The Rise of Hitler

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Adolf Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor of Germany and leader of the German people is often portrayed as the result of a sweeping electoral victory. In reality Hitler’s rise was incremental, requiring (a patchwork of political support from) an assimilation of support from various demographics as well as influential political figures. An area of perpetual historiographical debate is, specifically, which demographic was more essential to Hitler’s rise - one school of thought maintains the significance of the lower middle class in the (spread and rise to power of the) popularization of the Nazi party, while the other argues that it was the “German elite” who more effectively aided them. The following essay will focus primarily on the latter school of thought. As a result of the Industrial Revolution the structure of German society was dramatically changed affected; newly emerging social tension between the wealthy capitalists and the urban poor caused more traditional capitalist to seek out allies with similar socio-political views. The product of this alliance was a fusion of German aristocracy (Junkers) and the German industrialists. Junkers dominated the higher civil offices and the officer corps, while the industrialists controlled the means to production. This fusion created a new social elite -the traditional German elite. It is this traditional elite that played a fundamental role in assisting in Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. The combination of the loss of the first World War and the Treaty of Versailles’ harsh punitive measures crippled Germany economically, militarily and psychologically. The German populace had been left resentful, searching for someone to blame. Reassurance came in the form of the traditi... ... middle of paper ... ...ould have legitimated the acceptance of minorities.” The traditional elites used to control the direction of the state (including those allowed to participate). Their longstanding values remained constant even though the transition to Republic enforced equality, meanwhile the regime never grew independent enough to dispense with the conservative elites altogether . The coalescence of inherent anti-Semitic thought and a lack of an effective outlet to relieve conservatives of their feelings of encroachment drove the Junkers into an alliance with the Nazis - the Nazis offered a solution. In three specific instances- medical doctors, lawyers and civil servants- feelings of Jewish infiltration into the positions of the traditional elite result in the warping of the once neutral views of professions into a collective mouthpiece for the advancement of the Nazi ideology.

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