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The achievements of germans before the nazi rule

Hitler's rise and fall: Timeline

Hitler had total power in Germany, unrestricted by any constitutional constraints. The headline implied even more, however, than the major change in the constellation of power. It suggested an identity of Hitler and the country he ruled, signifying a complete bond between the German people and Hitler.

The referendum that followed on 19 August 1934, to legitimize the power-political change that had occurred, aimed at demonstrating this identity.

As the result showed, however, reality lagged behind propaganda.

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According to the official figures, over a sixth of voters defied the intense pressure to conform and did not vote "yes. Even so, there were one or two tantalizing hints that Hitler's personal appeal outstripped that of the Nazi regime itself, and even more so of the Party.

The same sentiment could be heard elsewhere. One example of strong criticism leveled at Hitler can be seen in a report from the Gestapo in Berlin in March 1936. Hitler's toleration of the corruption and luxury life-style of the Party big-wigs at a time when poor living standards still afflicted most ordinary Germans was, the report noted, heavily criticized. In a spectacular move that fully exposed the weakness of the western democracies, Hitler could celebrate his greatest triumph in foreign policy to date.

The domestic problems of previous months -- shortage of foodstuffs, high prices, low wages and, in Catholic areas, much antagonism towards the regime over the struggle between the church and state were temporarily forgotten in the euphoria.

  1. The headline implied even more, however, than the major change in the constellation of power. One example of strong criticism leveled at Hitler can be seen in a report from the Gestapo in Berlin in March 1936.
  2. The propaganda image was never better summarized than by Hitler himself in his Reichstag speech of 28 April 1939 which Haffner also cited. Hitler's toleration of the corruption and luxury life-style of the Party big-wigs at a time when poor living standards still afflicted most ordinary Germans was, the report noted, heavily criticized.
  3. September 1930 In the General Election, the Nazi Party increases its representatives in parliament from 14 to 107. But, however false their underlying basis, the claims in this speech point to areas of great success in winning over the mass of the population to support for Hitler.
  4. Compared with the state of Germany six years earlier, it was hard for those listening to Hitler's 1939 speech, even many who had earlier opposed the Nazis, not to admit that Hitler had accomplished something extraordinary.

Despite the absurdity of the "election" result at the end of the month, when -- amid ballot-rigging, electoral manipulation and intense propaganda to conform -- according to the official figures 98. Much suggests, in fact, that between the death of Hindenburg in August 1934 and the expansion into Austria and the Sudetenland four years later Hitler was indeed successful in gaining the backing of the vast majority of the German people, something of immeasurable importance for the disastrous course of German policy ahead.

The F├╝hrer Myth: How Hitler Won Over the German People

Apart perhaps from the immediate aftermath of the astonishing victory in France in summer 1940, Hitler's popularity was never higher than at the height of his foreign-policy successes in 1938. Sebastian Haffner plausibly reckoned that Hitler had succeeded by 1938 in winning the support of "the great majority of that majority who had voted against him in 1933.

At the same time, it seems hard to deny that the regime had won much support since 1933, and that this owed much to the perceived personal "achievements" of Hitler. The propaganda image was never better summarized than by Hitler himself in his Reichstag speech of 28 April 1939 which Haffner also cited: I succeeded in completely resettling in useful production those 7 million unemployed who so touched our hearts.

I have not only politically united the German nation but also rearmed it militarily, and I have further tried to liquidate that Treaty sheet by sheet whose 448 Articles contain the vilest rape that nations and human beings have ever been expected to submit to.

I have restored to the Reich the provinces grabbed from us in 1919; I have led millions of deeply unhappy Germans, who have been snatched away from us, back into the Fatherland; I have restored the thousand-year-old historical unity of German living space; and I the achievements of germans before the nazi rule attempted to accomplish all that without shedding blood and without inflicting the sufferings of war on my people or any other.

I have accomplished all this, as one who 21 years ago was still an unknown worker and soldier of my people, by my own efforts. The claim that the change in Germany's fortunes had been achieved single-handedly was, of course, absurd. There was not a word in this passage of the pathological obsession with "removing" the Jews, or of the need for war to acquire living space.

Restoration of order, rebuilding the economy, removal of the scourge of unemployment, demolition of the restrictions of the hated Versailles Treaty, and the establishment of national unity all had wide popular resonance, ranging far beyond die-hard Nazis, appealing in fact in different ways to practically every sector of society.

Opinion surveys long after the end of the Second World War show that many people, even then, continued to associate these "achievements" positively with Hitler. Compared with the state of Germany six years earlier, it was hard for those listening to Hitler's 1939 speech, even many who had earlier opposed the Nazis, not to admit that Hitler had accomplished something extraordinary.

Few were clear-sighted or willing enough to analyze what lay behind the "achievements," to reject the gross inhumanity on which Germany's rebuilding had been founded, to perceive the undermining of governmental structures and ruination of Reich finances that was taking place, above all, to comprehend the colossal risks for the country's very existence involved in the regime's course of action.

  • Hitler's Entry into Politics 1920 Hitler is discharged from the army;
  • As the result showed, however, reality lagged behind propaganda;
  • After initial resistance, Drexler agrees and Hitler becomes the new leader of the party;
  • I have not only politically united the German nation but also rearmed it militarily, and I have further tried to liquidate that Treaty sheet by sheet whose 448 Articles contain the vilest rape that nations and human beings have ever been expected to submit to;
  • The same sentiment could be heard elsewhere;
  • But, however false their underlying basis, the claims in this speech point to areas of great success in winning over the mass of the population to support for Hitler.

And few were in any position to contradict the fundamental lie in the claim that Hitler had constantly endeavored to avoid bloodshed and to spare his people and others the suffering of war. What for most Germans in spring 1939 were aims in themselves, which Hitler appeared triumphantly to have accomplished, were for Nazi leaders merely the platform for the war of racial-imperialist conquest which they were preparing to fight.

But, however false their underlying basis, the claims in this speech point to areas of great success in winning over the mass of the population to support for Hitler. With all the caveats that are necessary for generalizations about approval, where those disapproving were mainly forced into silence, it is surely not mistaken to speak of a wide-ranging consensus which the integrative force of the Hitler Myth had cemented during the peace-time years of the dictatorship.

  1. Individual German states lose any autonomous powers, while Nazi officials become state governors.
  2. Even so, there were one or two tantalizing hints that Hitler's personal appeal outstripped that of the Nazi regime itself, and even more so of the Party. It is a mixture of autobiography, political ideology and an examination of the techniques of propaganda.
  3. The headline implied even more, however, than the major change in the constellation of power. The propaganda image was never better summarized than by Hitler himself in his Reichstag speech of 28 April 1939 which Haffner also cited.
  4. Individual German states lose any autonomous powers, while Nazi officials become state governors. One example of strong criticism leveled at Hitler can be seen in a report from the Gestapo in Berlin in March 1936.