How Did Adolf Hitler Rise to Power?

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Who or what was responsible for Hitler’s rise to power? Many believe that there was only one factor for his rise to power. Some state that Hitler could not have risen to power in any country other than Germany, implying that he was nothing more than a product of German culture. Others say that Hitler made himself dictator by means of his own political genius. Yet still others claim that it was the weak democratic government of the Weimar Republic or only Germany’s social and economic scene in the 1930’s that made the people restless and ready for a dictator to come to power. The reality is there was no one individual cause for Hitler’s rise to power; there were two. The political and economic chaos of the 1920’s and the 1930’s joined forces with German culture that enabled Hitler to rise to power. These situations fit together like pieces in a puzzle to create a unique situation for Hitler’s emergence to dictatorship.

Hitler was, in part, a product of German culture (though born in Braunau am Inn, Austria). At this point in history, German culture stood out as particularly aggressive and racist. The values and ideas found in this culture’s history inspired Hitler to do many things and can explain in part why he felt so strongly on certain issues (Stern). Hundreds of years before Hitler emerged, German philosophers and artists preached an almost religious worship of the state. They discussed the idea of a master race and created a mythology of German heroism that encouraged loyalty to the group and glorified death for the country. Hitler and many Germans like him were enthusiastic students of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who argued that the state, “Has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State.” Hegel foresaw in the early 1800’s that “Germany’s hour” would come and that the country’s mission would be to “redevelop” the world. In his view, a German hero would complete this mission (Landry)....
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