Hitler Conflict Essay

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What is the nature of Nazi ideology and the Nazi political system that Hitler oversaw?

The years before WWII, Germany had been struggling from post-WWI. Germany’s government was in a governmental transition and Hitler had taken the opportunity of the weakness of the state to run for chancellor, in which lead to a total dictatorship. The weaknesses created a fast opportunity for Hitler to quickly rise to power; he made intense promises to his country while they were in desperate need of a ‘savior’. He quickly drew followers; they were referred to as ‘Nazi’s’. During his dictatorship, Hitler oversaw a political system that was based off his “intentions of the country”, however, it can be obviously pointed out that it was based on his ‘pure race’ ideologies. The power and political domination by Hitler greatly influenced Nazi ideology. The racial science, Economic Nationalism, and the cult of Hitler’s personality all aided the domination of his idea of “Pure and Correct” Ideology; this in which can be simply translated to what people often refer to “Nazi ideology”.

Nazi Ideology came from Hitler’s ideologies. He believed that there was a “pure and correct” ideology. Hitler believed that there was ‘no pure race’ but, “the strength of the Germanic race may be shaped by the admixture of other races, and Hitler ascribed the individualistic party spirit of the Germans to this fact. Once the true Germanic elements will have gained full power over the people, it will be possible to eliminate racially inferior groups and to enhance the breeding of the superior racial stock”.[1] Hitler wrote a book called, Mein Kampf, that is known to ‘best describe’ his ideologies. However, due to political considerations, the book does not give a great presentation of Nazi Ideology. He wanted to win over groups of people and he know that including things that discussed the differences between the Christian church and National Socialism, he would lose people’s support, “Hitler obviously was cautious not to commit himself to very specific objectives which were likely to limit the appeal of National Socialism with groups he hoped to win over”.[2] Hitler believed that his movement would be judged and guided by the amount of followers he had. Hitler was so content on this idea- he would publicly deny objects in his ideology or play them down. However, Nazi ideology is said to be very rigid. His ideas were set in stone.

In addition, Hitler’s definition of ‘socialism’ was based on equality; it was an, “abstract sense that everybody was a racial tribesman, for each person was placed into a hierarchical system of military subordinates therefore, equality was a sham”[3]. Hitler was said to be ignorant to economic affairs; He believed that equality was not linked to a specific economic system in any way and the rise to a higher rank was not due to class, but to how loyal a person was to a party/leader. Antisemitism and racism was a huge part of the Nazi Ideology. The reasons why Hitler hated the Jews so much was also a crucial part in ideologies; “Hitler was the driving force of antisemitism in the Nazi movement, not only be setting the ideological time but also by elevating his intense personal antipathy to an affair of state. Hitler alone defined the Jewish menace”[4]. Nazi’s were the most critical part of Hitler’s power, without Nazi’s there would be no ‘Nazi Ideology’ or an anti-semitistic war.

The post-WWI period for Germany was an unstable mess for the Government. Germany had been running on a ‘Weimar Republic’ government – it was a parliamentary democratic system of government. During the election of 1932, the Nazi party had become the largest party and Hitler wanted to be Chancellor.  There were plenty of posters in order to support Hitler. One of the posters was a picture of Hitler’s face that only said “Hitler” across the bottom. Hitler was eventually appointed Chancellor and he started implementing economic and social ideas. A few months later, the president died and Hitler had enough power to become Fuhrer, especially since politicians had not realized Hitler’s motives. His new economic policies were easily implemented due to the politician’s collaboration, weak opposition, and the use of violence to deal with any threats to his position. Hitler’s way to solve the economic
problems greatly revolved around preparation for war. For example, he created the ‘National Labor Service’ (in which forced men to spend 6 months preparing to be a soldier), and ‘Public Work Schemes’ (manual work for unemployed; built hospitals and motorways). These were both a part of the ‘Four Year Plan’, which was to prepare for war, produce arms, and ensure the security and self-sufficiency of the country.[5]

Hitler’s overall domination affected the Germans and their everyday lives. The ban of Trade unions was one of the first things established in 1933. Hitler did not support trade unions because he believed that they supported socialism and communism, two things Hitler obviously was not a fan of. The leaders of trade unions were arrested and all their money was taken away – The German Labor Front (DAF) was established in its place; “Every worker in Germany was now a member of the same trade union, which was controlled by the Nazi’s. The DAF managed disciple, wages, and working hours”.[6] The results included: increased working hours, frozen wages, and the impossible way of showing disapproval about it. However, a ‘Strength through movement’ (KdF) was put into place to keep workers happy. The KdF provided o
pportunities for individuals to have travel opportunities, have free time, and also built health clubs. It was a great way to keep people happy and support Hitler.

Another way Hitler effected Germany was by the treatment of women and children. Female ‘education’ was based solely around becoming a mother and producing children. Many rights of women were taken away and the status of the number of family members (children) determined loan payments under the ‘Unemployed Relief Act’; “Provided a matrimonial loan of 1,000 Reichmark when a couple got married on the condition that: the wife had been in a job for 6 months and would leave that job (and) and husband didn’t earn more than 125 Reichsmark per month. If the married couple had four children, they could keep all the money they had borrowed”.[7] During the Third Reich, freedom was redefined. Women could no longer vote, wear make-up, perm their hair, be pro-choice or work professional jobs (doctors, judges, prosecutors). The reason being that women were controlled by emotion and Hitler wanted them to all be focusing on supporting the husband and creating children, specifically boys. One of the last things that should be highlighted in the life changes include the overall Nazi perspective and the control of Education. Leopold Schwarzchild wrote an article in the New York Time in 1945, talking about the ‘Nazi Youth’.  He questions whether the spiritual power will have a lasting effect on the children of the era. Nazi education was based on a ‘monopolist’ way of education. Their education was focused on the education institution; nothing else was to influence them; “If they re-main under the influence of that nation, their fundamental reactions with regard to foreign countries will continue to be militaristic, aggressive, and brutal”.[8] The education system went through ‘conditioning’. Text-books were re-written and classes were taught by Nazi supporters. The overall goal was to separate the Jews from everyone else; they were to have the Jews portrayed as ‘bad’. By 1939, there were 8 million members who were apart of the ‘Hitler Youth Movement’. Boys were to participate in activities to develop military, shooting, and map reading skills.[9] Hitler completely flipped Germany and created an Economic system that was fully engaged in the future acts of war.

Hitler’s personality was definitely one of the biggest factors in the raise and fall of Germany. Hitler had the eternal struggle for survival and domination, he was willing to play down and say anything in order to gain power. While trying to become Chancellor during the 1932 elections, a supporter named ‘Josef Goebbels’, helped in creating propaganda for Hitler. One of the biggest concerns for the public was communism. Hitler made sure to give speeches against it; he had posters that said, “German women think of your children!”[10]. The messages that were sent out were very simple and supported what the German people wanted – It said exactly what they wanted to hear. In addition, Hitler was known to be a very narcissistic man. Although many of Nazi’s ideas came from Hitler, Hitler had outside forces influencing him as well. However, many of the additional Nazi leaders were not given credit due to Hitler’s overpowering ego. There were many books and articles published by ‘Nazi leaders’ before 1933, which is when Hitler rose to power. These additional outside sources give a new look on Hitler’s power and how it was shared; “Since there is now some doubt that Hitler was as powerful a dictator as was once assumed, scholars have begun to study the lives of those of his lieutenants who shared his shower: Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Rosenberg, Bormann, Speer, and many others”[11]. Hitler was willing to take all of the praise (and blame) for Nazi ideology.

Nazi Ideology was based around Hitler; his past and his present. His strong belief in racism and the policies emphasizing domestic control of the economy completely shaped Nazi Germany. Without these historical explanations, there would be no way a person could simply understand how, or why Nazi Ideology came about. Hitler was a terrible man who turned his country upside down trying to achieve only what a small portion of society believed in. His struggling desire for total domination and the ‘right’ ideologies impacted his political thinking, in which consistently determined the guidance in his courses of action and directed Nazi Ideology to its full extant.

 

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[1]  Holborn, Hago. “Origins and Political Character of Nazi Ideology.” Political Science Quarterly (1964): 545. Accessed September 15, 2015. DOI: 10.2307/2146698

[2] Holborn, “Origins and Political Character of Nazi Ideology.” 543.

[3] Holborn, “Origins and Political Character of Nazi Ideology.” 548.

[4] Berenbaum, Michael and Peck, Abraham J. “The Holocaust and History: The known, the unknown. The Disrupted, and the Reexamined”. Washington, D.C: Indiana University Press, 1998: 66.

[5] BBC: Germany in transition, c.1929-1947, “Changing life for the German people”, Last modified 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/

[6] BBC:, “Changing life for the German people”, Last modified 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2economicsocialpolicy2.shtml

[7] BBC: “Changing life for the German people”, Last modified 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2economicsocialpolicy2.shtml

[8] Schwarzchild, Leopold. “Threat to peace: Nazi Youth”. New York Times, N.Y (Jan 28, 1945).

[9] BBC: “Changing life for the German people”, Last modified 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2economicsocialpolicy2.shtml

[10] BBC: “Changing life for the German people”, Last modified 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2economicsocialpolicy2.shtml

[11] Lane, Barbra Miller. “Nazi Ideology: Some Unfinished Business.” Central European History (1974): 5. Accessed September 15, 2015. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4545691

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