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Hitler and the Economy

Between World War I and World War II the economy and many countries were in very fragile states. WWI caused Germany to be destroyed economically causing the country to become desperate for an answer as to how their country would strengthen. Adolf Hitler became that answer. Changes include Hitler’s ability to help Germany recover but then become a Nazi nation. Continuities are the habits of countries in bad economical states to turn against liberal governments, people’s perceptions also become askew and they begin to blame and find scapegoats, which led to the national hatred of Jews. This perfect storm between Hitler’s ideas and his anti-Semitism and the terrible economy of Germany and its people's desperate need for a scapegoat and high demands for a single leader created the horrible Holocaust.

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Changes began with Hitler’s ideals and the economic state that Germany was in. After a failed revolution Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prison. Hitler described that "...it [Nazi philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe."[1] He created the Aryan superior race and the fact that “the mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew.” [2] Mein Kampf represented Hitler’s early ideals that soon drove Germany into the Anti-Semitic state it became. As Hitler joined the National Socialists Germany as a state was struggling to regain structure.

Starting in 1918, Germany attempted to reestablish a government called the Weimar Republic that attempted to put Germany on a democratic course. This shaky government caused two extreme parties to struggle for control, and was unable to sustain depressed Germany. This weak governmental control caused the rise of the German Worker’s Party (before the Nazis). Not only this, but Germany’s economy was hyper inflated, making small items very expensive, but also giving people reason to blame those more successful. The Great Depression was a big cause of economical failure. Through this desperation, Hitler took advantage of people in need of a scapegoat and took over using united growing hatred of the Jewish. He claimed through speeches and propaganda and marches that Germany must strengthen and unite against the countries that put them in such disarray. Hitler built up the military and navy, creating more jobs for people and a united cause to work for. This did get Germany back on its feet and strengthened its economy, and with its new Chancellor Hitler, a strong government to run the show. The time things went awry was when Hitler’s hatred for Jews and the need to create a country dominated by the Aryan race became his obsession; this obsession soon led to terrible means that soon became the nationwide hatred toward Jews and the Holocaust.
Campaign for Chancellor Hitler
Campaign for Chancellor Hitler

Continuities between and during WWI and WWII periods are the general patterns in behavior of desperate nations. In Germany, with its shaky government, suffering economy, and lack of jobs, this forced people to reject liberal governments and search for a scapegoat. Since the Weimar Republic failed them, the people rejected liberal governments and searched for a single power to help Germany back to its feet. The search for a scapegoat caused hatred towards the more successful people, this included some Jewish people. Hitler then took used this search for a scapegoat and made Jews the main focus of hatred. This pattern of a large population in a desperate situation united by their opposition toward a similar scapegoat is continuity.

Through the continuities, Hitler was able to become Chancellor of Germany and become the single power to help Germany back to its feet. Through these changes, Hitler created a powerful country with a flashy new military, and a united people with a united hatred towards mainly Jewish people, as well as the foreign countries that caused Germany’s demise.

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Quick Explanation of Hyperinflation (first Chancellor, Hitler came after that)

Hitler's Rise to Power


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Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic. Wikipedia. Last modified 3 April, 2012 at 06:40, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic.

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The Rise of the Nazi Party. A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust. Last modified 2005, http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/TIMELINE/nazirise.HTM.

Weimer Republic and the Great Depression. History Learning Site. Last modified 2012, http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weimar_depression_1929.htm.

[1]The Rise of Adolf Hitler, The History Place, last modified 1996, http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/kampf.htm

[2]The Rise of Adolf Hitler, The History Place, last modified 1996, http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/kampf.htm