“What was Hitler’s Charisma About?
Nazi Germany was centered on the idea of “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer” in which Adolf Hitler was the center of the nation, the key individual in any aspect of the Germans’ lives. Hitler projected himself as the leader that would bring salvation to Germany after two decades of social and economic chaos. Weber’s theory on a natural charisma differs from Hitler’s charismatic image as, due to an idyllic chaotic environment, he was able to present himself as savior of the people, almost a godlike figure that comprehended the necessities of the masses. Before discussing specifically how Hitler established such a personality cult through means of a charismatic image, an understanding of the prevailing circumstances in Germany before Hitler's rise to power should be established. These precarious circumstances enabled Hitler's tactics to work in that they created an ideal environment for a revolutionary figure to captivate the minds of desperate Germans. Loosing WWI and The Treaty of Versailles contributed to a declining and stagnant German economy. This dire economic situation worsened due to the hyperinflation in the early 1920s, as well as widespread unemployment and a decrease in the standard of living. Thus social unrest gradually flourished, creating an environment in which the charismatic image that Hitler presented, on that can inspired “the great revolutionary force” (Weber, 245), led the masses to believe the ideas that he was putting forth. As Germany sought a new leader that would indeed give them hope for the future, Hitler focused on the dual task of “image-building and image-reception […] acutely aware of the need to manufacture consensus” (Kershaw, 89) in the way he presented himself and what he wanted people to believe. Hitler assumed the title Fuhrer, a title which framed Hitler as the ultimate leader and prompted many Germans to consider Hitler a godlike figure. Hitler's manner of speaking contributed heavily...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document