In Sebastion Haffner’s Defying Hitler, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party is told through a firsthand experience. Through this first-hand experience, Haffner answers the question as to how the Nazis were able to rise and stay in power. The Nazi party was formed at the end of the First World War. The Nazis faced a lot of criticism for their beliefs and tactics in the early stages and were viewed as a nuisance and nothing more. Every party needs a great leader and they found that in Adolf Hitler. The Nazis were able to rise to power with the help of Hitler, after a humiliating defeat in World War I which created a German society in despair, Hitlers anti-semitic view and his violently enforced propaganda campaign helped propel the Nazis to power.
At the end of World War I the German Revolution began. It was a battle between political parties, the free corps and the Red Revolutionaries. The people were afraid of the Reds because they knew that they would rob the German people of everything they had and most likely liquidate peoples’ assets (p31). Germany took punishment for the war with the Treaty of Versailles and was then ordered to pay back the cost of all the damages occurred. The economy of Germany could not handle the costs and began to print more money. This then caused the economic hardships to set in. The ruhar war started and the dollar went from twenty thousand marks, all the way to hundreds of thousand deutsche marks. The German people were losing everything, and were having a hard time to find food and to pay their monthly bills (p55). The cost of living was out of control with the inflation. “The salary of sixty-five thousand marks brought home the previous Friday was no longer suf...
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... was not one single example of energetic defense, of courage or principle. There was only panic, flight and desertion” (p132). When Germany realized at what had happened it was already to late to stop it. Hitler had successfully brought the Nazis from nothing to a ruling power.
The Nazi party was possible due to the discontent Germany was in at the time. With the loss of World War I, it brought on the German Revolution and the collapse of the economy. The propaganda the Nazis advertised was to build moral and add a positive spin onto everything while pushing the blame for everything onto the Jewish. The Nazis happened because the Germans were looking for something better. The country was a disaster zone, and with so many distractions, nobody saw the Nazis slowly building a force. By the time it was noticed, it was too late to do anything other than flee or join.
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