Birth of Nazism

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BIRTH OF NAZISM

"Until the German people understand that one can conduct politics only when one has the support of power—and again power. Only so is reconstruction possible… It is not an economic question which faces the German people, it is a political question—how shall the nation’s determination be recovered?" (Bullock, 1962) Adolf Hitler posed this question to the German people in 1923. The face of post World War I Germany was truly battered, in all senses of the word. Germany had lost the war politically, which essentially meant emotionally. The country had no sense of leadership, and was suffering from many economic hardships. With the loss of the war, came the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles. Within the treaty, many demands of Germany were made which nearly raped her of her economic capacities. Industries had suffered, causing great unemployment. With this unemployment came inflation as well. The hardships posed upon the country not only harmed her economically, but socially too. The state of the people was equally harsh. Stripped of any sign of nationalism that may have once reigned within them, there was very little to have pride in. They were the joke of Europe, not to mention the brutal force which had caused the hardships within her neighbors as well. Leadership was also lacking at this time. The control of state that had once governed in Germany was strongly ousted away. Germany knew nothing but monarchical rule, but this had been replaced with the democratic attempt of the Weimar Republic. This was the state of 1933 Germany, one that not endured since the Thirty Years War. Everything familiar to Germany had been replaced by the Treaty of Versailles. This state was the "breeding ground" of Nazism, or National Socialism. At a time of severe depression, the ideas and promises of the National Socialists looked very promising. Many Germans lacked faith in the existing government and began to turn to political groups that called for extreme changes. Nazis had divined a plan, and were willing to lead Germany to the grandeur that she deserved. Lead by the bold and charismatic Adolf Hitler, the light of a brighter future began to shine through the clouds of the post war era. Though new to Germany when Nazism was embedded within the system in 1933, its roots spawn much further back into history. It is general thought that Nazism is nothing more than a branch of Fascism. To understand the Nazi ideologies, it is necessary to understand the basis of Fascism. Fascism is a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first arose in the early part of the twentieth-century in Europe. It was a response to the social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution. Fascism a philosophy or a system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of aggressive nationalism. It celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community surpassing all other loyalties. This right-wing philosophy will cal for violent action to assure total loyalty, which is held in such high regards. Fascism approaches politics in two central areas; populist and elitist. Populist in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole against perceived oppressors or enemies, and to create a nation of unity. The elitist approach puts the people’s will on one select group, or most often one supreme leader , from whom all power proceeds downward (Morgan, 1948). Fascist Theory values human nature in a group for the benefit of the community. The group as a whole is identifiable as the "human will", which is led by a select group or one leader, with the power being passed down from top to bottom. Fascism seeks to organize a society, led by a mass movement, in an effort to capture the state power. When the power is in the firm grip of...
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