A Leader of Many
At the end of the First World War, Hitler was just an ordinary man in the military. As the war came to an end, so did Hitler’s duty; but when the Treaty of Versailles was signed a new man was born. Outraged that Germany would surrender so easily, and agree to the ridiculous terms of the treaty, he set off on a mission that very few would even think was possible. He wanted to become the leader of Germany and for Germany to become the dominant force in Europe.
He began his rise to power by using his personal charm and natural talent for public speaking. Gaining friends and followers by spreading his ideas and beliefs, Hitler became better known as time went on. Driven by passion, he could easily give his public speeches straight from the heart, making them all the more convincing. His ideas were crazy, but well directed to the needs of the people. His public speeches contained a few important elements that made them good enough to convince others to follow his ridiculous ideas. His speeches:
• Were well organized;
• Used irrefutable logic;
• Positioned clear and simple ideas;
• Contained sharp dialect;
• Appealed to the feelings of the masses; and,
• Had an electrifying emotional appeal that was used sparingly.
These elements combined would reach out to the souls of the masses in a way that could not go unanswered. Not everything he said was good and true, but like Hitler said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
Germany was in a serious economic depression due to the reparation payments they had to make following to World War One. They even decided to print more money to make the payments. This reduced their currency rate and put them into an even deeper economic and social depression. Hitler used this to his advantage when persuading the German people to follow him. They were poor, starving, and infuriated; and they wanted someone to blame. Hitler directed this hate and blame at those whom he despised. He slowly began to turn people against those of other races (especially Jews) and other countries. He gained many followers by playing to what the people wanted and continued to rise in popularity until he was finally voted into a position of power.
Once in power, Hitler put his plans to work getting the whole country on his side. He and his associate, Joseph Goebbels, effectively used propaganda to turn the citizens of Germany against Jews and other nations. Hitler once said that, “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise”. A good example of his propaganda happened in 1936 when Germany hosted the summer Olympics in Berlin. He choreographed the games to show the superiority of the Aryan, or “master race”, over all other nations. He also used fear and terror to keep the non-believers under control. If anyone tried to speak out against him or his ideas, his secret police would get rid of them. Soon the people understood not to go against what Hitler said. All of the teachers in Germany were Nazis who believed Hitler’s ideas of white supremacy. The education system was changed; as children grew up, they would learn Hitler’s beliefs while they were young and vulnerable. The boys were trained in the military so they would be ready to fight at as early as age twelve or thirteen.
He made slight improvements to the economy by violating the armistice condition and rearming Germany. This provided Germany with an army and provided its citizens with more opportunities for jobs, further increasing Hitler’s popularity. He claimed he was not a dictator, but simply a guide for the German people. His guidance, however, became a little clouded when he started letting his early victories in the war go to his head.
He began by taking back...