Adolf Hitler, The Rise of Nazi Germany in Europe
This article will attempt to define some of the developments in Germany leading up to the election of Adolf Hitler in 1933 and the rise of Nazi Germany to power.
Fall of Weimar Republic-Adolf Hitler
Hitler came to power in 1933 and inherited a country with 6 million unemployed. There had been a succession of employment layoffs across Germany for some time, together with wage and salary cuts. It is unsurprising that the mood of the German workers was sombre.
The inflationary policies of the Weimar Republic led to further debt and borrowings for Germany throughout the 1920s, coupled with high unemployment, fears of communism and a massive decrease in public confidence. Adolf Hitler’s great sense of oratory and speeches caused German voters, industrialists and businesses to flock to his National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis).
Countries across Western Europe had battled with economic crisis following World War I but nowhere more so than Germany, due to the terms of the Versailles Agreement. Many Germans were also increasingly anti-Semite as they believed Jews may have been responsible for Germany’s defeat in the War.
Adolf Hitler sees Aryan Race as “Culture Creating”
Hitler, himself, believed Jews to be the “embodiment of evil” and the Aryan race to be the only “culture creating” race in the World. Other beliefs Hitler espoused included:
- suppression of homosexuality
- persecution of gypsies
- purification of the German race to get rid of alien blood, hereditary ills or asocial elements.
Social Projects of Hitler & Nazi Germany-Adolf Hitler
The Weimar Republic had already drawn up plans for investment strategies based upon renewing the infrastructure of Germany and building public housing. The Nazi Party used these plans as a basis for their initial government finance strategy for Germany. Investment strategy for Germany involved:
- building a major motorway network
- starting to re-arm, in 1933 munitions were 5% of the German budget and by 1938 amounted to 58%
Within three years Germany had achieved full employment. Hitler’s social policies and the achievements his Government had made were generally admired across Europe.
New German Society – Rise of the Aryan Worker & Hitler Youth-Adolf Hitler
The Nazi Party began to attempt to model their new German society by raising the consciousness of the German workers with organisations such as “Beauty of Labour” and “Strength through Joy”.
German workplaces were instructed to provide wholesome food in their canteens, good sanitation and lighting and pay attention to the physical health of workers with medical care and exercise regimes.
The ultimate aim of the Nazis was to achieve a total remodeling of German society driven by racial criteria. Social improvements included:
- improved medical care
- paid holidays increased from three days per year in 1933 to between 6 and 12 days per annum
- “Strength through Joy” organised workers holidays and trips and virtually all leisure became State controlled
- education was controlled
- Hitler Youth were drilled on racial idealogy and practices
- sports were considered of major importance to youth
This is not a comprehensive account of aspects relative to the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi Party, but merely some of the detail. There were far more developments within German society at this time. For example compulsory sterilisation of some elements within society began in 1933, eventually leading on to euthanasia by the late 1930s. The role of German women within society was also redefined to a great extent within the Nazi German society.
Source: M Burleigh & W Wipperman, The Racial State: Germany 1933 – 1945