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How Hitler Rose to Power

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posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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Good day to all on ATS. Today I wish to discuss one of the 20th century's greatest villains and how he exploited a democratic system to achieve power. You may ask why I'm discussing this topic, but I'll let you read my information and decide the reason yourself. One more thing, this isn't a thread to discuss if the Nazis were Socialist or not. Please don't bring that topic up.

First, let's set the stage of Germany in the 1920's. Following WWI, Germany was in a bad way economically. Due to the reparationss imposed on the country from the Treaty of Versailles. I've outlined the reparations below.


The Treaty of Versailles and the 1921 London Schedule of Payments required Germany to pay 132 billion gold marks (US$33 billion) in reparations to cover civilian damage caused during the war. This figure was divided into three categories of bonds: A, B, and C. Of these, Germany was only required to pay towards 'A' and 'B' bonds totalling 50 billion marks (US$12.5 billion). The remaining 'C' bonds, which Germany did not have to pay, were designed to deceive the Anglo-French public into believing Germany was being heavily fined and punished for the war.


Ignore the C category because it's irrelevant (it wasn't meant to be repaid in the first place), but here is where things take an interesting turn. It should be noted that contemporary historians agree that the reparation amounts were reasonable and manageable to make if the Germany government wasn't actively sabotaging the effort to repay them.


The German people saw reparations as a national humiliation; the German Government worked to undermine the validity of the Treaty of Versailles and the requirement to pay. British economist John Maynard Keynes called the treaty a Carthaginian peace that would economically destroy Germany. His arguments had a profound effect on historians, politicians, and the public at large. Despite Keynes' arguments and those by later historians supporting or reinforcing Keynes' views, the consensus of contemporary historians is that reparations were not as intolerable as the Germans or Keynes had suggested and were within Germany's capacity to pay had there been the political will to do so.


Now being able to pay or not is just the beginning of the deception. Your opinion on the matter could go either way there. So let's move on. This part of the story is rather familiar to most. Germany (called the Weimar Republic at the time) starts printing money like it is going out of style which causes their economy to spiral out of control due to hyperinflation. This marked Germany's spiral down into its Great Depression. Everyone's all seen the pictures of the dude rolling a wheelbarrow in cash around. If not here you go:

Fun.

In any case, the Weimar Republic actually got a handle on its hyperinflation and actually stabilized its currency, and this was WELL before the beginning of the next war.


When a new currency, the Rentenmark, replaced the worthless Reichsbank marks on November 16, 1923 and 12 zeros were cut from prices, prices in the new currency remained stable. The German people regarded this stable currency as a miracle[16] because they had heard such claims of stability before with the Notgeld (emergency money) that rapidly devalued as an additional source of inflation.[17] The usual explanation was that the Rentenmarks were issued in a fixed amount and were backed by hard assets such as agricultural land and industrial assets, but what happened was more complex than that, as summarized in the following description.


So as you can see, things were starting to improve. I'm sure the economy wasn't great at the time, but going into the end of the 20's you could say the economy was looking up. Then October 24th, 1929 happened. Black Thursday. The American stock market crashed spectacularly and knocked out most signs of recovery for the Germans. The problem here is that the current chancellor of Germany, Heinrich Bruning, was TERRIFIED of inflation (I wonder why?). Bruning increased taxes, implemented spending reductions, and wage cuts all to reduce federal deficit.

So naturally the citizenry is obviously discontent with the status quo, angry, high in unemployment, and bitter at the rest of the world. So now enters a certain demagogue who uses these emotions to his benefit. Let's see how.

1933: Hitler Comes to Power


By the early 1930s, Germany was in desperate shape. Its defeat in World War I and the harsh conditions imposed by the United States, Britain, and France in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles—including debilitating reparation payments to the victors—had left Germany humiliated and impoverished, with ruinous inflation eating away at its economy. The worldwide Depression that followed the 1929 U.S. stock market crash exacerbated the situation as banks failed, factories closed, and millions of people lost their jobs.

It all made for fertile ground for Hitler's radical nationalist ideology. The Nazis (short for National Socialists) promised to stop reparation payments, to give all Germans jobs and food, and to make them proud to be German again. And they blamed Jews for most of Germany's problems.

By 1930, when the Nazis won 18 percent of the vote, it was effectively impossible to govern Germany without Nazi support, according to Ian Kershaw, a history professor at Sheffield University in England. And that led to President Hindenburg's gamble to appoint Hitler Chancellor in January 1933.

Less than a month later, Hitler used the fire that destroyed the Reichstag, the parliament building in Berlin, as an excuse to declare a state of emergency and suspend democratic protections such as freedom of speech. (At the time, Hitler blamed the Communists, but many historians believe the Nazis set the fire themselves.) It marked, in effect, the death of German democracy and the beginning of Hitler's reign of terror.


Let's go over some of these things. The Nazis promised the Germans the WORLD. They'd make Germany great again, get other countries to stop meddling in their affairs, bring jobs back to the people, oh and they blamed a certain religious group for all of their problems (real or imagined). Now that source is meant for teenagers, so let's get into the meat and potatoes of what I'm talking about here.

The Story behind Hitler's Rise to Power

On November 8, 1923 Hitler staged what is known as the Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to convince some other revolutionaries to join him and the Nazis. They weren't having it and after an exchange of many bullets, Hitler wound up in jail (where he wrote Mein Kampf). It should be noted that Hitler was riding a wave of social unrest. As you recall previously, I spoke about how the Weimar Republic was in the throes of hyperinflation at the time. However, once Hitler got out, hyperinflation was over.

cont on next post.




posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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But when Hitler emerged from jail, after a scandalously short stay of just over a year, hyperinflation had been brought under control through the introduction of the new "rentenmark." In addition, the US had pressured the allies into accepting the Dawes Plan, which reduced Germany's Treaty of Versailles burden. The carpet of social frustration had been pulled out from under Hitler's feet. In May 1928 elections, the NSDAP only managed 2.6 percent of the vote nationwide.


This led to the Nazi party being almost all but abolished, but as luck would have it Hitler got his second chance when it became the US' turn for its economy to blow up. This didn't stop Hitler and co. from handing out propganda at job centers, or from speaking at length about his favorite issues.


But Hitler and his cronies had not been wasting their time, and by the end of the decade the NSDAP was well organized and -- though small -- was no longer just a fringe party in Munich. Indeed, during the worst of the economic crisis, the Nazis even handed out propaganda at job centers and set up soup kitchens to feed the hungry.

And Hitler continued hammering away at his favorite issues. The Jews were to be blamed for Germany's plight, he said, as were the leftists. In fact, the Weimar Republic itself was nothing but a Jewish-leftist conspiracy of destruction. And he, Adolf Hitler, would save the nation.


Hmmm... Rhetoric like that sounds vaguely familiar... Naaah, I must be imagining things.

Anyways, another front that helped Hitler's rise to power was the weakness of the Weimar Republic and its own distrust of democracy.


There is no denying that Hitler was a gifted speaker. But without the fatal weaknesses in Germany's political leadership, it is difficult to see how he would have made it to the top. President von Hindenburg had never been terribly convinced that democracy was the way to go. Indeed, the World War I hero and his supporters had long yearned for a strong leader free from parliamentary meddling -- and they were especially wary of the Social Democrats, the one party that had thrown all of its support behind the Weimar democracy from the beginning.


Between 1929 and 1932 the country only got worse. The country changed prime ministers like it changed its clothes and unemployment shot through the roof. Though the government was more interested in trying to prove to the rest of the world that its reparations payments were unmakeable (see first half of this thread). But even THEN, in 1932 when elections were held again, the Nazi part only get 37.4% of the vote. So even with widespread unemployment and discontent, that STILL wasn't enough to appeal to most of the country through demogougery. It should be noted that people were mostly voting for him as a protest vote because they were fed up with the establishment.


Another way to see the results, however, is that 63.6 percent of Germans didn't cast their ballots for the NSDAP. Indeed, despite Hitler's party getting support from across the country and from a variety of different segments of society, his was still largely a protest vote -- and it would only last as long as there was something to protest. But the Depression was showing signs of bottoming out. General elections held in November that same year showed a drop in support for the Nazis to 33.1 percent. Even worse for the NSDAP, President von Hindenburg still seemed disinclined to hand over power to Hitler, even though the NSDAP had received far more votes than any other party. He said that naming Hitler chancellor was "neither compatible with his conscience nor with his obligation to the Fatherland."



At the time though, the Depression was starting to bottom out so people were starting to get hope again. Support for the Nazis dropped. Then a former chancellor wanted a go again and backed the Nazis to try to get his shot. He wanted to try to "control" Hitler by making him part of the establishment. So in January of 1933, President von Hindenburg named Hitler as chancellor. Though Hitler still had to dismantle democracy if he wanted to cement his rule.

Luckily again for Hitler, a fire at the Reichstag, Germany's Parliament building was set ablaze. Now in the ensuing years, no amount of investigation has shown that this act was anything by a lone nut. That didn't stop the Nazi trio (Hitler, Goring, and Goebbels) from using it to their advantage though.


Once again, luck seemed to be on Hitler's side. On February 27, less than a week before the new elections, the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, was set ablaze. The blame was pinned on Dutch bricklayer Marinus van der Lubbe, and indeed, after decades of research into the incident, no convincing proof has been unearthed to show that he wasn't acting alone. But Hitler, Göring and Goebbels knew a propaganda godsend when they saw one. "If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we need to crush this murderous plague with an iron fist," Hitler told his vice chancellor, von Papen.


After that fire, the "decree for the protection of people and the state" (Seriously, is any of this looking familiar to ANYONE else?) went out prompting tons of political arrests and the rise of a massive prison complex that would later be turned into concetration camps. The rest of the events fell like dominos since all threats to Hitler's rule were eliminated one-by-one.

Now some may be wondering what prompted me to write this thread. Well it is my life motto that in order to know the future, we must look to the past. Many should be able to see the obvious parallels to what a certain person running for President in this country is doing in order to gain support. I know that his circumstances don't mirror exactly the circumstances of Hitler, but when so many things align so nicely like this it is VERY worrying. So think about the things you are saying, the words you are speaking, the rhetoric you believe, you MAY be being duped.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:16 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Krazysh0t, GREAT thread with a lot of great information. I have never delved too deep into pre WW2 history of Germany but this is very eye-opening. Thanks for putting the time and work into this thread, much appreciated S & F



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:19 AM
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Awesome thread. I was just thinking how well this aspect of history would fit with other recent threads to give context and meaning to complexity.

Thank you !!

We should be ever vigilant...

- AB



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:26 AM
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An awesome topic Krazyshot, one of my favorite topics is World War 2. I have been doing a lot of research lately into the end of World War 2 and what happened to Hitler after the war. The narrative was that he took cyanide and shot himself, but evidence is starting to show he lived and fled Germany. They believe he fled to Argentina where he and other Nazis may have lived out the remainder of their lives.

It is important to look at the rise of Hitler and know how he did it to avoid the rise of another. Those who forget history are bound to relive it. Great Job once again.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:34 AM
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How hitler rose to power; fantastic speaker and an idealist who believed in the occult, badaboom..

The rest well all great stories



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:35 AM
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The early posters are either not getting...or preferring to ignore...your obvious attempt to draw a parallel between the rise of the Nazis and Hitler, and the current political climate in the United States.

The Republicans are not the Nazi Party, Trump is not Hitler, and Radical Islam is not Judaism.

Nice try though...



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:38 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Krazysh0t, GREAT thread with a lot of great information. I have never delved too deep into pre WW2 history of Germany but this is very eye-opening. Thanks for putting the time and work into this thread, much appreciated S & F



It certainly isn't a topic that people explore regularly. Usually when Hitler and the Nazis are mentioned, it's usually to talk about his actions during WWII. Though I think his actions BEFORE the war are probably just as if not more important than his actions during the war. Its the actions before the war that we can analyze to prevent another Hitler from rising to power. His actions during the war are just good for case study since, at the time, we were already throwing everything we had at him to stop him.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:46 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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For those interested in this period in German history, I highly recommend Erik Larson's recent book "In the Garden of Beasts".

This looks at the early days of Nazi rule, seen from the perspective of the American ambassador and his daughter. The majority of the book examines 1933-4. A critical period if want to understand the transition from Wiemar to Nazi rule. And seeing it through American eyes will probably help many American readers.


edit on 21-12-2015 by Moresby because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: mobiusmale
The early posters are either not getting...or preferring to ignore...your obvious attempt to draw a parallel between the rise of the Nazis and Hitler, and the current political climate in the United States.

The Republicans are not the Nazi Party, Trump is not Hitler, and Radical Islam is not Judaism.

Nice try though...


So I'm wrong, but you aren't going to make any attempts to correct me?

ETA: I mean do you NOT see the parallels? Aren't they even a BIT troubling to you?
edit on 21-12-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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Very thought provoking thread! So the war on terrorism, muslim being the "new jews" (ironic isn't it?), Trump rallying support via bigotry (not that we haven't all felt similar thoughts, whether we admit it to ourselves or not!), economy collapsing before our very eyes, sick and tired of the same old party lines......

Question: How, in your opinion, does the banking industry so -call promoting Hitler's pogrom correlate to what is happening now? Is the same families (Bush et. al) involved behind the scenes with the Sauds aka. oil behind it? What is the bottom line with this setting up to repeat history using the same old tactics, do you all think?



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:56 AM
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Great thread, Krazy.

I think it would be interesting to also discuss the American connections Hitler had during his rule and how he had an effect on our country. Perhaps another thread.




posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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Star and Flag, Krazysh0t!!!!



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: Moresby

Thank you for the recommendation, I will have to look that book up. I am amazed at how easily Hitler was able to inspire so many people into following him. Hell, they made him man of the year in Time magazine in 1938. He was a skinny little man who was not good looking, but when he spoke, thousands would listen. It is scary how powerful he became and what people were willing to do for him.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: itsallmaya

Well that isn't something I explored that thoroughly. I feel that plays into the the whole hyperinflation thing. I really feel that Hitler was just taking advantage of the money situation though. He tried to piggy-back off of the hyperinflation thing to mount a violent revolution, but failed. Then when he got out of jail (a measly one year sentence, there is DEFINITELY a conspiracy involved there) the economy was starting to improve again. It wouldn't be until 1929 that the Nazis would get their chance again, but even STILL, Germany was starting to see the bottom of the Depression.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: introvert

Yes, it would be a good thread too. There are a lot of world events from that time period that get left out of most history discussions/classes that are VERY relevant to what is going on today. Most of the time, for that period of time history classes just talk about the roaring 20's, the Great Depression, FDR, the New Deal, and then WWII, in that order too. It's like checking off a list of topics instead of discussing the nuances of the day.
edit on 21-12-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Think people tend to dismiss pre WW2 Germans as idiots or NAZI's

But they forget that they were normal people in a desperate situation surrounded by corrupt and broken political system filled with establishment ineffective politicians incompetently trying to keep there failing country afloat.

I bet many here on ATS, maybe even me would have thought at the time Hitler and the NAZI party seemed like a good alternative and a good protest vote. A way to rid my country of a failing, corrupt government.

Obviously in hindsight it turned out to be a disastrous decision on behalf of the German people. But before hand in 1933 at the time Hitler would likely have seen a very good and appealing option.



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