Use of Arts in the Second World War by Nazi Research Paper
Art can be defined as the deliberate arrangement of things in a manner that influences an individual’s senses, emotions and intellect (Stokstad, 1995). Art has long been used as a form of universal communication. In politics, art is mainly used to advance propaganda.
Political art may refer to human creations that create a visual or hearing experience with the intension of presenting a political view (Rhodes, 1996). The term propaganda has no universally agreed meaning as it may be used to refer to a variety of persuasions. However, it can be generally described as the “art of communicating with the aim of influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position in order to benefit oneself or one’s group” (Rhodes, 1996, p. 45).
Propaganda has long been used to advance political agenda, and this is responsible for its negative connotation. Propaganda as its known today, relates to the techniques that were employed by Nazi during the Second World War.
This paper seeks to establish the use of art in politics and especially its use to advance propaganda. The paper will mainly focus on how Nazi used art/propaganda during the Second World War.
Use of art in politics
Art has been used to advance political agenda since the advent of human civilization ad development of complex societies. There are many instances where literature, films, songs and visual art are used to communicate political views. Depending on the political system, artists can either be paid or ordered to create works that are used to advance political agenda. The success of political art is measured by how the message influences the intended audience.
Use of Art/propaganda by Nazi before and during the Second World War
Nazi officials formulated a propaganda strategy long before the Second World War. A ministry of public enlightenment and propaganda was created in 1937 with a mandate of using several themes to create external and internal enemies (Hitler, 1999). The external enemies in this sense comprised countries that had played a part in getting Germany to sign the treaty of Versailles. The internal enemies mostly comprised Jews and other immigrant groups.
The media was very much used to spread the Nazi Propaganda. Below is a description of the different types of media that were used and how.
The NSDAP has its official newspaper identified as the Volkischer Beobachter (People’s ob) which was launched in 1920 (Lighgtboy, 2004). It was mainly used to spread Nazi ideology by mainly writing scathing articles that were directed towards the weakness of parliamentary systems, Jewish evil behaviors and the national humiliation of the Versailles treaty among other topics (Rhodes, 1996).
The newspaper’s main role was attack opponents in the political arena and the Jewish community. The Volkischer Beobachter was later merged with the Der Angriff, a daily Newspaper run by joseph Goebbels (Rhodes, 1996). The Der Angriff attacked political opponents and Jews through disgusting cartoons. The paper also glorified Nazi heroes such as Adolf Hitler.
When Hitler assumed power in 1933, all media laterally came under complete Nazi control. Propaganda Newspapers were also established in the Nazi occupied states. In Ukraine, all the existing newspapers were ordered to print articles sourced from German agencies. This was intended to spread an anti-American and anti-British ideology.
Hitler and the Nazi party relied heavily on the spoken word to pass their ideology to the masses. In the mein kampf, Hitler alleged that the he had discovered that speaking was a much more convenient way communicating to the people. People did not read things readily but would strive to hear speakers.
Speakers would get the appropriate feedback and adjust appropriately to keep in touch with the masses. Hitler was well known for his oratory and this played a major role in his ascend to power. Speakers were also vital for passing information that was intended specifically for the German population as this was not easily accessible in comparison to other forms of media. The speakers were under the ministry of propaganda and were provided with the specific information to say to different groups of people.
Posters were central to the Nazi propaganda ideology. They were not only used to gain popular support in Germany but also in the occupied territories. Posters were advantageous in several ways. They could easily be manipulated to have a strong visual effect so as to attract attention easily. Unlike other forms of propaganda, posters could not be avoided by the targeted audience.
Imagery was used to show Nazi youth and the SS as heroes with illumination to produce opulence (Rhodes, 1996).
Posters were placed in several strategic areas including schools. For instance, school posters would show an “institution for the feeble-minded on the other hand and houses on the other, to inform students that the annual cost of the institution would build 17 homes for healthier families” (Lighgtboy, 2004, p. 68).
The Nazi party produced a lot of films to promote their agenda. The films featured several themes such as the virtue of the Nordic or Aryan, the strength of the military and the German industry, and the evils of those who were perceived to be enemies (Rhodes, 1996). Film was part of the strategies employed by the ministry of propaganda and was allocated a fully functional department.
The department controlled filming activities including the issuance of licenses prior to film production. In some instances, “the government would handpick actors for a film, provide financial support and offer tax breaks to the producers” (Rhodes, 1996, p.87). Self censorship was encouraged among film producers through schemes such as awards for films that were seen as valuable to the Nazi regime.
Under Nazi rule, almost all filming activities were nationalized by controlling the filming agencies. Some agencies however managed to escape by providing a certain version to the director of film department and producing a completely different version (Lighgtboy, 2004).
Under the Nazi rule, most schools were installed with motion picture projectors to act as a propaganda tool. The films that were specifically produced to influence school going children were termed “military education” (Hitler, 1999, p. 102).
Nazi party and its supporters wrote many books. It’s important to note that the beliefs and ideas of Nazi had existed in Germany as early as 19th century. Most of the “beliefs that were to be associated with Nazi such as German nationalism, eugenics and anti-Semitism had existed in form of books since the 19th century” (Rhodes, 1996,p. 37). Nazi’s own publications borrowed a lot from this existing works.
One of the most conspicuous books is the Mein Kampf, a book that was authored by Adolf Hitler about his own beliefs (Rhodes, 1996). The book gave a detailed account of ideas that would later spark the Second World War. Hitler’s book borrowed a lot from “The Crowd: A study of the Popular Mind” a book that was written by Gustave Le Bon in 1895 (Hitler, 1999, p. 33). The book must have been of interest to Hitler as it described how irrational crowds could be controlled using propaganda.
Many other books such as Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes written by Hans Gunther and Rasse und Seele by Dr Ludwig Clauss, tried to show the superiority of the Nordic or Aryan while identifying other communities as inferior (Rhodes, 1996). As a strategy to spread its propaganda, the Nazi regime ensured the use of such books as teaching texts in all schools.
Geopolitical atlases stressed the schemes advanced by the Nazi party; they showed Germany as an encircled country that was at risk of being overrun. The atlases showed the dangers posed by the Slav nations, depicted as being sympathetic to ideologies of enemy countries (Lighgtboy, 2004). Germany was shown to have a dense population compared to the Eastern regions of Europe; they emphasized the need for Germany to expand to these regions.
Math text books had so many military applications and employed the use of military words in problem solving. Other subjects “such as physics and chemistry also concentrated on military applications, and grammar lessons were heavily made of propaganda sentences” (Lighgtboy, 2004, p. 150).
In the occupied areas of France, German agencies ensured that German works were translated and made available. English books were banned, except for the classics (Lighgtboy, 2004). Majority of works done by the Jewish were banned, except for important scientific works (Rhodes, 1996).
Comics were used to spread propaganda both in Germany and the Nazi occupied countries. One notable comic book was the Vica series that was produced during the Second World War. The Vica was produced in the occupied territory France territory. The Vica series were primarily intended to act as a propaganda tool against the allied forces (Rhodes, 1996). The series were published by Vincent Krassousky and they showed how the Nazi influenced and thought about the French society (Lighgtboy, 2004).
In 1939 and the period after, a representatives of the Nazi regime provided guidelines on what topics magazines were to write on (Lighgtboy, 2004). There were several other publications that were owned by Nazi and were used to propagandize the German society.
Neues Volk was published by the office of racial policy and contained racial propaganda (Rhodes, 1996). The magazine was mainly composed of articles criticizing the Jews and other races while praising Aryan types and portraying them as ideal.
The Signal magazine was one of the main propaganda magazines published during the Second World War. The magazine was made available in all occupied and neutral countries. The magazine was in circulation from April 1940 to March 1945 (Rhodes, 1996). The magazine was published in up to twenty different languages and was the highest selling war time magazine. The magazine was well budgeted for by the ministry of propaganda.
It was intended to create an illusion in the mind of the reader that Germany under the rule of Nazi as the greatest model of western civilization. The paper talked of “Germany and its allies as the humane liberators of occupied states” (Stokstad, 1995). The magazine would sometimes carry articles with pictures showing intense battle scenes. Unlike other magazines, Jews were hardly depicted in the Signal.
The NS-Frauen-Warte was a woman’s magazine (Rhodes, 1996). The magazine had several topics that stipulated the roles that women were required to play by the Nazi regime. The magazine carried articles that attacked intellectualism and encouraged women to have more children (Hitler, 1999).
They discussed what Nazi had done or would do for women and urged them to play bigger roles in the war. Other ladies’ magazines such as the Das deustche Madel recommended masculine activities for the girl child. The Das deutsche Madel, propagandized German women to be more active and masculine (Rhodes, 1996).
Many scholars have argued that Nazi pioneered the use of radio as a genocide tool. Indeed it can be established that Nazi officials relied a lot on radio broadcasts to spread propaganda even before they came to power. During the Second World War, Nazi radio broadcasts were mainly divided into internal and external broadcasts. Millions of cheap radios were manufactured under a program subsidized by the government and sold to the masses at affordable prices.
By the beginning of the Second World War, “more that 70% of German households had radios”, mainly the cheaper models that was limited in range so as to deny the citizens a chance of listening to foreign broadcast (Lighgtboy, 2004). Loudspeakers were employed to play radio broadcasts in public places and places of work (Rhodes, 1996).
Different non propaganda elements were introduced by Nazi so as to ensure that citizens continually listened to the radio. Music, advices and tips were the main form of entertainment used by Nazi.
The Nazi regime employed the use of radio to send messages to “occupied territories and enemy countries” (Lighgtboy, 2004, p. 45). The UK was one the main countries targeted by Nazi broadcasts. William Joyce was one of the broadcasters used by the German government to air propaganda views in English.
He went to Germany in 1939 where he initially read the News in English but later played a major role in broadcasting propaganda during the Second World War (Rhodes, 1996). He was captured after “the world war and executed in 1946 for treason charges” (Lighgtboy, 2004,p. 167).
Several other countries such as the US and France were victims of propaganda broadcasts. Radio Paris and radio Vichy were the main tools of propaganda in France (Rhodes, 1996).
The Nazi used fine arts as symbols of creating ideals. Sculptures were used to basically to represent Nazis racial theories where common nude male sculptures were used to portray the ideal Aryan race (Rhodes, 1996). There were landscaping paintings that were mainly displayed in the art Exhibitions that were carried even during the war. Explicitly political paintings and anti-Semitic paintings were rare.
This paper sought to define political art, identify how it’s used in politics and give a detailed account of how it was used by Nazi during the Second World War. Indeed it has been established that art has been used in politics for a very long time to spread propaganda. The paper has also established that Nazi used art intensively to influence people both in Germany and elsewhere. Nazi used different forms of art to spread their propaganda. The most notable ones include Newspapers, speeches, radio, magazines, films, posters and fine arts.
Hitler, A. (1999). Mein Kampf. Boston: Houghton Miffin.
Lighgtboy, B. (2004). The Second World War: Ambitions to Nemesis. New york: Routledge.
Rhodes, A. (1996). Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War II. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
Stokstad, M. (1995). Art History. New York: Harry N. Abrahams Inc.
The Nazi Holocaust’s Effects Research Paper
During the Nazi era in Germany, the society was meant to believe that certain groups of people needed to be eliminated if the German society was to flourish. Attempts to crush the Jews in a bid to provide what the Nazi referred to as the ‘Final Solution’ were launched throughout the European continent (Yahil, 1990, p. 15). The Nazi together with their collaborators in Germany and other regions where they received ideological sympathy combed cities and the countryside of Europe.
The Nazi took Jews and condemned them to death mostly by burning them to death in the concentration Camps. According to Bentley et al. (2008), the Nazi Holocaust’s effects have been widely reverberating (p.45). They have been transferred from generation to generation since then. There have been profound effects as realized through the way the survivors interact with the other people in the societies they reside in and the manner in which they view themselves.
Recently, studies aimed at analyzing the far-reaching effects of the Holocaust have found that the effects still play a crucial part in the social and psychological lives of survivors and their descendants as well as the entire society where they reside. This study aims at analyzing the claim that social and psychological effects of the Holocaust linger in areas of political systems in which the survivors of the holocaust currently reside.
Existing Psychological and Social Effects of the Holocaust
Analysis of Holocaust’s Lingering Psychological Effects
The marked and wide-ranging psychological effects of the holocaust came to be recognized years later but only reluctantly by interested parties. Diagnostic labels had to be established to classify the “pervasive scarred survivor with numerous symptoms” (Braham, 2007, p. 77). Survivor syndrome was the most widely accepted label that fitted the holocaust survivors together with their immediate offspring.
About seventy years down the line since the Jews in Europe were rescued from the cruel Nazi regime, psychological effects of the holocaust still haunt the survivors, as well as their later generations (Bentley et al., 2008, p. 36). Although holocaust survivors and their offspring show resilience in their daily lives, they often manifest various psychiatric symptoms that can be traced back to their experiences during the holocaust.
It should be noted that the survivors who settled in Israel have better managed the posttraumatic stress they suffered from in relation to those who chose to settle in other nations (Yehuda et al., 1998, p. 844). This can be related to the fact that efforts that ensured that institutions that helped these survivors manage posttraumatic stress disorders were created extensively in the newly established plan, which existed years later.
Another reason to this can be attributed to the function of the nation in creating the assurance of protection to the survivors. Some of the survivors ended up in nations where they identified some aspects of their daily interactions with the hosts that have the hatred that the Nazi regime showed to them.
In a study, done by Braham (2007, p. 75) to establish how the holocaust affected survivors and the first generation, general adjustment established that holocaust survivors and their first generation offspring had a poorer psychological well-being in relation to their second generation. The study also established that there were no substantial differences between the three group’s cognitive functioning, as well as physical health.
In analyzing the connection between the first generation’s psychological problems and the survivors traumatic experiences, Braham posits that, based on the traumatizing experiences of the holocaust, the survivors could not adapt effectively to their new surroundings, which transferred their psychological problems to their first generation (2007, p. 77). The second generation was better, as the psychological problems faded throughout the generations.
Instead of embracing the external world, and bridging the worlds of their children, most holocaust survivors bridged their holocaust experiences to their children who developed sensitivity based on their interaction with their parents. According to Yehuda et al. (1998, p. 842), “…the children also absorbed some unconscious roles that they were assigned by their parents such as substituting for their dead parents or prior siblings”.
The children felt overburdened and often overprotected by their parents, but could not resolve to be assertive considering the fact that they understood the fragility of their parents who required a show of compassion and understanding. This contributed to transfer of the psychological implications of the holocaust from one generation to the next.
The holocaust survivors who settled in countries that are relatively unstable politically suffer problems that are even more psychological emanating from their traumatizing experiences in the hands of the Nazi (Yahil, 1990, p. 33).
Their children were also affected by this considering that they were constantly reminded of the horrors by experiencing or observing the happenings in their current environment. Some phobia exists in these generations, as they connect the violence and instability with the effects that their ancestors experienced in the Nazi regime.
However, the psychological scars the holocaust survivors or their offspring suffer have not substantially affected their abilities to cope with events of their day-to-day lives. This is the principal reason why people tend to believe that the psychological effects of the holocaust have entirely disappeared with time. Although they are not as adverse as they were, the psychological effects of the holocaust affect subsequent generations of Jews, Gypsies and others wherever they are currently residing.
Analysis of Lingering social effects of the Holocaust
The hatred and prejudice that fuelled the Holocaust was intertwined with the political agenda, which dominated the Nazi regime. According to the aggression theory, Hitler thought the Jews were responsible for the loss of the World War I, and sought to solve the Jewish question with what the Nazi regarded as the ‘Final Solution’ (Whealey, 2011, p. 763).
Instead of targeting the aspects of the Jewish community, as well as in other instances, the gypsies directed his aggression upon the entire community creating ideologies that aided him in creating sympathizers throughout the European continent.
With the help of the anti-Semitism prejudice that existed in Germany for a long time, Hitler managed to garner sympathizers in Germany and other parts of the European continent where the Nazi had influence (Whealey, 2011, p. 764). Together with these sympathizers and fellow Nazis, Hitler carried out one of the grievous genocide in the history of the world.
In several incidences during the years that the Nazi party ruled Germany, thousands of Jews and other groups were mercilessly burned to death in the concentration camps that spread throughout Europe. Almost two thirds of the existing Jewish population in Europe lost their lives as victims of these atrocities.
As evidenced by the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the Nazi regime and the Second World War, the social and police effects of the holocaust affected the lives of the holocaust survivors, as well as their subsequent generations throughout the world, where they ended up settling. The social implications of the holocaust were mostly experienced by the actual victims of the atrocities more than the other Jews who resided in other more tolerable regions as revealed through a study carried out by Williams (2010, p. 79).
The study relates the social implications of the holocaust on the survivors in relation to the other Jews who resided in other nations. The study uses a sample of holocaust survivors currently residing in the US, and compares them with another Jewish control group comprised of Jews who resided in the US during the time of the holocaust. The study reveals that the Jewish holocaust survivors are reluctant to participate in social activities compared to the control group.
The holocaust survivors living outside the Israel nation portrayed aspects of the “survivor syndrome”, which was often marked with the fear to participate in social and even political activities. A phobia in collective activities is a social implication still portrayed by the survivors of the holocaust.
However, this does not reveal itself in the second generation of the survivors according to Braham (2007, p.73). This means that the later offspring of the survivors are breaking from some of the social and psychological effects of the holocaust that their parents and prior generations portray.
Comparatively, a similar study conducted in Israel reveals that such a problem does not exist even among the survivors of the holocaust and even their descendants. The establishment of social institutions aimed at addressing the social implications of the holocaust has succeeded in achieving the same.
Braham’s study also found out that the Jewish holocaust survivors residing in both Israel and the United states currently face life with more optimism compared to their counterparts who chose to remain in nations such as Germany and Poland (2007, p. 76). This narrows down to their worldviews and the associations they make out of the institutions that caused them grievous social and psychological agony for years. They, in fact, took the longest time to show progress in recovering from the effects of the holocaust.
While studies carried out to establish the existence of the implications of the holocaust in present day world prove that they exist, it should be noted that the magnitude of such implications is reducing with time.
There were higher rates of psychological breakdowns in the years after the Jews were saved from the cruelty of the Nazi regime during that time as compared to the present. Psychologically troubled survivors, as well as the anti-social behaviors among the Jewish survivors in the different countries, can argue this by considering the deaths because of suicide they sought refuge after the experiences.
Even children committed suicide because of posttraumatic stress and associated complications in the 1950s and 60s (Whealey, 2011, p. 765). Although such adverse social and psychological effects of the holocaust among the survivors and their offspring are rare, the effects of the holocaust caused long-lasting social and psychological effects that still linger in the societies. They can even be noticed through studying the social and psychological behaviors of these survivors.
Bentley, J., Ziegler, H., & Streets, H. (2008). Traditions & encounters: A brief global history (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Braham, R. (2007). The Psychological Perspectives of the Holocaust and of its Aftermath Forty Years Later. New York: Columbia University Press.
Whealey, R. (2011). Historians of the Jews and the Holocaust. Canadian Journal of history, 46(3), 763-766.
Williams, S. (2010). The socio-political impacts of the Holocaust on survivors and their later generations. Journal of European History, 2(1), 73-85.
Yahil, L. (1990). The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. New York: Oxford University Press.
Yehuda, R., Schmeidler, J., Giller, E., Siever, L., & Binder-Byrnes, K. (1998). Relationship
between posttraumatic stress disorder characteristics of Holocaust survivors and their adult offspring. American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(6), 841-844.
Exploiting Nazism in Abortion Debate Essay
In his essay “Exploiting Nazism in Abortion Debate,” Colleen Connell argues that the recent Supreme Court ruling that abortion and family planning should be left to be decisions of an individual and not the state is a good step towards respecting human rights by giving women the freedom to decide what is good for their bodies. There were criticisms especially from those who equated the Nazi government with the Supreme Courts’ decision.
He argues that this criticism is an insult to the Americans who voted for and respected their constitution that values human rights. In addition, he claims that the perception of his critics is also an insult to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He attacks the comments in a famous magazine and claims that they distort the importance of history in transforming human beings and advancing democracy.
In addition, Connell presents that the critics were not keen when equating historical and current events since the Nazi government denied women their reproductive freedoms and forced many of them to have babies or abort without their consent. In fact, those who were considered outlaws were not allowed to have babies and were taken forceful sterilized. This means that their regime did not give women the freedom to choose what is good for them.
Therefore, he warns his critics against comparing the ruling to a historic event like the Nazi Holocaust since there are many differences between these two situations. He argues that Hitler believed that the laws that gave the state an enormous power over women and their health should be done away with since it violates their freedoms. In his argument, he presents that Hitler believed that the state should not interfere with the private life of an individual.
He demands that his critics should explain who should be responsible for individuals’ rights regarding reproductive health. However, he tells them that the Supreme Court’s ruling states clearly that people should enjoy their rights regarding the freedom to use contraceptives and abort whenever they feel these will make their lives better.
Lastly, he criticizes his critics by stating that they tried to resurrect historical injustices in an inappropriate manner for their own interests. He is confident that the constitution protects individuals’ rights against interference from the state or other people.
Analyzing the Argument
A good analysis of the above essay aims at establishing the relationship between the writer and the issue being debated. Connell is a legal expert, an activist for reproductive rights and active member of an organization that champions for the liberty and freedoms of individuals and unions. These positions dictate that he must take a bold step to serve his interests, and this becomes the basis of his argument.
However, several issues are responsible for his outburst regarding those who criticized the Supreme Court’s decision to give people exclusive reproductive rights. Even though, the decision did not appeal to many people he argues that this did not warrant them to equate the ruling to the Nazi Holocaust where millions of innocent civilians were butchered.
He argues that the decision to give people the right to plan their families and choose when to conceive or abort should not be interfered with by the state. Individuals know what is good for their health and life and should not be forced to do what they do not like.
Therefore, he claims that his critics are not interested in reforms but they want to achieve personal gains at the expense of lives lost during abortion and the trauma that people experience when the state imposes its regulations on their reproductive rights.
His argument confirms that even Hitler who was thought to be the cruelest leader during the Nazi uprising considered reproductive health to be the decision of an individual. He did not support any policy that dictated what people should do about their reproductive health and even proposed that the laws that existed at that time should have be done away with to give people exclusive rights over their lives.
However, Connell fails to realize that those who opposed the decision of the Supreme Court and equated it to the cruelty of the Nazi regime were very bitter about the holocaust and would never wish to hear anything that supports the ideas advanced by that regime.
Therefore, he weakens his debate by using Hitler’s ideas that the state should not interfere with an individual’s reproductive rights. He seems to forget quickly that most people will not see the relevance of the argument presented by Hitler regarding abortion and reproductive heath, but they will focus on the bad sides of his actions.
People are usually traumatized by bad memories and fail to realize the good things that happened during a gruesome period. For instance, a convicted criminal who serves six moths in jail or in a correctional facility will hardly remember the benefits derived from the activities and time they wasted in jail.
However, the person will vividly remember all the bad things that happened. This means human beings have a tendency to remember bad things than good ones and whether they are confronted with situations that have combinations of these two issues they will concentrate on the bad side of the event.
Moreover, his argument fails to identify the need for the state to intervene in helping individuals to get good medical services regarding reproductive health. The fact that the Supreme Court decided that the state should not interfere with the reproductive rights of individuals did not specify conditions that warrant this provision.
For instance, it leaves readers with many questions regarding the difference between the role of the state top protect human life and when it should not interfere with it. Abortion is a painful experience and no one will ever wish to do it for fun.
However, people are motivated by other personal interest and abort for conveniences. Some may have genuine reasons like health complications or they were raped and this makes abortion an option; however, majority of them will have weird reasons like career, education and sex preferences as grounds for abortion.
Therefore, Connell’s argument that the Supreme Court’s decision is welcome should have elaborated more on the circumstances that should spell the conditions to allow individuals to abort. This means that his argument did not base any facts or considerations on morality but rather it focused on the legal and constitutional aspects of human rights and freedoms.
This is a subjective argument that leaves the audience with many questions that should be answered. Even though, Cornell may argue that he was responding to critics who equated the ruling to the holocaust this may not be a good ground to argue his point well.
In addition, the debate expresses that people must be given exclusive rights over their bodies but fails to present another similar provision in the constitution that gives individuals this exclusiveness. The state has a right to ensure people live peacefully and even though they have rights they must not use them to interfere with the rights of their friends, neighbors, community and the state.
This argument fails to realize the need to create boundaries and ensure that even though abortion and reproductive rights are not interfered with by the state there should be guidelines to moderate this behavior. Some people may take advantage of this provision and expose their lives to health risks and then blame the state for being irresponsible.
Connell has managed to argue and present his point to the audience in an elaborate way. The Nazi holocaust was an evil period that no one wants top remember, but people should not focus on the evils of an individual or state and forget their good sides. Even though, this period was marked by mass massacre there are some good points to take home. Hitler was a dictator, murderer and violated almost all human rights of the Nazis.
They were forced to flee their country and seek refuge ion neighboring region s. However, there were women who had been denied the right to have children among these people since they were forcefully sterilized. Hitler considered this an oppressive way of managing reproductive health, and he believed that the law should be scrapped immediately to give women the right to choose what is good for them regarding abortion and sterilization.
History of Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda Essay
A country can benefit from analyzing its past. By doing so, a country can be able to analyze how their past leaders or events have shaped their present lives. Similarly, through this analysis a country can be able to correct historical injustices.
In the Book Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler asserts that he was able to develop interest at propagandist activity after analyzing past political events in his country (Hitler & Ralph 57). He states that through his analysis he realized how Socialist-Marxist adopted and applied propaganda with amazing proficiencies. In history, the Nazis under the leadership of Adolf Hitler are believed to have been the masters of propaganda.
Before the holocaust, the Nazis made use of the available media, cinema, and radio to create and propagate propaganda aimed at undermining the minority communities in Germany. The effectiveness of Nazis propaganda largely depended on the methodologies implemented by Hitler and Joseph Gobbles. This paper seeks to highlight how Hitler used stories of German past and propaganda to manipulate the Germans into believing they were a superior race.
Hitler’s propaganda together with wartime ideologies are the chief revelatory means of understanding why holocaust transpired. Between the years 1919 to 1939, Hitler launched several defamatory messages against the Jews communities (Hitler & Ralph 12). In one of his speeches before the onset of the Second World War, Hitler promised to eliminate all the Jews in Europe. Through propaganda, Hitler linked most of the German’s past misfortunes with the presence of Jews in Europe.
During the same period, Hitler mentioned of International Jewry. International Jewry referred to a political subject that was unfriendly to Germany. According to Hitler, the German’s defeat in the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, German’s post war inflation, and the economic crisis of the year 1929 were accredited to International Jewry. By analyzing and highlighting these past events to the public, Hitler laid way for the war and the holocaust.
Through propaganda, he was able to brainwash many Germans into believing that he was actually reacting to the plans, injustices, and threats of others against the Germans (Hitler & Ralph 50). Notably, Hitler’s propaganda against the minority communities such as the Jews, Africans, Bolsheviks, the paralytic, and other people considered undesirable by the Nazis were used to manipulate how German masses perceived these individuals.
Through propaganda, the Jews were illustrated as greedy, ugly, filthy individuals who had sided with the Germans’ enemies. The Nazis propaganda activists were very proficient in their art. They were able to identify disagreeably prejudices against the Jews communities. Through these initiatives, these activists were able to able to apply selection bias to bring out numerous cascading biases against the Jews. By taking advantage of these prejudices, the Nazis were able to represent unpleasant Jewish images in the Aryan Germans’ minds.
As such, through propaganda the Aryans were able to see repulsiveness in the Jewish community despite the fact that these repulsiveness never existed. All these propagandas together with Nazis’ depiction of Aryans as non-Jewish, manipulated the Germans into believing they were a superior race. As a result, the Nazis were able to associate their past successful events to the Germans and all the letdowns to the minority populations in Germany.
Over time, this propaganda enhanced an environment, which discarded any proof opposing the notion that Aryans were more superior to other races (Hitler & Ralph 64). Astonishingly, the Germans without query accepted Nazis’ propaganda against the Jewish as inferior compared to Aryans even in some cases where the propaganda contradicted logics. In some instances, Hitler employed elites who duped the Germans public into believing that human civilization originated from the Aryans going against archeological facts (Pringle 3).
To enhance superiority in the Aryan community, Hitler’s team adopted the US Verses Them theme. Through this campaign, posters portraying perfect Aryan mothers and children were printed and contrasted with other posters portraying emaciated Bolshevik family. This portrait was so effective that they were later used in justifying the enactment of laws that prohibited Jewish communities and other minority communities from mixing with Aryan communities.
Through similar tactics, the Nazis were able to combine Bolsheviks and Jews’ images in single portraits to formulate a notion that the Jews were to blame for communism. When Germans’ opponents such as England and the USA were portrayed, the Nazis ensured that Jewish artistic elements were attached to these portraits to enhance the feeling that Jewish were responsible for Germans misfortunes.
It is surprising to note that several Germans accepted Hitler’s ideas without queries to the point that they ignored the fact that millions of people had disappeared because of persecution. Several factors contributed to this situation where Hitler’s ideas were unchallenged. Before Hitler took over the country’s leadership in the year 1933, the country was faced with several economic challenges. In the year 1919, Germany signed Treaty of Versailles.
Through this treaty, the country lost much of its iron ore reserve plunging the country into economic crisis. Before Hitler took over, Germany’s unemployment had increased to 6 million. With no hope, people believed in Hitler’s propaganda and associated their misfortunes with the Jewish communities. When Hitler became the Country’s chancellor in the year 1933, he formulated and implemented tough economic policies that saw a reduction of unemployment rate by 95% in the year 1939.
With this economic miracle, Aryan Germans were made to believe that Hitler was the answer to their solutions hence accepted his propaganda without questions. Similarly, through media censorship Hitler’s propaganda managed to brainwash the Aryans into believing that they were a superior race. During the early 20th century, radio and film were the only form of media technologies available.
The Nazis censored these forms of media and determined what were to be broadcasted. As such, they were able to broadcast anti-Semitic messages to its population. Over time, the masses were brainwashed and were made to believe in Hitler’s propaganda. In schools, Nazis dispersed Hitler’s articles and books to German children for learning purpose. Through this, the youth were indoctrinated. These initiatives brainwashed the youths’ minds into believing that Hitler was great and that the Germans were superior to other races.
In conclusion, Hitler’s propaganda was successful in spearheading racial purity and anti-Semitic campaigns. The success of this propaganda was eminent in the way Germans perceived and treated other races. By censoring the media, use of intimidation, and political arrests, Hitler ensured that his propaganda was accepted by the masses without questions.
When he entered into power, Hitler shut down several newspaper presses to ensure that his leadership style and propaganda was unchallenged through the media. Equally, German’s economical and social conditions before Hitler took over the country’s power made them vulnerable to his propaganda. Therefore, Hitler having been aware of these conditions took advantage of the Germans desperation and made them to believe in his propaganda.
Hitler, Adolf, and Ralph Manheim. Mein Kampf,. Boston : Houghton Mifflin company, 1943. Print.
Pringle, Heather. “Hitler’s Willing Archaeologists.” Archaeology Magazine Mar. – Apr. 2006: 2-7. Print.
Nazi Deception and the Demoralization and Dehumanization of Eliezer and His Fellow Prisoners Essay
Night by Elie Wiesel is one of the most remarkable books of the twentieth century. The novel describes one of the most horrible periods in the history of humanity. Downing calls the novel “a story of shame” that “forces one to see oneself in a “fallen” state, the fall of humanity and all of civilization” (128).
Wiesel describes his ‘life’ in Auschwitz. This blunt description enables people to see the way Nazis confused, demoralized and killed innocent people. More so, the novel shows the way people were dehumanized.
Deception was one of the major tools used by Nazis to demoralize the prisoners. Thus, the very first words seen by the prisoners coming to Auschwitz (the inscription on the gates of the concentration camp) can be regarded as a kind of embodiment of Nazi’s strategies used to dehumanize the prisoners.
The prisoners of the Nazis little knew about their future and they were likely to deceive themselves. The prisoners never knew where they were taken or what was going to happen next.
However, it is important to note that Wiesel states that people tended to deceive themselves as when the first groups of Jews were taken away “it was rumoured that they were in Galicia, working, and even that they were content with their fate” (6).
Even when the teenager told the truth about the people who were taken away, no one believed him. Perhaps, it was easier to believe there was still hope.
Nazi also resorted to deceit which was, in fact, one of their most potent tools of demoralization and dehumanization.
Thus, the very first words the prisoners saw when they moved through the gates of Auschwitz could be regarded as the embodiment of Nazi’s strategy, i.e. deception. These words were: “Work makes you free” (Wiesel 40).
Therefore, the prisoners were given a hope that they were coming to a working camp. They still had slight hope that they could be free after they completed some amount of work.
Nazis claimed that there was a choice as they told the prisoners: “If you don’t [work] you will go straight to the chimney” (Wiesel 39). However, work had nothing to do with the prisoners who were doomed irrespective of their hard work.
Notably, the work itself was nothing more but a way of demoralization and dehumanization. The prisoners had to dig trenches or move heavy stones. This work was quite meaningless as the prisoners did not build anything.
The work at Nazi camps had another aim. The only meaning of the work fulfilled was to exhaust the prisoners, to destroy human beings and to create mere “famished stomachs” (Wiesel 52).
Of course, these creatures could not rise, they could not free themselves, they could not even escape. This was the major aim of Nazis. They wanted to control the crowd of semi-human beings.
On balance, it is possible to note that Nazis used deception to control prisoners who were doomed to die in concentration camps. The prisoners never knew what was to happen next.
They were given a false hope that work could make them free. In reality, this work turned them into wretched creatures who could only think of their basic needs without thinking of compassion or even family ties.
Wiesel describes this horrible deception which made him almost lose his faith in God and humanity.
Downing, Frederick L. Elie Wiesel: A Religious Biography. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2008. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.
Nazi Germany & Holocaust Research Paper
The Nazi movement is a revolutionary movement that was associated with the mass murder of Jews and Communists in an attempt to restore the reputation of Germany at the international level. The movement gained momentum during the 1929 global depression. The suppression of Jews was meant to bring cultural and national renewal to the Germans.
The appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor marked the beginning of the Holocaust. Hitler soon established a dictatorship regime that abolished all political parties and alienated Germany from the rest of the world. The Nazis’ ability to wield power and carry out the Holocaust is attributed to three factors.
To begin with, Hitler had some very enthusiastic supporters. Secondly, the many people who seemed less enthusiastic got along with the conditions of Hitler’s regime. The third factor is because few people had both the desire and courage to resist the Nazis.
The Nazi regime under the leadership of Hitler was very powerful because of the enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi party. Some of Hitler’s supporters were not even aware of the gravity of their actions at that time. The Holocaust was fueled by the Anti-Semitic propaganda that was being spread by Hitler’s supporters.
The Anti-Semitic propaganda was meant to create a rift between the Jews and the native Germans. The propaganda was able to manipulate the Nazi party supporters to burn the Kronenberg synagogue in 1938 (Mayer 20). After the disbandment of all political parties by Hitler’s regime, all politicians were forced to join the Nazi party or completely retire from politics.
The supporters who were behind the Anti-Semitic movement were commonly known as the SA policemen (Mayer 20). Karl-Heinz Schwenke is a notable Anti-Semite crusader during the Hitler regime.
Schwenke started spreading the Anti-Semite propaganda even before the Nazi party took over power from the previous government. Schwenke believed that the high inflation rate that was being experienced in German at that time was caused by Jews and this had led to him losing his business (Mayer 115).
Schwenke was an ardent supporter of the Nazi party, and he demonstrated this when he blatantly refused to support his son’s marriage because the bride’s father was not a member of the Nazi party (Mayer 21). Bruno Lipstky is another fanatic Hitler supporter who insisted on marching with the Nazi party members although he was a disable (Mayer 120).
The Anti-Semitic propaganda spread by supporters of the Nazi party was based on economic concepts and not necessarily political. Klingelholfer, who was a loyal party member claimed that the polices of the Nazi party were not racial but entirely political (Mayer 132).
The Hitler regime and its supporters always rejoiced at the suffering of Jews. Johann Kessler, one of Hitler’s loyal supporters rejoiced when a synagogue where Jews used to worship was completely burned down. Kessler considered this as the type of change that Hitler and his Nazi party had promised to them (Mayer 34).
The Hitler regime was not that popular during its initial stages but many Germans had no choice but get along with it. Germany suffered an economic depression after the First World War which led to many people losing their jobs while young people were unable to access meaningful employment.
This difficult economic situation led to Gustavo Schwenke becoming an SA policeman for money in the year 1932 (Mayer 114). Heinrich Wedekind was a baker who joined the Nazi party in order to maintain a relationship with his wife and two children. The other reason why Wedekind joined the Nazi party was to save his bakery business at that time. Wedekind later found a perfect excuse to quite the SA movement (Mayer 37).
Herr Damm is another opportunistic supporter who joined the Nazi party in order to get a job. Damm became a member of the Nazi party in order to in order to secure a job in the party offices (Mayer 90). Since it was risky to engage in open rebellion against Hitler’s regime, some people joined the Nazi party because they had no other option.
Rosenthal, a bank director then is an example of this group of people (Mayer 79). Another party member who was forced to join the Nazi party is Willy Hofmeister. Hofmester was a police officer who was forced to join the party by the Police Chief (Mayer 99). Other people later joined the Nazi party because everybody was doing it.
Hitler’s regime was so powerful that no one had the desire and courage to resist it. The Nazis increasingly became brutal to anyone who engaged in open rebellion. This was attributed to the fact that Hitler and his party had come to power through militarism.
Anyone who tried to oppose the party together with its policies was instantly killed by Hitler’s security forces or ardent supporters. Many people who were opposed to the Anti-Semitic movement imitated by the Nazi party were force to flee the country because their lives were in danger. Ernst von Weizsackker was a minister in the previous government who was against the Nazi doctrines.
Weizsacker ordered the killing of millions of Jews as a way of racial cleansing (Mayer 86). Herr Simon joined the Nazi party as a way of getting rid of Communists whom he hated so much. Heinrich Hildebrandt is a high school teacher who joined the Nazi party although he was against their ideologies and policies (Mayer 35).
Hildebrandt was influenced to join the Nazi party by his father who was an old army colonel. His father’s aim was to keep him at his possession (Mayer 35). The Nazi regime was widely feared in Europe and the rest of the world because of its brutality.
All German citizens were forced to join the Nazi party either willingly or unwillingly because the consequences of rebellion were very severe (Mayer 35). Under Hitler’s leadership, Germany became a one party state.
In the height of the Second World War, Hitler ordered the persecution and extermination of all the Jews across the world. This decision was arrived at after realizing that deportation was proving to be costly. It is the overwhelming support that Hitler received form the Nazi Supporters and international allies that enabled him to wield a lot of power.
In conclusion, Hitler is still being remembered in history as one of the most brutal and evil leaders that the world has ever seen. The Anti-Semitic movement initiated by Hitler later degenerated into a Holocaust. Hitler and his supporters were able to carry out the Holocaust because of the immense power wielded d by the Nazis.
The Nazi party had a fanatical following across the country and this provided Hitler with a perfect opportunity to carry out his mission of suppressing Jews and Communists in Germany and the rest of the world. All the German citizens were forced to comply with the Nazi doctrines that aimed at eliminating Jews and Communists from the face of the earth.
Mayer, Milton. They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1955. Print.
The Holocaust and Nazi Germany Research Paper
Hitler was one of the most notorious dictators the world has ever seen. He engineered the most horrific activities in the history of humankind, the holocaust. The rise of the Nazis to power in 1933 led to the establishment of thousands of concentration camps, which were centers of mass murders of Jews. Most Germans supported the ideology that led to the persecution of the Jews.
The Nazis viewed the Jews as a foreign race that was in an eternal battle for dominance with the Aryans. Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, is a clear illustration of his contempt towards the Jews. The book regards the Jews as an inferior race that should not take part in Germany’s political, cultural, and intellectual life.
The book, which was a best seller, during his time as Germany’s leader, brainwashed Germans into conforming to his ideas. Therefore, Hitler had millions of ardent followers who were willing to persecute Jews. In fact, there is no record of coercion of civilians by the Nazis to persecute Jews.
Civilians did so out of their own free will. Even German intellectuals conformed to the Nazi ideology. Doctors used Jews as guinea pigs for undertaking various medical tests (Fishel, 1998).
During the holocaust, there was institutionalization of persecution of the Jews. All institutions helped in the persecution of the Jews. The intellectual society did not raise a finger to prevent the mass murder of the Jews. In fact, it aided the mass murders. Dr. Josef Mengele was one of the most notorious intellectuals who supported the persecution of the Jews.
Dr. Mengele carried out medical experiment using human subjects from various concentration camps. Some of the experiments included testing of drugs, surgeries, and amputations. This inhuman treatment inflicted great suffering to the people. In most instances, it culminated in the death of the human subjects. This is despite the fact the medical profession requires doctors to obtain consent from the patients before using them in undertaking any experiments.
Dr. Mengele killed and dissected most of the patients who did not die from the experiments (Fishel, 1998). However, not all intellectuals supported Hitler and his ideologies after he ascended to power. Hitler gained the support of the intellectuals gradually. When Hitler ascended to power, he attacked several groups that had opposed him gradually and systematically.
Hitler first attacked members of parties that did not support him. Afterwards he attacked intellectuals at universities. Hitler then attacked prominent church leaders. Finally, Hitler turned to his main targets, the Jews. Hitler attacked each of the above groups as minority groups (Zassenhaus, 1974). Gradual attack and isolation of the groups reduced the resistance of the groups.
These groups were the only institutions in the society that were capable of mobilizing people against Hitler’s ideologies, which advocated for mass murder of Jews. Therefore, removal of these obstacles facilitated the propagation of Hitler’s ideologies by the masses.
During the holocaust, pogroms were common within the regions that were under the control of the Germans. Pogrom refers to mob attacks by civilians against Jews. Pogroms usually led to the killing of Jews and destruction of property and religious centers of the Jews. Authorities usually condoned the persecution of the Jews during the pogroms.
Pogroms may also target certain ethnic groups in the society. In the Nazi Germany, pogroms were very common. Civilians killed thousands of Jews in the streets of various towns. Various scholars trace the beginning the holocaust to an anti-Jewish riot in 1938 – Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). During the riot, civilians attacked Jews and vandalized their property.
The riots led to the killing of nearly 100 Jews. In addition, the Nazis sent approximately 30,000 Jews to various concentration camps. The Jews stayed in the concentration camps for several weeks. The government granted the Jews freedom on condition that they would transfer their property to the Nazis or if they proved that they would emigrate in the near future. During the pogrom, civilians destroyed approximately 7,000 Jewish businesses and more than 1,600 synagogues.
The riots took place simultaneously in Germany and Austria. The major cause of the pogrom was the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jewish minor in Paris. The Nazis took advantage of this event to instigate civilians to undertake widespread persecution of Jews (Zassenhaus, 1974). The fact that the Nazi party could mobilize people to undertake widespread persecution of the Jews is a clear indication that many people prescribed to the ideals of the Nazi party.
Not all pogroms occurred at the hands of the Germans. Citizens of other countries also persecuted Jews. One such pogrom was the Iasi Pogrom, which was one of the deadliest pogroms during the holocaust. The pogrom occurred in Romania. It resulted in the death of more than 13,000 Jews. Civilians, police, and military officials carried out the mass murder of the Jews (Frank, 2001).
Between June and July of 1941, the Nazis and Ukrainian police organized two large pogroms in the Ukrainian city of Lwow. The pogroms resulted in the death of approximately 6,000 Jews. The pogrom was a retribution for the alleged collaboration of the Jews with the Soviet government. Poland was one the regions that had the largest number of Jews in Europe.
As a result, there was widespread persecution of the Jews by both the civilians and the Nazis. The holocaust resulted in the death of more than three million Jews in Poland. The Jedwabne pogrom, which occurred in July 1941, is one of the many pogroms that took place in Poland. During the pogrom, non-Jewish Poles burned more than 300 Jews in a barn house.
The non-Jewish Poles undertook the killing of the Jews under the supervision of the police (Herzog, 2006). In Lithuania, anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas resulted in the killing of approximately 3,800 Jews and the burning of Jewish settlements and synagogues. The Nazis and the Lithuanian police led the anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas (Fishel, 1998).
In all the pogroms that took place in various parts of the German territory, the Nazis did not use coercion to instigate civilians to kill Jews. Civilians killed Jews out of their own free will. In addition, the Nazis did not impose punishments on people who did not take part in the killings. Most attacks involved unarmed Jews and heavily armed civilians.
The police usually supervised the killings of the Jews by the civilians. This made it difficult for the Jews to defend themselves. However, the number of the Jews killed by civilians during the anti-Jewish pogroms is only a small fraction of the total number of Jews who died during the holocaust. Millions of Jews died in the extermination camps.
Fishel, J. (1998). The holocaust. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.
Frank, B.G. (2001). A travel guide to Jewish Europe, Third edition. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing.
Herzog, D. (2006). Lessons and legacies vii: The holocaust in international perspective. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Zassenhaus, H. (1974). Walls: Resisting the third Reich- one woman’s story. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Nazi Movies and their Purpose Analytical Essay
Don DeLillo in Running Dog said, “Those Nazis had a thing for movies. They put everything on film […]. Film was essential to the Nazi era. Myth, dreams, memory” (52). The phrase perfectly underlines the situation which happened in Germany during Nazi regime.
Movies have become the priority for the country. Even money and income were not that attractive and important as movies. Whys did it happen? What were the reasons for the increase of the interest in the movies during the Nazi regime? All these questions are going to be answered here.
There is a great value in the Nazi movies as during this era Hitler and his supporters needed to manipulate others applying to the propaganda via mass media and choosing the movies Hitler was sure to support the interest of people in this particular way of insertion of necessary ideas in the nation.
It is easy to follow the increase of the movies production in the Nazi Germany with the beginning of the regime. The main reason for this is propaganda. Nazi rulers wanted to manipulate people and their thoughts, that is why the choice of the mass methods for this may be considered as the best one.
People were interested in movies, there is no need to make them watch those and the propaganda ideas were really powerful there. Germans came very seriously to the movie production as the quality of the movies and ideas presented there were really important for the realization of the Hitler plan. Hitler wanted to make sure that all people in the country do not have doubts in the strength of the nation and in the possibility to win.
Hitler Youth Quex (1933) is the movie about the conflict between Communist father and Hitler directed son. At the end of the movie Hitler ideology wins. Kopf Hoch, Johannes! (1941) and Triumph des Willens/Triumph of the Will (1934) were the best propaganda movies which showed that Nazi nation was the best in the world and it deserved victory and occupation in other countries.
One of the main ideas Nazi cinematography wanted to deliver to people was that the nation was one of the most powerful in the world and they deserved ruling other nations applying their great totalitarian systems which gave them opportunity to reach the highest power.
Moreover, the movies showed the heroism and strength of the soldiers in Nazi army who gave their lives for the benefit of the whole nation being proud to serve the country in such a way.
In conclusion, it should be stated that the importance of the Nazi movies was to make people think in the way Hitler wanted. The politics of the country was to help all citizens think in the way they needed. NO one had to think another way round. It was inadmissible for others to doubt Hitler and his ways of running business and politics.
The overwhelming subjection to Nazi politics, absence of the personal point of view and the consideration of the Nazi nation as the only deserving one in the world was the main purpose of them propaganda movies.
To make sure that the whole nation has one and the point of view, the possibility to manipulate people and the desire to make sure that any time people are able to do all possible to help Hitler and his army win, the movies were full of patriotic ideas.
DeLillo, Don. Running Dog. London: Pan Macmillan, 2011. Print.
The Nazi Revolution Research Paper
Nazi rule is viewed as one of the bleak periods in the world’s history due to the many atrocities committed by the Nazi regime under the rule of Hitler. The Nazi revolution was characterized by dictatorial rule and the mass killing of millions of Jews. In addition to this, the Nazis adopted an expansionist strategy, an act which culminated in the break out of the Second World War1.
Even so, the Nazis did not start as the powerful nationwide party that ruled Germany for over a decade. The Nazis did not start out as the powerful nationwide party that ruled Germany for over a decade. Instead, the party had a humble beginning as a Right Wing party with low membership.
As a result of the contributions made by the members of the party most notably of whom is Hitler and the socio-economic realities of the time, the party was able to grow in size and power. This paper will provide a historical review of the Nazi Party and how it grew in power.
Particular emphasis will be laid on the role that violence played in the Nazi revolution and how violence was used as a tool to control the nation once the Nazis gained power. The paper will also discuss the ways in which the climate in Germany changed once the Nazis controlled the country.
How the Nazis Rose to Power
The Nazi party can trace its birth to the end of the First World War which saw Germany incur military defeat in the hands of the Allied forces. A consequence of this defeat was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. This Treaty blamed Germany for the war and as such, the country was required to pay huge reparations for damages incurred by the Allied forces in the war2.
Other terms of the treaty included a limit of the German Army to 100,000 men and the occupation of German’s Rhineland by the French.
Many Germans were disillusioned by the defeat in war and the imposition of the Treaty of Versailles which not only resulted in economic burdens for Germans but also diminished Germany’s prestige. Many Germans therefore joined Right Wing groups like the Nazi party which promised to bring back the country’s prestige and ignore the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
The Nazi party was formed as the German Workers’ Party (DAP) by Anton Drexler in 19193. This party held Right Wing views such as: opposition to the Treaty of Versailles, anti-Semitic sentiments, and a belief in the superiority of the Aryan race. Hitler joined the party in the same year and was one of its initial members. In the 1920s, Hitler was the chief propagandist for the party and he took on a more prominent role4.
On behalf of the DAP, Hitler organized and spoke at many public rallies therefore popularizing the party. The German Workers Party (DAP) was renamed as The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in 19205. The NSDAP is what is commonly known as the Nazi Party. In 1921, Hitler was made Chairman of the NSDAP mostly as a result of his brilliant oratory skills and leadership abilities6.
The Nazi party also established a military wing which was known as SA (storm troopers). This wing of the party was responsible for violent attacks and armed confrontations. With members of the SA, Hitler began making plots to overthrow the Weimar Republic (German Government) which many held responsible for all the problems that Germany faced.
The year 1923 was significant in Nazi development since it was in this year that Hitler attempted to overthrow the government. With a group of the SA (most of whom were ex-soldiers), Hitler marched through the streets of Munich in an attempt to seize control of Munich and thereafter march on to Berlin7. Hitler hoped to spark a revolution and seize rule of the Weimer Republic.
The coup began by a rally held at a beer hall where Hitler proclaimed a revolution and as such, the attempted coup is commonly referred to as the Beer Hall Putsch8. This attempted coup was a huge failure since it had not been properly planned and rather relied on the small support base of the Nazis.
The police were able to stop the 2000 men strong march and arrest Hitler and some of the Nazi Party member who were later charged with treason. Hitler received a 5 year prison sentence but only served for 8 months and was released9. The failed coup also led to the banning of the Nazi Party although the party continued to operate under a different name, “German Party”.
In 1925, the ban that had been imposed on the Nazis was lifted and the party could once again engage in public rallies as it had done before the coup. Hitler rebuilt the Nazi party which had been on the verge of disintegrating in his absence and re-established himself as the ultimate leader of the party10.
In the 1928 elections, the Nazi Party succeeded in wining 12 seats. While this was a modest achievement, it was the first show by the Nazi party of being a major player in German politics.
Orlow records that the middle and upper middle class Germans were sincerely convinced that a communist take over of Germany was imminent and only the Nazis could save Germany from a Marxist revolution11. This conviction influenced the voting behavior of this class of Germans who voted against the Hindenburg Conservatives in the 1928 elections.
The Great depression of 1929 proved to be a blessing for the Nazis and it raised the party’s popularity to new heights12. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 had a profound impact on Germany since it resulted in the US calling in its loans to Germany. This led to the collapse of the German economy and a phenomenal rise in unemployment rates throughout Germany.
The crippling effects of the Great Depression helped Hitler to win over many of the Germans who had been adversely affected by the economic crisis13.
The Nazis also began to win over big industrialists, nationalists conservatives and with the backing of the press tycoon, Alfred Hugenberg, Hitler received nationwide exposure. Hitler played on national resentments and presented himself as Germany’s redeemer. The people of Germany were desperate for a solution and the Nazis through Hitler offered a solution as well as someone to blame for the economic crises14.
Bruning, who was the German Chancellor in the years immediately following the Great Depression, played a role in the success of the Nazis. He deliberately pursued policies that led to a worsening of the impact of the Depression.
With these actions, he hoped to restructure the Weimar Constitution to his liking and increase his decision making powers in the government. This move by Bruning had the effect of driving the middle and upper middle class groups into the Nazi party15.
In the 1930 elections, the Nazis acquired 6.4 million votes which was an 18.3% of the total vote. They also received 107 seats in the Reichstag, a monumental increase from the 12 seats won in the 1928 elections16. Leitz asserts that it was the ability of the Nazi party to secure mass support drawn from all social groupings in the later 1920s and early 1930s both in membership and electoral terms that gave the party its strength17.
Following the huge electoral success, the Nazi party began to receive huge financial contributions from great industrial magnates who viewed Hitler as a potent political leader. In 1932, Hitler announced his intention to run for presidency and in the run-off elections of 10 April 1931, he received 13.4milion votes18. Even so, Hitler still trailed the winning candidate, Hindenburg by 6million votes.
The Nazi party performed well in the Reichstag elections of July 1932, receiving about 37% of the votes which made it a majority in German parliament19. Even so, the Nazis did not have the outright majority that was needed to make the government. Hindenburg who was president of Germany sought to recruit Hitler so as to gain enough support in the Reichstag.
Therefore, on the 30th of January 1933, Hitler, whose party had a majority in the parliament, was made Chancellor of the Weimar Republic20. On the night of February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building were the German Parliament assembled caught fire21.
Hitler declared that the fire was set by Communists and declared a state of emergency in Germany. The Reichstag Fire Decree was also signed by President Hindenburg. This decree effectively suspended the basic rights and provisions afforded to the German citizens under the Weimar constitution.
Even though Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933, President Hindenburg still remained in charge of the German Government and Hitler was only head of the coalition government22. Hitler therefore sought to become the sole supreme leader of Germany by turning the German government into a dictatorship through the legal powers of the Weimar Republic constitution.
In July 1933, a law was passed that outlawed the formation of political parties23. This action had the effect of making Hitler’s Nazi Party the only legitimate political party in all of Germany. Hitler managed to acquire absolute power in 2nd August 1934, when he consolidated the office of the president and that of the chancellor in the person of “the Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler”24.
This was in essence a complete seizer of power by Hitler and the Nazis. Following this event, Hitler and his Nazi leaders implemented a series of radical policies that turned Germany from a democracy into an absolute dictatorship.
Hitler: Leader and Authoritarian Ruler
Adolf Hitler was without a doubt the single most influential figure of the Nazis and their rise to power is hugely credited to him. Wistrich regards Hitler as “founder and leader of the Nazi Party, Reich Chancellor and guiding spirit of the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945”25. Hitler embodied the ideal of the “charismatic Fuhrer” which greatly appealed to all classes of people.
Hitler’s appeal as a charismatic leader was so great that the movement that we presently refer to as “Nazi” was in Hitler’s reign known as the “Hitler movement”26. The failed coup attempt of 1923 was a significant stage in the political life of Hitler. Wistrich demonstrates that the failure of the Beer-Hall putsch and the subsequent imprisonment transformed Hitler from an “incompetent adventurer into a shrewd political tactician”27.
From the failure of the coup, Hitler learnt that the only way he could seize over was through the electoral process and the constitution. He therefore set out to win over the heart and minds of Germans though his oratory skills and propaganda.
Once Hitler became chancellor, the military wing of the NAZI, the SA, was looking forward to unrestricted actions against political enemies and rewards and benefits for their loyalty. Hitler was unwilling to succumb to the demands of the SA since he now viewed the SA as an obsolete wing of the Nazi party28. To cement his rule, Hitler ordered the murder of SA leaders in what is now known as the Night of the Long Knives29.
Their death greatly diminished the power and influence of the SA and henceforth, it became a shadowy organization with little strength. The demise of the SA was because of its being perceived as a threat to Hitler’s hegemony over the Nazis.
By the use of propaganda, the Fuhrer myth which dissociated Hitler from the party and the government was created.30. Hitler was viewed as a heroic figure defending popular justice and extirpating corruption and immorality in high place and intervening to restore order in all of Germany. Noakes credits this Fuhrer myth with the success of the Nazis since it acted as a source of legitimating for the regime31.
Behind this heroic figure, Hitler was actually the architect of the great violence which was associated with the Nazi. Through Heinrich Himmler who he hand picked to restructure the SS, Hitler ordered the arrest and imprisonment of thousands of Jews. Under Hitler’s order, Himmler established the infamous concentration camps where millions of Jews were killed in the holocaust32.
Hitler intended to use terror to build the ideal racially pure nation. Between 1941 and 1942, Hitler demanded that the prisoners held at the concentration camps be used for labor to help rebuild German cities as well as aid in the war effort33. These economic ambitions saw the prisoners being used as free forced labor.
Role of Violence in the Nazi Revolution
From the early years following the formation of the Nazi Party, violence and intimidation were an integral part of the party. The SA (storm troopers) was the major tool used to perpetuate violence.
The group which had developed military titles for its members was an important part of the Nazis organization and members of the division constantly carried out acts of violence against Jews34. The SA was very effective in carrying out acts of violence against anyone who opposed Hitler in public. Leitz recognizes that “SA intimidation tactics contributed to the rise of the Nazis”35.
Terror became an indispensable tool for the full conquest of the country once Hitler had been appointed Chancellor. Even though the Nazi had gained power through the electoral system, most Germans had not backed Hitler in the last free elections in November 193236.
Prior to Hitler’s accession to power, the Nazi had faced strong opposition from the Social Democrats and the Communists whose paramilitary activists had waged street battlers against their Nazi rivals (especially the SA). The Nazis conceded that there could be no absolute victory without the destruction of the organized working class who were the core members and supporters of the Social Democrats and the Communists37.
The establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship was therefore accompanied by intense political violence. By December 1933, hundreds of thousands of opponents had been abused and placed under temporal detainment38. Thousands more had been killed as the Nazi tried to attain absolute power in Germany. The Nazis made use of both legal and illegal means to perpetrate their violence.
Thousands of opposition group members were arrested by the police and charged as law-breakers. These people were put through courts and then jails and prisons which were run by the legal authorities39. At the same time, mass detention was undertaken without any legal process. Many opponents were abducted by SA and SS members and taken to “protective custody”40.
To lock up the huge number of political prisoners, the authorities made use of the existing places of confinement such as jails and regular prisons. Historians record that the state authorities collaborated with SA and SS camps to further extra-legal detention. The SS were given authority to run the camps which later came to be established as the infamous Nazi concentration camps.
A major occurrence with the advent of violence was the establishment of Camps which were to act as new places of detention to cater for the rising numbers of political prisoners who were being rounded up by the Nazi. The aim of the prison camps was to crush Hitler’s political opponents who were mostly Communists41.
The existence of the camps was well known to the German citizenry since most of the early camps were established in the middle of towns and cities and the guards were unable to hide the abuses that took place inside.
Wachsmann notes that while the SA made use of torture cellars and the ill treatment of prisoners, murder was seldom carried out since the aim of these early imprisonments was more about intimidation than killing42. These camps were a political weapon and they played a vital role in the Nazi assault on the opposition.
Historians note that without the camps, the new regime would not have established itself as quickly as it did43. Social discipline was seen as necessary for the formation of the master race and the regime was keen to wipe out deviance. Professional and habitual criminals were threatened with preventive police detention.
The structure of the camps changed significantly when the SS leader Heinrich Himmler took over the running of the camps from civil servants. SS men now run the camps. Himmler created the SS concentration camp system which was both effective and brutal.
The camps were manned by hardened young SS men who styled themselves as the elite of political soldiers44. The concentration camps were characterized by terror and systematic torture of prisoners. The prisoners were also held for longer than they had been held in the early years.
Without a doubt, the Jews were the major recipients of the violence perpetrated by the Nazi regime. These violence and agitation against Jews was mostly motivated by the desire to remove the Jews from German life45. Starting from 1933, a number of German Jews had been taken to camps as political opponents.
However, this number was fairly modest. The number of Jewish prisoners rose dramatically following the announcement by the Nazi in 9th November, 1938 of a nationwide program against the Jewish Population46.
Following the declaration of this program, Party activists took part in the destruction of thousand of Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues. Hundreds of Jewish people were killed and the mass arrest of thousands took place.
Climate of Germany during Nazi Control
A major change during Nazi rule was the adoption of authoritarian rule and removing of individual rights and freedoms. The freedom of speech and expression that the Germans had grown accustomed to all but disappeared during the rule of the Nazis. To begin with, Hitler outlawed all other political parties making Germany a single party state with himself as the ruler47.
Criticism of Hitler or/and the Nazis state was banned and those who dared to opposed were interrogated, tortured and if found guilty either imprisoned or executed. The Gestapo allegedly kept files on everyone in the country and updates to the reports were made through information obtained from ordinary Germans who acted as informants for the Nazis regime48.
The Nazis also prepared the German people for a war which they felt was imminent. Hitler emphasized that a main role of the party was to prepare the German people psychologically for war. This was done through indoctrination with Nazi ideology and in particular with the party’s racist and social-Darwinist imperatives49.
Priority was to be given to national interests and goals as defined by Hitler over the concerns of the individual citizen. Germany undertook major rearmament activity and the size of the standing army rose to many times that of the number allowed by the Treaty of Versailles.
The years following 1933 experienced an intense growth of governmental regulation of markets. This restricted the economic freedom of private owners as the rights inherent to private property were destroyed50. This loss of individual freedoms was in line with the Nazis philosophy of placing the interest of the nation above the individual rights of the citizens.
Hitler himself asserted that while everyone could keep that they had earned, the good of the community took priority over the individual and “the state should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State”51. The Nazi regime therefore retained the right to control all property in Germany.
Even so, the Nazis promoted the ownership and accumulation of private fortunes by party members and collaborators. In so doing, the Nazi regime increased its control over the economy.
Nazi rule is mostly associated with the atrocities that were carried out against the German-Jewish population. Hitler presented the Jew as the symbol and cause of all chaos, corruption and destruction in culture, politics and the economy.
As such, the Nazis set out to annihilate the entire Jewish population in Germany and Austria52. Between 1941 and 1942, the systematic extermination of European Jewry was official German state policy53. The SS was the branch that executed this Holocaust which is seen as the dark legacy of Nazi Germany to date.
Violence is the legacy that the Nazi are remembered for to this day. This paper set out to document how the Nazis rose to power during the 1920’s and how violence played a major role in their coming to power. The paper began by tracing the birth of the Party following Germany’s defeat in World War I.
It has been articulated that the Nazi movement would not have existed and risen to power as it did without Hitler who was the party’s outstanding leader. This paper has highlighted the various events that led to the Nazis turning from a small party with fewer than 1000 members in 1921 to the national power with millions of members by the 1930s.
This paper has highlighted the fact that the Nazis used various forms of terror tactics to gain control of Germans and hence ensure absolute rule. The role that various groups such as the SA and the SS played in perpetrating this violence has been underscored.
From this paper, it is clear that it was the massive campaign of political terror that helped the Nazi to cling on to power. While the Nazis gained power due to their promise to solve all of Germany’s problems and restore Germany’s glory, they failed to deliver on their promise and rather resulted to intimidation and violence to rule from 1933 until their defeat in 1945.
Bel, Germa. “Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany”. Economic History Review, 63, 1 (2010), pp. 34–55
Caplan, Jane. “Nazi Germany”. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Collier, Martin. “Hitler and the Nazi state”. Heinemann, 2005.
Leitz, Christian. “The Third Reich: the Essential readings”. Wiley-Blackwell, 1999.
Levin, Itamar. “His majesty’s enemies: Great Britain’s war against Holocaust victims and survivors”. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.
Noakes, Jeremy. “Government, party, and people in Nazi Germany”. University of Exeter Press, 1980.
Orlow, Dietrich. “The Historiography of the Decline of Bruning and the Rise of the Nazis: Comment and Review Article”. Hamburger Beitrage zur Sozial- und Zeitgeschichte, vol. 16. pp.748, 1982.
Scheck, Raffael. “Germany, 1871-1945: A Concise History”. Berg Publishers, 2008.
Sheridan, William. “Nazi Seizure of Power (Social Studies: History of the World)”. Franklin Watts, 1984.
Wistrich, Robert. “Who’s who in Nazi Germany”. Routledge, 2002.
Wachsmann, Nikolaus. “Concentration camps in Nazi Germany: the new histories”. Taylor & Francis, 2009.
1 Jeremy Noakes, “Government, party, and people in Nazi Germany”, (University of Exeter Press, 1980), 21.
2 William Sheridan, Nazi Seizure of Power. (Franklin Watts, 1984), 35.
3 William, 53.
4 Ibid, 53.
5 Jeremy, 23.
6 Ibid, 30.
7 William, 57.
8 Raffael Scheck, Germany, 1871-1945: A Concise History, (Berg Publishers, 2008), 143.
9 Ibid, 58.
10 Ibid, 60
11 Dietrich Orlow, “The Historiography of the Decline of Bruning and the Rise of the Nazis: Comment and Review Article”. (Hamburger Beitrage zur Sozial- und Zeitgeschichte, vol. 16, 1982), 67.
12 Jane, 28.
13 Raffael, 160.
14 Ibid, 33.
15 Dietrich, 71
16 Jeremy, 34.
17 Christian Leitz, “The Third Reich: the Essential readings”, (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999), 23.
18 Raffael, 165.
19 Christian, 23.
20 Jane, 48.
21 Raffael, 164.
22 Christian, 43.
23 Ibid, 44.
24 Raffael, 165.
25 Robert Wistrich, “Who’s who in Nazi Germany”, (Routledge, 2002), 116.
26 Robert, 117
27 Ibid, 116.
28 Martin Collier, Hitler and the Nazi state, (Heinemann, 2005), 95.
29 Raffael, 165
30 Jeremy, 57.
31 Ibid, 59.
32 Martin, 96.
33 Nikolaus Wachsmann, Concentration camps in Nazi Germany: the new histories, (Taylor & Francis, 2009), 30.
34 Jeremy, 18.
35 Christian, 84.
36 Nikolaus, 18.
37 Ibid, 18.
38 Martin, 99.
39 Jeremy, 34.
40 Ibid, 33.
41 Raffael, 170.
42 Nikolaus, 19.
43 Ibid, 20.
44 Nikolaus, 23.
45 Martin, 96.
46 Nikolaus, 25.
47 Jane, 53.
48 Jeremy, 32.
49 Ibid, 17.
50 Germa, 44.
51 Ibid, 48.
52 William, 53.
53 Nikolaus, 32.
Nazi Deception and “Night” by Elie Wiesel Essay
“Night” is a novel written by Elie Wiesel. The author narrates about his own experience of survival at the Nazi camps. The novel depicts the horrors and sufferings of people at the time of World War II and the life at the death camps built by Nazis in Europe. At the same time, it shows the deception, demoralization, and dehumanization spread by Nazi.
The Crime against Humanity
The actions of Nazis in Europe were called the crime against humanity. The mass killings of men, women, and children put the moral pressure on other imprisoned. The dehumanization provoked the demoralization at the camps. Eliezer, the main character of the novel and the prototype of the author, became one of the victims of the Nazi occupation in Europe.
In the novel, he depicts the horrors of that time. He and other members of his family had been taken to the ghettos in the Carpathian Transylvania. He observed the cynicism and rigidity of the Hungarian police. He told that it was the time when he started to hate them (Wiesel, 1992). Later, Eliezer and his father were sent to Auschwitz. Eliezer told that they did not know where his mother and sisters were but, after some time, they found out that they were sent to the gas camera as soon as they arrived at the camp.
The horrors observed by Eliezer and his fellows exhausted them morally. “Babies were thrown into the air, and the machine gunners used them as targets. This was in the forest of Galicia, near Kolomaye” (Wiesel, p.4). After observing this terrible scene, he started rethinking his attitude to life and moral as well as his faith in God.
The life at the ghettos was the struggle for survival every day and every night. The exasperation of the prisoners became the natural outcome of their oppression caused by seeing the deaths every day.
“The passengers on our boat were amusing themselves by throwing coins to the ‘natives,’ who were diving in to get them…. I suddenly noticed that two children were engaged in a death struggle, trying to strangle each other” (Wiesel p.95).
The novel is enriched with the memories of Eliezer of Nazis brutality. He and his fellows suffered from the famine and moral and physical exhaustion. At the same time, they observed the cruelty of the Nazi jailors.
“As we were not allowed to bend down, everyone took out his spoon and ate the accumulated snow off his neighbor’s back. The SS who were watching laughed at the spectacle” (Wiesel p.92).
The author describes his experience at the concentration camps as the murder of his soul, his dreams, and his God (Night. Study Guide n.d.). There are no exact figures of the deaths at the Nazi concentration camps. Some estimated the number of killed ranging from 1 885 889 to 2 045 215 casualties (Concentration Camp System 2019).
Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor, described his life experience at the Nazi concentration camps in Night, his famous novel. His memories depicted on the pages of his book make us think about the lessons of World War II for mankind. The Nazi deception, demoralization, and dehumanization spread at the camps produced the thousands of moral victims of the Nazi regime. We should always remember those people and do our best to avoid the repeat of the horrors of World War II.
Concentration camp system: in depth. (2019.). Holocaust Encyclopedia. Web.
Night. Study Guide. (n.d.). Web.
Wiesel, Elie. Night, South Melbourne, New York: Bantam Books, 1982. Print.