Jan. 5, 2007
Adolf Hitler took control of Germany in 1933. Hitler's rule within Germany met little resistance because of popularity and his intimidation of those who didn't support him. Hitler had enormous economic success, and this gained popularity for him. Hitler also had a very nationalistic message which again gained him popularity. The way Hitler ran Germany was as a police state, so those who were not won over by the is economic or nationalistic messages were intimidated.
Hitler's Economic Success
When Hitler first rose to power Germany was still struggling with the the effects of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 1929 Wall Street Crash.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Hitler had four basic aims for the Economy of Germany. He wished to generate employment because the unenomployment rate in Germany was approaching six billion in 1930Ã¯Â¿Â½. In order to do this Hitler had to create jobs, and he did this by things such as the buildings of Autobahns and homes.
Hitler wanted to create as many jobs as possible for the German people in order to reduce state benefits and increase things such as public expenditure and investments. The Nazis managed to make the unemployment rate of Germany go down to only 0.2 million people unemployed and in 1938 these figured changed to to another 0.8 million people being employed, so this plan was a success. Hitler also placed his own Ministers into power such as the appointment of Schacht as Minister of the Reichsbank in 1933, and then in 1934 he made him economics minister.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Hitler's idea behind this was to place Schacht in a strong position and also to let him gain access to the "elite" in Germany, and by strengthening Germanys economy he could please them and gain support for the Nazi Party. Schacht was the man who brought about the policy of deficit financing which involved the government spending more of its own money in order to greatly increase the economy. Mefo bills were introduced and were traded to industry for supplies, and then later these were repaid with interest.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Hitler had a very large economic success and managed to greatly decrease the unemployment rate, he also managed to make the German economy grow larger and all of this gained him immense popularity thus helping his rule in Germany meet little resistance.
Hitler's Nationalistic Message
Hitler had a very nationalistic message which made him appealing to many of the German people. Hitler's support came mainly from small conservative townsÃ¯Â¿Â½ and he campaigned in various manners. One of his main campaigns included attacks on Marxism, and communism, as he told his people "If you want your country to go Bolshevik, vote Communist. If you want to remain free Germans, vote for the National Socialists."Ã¯Â¿Â½ This gained him very large support in these small cities. Hitler also promised to get rid of what he called big city corruption that was going on in cities such as Berlin. He wanted a spiritual revolution for a "positive Christianity"Ã¯Â¿Â½. His main campaign ran on the basis of a stronger, and unified Germany in which Germans need not be afraid of the outside or inside enemies, as he claimed Germany was being attacked on the outside by neighbouring countries, and on the inside by Jews and Communists. Hitler said he would restore Germany to its former greatness and would restore its boundaries, he also promised the homeless and unemployed people jobs and food. Hitler also preyed on the myth that Jews were greedy and money hungry although in reality not many large well known industries in Germany had Jews as owners or even directors.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The excessive amounts of propaganda fed to the German people helped Hitler's rule within Germany meet little resistance.
Hitler's Police State
Hitler turned Germany into a complete police state once he had power. This was done to enforce Hitler's laws and make sure people were doing what they were told to be doing, and also not causing any problems such as rebellion. The Nazi Police were controlled by Heinrich Himmler and his secret police which was called the Gestapo.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Anyone who did not agree with Hitler or did not want him in power was silenced by either brute force, or death. Nearly seventeen million people had not voted for the Nazi Party in 1933Ã¯Â¿Â½ and the way Hitler made his police worked was that as long as you kept your mouth shut no harm could come to you, but anyone who said anything against the new regime was dealt with very harshly. The police in Nazi Germany had huge powers due to the fact that they were allowed to arrest people on the suspicion that they may do something wrong, and local police men were told to draw up a list of people in their area who might be "Enemies of the State".Ã¯Â¿Â½ This list was then handed over to the secret police and the Gestapo was then basically allowed to deal with the situation in any way it saw fit. People who were arrested by the Gestapo were given three minutes to say goodbye to their family members and pack a bag and then they were sent to a police cell nearby. They were then told they should sign a form called "D-11" which said that they would agree to going to prison.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Anyone who did not do this was often beaten until submission or signatures were forged, and once the form was signed (whether with a real or forged signature) the person was sent to a concentration camp for as much time as the Gestapo saw fit. People could be arrested for things such as making a joke about the Nazi Party, or the FÃÂ¼hrer, Hitler himself.Ã¯Â¿Â½ People seeking spiritual guidance with such things as the bible were also arrested, as were homosexuals and Jews.Ã¯Â¿Â½
Although there were many people who did not necessarily agree with Hitler's view, they were too afraid to speak out thus decreasing the resistance met to Hitler's supreme rule over Germany.
Hitler's rule in Germany met little to no resistance what so ever from the German people. This was due mainly to the fact that he was very popular and had been voted in legally. He also enjoyed enormous economic success thus once again increasing his popularity.. It was also due to the fact that his nationalistic message appealed to many Germans. Lastly he governed Germany as a police state, and people were too afraid to speak out against him.
Ã¯Â¿Â½ Stephen Lee: Nazi Germany, p. 35
Ã¯Â¿Â½ Stephen Lee: Nazi Germany, p. 45
Ã¯Â¿Â½ Howarth, Tony. Twentieh Centruy History: The World Since 1900, p. 63