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The Rise and Subsequent Fall of the Third Reich

Powerful Essays
The Rise and Subsequent Fall of the Third Reich

Living in the crumbled remains of Germany, or the Weimar Republic, in the 1920’s was a dismal existence. Hyperinflation was rampant and the national debt skyrocketed as a result of the punishing features of the Treaty of Versailles. During the depression, however, a mysterious Austrian emerged from the depths of the German penal system and gave the desperate German people a glimpse of hope in very dark times. He called for a return to “Fatherland” principles where greater Germany was seen as the center of their universe with zealous pride. Under Hitler’s leadership, Nazi Germany rapidly grew and expanded, continually approaching the goal of world domination and the “Thousand-Year Reich” that Hitler promised the German people. Only a few years later, Nazi Wehrmacht soldiers could be seen marching the streets from Paris to Leningrad (St. Petersburg, Russia). The German Empire, however, like all other expansive empires, had its limits and integral components such as resources, manpower, and industrial capacity began to fall in short supply further crippling the Nazi war machine. Basically, by 1944, “Nazi Germany’s fundamental problem was that she has conquered more territory than she could defend” (Ambrose, 27). Hitler conquered a vast area and vowed to defend every single inch of his empire with every last drop of blood at his disposal. As Frederick the Great warned, “He who defends everything, defends nothing” (Ambrose, 33). It is interesting to study any empire’s rise and fall because similarities are always present, even with some nations today promising to fight the evil, when it reality, it might be becoming what it vows to fight.

The story of the rise of the Thi...

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... in is destined for some sort of collapse. Nobody in this world would like to compare their own nation to fascist Germany or any other fallen empire but numerous similarities can be found. There is increasing resistance to the government and its actions which are facilitated by the fact that our Constitution allows us to do so freely. Our social security system is going to collapse in the near future if not efficiently revised as those receiving it continue to grow. Military forces are continually being depleted to maintain order in our occupied territories of Afghanistan and Iraq. Where does the expansion end? The United States can not keep tying up its most vital resources abroad. It is an increasing economic cost that has little hope of decreasing anytime soon. Expansion has proved fatal for all nations throughout history. Are we next? I sure hope not.
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