. In addition to Adolf’s excellent oratory skills, the Nazi’s also had the best propaganda scheme (Selb, 2018). Hitler thought that propaganda has to restrict itself to very limited points, and continuously repeat itself – this practice was evident in all Nazi posters (McDonough, 2014). Furthermore, funding donated by rich communist-fearing businesspeople enabled the Nazis to come up with more propaganda, control the media, and organize campaigns.

The constant propaganda is what enabled Hitler to legally lead the Germans. During the 1932 November elections, the Nazi only managed to get 196 seats in the Reichstag, and therefore ended up being the minority group (Nagorski, 2012). Because of the struggle von Papen, the chancellor, was going through to gather adequate backing to pass laws, he and Hindenburg decided to offer Hitler the vice-chancellor post on the condition that he supports them (Toland, 2014). Unfortunately, Hitler demanded to be made Chancellor instead. Since the Nazis had the least seats in government, von Papen and Hindenburg gave the chancellor position to Hitler, believing that they could control him (Welch, 2014). Hitler got the chancellor position without a fight, and this meant that no one would be able to stop him since all his actions were justified by the law. As quoted by Hitler himself when he said, “We shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag against the Catholic and Marxist deputies (Hitler, 2018),” while he was in prison, he had played the Weimar republic at its own game and won.

Despite Hindenburg’s actions playing a huge part in the rise to power of Hitler, his irrationality was often in line with von Papen’s. This is evident through von Papen’s quote, “Within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far in the corner that he’ll squeak (Selb, 2018),” As such, among the reasons why Hindenburg’s choices were so terrible is because he had no control over them, an example of the Wall Street crash (McDonough, 2014). In addition to this, Adolf’s oratory skills most definitely played a role in his rise to power, as did the propaganda and control that led people to have confidence that Adolf was the best choice for them. Adolf’s rise to power can be attributed to several things, comprising of his use of Nazi troopers to fight his enemies (Hitler, 2018). Other than this unlawful strategy, Hitler got into power by taking advantage of the flawed laws in place and making good use of his own skills and strengths.

Hitler had a successful transition to power in Germany, and soon later started using the Mein Kampf as an outline for the Germans. The German economy was accelerating since the industries were preparing for war (Selb, 2018). Anybody who objected to him was either sent to prison or executed since Adolf did not want to have any hitches in his plans. Hitler wanted to do anything possible to make Germany prosperous, gain global recognition, take revenge for World War I, and please the Germans. Hitler successfully made the people believe that Germany would become great again, and he started preparing for treacherous acts, world domination, and total eradication of the Jewish people (Blunt, 2015). Whereas all the horrors and massacres done by Hitler cannot be overlooked, there are always two sides to a coin and both sides should be considered.

How good was Hitler?

Everyone has a good and bad side to them, and Hitler was no exception. Hitler left a big mark in world history – one that can never be forgotten. For most people, he is just the despot and murderer who instigated one of the deadliest wars ever witnessed in world history. It is and will remain to be very difficult to forget such an incident as the holocaust, but there is the other side of Hitler’s rule that should be talked about (Hitler, 2018). The uncalled-for attack of bordering nations and the massacre of more than six million innocent persons aside, Hitler’s struggle in war is recognized for leading up to the numerous scientific developments and the making of products still in use in present time (Stratigakos, 2015). His rule witnessed the making of German’s largest autobahns and the inventions of the Volkswagen, rocket engines, and the jet propulsions – German production was of the highest quality. Hitler put up a much sought after infrastructure in Germany, including dams, railroads, and the world’s first national highway system (Evans, 2015). These could well be regarded as very positive contributions to the world.

Hitler’s rise to power was fast, such that the people failed to realize the spell he was cast upon them. Hitler’s charisma and articulation are quite similar attributes exhibited by Bill Clinton today. While in power, he worked so hard and stopped the collapse of the economy and nationals of Germany (Welch, 2014). Some literary sources even note that Hitler made Germany be one of the greatest countries in the world (Stratigakos, 2015). The First World War led to a drastic ruin of German, and the great depression made it even worse. Unemployment was at 30 percent and the inflation rate rendered German even more moneyless. Through taking control of the entire economy, Hitler was reverse the trends. His extensive public works projects and the stress on military buildup caused people to go back to work (Hitler, 2018). Additionally, Hitler’s Nazi party facilitated the rise of big industries in German. Hitler was in support of big industries since he was all for Germany to become fully self-sufficient. These industries included the oil, steel, car, and manufacturing industries. Furthermore, Hitler and his Nazi followers needed weapons for war, hence they supported armament producing industries. According to McDonough (2014) working and making money tends to make people less radical; hence Hitler managed to manage the political opposition by stopping Germany’s economic downslide. Adolf was very successful in his rule in the first few years up until the crisis of the ’30s made it quite impossible for him to achieve greater success (Spielvogel, 2016). Nonetheless, his rule led to a reduction in criminal offenses and the creation of youth organizations.

Hitler did as much as he could to help his country, he was loyal to the German like no one else was. Hitler made promises of things he would do once elected as the Chancellor – we will not lie, we will not cheat speech. From his election as chancellor, each promise he made to the Germans he fulfilled, this according to Evans, (2015) is Loyalty. He fought for, was hospitalized, and was arrested for his country. Even Hindenburg, who never liked Hitler, started to see what Hitler was all about and his goals for Germany. Several Prime Ministers in England even admired Hitler, the man behind the economic miracle. Furthermore, he very much cared about the German nationals and their heritage. He saw the degrading maneuverings of the Jews in Austria and Germany (Toland, 2014). Hitler became angry seeing how Austria and Germany were slowly getting degraded from the inside out. In one of his interviews where he was asked to whom he was married to, Hitler said, “I am married, my wife is Germany (Kershaw, 2014).” Additionally, to further prove how much Hitler cared for and loved his country, Kershaw, (2014) notes that it was when he found out about the oppression being experienced by the minority of Germans in Czechoslovakia. According to Spielvogel, (2016) once Hitler got reports of how German minorities were being raped, killed, robbed, and left homeless, he tried to make countless peaceful negotiations but all in vain. This could very well explain why the Second World War was inevitable (Hitler, 2018). Furthermore, during WW1 when Germany lost its territory and more other productive areas, Hitler managed to regain them back once he was in power. Consequently, Hitler managed to expand Germany well beyond its borders.

Germany’s state before the Reich president Von and Hindenburg decided to choose Hitler as the chancellor who was supposed to save German from collapse, was heading for the worst. Thousands of factories had been shut down and millions of workers had been thrown into the misery of unemployment. Tens of millions of Germans and their families now became fully dependent on meager government assistance (Stratigakos, 2015). It seemed like there was no way Germany was getting out of that turmoil and misery. The Fuhrer was first and foremost tasked with getting rid of the mass unemployment in Germany at the time (Hitler, 2018). Once Hitler got the title of the Chancellor, he came out to urge the whole of Germany to start a massive battle of work, the success of which is still evident in the present time.

Coming to the end of 1933, over 2 million nationals were working again. In the spring of 1937, the population of employed citizens had gone up to 20.1 million, says Spielvogel, (2016). Because of the Fuhrer taking action as fast as possible, the entire German population was out working again. Hitler provided people with employment opportunities, and they were given opportunities to get more skills and expand their abilities. Militarization in Germany led to economic improvement through the creation of jobs for youths in the military (Blunt, 2018). Hitler championed healthy youth activities and social programs like sports and recreation activities in a bid to increase cultural pride and personal self-worth.

Adolf’s policy was unity focused. All Germans were united through his policy, while they tried to preserve all national values like language, culture, and traditions. By fighting his rivals, getting rid of unions, outlawing political parties, and spearheading an incredible propaganda campaign, Hitler managed to unite the Germans under one course (Evans, 2015). It also goes without saying that Hitler managed to unite German nationalism through the vilification of foreign governments and condemning the German Jews. Additionally, Hitler regarded family values to be the foundation of the community (Toland, 2014). All through his political career, he had a common theme of cleaning up. He was desperately concerned with reversing the trends being introduced to German by the Jews. For instance, he got rid of supermarkets because he was more concerned with the success of small businesses (Spielvogel, 2016). He did away with degrading modern art and the experimentation on animals since he saw them as being unnecessary.

One of the biggest developments in industrial fabrication and civil enhancement ever witnessed by Germany was overseen by Hitler. This was majorly grounded on debt flotation and enlargement of the military (Spielvogel, 2016). Policies on women, as put in place by the Nazis, ensured that women stayed at home to bear children and maintain the household. Mothers were given the cross of honor of the German mother just for bearing children (Scarlett, 2012). This shows that despite taking their jobs from them, Hitler respected and recognized women in society (Stratigakos, 2015). In addition to revitalizing the industry and infrastructure, Hitler’s government extensively sponsored architecture, where Albert Speer became the first-ever architect of the Reich.

On the religious front, although Hitler always condemned traditional Christianity in his speeches, he never indicated that he had now become agnostic or atheist. In fact, he constantly showed that he believed in the existence of a higher being. In his public statements, Hitler often gave positive comments on the Christian heritage of the German culture, and his belief in Christ. According to Toland, (2014) when asked about his religious standpoint, he said, “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so (Toland, 2014).” Contrary to other Nazi leaders, Adolf never adhered to any obscure ideas of idol worshipping, and he more so privately scorned such beliefs. Basing on some Greater Reproach and a couple of divisions of religiously open-minded Protestantism, Adolf promoted what he called Positive Christianity, devoid of whatever that he thought to be disagreeable (Stratigakos, 2015). Hitler’s attacks were never fixated on Jesus himself, but on traditional Christianity, which he thought was exploitation of Jesus’ original ideas, who Hitler believed was an Aryan rival of the Jews (Scarlett, 2012).

Ever since he was a child, Hitler always esteemed the display of catholic custom and the ranked grouping of the priesthood. Afterward, he based on these fundamentals, grouping his Nazi party in hierarchies and encompassing liturgical practices into his proceedings or borrowing some phrases from the hymns (Scarlett, 2012). Because of these liturgical features, Adolf’s savior-like position, and his ideology’s all-inclusive form, the Nazi party is at times referred to as a “political religion (Kershaw, 2014).” According to Albert Speer, Hitler continued to be a congregant of the Catholic Church till his death. John Toland, Hitler’s biographer, wrote about Hitler still being a standing congregant of the Church of Rome regardless of his blatant hatred of its chain of command (Toland, 2014). In his book, Mein Kampf, which he wrote while in prison, Hitler made it known that he believed in the existence of a single “providential, active deity”.

Conclusion

When Hitler got into power, Germany was still a very young country, and its nationals did not have a sense of national identity yet. Adolf Hitler was a tough organizer and a brilliant orator. He used all the German divisions to his advantage, motivated the people, developed in them a sense of national pride, and convinced them to believe that they deserved better. For this, Adolf can be regarded as having been a legend when it came to making Germany great again in just ten years after World War I holocaust. Hitler made the biggest mistake by ordering the massacre of millions of innocent people, but yes, as a person, Hitler had a good side to him. For instance, his speeches were capable of changing the minds of millions of people who listened to him. The atrocities he committed can never be forgotten, but there is no doubt that Hitler was a great politician and patriotic leader who could do anything for his country. Nevertheless, I believe that Hitler’s most crucial contribution could be that from him people were able to see what unrestrained greed, blatant prejudice, and detestation for humankind can do to the world.

References

Blunt, K. (2015). Unrecognized Potential: Media Framing of Hitler’s Rise to Power, 1930-1933. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 6(2).

Evans, R. J. (2015). Rethinking German History (Routledge Revivals): Nineteenth-Century Germany and the Origins of the Third Reich. Routledge.

Hitler, A. (2018). Mein Kampf. Samaira Book Publishers.

Kershaw, I. (2014). Hitler. Routledge.

McDonough, F. (2014). Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party. Routledge.

Nagorski, A. (2012). Hinterland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power. Simon and Schuster.

Scarlett, W. G. (2012). Spiritual Pathology: The Case of Adolf Hitler. Religions, 3(2), 389-406.

Selb, P., & Munzert, S. (2018). Examining a Most Likely Case for Strong Campaign Effects: Hitler’s Speeches and the Rise of the Nazi Party, 1927–1933. American Political Science Review, 112(4), 1050-1066.

Spielvogel, J. J. (2016). Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. Routledge.

Stratigakos, D. (2015). Hitler at Home. Places Journal.

Toland, J. (2014). Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography. Anchor.

Welch, D. (2014). Nazi Propaganda (RLE Nazi Germany & Holocaust): The Power and the Limitations. Routledge.

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