Adolf Hitler: From Patriotism to Racism Essay
Hitler is known the world over as the man responsible for killing 6 million Jews. He is also the reason why the world experienced another global war when it was believed that the First World War was the war that should have ended all wars. Hitler was able to do so because he was motivated by hate and frustration. He was angry and frustrated because of the poverty of the German people.
His anger grew even more when he realized that Austrians were never considered Germans but a part of the Hapsburg Empire. Finally, he blamed the Jewish people for weakening the German race and he believed that this was the reason why the German people can never be the master of their fate even though they were destined to be the lords of the earth.
This study is an attempt to understand Hitler’s worldview, his attitude towards race, politics and foreign policy. It will be revealed later that his actions were motivated by patriotism that reached fanatical levels because of his love for Germany.
He was willing to attack and destroy whatever stands between him and the rise of a German Reich populated by a pure race – the Aryan Race. However, it is impossible to understand all of it without first attempting to analyze where all the hate and frustration came from. It is necessary to go to his early years as a boy growing up in Austria.
When his father and mother died – leaving him an orphan while he was still a teenager – he was forced into a life of poverty. He was also forced to live and work in the city and it is was the cultural and social shock that he experienced as he transferred from the rural to the urban that changed the way he look at life and his nation. But first it all started with a feeling of injustice and his desire to do something about it.
He decided that someday those who oppressed the people will have to pay for what they have done and he wrote: “What was – and still is – bound to happen some day, when the stream of unleashed slaves pours forth from these miserable dens to avenge themselves on their thoughtless fellow men? For thoughtless they are!” (Vol.1, II). Thus, a seed of hate was planted in his heart.
When he was an adult he saw not only the poverty of the German people but also the weakness of the whole nation. He felt humiliated every time he will hear his own people praise the French whom he considered as their arch-enemy (Vol.2, XIV).
He demanded why Germans are so timid while the French kept on boasting and he said: “The fact is that the young Frenchman is not brought up to be objective, but is instilled with the most subjective conceivable view, in so far as the importance of the political or cultural greatness of his fatherland is concerned” (Vol.1, II).
He also wanted Austria be free from the clutches of the Austrian Empire and return to Germany. Hitler was convinced that there is no other way and he wrote:
In the conviction that the Austrian Empire could never be preserved except by victimizing its Germans, but that even the price of a gradual Slavization of the German element by no means provided a guaranty of an empire really capable of survival, since the power of the Slavs to uphold the state must be estimated as exceedingly dubious, I welcomed every development which in my opinion would inevitably lead to the collapse of this impossible state which condemned ten million Germans to death (Vol.1, II).
Hitler believed that Germany and the German people must rise up. He believed that all the territories that were lost after World War I must be returned to Germany and he also believed that the State must be strengthened by destroying any semblance of a European power that threatens to enslave them.
However, his hatred was focused on the Jewish people because he was sure that they were the reason why there were poor, weak, and lacking national pride.
The Jewish Menace
Hitler detested the Jews because he believed that they are an inferior race and yet so cunning that they were able to infiltrate German society. He argued further that if the leaders will not do anything to correct the problem they will suffer under the rule of what he called the Jewish menace.
He was alarmed by the rise of the Jewish people within Germany and he wrote: “Among them there was a great movement, quite extensive in Vienna, which came out sharply in confirmation of the national character of the Jews: this was the Zionists” (Vol.1, II). Hitler explained why the Jews belonged to a weaker race and he pointed out the following:
The cleanliness of this people, moral and otherwise, I must say, is a point in itself. By their very exterior you could tell that these were no lovers of water, and, to your distress, you often knew it with your eyes closed. Later I often grew sick to my stomach from the smell of these caftan-wearers. Added to this, there was their unclean dress and their generally unheroic appearance (Vol.1, II).
Using a standard that was clearly his own, and Hitler, believing that there is no need to expound why he concluded that their works were evil went on with his assertion that, “nine tenths of all literary filth, artistic trash, and theatrical idiocy can be set to the account of a people, constituting hardly one hundredth of all the country’s inhabitants, could simply not be tanked away; it was the plain truth” (Vol.1, II).
He then went on to say that the Jew was no German (Vol.1, II). His vilification of the Jews ended with this statement: “If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men” (Vol.1, II). Many Germans believed his rhetoric.
He proposed racial purity. He used history to explain the basis for his plan and then he pointed to the law of nature to persuade others to follow his chosen path. Hitler said that North America was populated by people with Germanic elements and the reason why they were rich and strong is because they were conscious not to extensively intermarry with the locals.
He contrasted it with the Latin American countries and he wrote: “the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the aborigines on a large scale … by this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture” (Vol.2, XI). This was a mere prelude to his final solution which is extermination.
Hitler made it clear that racial purity and the ascendancy of the Aryan race could not be done quietly, meekly or peaceably; for it must be attempted aggressively and to those who opposed him he countered:
“But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice” (Vol.2,XI). He added that the Jews must respect nature and should not intermarry with the members of the Aryan race and then he issued a thinly veiled threat:
“If a people no longer wants to respect the Nature-given qualities of its being which root in its blood, it has no further right to complain over the loss of its earthly existence” (Vol.2, XI). He was willing to murder in order to achieve his goal.
Aside from racial purity, Hitler advocated the spread of the Aryan influence all over the planet. It can be compared to the Hellenization of Europe as practiced by those who believed that Greek culture is far superior to other cultures on earth. Hitler boasted, “All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan.
This very fact admits of the not unfounded inference that he alone was the founder of all higher humanity…” (Vol.2, XI). Thus, it was clear that Hitler will never stop with the creation of a new Germany for his eyes were also focused on the whole planet, if not the whole of Europe.
His desire and ambitions shaped his idea of what German foreign policy should be and he said:
One must also bear in mind the fact that the restoration of lost districts which were formerly parts of the State, both ethnically and politically, must in the first instance be a question of winning back political power and independence for the motherland itself, and that in such cases the special interests of the lost districts must be uncompromisingly regarded as a matter of secondary importance in the face of the one main task, which is to win back the freedom of the central territory (Vol.2, XIII).
Aside from consolidating the “lost districts” he also wanted to strengthen the political and military position of Germany and so he asserted that the new Reich must not tolerate the rise of two continental powers in Europe and any attempt to do so must be interpreted as an attack against Germany (Vol.2, XIV) After strengthening the core of the motherland, Hitler said the following:
“A state which in this age of racial poisoning dedicates itself to the care of its best racial elements must some day become lord of the earth” (Vol.2 XV). It is clear that Hitler wanted to rule the world.
Hitler’s patriotism led him to formulate a belief system that will encourage his fellow Germans to rise up against the status quo. The status quo comprise the corrupt and weak politicians of Germany and his allies; the Hapsburg Empire; and the Jews whom he said were influential because they were able to intermarry with the members of the Aryan race.
He proposed a new government, a new nation where all the citizens are from Aryan stock. But a rejuvenated and empowered Germany was just the first phase of his plan. Hitler always wanted to rule the world, if not the whole of Europe justifying it as a means to ensure the security of Germany and its people.
Hitler, Adolph. “Mein Kampf.” Web.
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