Nazism and World War II
Nazism and World War II
The National Socialist German Workers' Party almost died one
morning in 1919. It numbered only a few dozen grumblers' it had no
organization and no political ideas. But many among the middle class
admired the Nazis' muscular opposition to the Social Democrats. And
the Nazis themes of patriotism and militarism drew highly emotional
responses from people who could not forget Germany's prewar imperial
In the national elections of September 1930, the Nazis garnered
nearly 6.5 million votes and became second only to the Social
Democrats as the most popular party in Germany. In Northeim, where in
1928 Nazi candidates had received 123 votes, they now polled 1,742, a
respectable 28 percent of the total. The nationwide success drew even
faster... in just three years, party membership would rise from about
100,000 to almost a million, and the number of local branches would
increase tenfold. The new members included working-class people,
farmers, and middle-class professionals. They were both better
educated and younger then the Old Fighters, who had been the backbone
of the party during its first decade. The Nazis now presented
themselves as the party of the young, the strong, and the pure, in
opposition to an establishment populated by the elderly, the weak, and
the dissolute. Hitler was born in a small town in Austria in 1889. As
a young boy, he showed little ambition. After dropping out of high
school, he moved to Vienna to study art, but he was denied the chance
to join Vienna academy of fine arts.
When WWI broke out, Hitler joined Kaiser Wilhelmer's army as a
Corporal. He was not a person of great importance. He was a creature
of a Germany created by WWI, and his behavior was shaped by that war
and its consequences. He...
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