.. s of Zion were published in the local anti-Semitic newspaper. The false, but alarming accusations reinforced Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Soon after, treatment of the Jews was a major theme of Hitler’s orations, and the increasing scapegoating of the Jews for inflation, political instability, unemployment, and the humiliation in the war, found a willing audience. Jews were tied to internationalism by Hitler. The name of the party was changed to the National Socialist German Worker’s party, and the red flag with the swastika was adopted as the party symbol.
A local newspaper which appealed to anti-Semites was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Hitler raised funds to purchase it for the party. In January 1923, French and Belgian troops marched into Germany to settle a reparations dispute. Germans resented this occupation, which also had an adverse effect on the economy. Hitler’s party benefited by the reaction to this development, and exploited it by holding mass protest rallies despite a ban on such rallies by the local police. The Nazi party began drawing thousands of new members, many of whom were victims of hyper-inflation and found comfort in blaming the Jews for this trouble.
The price of an egg, for example, had inflated to 30 million times its original price in just 10 years. Economic upheaval generally breeds political upheaval, and Germany in the 1920s was no exception. The Bavarian government defied the Weimar Republic, accusing it of being too far left. Hitler endorsed the fall of the Weimar Republic, and declared at a public rally on October 30, 1923 that he was prepared to march on Berlin to rid the government of the Communists and the Jews. On November 8, 1923, Hitler held a rally at a Munich beer hall and proclaimed a revolution. The following day, he led 2,000 armed brown-shirts in an attempt to take over the Bavarian government. This putsch was resisted and put down by the police, after more than a dozen were killed in the fighting.
Hitler suffered a broken and dislocated arm in the melee, was arrested, and was imprisoned at Landsberg. He received a five-year sentence. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year term. While in prison, he wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf. It was partly an autobiographical book (although filled with glorified inaccuracies, self-serving half-truths and outright revisionism) which also detailed his views on the future of the German people.
There were several targets of the vicious diatribes in the book, such as democrats, Communists, and internationalists. But he reserved the brunt of his vituperation for the Jews, whom he portrayed as responsible for all of the problems and evils of the world, particularly democracy, Communism, and internationalism, as well as Germany’s defeat in the War. Jews were the German nation’s true enemy, he wrote. They had no culture of their own, he asserted, but perverted existing cultures such as Germany’s with their parasitism. As such, they were not a race, but an anti-race.
[The Jews’] ultimate goal is the denaturalization, the promiscuous bastardization of other peoples, the lowering of the racial level of the highest peoples as well as the domination of his racial mishmash through the extirpation of the folkish intelligentsia and its replacement by the members of his own people, he wrote. On the contrary, the German people were of the highest racial purity and those destined to be the master race according to Hitler. To maintain that purity, it was necessary to avoid intermarriage with subhuman races such as Jews and Slavs. Germany could stop the Jews from conquering the world only by eliminating them. By doing so, Germany could also find Lebensraum, living space, without which the superior German culture would decay.
This living space, Hitler continued, would come from conquering Russia (which was under the control of Jewish Marxists, he believed) and the Slavic countries. This empire would be launched after democracy was eliminated and a Fhrer called upon to rebuild the German Reich. A second volume of Mein Kampf was published in 1927. It included a history of the Nazi party to that time and its program, as well as a primer on how to obtain and retain political power, how to use propaganda and terrorism, and how to build a political organization. While Mein Kampf was crudely written and filled with embarrassing tangents and ramblings, it struck a responsive chord among its target those Germans who believed it was their destiny to dominate the world.
The book sold over five million copies by the start of World War II. Once released from prison, Hitler decided to seize power constitutionally rather than by force of arms. Using demagogic oratory, Hitler spoke to scores of mass audiences, calling for the German people to resist the yoke of Jews and Communists, and to create a new empire which would rule the world for 1,000 years. Hitler’s Nazi party captured 18% of the popular vote in the 1930 elections. In 1932, Hitler ran for President and won 30% of the vote, forcing the eventual victor, Paul von Hindenburg, into a runoff election. A political deal was made to make Hitler chancellor in exchange for his political support.
He was appointed to that office in January 1933. Upon the death of Hindenburg in August 1934, Hitler was the consensus successor. With an improving economy, Hitler claimed credit and consolidated his position as a dictator, having succeeded in eliminating challenges from other political parties and government institutions. The German industrial machine was built up in preparation for war. By 1937, he was comfortable enough to put his master plan, as outlined in Mein Kampf, into effect.
Calling his top military aides together at the Fhrer Conference in November 1937, he outlined his plans for world domination. Those who objected to the plan were dismissed. Hitler ordered the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. Hitler’s army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking France and England to declare war on Germany. A Blitzkrieg (lightning war) of German tanks and infantry swept through most of Western Europe as nation after nation fell to the German war machine. In 1941, Hitler ignored a non-aggression pact he had signed with the Soviet Union in August 1939.
Several early victories after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, were reversed with crushing defeats at Moscow (December 1941) and Stalingrad (winter, 1942-43). The United States entered the war in December 1941. By 1944, the Allies invaded occupied Europe at Normandy Beach on the French coast, German cities were being destroyed by bombing, and Italy, Germany’s major ally under the leadership of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had fallen. Several attempts were made on Hitler’s life during the war, but none was successful. As the war appeared to be inevitably lost and his hand-picked lieutenants, seeing the futility, defied his orders, he killed himself on April 30, 1945.
His long-term mistress and new bride, Eva Braun, joined him in suicide. By that time, one of his chief objectives was achieved with the annihilation of two-thirds of European Jewry. Bibliography 1. Grobman, Gary M. 1990 Adolf Hitler Retrieved April 11, 2000 htttp://remember.org/Facts.root.hitler.html 2. Toland, John Adolf Hitler Anchor Books New York, 1992 3. Stalcup, Brenda Adolf Hitler (People Who Made History) Greenhaven Press New York, 2000 4. Weppman, Dennis Adolf Hilter (World Leaders-Past And Present) Chelsea House Publishing Boston, 1989 5.
Ambrose, Stephen E. Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army From The Beaches Of Normandy To The Bulge To The Surrender Of Germany, June 7, 1944 To May 7, 1945 Touchstone Books New York, 1998 6. Kershaw, Ian Hitler: 1889-1939: Hubris W.W. Norton & Co. New York, 1999 7. Keppel, Katie Adolf Hitler: What People Dont Know Military History May 1994 8. Yankovic, Alan Hitlers Final Days Touchstone Books New York 1996 9.
New World Encyclopedia Davis Publishing Atlanta 1994 10. Gaulding, Alex Adolf Hitler: International Terror.