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How did the Nazis rise to power in the 1920's and 1930's?
Transcript of How did the Nazis rise to power in the 1920's and 1930's?
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler devoted two chapters of his 1925/26 work Mein Kampf, itself a propaganda tool, to the study and practice of propaganda. He claimed to have learnt the value of propaganda as a World War I infantryman exposed to very effective British and ineffectual German propaganda. The argument that Germany lost the war largely because of British propaganda efforts, expounded at length in Mein Kampf, reflected then-common German nationalist claims. Although untrue – German propaganda during World War I was mostly more advanced than that of the British – it became the official truth of Nazi Germany thanks to its reception by Hitler.
Mein Kampf contains the blueprint of later Nazi propaganda efforts. Assessing his audience, Hitler writes in chapter VI:
"Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (...) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (...) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (...) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood."
As to the methods to be employed, he explains:
"Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (...) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (...) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula."
Hitler put these ideas into practice with the reestablishment of the Völkischer Beobachter, a daily newspaper published by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) from February 1925 on, whose circulation reached 26,175 in 1929. It was joined in 1926 by Joseph Goebbels's Der Angriff, another unabashedly and crudely propagandistic paper.
During most of the Nazis' time in opposition, their means of propaganda remained limited. With little access to mass media, the party continued to rely heavily on Hitler and a few others speaking at public meetings until 1929. In April 1930, Hitler appointed Goebbels head of party propaganda. Goebbels, a former journalist and Nazi party officer in Berlin, soon proved his skills. Among his first successes was the organization of riotous demonstrations that succeeded in having the American anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front banned in Germany.
 In power (1933–39)
A 1937 anti-Bolshevik Nazi propaganda poster. The translated caption: "Bolshevism without a mask - large anti-Bolshevik exhibition of the NSDAP Gauleitung Berlin from November 6, 1937 to December 19, 1937 in the Reichstag building".
Before World War II, Nazi propaganda strategy, officially promulgated by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, stressed several themes. Their goals were to create external enemies (countries that allegedly inflicted the Treaty of Versailles on Germany) and internal enemies (Jews). Hitler and Nazi propagandists played on the anti-Semitism and resentment present in Germany. The Jews were blamed for things such as robbing the German people of their hard work while themselves avoiding physical labour. Hitler blamed Jews for “two great wounds upon humanity: Circumcision of the Body and Conscience of the Soul.” Der Stürmer, a Nazi propaganda newspaper, told Germans that Jews kidnapped small children before Passover because “Jews need the blood of a Christian child, maybe, to mix in with their Matzah.” Posters, films, cartoons, and fliers were seen throughout Germany which attacked the Jewish community, such as the film The Eternal Jew.
Reaching out to ethnic Germans in other countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, the Soviet Union and the Baltic states was another aim of Nazi party propaganda. In Mein Kampf, Hitler makes a direct remark to those outside of Germany. He states that pain and misery is forced upon ethnic Germans outside of Germany, and that they dream of common fatherland. He finished by stating they needed to fight for one’s nationality. Throughout Mein Kampf, he pushed Germans worldwide to make the struggle for political power and independence their main focus.
Nazi propaganda efforts then focused on creating external enemies. Propagandists strengthened the negative attitude of Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles by territorial claims and ethnocentrism. When the Treaty was signed in 1919 non-propagandists newspapers headlines across the nation spoke German’s feelings, such as “UNACCEPTABLE” which appeared on the front page of the Frankfurter Zeitung in 1919. The Berliner Tageblatt, also in 1919, predicted “Should we accept the conditions, a military furore for revenge will sound in Germany within a few years, a militant nationalism will engulf all.” Hitler, knowing his nation's disgust with the Treaty, used it as leverage to influence his audience. He would repeatedly refer back to the terms of the Treaty as a direct attack on Germany and its people. In one speech delivered on January 30, 1937 he directly states that he is withdrawing the German signature from the document to protest the outrageous proportions of the terms. He claims the Treaty makes Germany out to be inferior and “less” of a country than others only because blame for the war is placed on it. The success of Nazi propagandists and Hitler won the Nazi party control of Germany and eventually led to World War II.
For months prior to the beginning of World War II in 1939, German newspapers and leaders had carried out a national and international propaganda campaign accusing Polish authorities of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland. On 22 August, Adolf Hitler told his generals:
"I will provide a propagandistic casus belli. Its credibility doesn't matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth."
The main part of this propaganda campaign was the false flag project, Operation Himmler, which was designed to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Poland.
 At war (1939–45)
Until the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad on February 4, 1943, German propaganda emphasized the prowess of German arms and the humanity German soldiers had shown to the peoples of occupied territories. Pilots of the Allied bombing fleets were depicted as cowardly murderers, and Americans in particular as gangsters in the style of Al Capone. At the same time, German propaganda sought to alienate Americans and British from each other, and both these Western nations from the Soviets. One of the primary sources for propaganda was the Wehrmachtbericht, a daily radio broadcast that described the military situation on all fronts. Nazi victories let themselves easily to propaganda broadcasts and were at this point difficult to mishandle. Satires on the defeated, accounts of attacks, and praise for the fallen all were useful for Nazis. Still, failures were not easily handled even at this stage; when the Ark Royal proved to have survived an attack that German propaganda had hyped, considerable embarrassment resulted.
After Stalingrad, the main theme changed to Germany as the sole defender of what they called "Western European culture" against the "Bolshevist hordes". The introduction of the V-1 and V-2 "vengeance weapons" was emphasized to convince Britons of the hopelessness of defeating Germany.
Problems in propaganda arose easily in this stage; expectations of success were raised too high and too quickly, which required explanation if they were not fulfilled, and blunted the effects of success, and the hushing of blunders and failures caused mistrust. The increasing hardship of the war for the German people also called forth more propaganda that the war had been forced on the German people by the refusal of foreign powers to accept their strength and independence. Goebbels called for propaganda to toughen up the German people and not make victory look easy.
On June 23, 1944, the Nazis permitted the Red Cross to visit concentration camp Theresienstadt to dispel rumors about the Final Solution, which was intended to kill every Jew. In reality, Theresienstadt was a transit camp for Jews en route to extermination camps, but in a sophisticated propaganda effort, fake shops and cafés were erected to imply that the Jews lived in relative comfort. The guests enjoyed the performance of a children's opera, Brundibar, written by inmate Hans Krása. The hoax was so successful for the Nazis that they went on to make a propaganda film (Theresienstadt) at Theresienstadt. Shooting of the film began on February 26, 1944. Directed by Kurt Gerron, it was meant to show how well the Jews lived under the "benevolent" protection of the Third Reich. After the shooting, most of the cast, and even the filmmaker himself, were deported to the concentration camp of Auschwitz where they were killed.
Goebbels committed suicide on May 1, 1945, shortly after Hitler had killed himself. Hans Fritzsche, who had been head of the Radio Chamber, was tried and acquitted by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.
 Media 1.The Nazi Party and the Great Depression How was Hitler able to use the Depression to extend his support between 1929 and 1933?
2.“ We are a Party that shall make a difference to Germany and sort out its massive problems”! Hitler was waiting for something like the depression to push the Nazis forward and claim power. The Nazis made countless PROMISES where everybody would benefit from NAZI rule.
3.NAZI PROMISES DURING THE DEPRESSION We PROMISE to end the massive unemployment by creating job schemes. We PROMISE to increase the profits for people who have their own business. We PROMISE to make Germany great again. We PROMISE to help Germany’s Farmers and Shopkeepers. We promise something for everyone apart from Jews and Communists
4.Nazi Organisation: Propaganda The Nazis were extremely well organised. They used many different types of propaganda (ways to try and persuade people to do or think something). Here are examples of Nazi Posters that were used to try and persuade people to vote for Hitler and the Nazi Party.
5.Hitler and his Propaganda Chief Josef Goebbels made the most of the period during the Depression to make his Nazi promises in Hitler’s many speeches at RALLIES. The Nazis seized the opportunity to put across the Nazi messages as often as possible. The success of these rallies were carried on throughout Hitler’s time as Dictator. Nazi Organisation: Propaganda
6.Nazi Organisation: The S.A (Storm Troopers) The SA also played an important role. They beat up opponents, especially Communists, and smashed up their election meetings. Hitler’s own private Army gave him strength on the streets of Germany. These would be used to intimidate the party’s enemies and Jews often suffered at the hands of the Storm Troopers. Ernst Roehm was the leader of the SA and later murdered by Hitler
7.RESULTS Nazi election campaigning and organisational methods proved to be very effective. The problems of the Depression ultimately boosted the Nazi Party’s ability to get democratically elected into Government. But Hitler wanted TOTAL control of Germany. 1928: 12 Seats 1930: 107 Seats 1932: 270 seats The Nazis were now the largest party in the Reichstag. Hitler was now in a position to demand that he should be the Chancellor of Germany.
8.HITLER BECOMES CHANCELLOR President Hindenburg “ I hate Hitler – I know he has the most popular party but I don’t want him as Chancellor.” President Hindenburg refused to give Hitler the most important job except for his as President. Instead, he gave the job to two other people but this did not sop Hitler from making other arrangements. Hitler arranged fro new elections to take place in March 1933 in order to make the Nazis have a majority in the Reichstag and then they could vote in the change that Hitler wanted. However, the Reichstag building went up in flames.
9.THE REICHSTAG FIRE & ITS RESULTS A Dutch Communist was arrested for setting the Reichstag Building on fire. Although he confessed, many the Nazi controlled Police could have forced a confession out of him. There was an underground passage that ran from an SA office to the Reichstag. It is possible, although not proven, that the Nazis themselves set fire to the Reichstag. “ I’ll save us from the Commies!” Hitler claimed that this was the signal for a Communist uprising. He persuaded Hindenburg to allow the police to have special powers and, along with the SA, arrested the Communist Leaders. Other opponents also suffered as Hitler was able to act as though he had saved Germany from the Communists.
10.1933 ELECTION The Nazis increased their seats in the Reichstag but this was still not enough to gain a majority. However, Hitler got the support of one of the smaller parties in the Reichstag – the Nationalist Party – and this gave him the majority that he needed. Hitler was now in a position where he could move for complete power. “ I now have a majority in the Reichstag thanks to the small party – the Nationalist Party. I’ll be in complete power any time now. I’ve come along way since trying to sell Art in Vienna!”
Prior to the 1930s, Germany was Europe's most hospitable country for Jews. While Jews were only one percent of the population, they were one-fourth of Germany's law and medical students. In some German cities, Jews were the majority of doctors. While Jews were only five percent of the Berlin population in 1905, they paid 31 percent of all income taxes collected. For Germany as a whole, Jewish income was more than three times the national average. In his book, Migration and Cultures, Dr. Thomas Sowell adds that Jews were so highly integrated into German economic and social life that in nearly half of all Jewish marriages during the 1920s one of the spouses was Gentile. During World War I, Jewish-American publications were investigated and prosecuted by the U.S. Government for writing favorably about Germany, a nation at war with the U.S.
Much of German history has been one of racial toleration. This is partially seen by their anti-slavery positions in Brazil and the United States. In the United States, Germans had a large hand in assisting runaway slaves by way of the "underground railroad." Germans also had an established reputation of getting along very well with American Indians.
So why the story about pre-Nazi Germany? I think examining it raises an interesting question that few bother to answer; namely, if Germany was so hospitable to Jews, relative to other countries, how in the world did the Holocaust happen? There are several alternative explanations such as Hitler's massive consolidation of government power. Then there's the fact that German culture places high values on regimentation and obedience to authority. An important part of the answer of how Germans came to accept Jewish persecution was a massive and successful Nazi Jewish vilification program. Germans being taught to think of Jews as inferiors and as people responsible for the post-World War I economic devastation made it possible for public acceptance of Jewish mistreatment.
You say, "Okay, you're right but what's the relevance to us?" There are about 40 million Americans who smoke cigarettes. Prior to the 1980s, all efforts to curb tobacco use relied on arguments pertaining to the health risks borne by smokers. The only way to achieve today's level of sustained attack on smokers and tobacco companies was to be able to create an argument that tobacco smoke harmed not only smokers but others as well. Through a fraudulent EPA secondhand smoke study, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," we have produced today's tobacco regulations. That's even in the face of devastating evidence that EPA's secondhand smoke study made subjective judgements, failed to account for important factors that could bias the results, and relaxed a crucial scientific standard to achieve the result the study was looking for. The "relaxed" scientific standard was the EPA's lowering of the confidence interval applied to its analysis from the more standard 95% to 90% - in effect doubling the chance of error. A federal court in Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation v. EPA added that the EPA: "disregarded information and made findings based on selective information . . . ; deviated from its risk assessment guidelines; failed to disclose important [opposition] findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers."
As a result of both official and non-official fraudulent claims about the health effects, as well as the health care costs of smoking, there has been widely successful vilification of cigarette smokers and tobacco manufacturers. Lawmakers have little hesitance in imposing confiscatory tobacco taxes, in some jurisdictions one to three dollars per pack. Zealous lawmakers and other public officials have attempted to ban smoking on streets and parks. In at least a couple of jurisdictions there have been attempts to outlaw smoking in one's own home or apartment under the flimflam reasoning that neighbors are injured by secondhand smoke. Americans don't mind it at all to see their fellow Americans huddled in the winter outside of their workplaces in order to have a cigarette. In the state of Washington, a condemned prisoner was denied a last request for a cigarette. Last summer, California banned smoking in some of its prisons.
During a much more civilized era in our country, none of this could have happened. Nazi-like vilification tactics had to be employed whereby decent Americans were convinced that both smokers and tobacco companies are two groups of people deserving of any treatment.
I'm by no means suggesting that smokers are headed off to concentration camps and gas chambers, although they might have in Germany because Hitler was a rabid anti-cigarette zealot. Instead, I'm suggesting that the cigarette smoker vilification campaign is something about which we all should be concerned, whether we smoke cigarettes or not. These people who want to control our lives are almost finished with smokers; but never in history has a tyrant arisen one day and decided to tyrannize no more. The nation's tyrants have now turned their attention to the vilification of fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, charging them with having created an addiction to fatty foods. Thus, the tyrants claim, fast food chains have contributed to obesity-related problems and growing healthcare costs. Like the anti-tobacco zealots they call for regulation, compensation for injury and taxes on foods they deem to be non-nutritious. In addition to fast food chains, these tyrants have targeted soft drink and candy manufacturers. Chinese and Mexican restaurants are also in their sights because they have meal servings deemed to be too large. In their campaign against fast food chains, restaurants and soda and candy manufacturers the nation's food Nazis always refer to the anti-tobacco campaign as the model for their agenda.
Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] ( listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. Hitler is most commonly associated with the rise of fascism in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust.
A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the German Workers' Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup d'état, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained support by promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933 and transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism.
Hitler's avowed aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe. His foreign and domestic policies had the goal of seizing Lebensraum (living space) for the Germanic people. He oversaw the rearmament of Germany and the invasion of Poland by the Wehrmacht in September 1939, which led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
Under Hitler's direction, German forces and their European allies at one point occupied most of Europe and North Africa. These gains were reversed in 1945 when the Allied armies defeated the German army. Hitler's racially motivated policies resulted in the deaths of as many as 17 million people, including an estimated six million Jews targeted in the Holocaust and between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma.
In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married Eva Braun, his long-time mistress. To avoid capture by the Red Army, the two committed suicide less than two days later on 30 April 1945 and their corpses were burned.
Despite many working-class supporters and members, the appeal of the Nazi Party to the working class was neither true nor effective, because its politics mostly appealed to the middle class, as a stabilizing, pro-business political party, not a revolutionary workers’ party. Moreover, the financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s figures much in their strong support of Nazism, thus the great percentage of declared middle-class support for the Nazis. In the poor country that was the Weimar Republic of the early 1930s, the Nazi Party realised their socialist policies with food and shelter for the unemployed and the homeless — later recruited to the Brownshirt Sturmabteilung The Nazis' strongest appeal was to the lower middle-class – farmers, public servants, teachers, small businessmen – who had suffered most from the inflation of the 1920s, so who feared Bolshevism more than anything else. The small business class were receptive to Hitler's anti-Semitism, since they blamed Jewish big business for their economic problems. University students, disappointed at being too young to have served in World War I and attracted by the Nazis' radical rhetoric, also became a strong Nazi constituency. By 1929, the party had 130,000 members The nazis should have been in favour of democracy because they voted Hitler into the party and it also meant that hierachy was still in place, with a potentential of having Jews in a legal lower place. Hitler did succeed in destroying democracy in Germany; in 1933 he was actually elected democratically. But once he was given the power to rule by decree and suppressed all opposition, his government was no longer democratic. In Mein Kampf, Hitler states his intent for the Nazi Party: "The NSDAP [Nazi] Party must not serve the masses, but rather dominate them" (260; [edition is 1942 unless otherwise noted]). Hitler likewise stressed that the leader of the ruling party should dominate the nation: "The Furher is the supreme judge of the nation; there is no position in the area of constitutional law in the Third Reich independent of this elemental will of the Furher" (Noakes and Pridham).
Hitler's definition of democracyHitler, in speeches in Nuremberg and Munich, has given us definitions of democracy, yet these definitions are nowhere near explicit or conclusive. "Democracy in our eyes is a regime that is supported by the will of the people" (My New Order, 554). It is unclear as to whom Hitler means by "our eyes..."; one can assume he is talking of the German people. Furthermore, according to Webster, a regime is simply "a form of government or administration". Hitler's definition, in turn, becomes simple and obvious; the above definition taken literally does not waver from the consensus definition mentioned in the introduction; in fact it is broader, leading one to suggest that the word "regime" had negative connotations that were lost in the English translation.
Fortunately, Hitler has given us a more intricate definition of democracy, even likening it to an aqueduct or blood vessel: "Democracy is the canal through which bolshevism lets its poisons flow into the separate countries and lets work there long enough for these infections to lead to a crippling of intelligence and of the force of resistance" (My New Order, 405). This critical definition also hints at Hitler's opinions of Jews, as explained later in the text.
German had just recently gone through a power struggle establishing the Nazi Party as superior over the socialists Communism meant treating everyone fairly and Hitler wanted to penalise the Jews. Hitler could not do this when his party said he had to treat everyone fairly. When Sobibor extermination camp was put into operation in the spring of 1942, the Einsatzgruppen of SS and SD had already been carrying out large-scale round-ups to eliminate Jews behind the Russian front for almost a year. These units targeted Jewish members of the Russian Communist Party and Jews in the civil service in particular. But the Nazis also fanatically hunted down other communist civil servants and Soviet party officials, because to Hitler the destruction of communism and Jewry were closely linked. Initially his plan had been to, after his victory over the Soviet Union, subject the Russians and then deport the European Jews to the East. Here they would perish en masse from starvation and hardship in labour camps. However, the Nazi leaders decided not to wait with the destruction of the Jews until after they defeated the Soviet Union, but rather to start the extermination during the war and in a radical manner.