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The Acceptance of Nazism in Germany Melinda Home Class # History 343 Apr. 28, 2005 Thursday 6: 00 pm to 8: 00 pm This paper attempts to delineate the reasons behind the rise and acceptance of Nazism in pre W. W. II Germany. The ideology of National Socialism or Nazism was forwarded by the National Socialist German Workers Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party. The appeal of the ideology lay in several factors that the Germans, still recovering from the fallout of W. W I, were drawn to.
The Nazi ideology offered an ostensible panacea for all German ills, which included economic depression, a fear of communism, and hurt pride. At the end of W. W. I, the treaty of Versailles had imposed punishing conditions as reparation on Germany; the militaristic class deeply resented this and saw in Nazism a chance to revive Germany to its previous glory.
The working class in Germany looked to replicate the success of the October Revolution that occurred in 1917 in Russia, especially due the failing economy under the Weimar Republic. In fact, their movement gained momentum and the working class adopted a revolutionary model of Bolshevism, which led to the Spartacist uprising in 1919. With Communism gaining ground in post W. W. I Germany, the capitalists feared for their interests. They did not have faith in the democratic parties to counter the Bolshevik fervor.
The Nazi doctrine shared similarities with Fascism; therefore, in 1922, when Mussolini's Fascist party gained power in Italy and was successful in curbing communist activities in Italy, the Nazi party emerged as the most reliable bulwark against the growing tide of Communism. Given this scenario, the capitalists aligned themselves to the Nazi party. By calling their ideology National Socialism, the Nazis also managed to strike a chord with the disaffected working class. The Nazis were able to maintain a relationship with the middle class as well as the moneyed segment of the society by presenting an altered picture of their ideology to each class. In fact, all over Europe, Hitlers Nazism was seen as the only effective defence against the rapid spread of Communism.
It received the support of several Right wing politicians and conservative parties such as the Conservative Party in Britain, the Falange movement in Spain and various political and army figures in France. The support, which Nazism received from all quarters helped strengthen its base at home. In order to gain acceptance, the Nazi party advocated a return to adopting a militaristic attitude. The Nazis managed to reach out to the people inspite of a lack of a structured policy because they concentrated on regular communication with the people.
Hitler was a masterly orator and visited twenty cities during the presidential campaign in 1932. He promised an integrated Germany, order and discipline as well as relief to the country from economic distress. The Nazi machinery for publicity and propaganda amongst the electorate helped it to first win the confidence of the people and then maintain it throughout the period of the war. Also, the other political parties did not present a centralised opposition to the Nazis. The major events that brought the Nazi party to the forefront in German national politics included the Wall Street Crash in October 1929. This had been preceded by failed crops and the failure of the Weimar Government to stem the deflation and the economic deprivation that these events led to.
After a major collapse in the banking sector in 1931, when close to 20, 000 businesses collapsed and affected almost the entire German middle class, the people began to turn to Nazism in increasing numbers, hoping that it would bring stability. Under the Nazis, the GNP increased steadily at an average annual rate of 9. 5 % during the period 1933 1936. The government concentrated on three major objectives with the aim of winning domestic approval, these were Curbing unemployment Controlling inflation Improve the standard of living of the middle and lower classes by making a plethora of consumer goods available to them. The Nazis had arrived at this three point plan specifically to win the approval of the vast middle class, which was getting increasingly disaffected by the perceived disparity between them and the upper class. Hitlers aggressive military policies had the effect of restoring the pride of a nation beleaguered by the defeat in W. W.
I. The Nazi doctrine of Aryan Supremacy found many believers and further stoked the aggressive instincts of a restive German public, who believed the Nazi ideal of a racially pure Greater Germany. The people of Germany sided with Hitler and the Nazi ideology because he swiftly moved from success to success and he shared it with the German people. The Nazis reduced taxation and introduced several social benefits. Even during the worst phases of W.
W. II, there was never a scarcity of food and the Nazis did not burden the working class with extra taxes. Nazism was perceived to be a doctrine that had the welfare of Germany as its core philosophy and Hitler was seen as a benevolent dictator. The German soldiers received better salaries than their American and British counterparts and their families too were well looked after. Given the fact that Germany did well in the initial stages of W. W.
II, the German public willingly forgave the Nazis their excesses, which included the extermination of millions of Jews and forceful occupation of their property. To explain away their atrocities, the Nazis blamed the Jews for their defeat in W. W. I, for the spread of Communism in Germany, which they labeled Judeo Bolshevism as well as the death of Christ. Thus, to summarize, Nazism was able to gain acceptance due to clever manipulation of the situation and poor resistance to its totalitarian policies both from within and outside Germany.
Bibliography A Journal of Peace and Conflict studies Dec. 2002. 27 Apr. 2005 < web > Bill, Jody K. How the Germans fell for the Feel Good Fuehrer. 22 Mar. 2005. 27 Apr. 2005
Conservatives misunderstood Nazism. 14 July 2002. 27 Apr. 2005 < web > The Nazis: A Warning from History 27 Apr. 2005 < web > Germans into Nazis Review. 28 July 1999. 27 Apr. 2005 < web > Holocaust as a paradigm of empathy. 27 Apr. 2005 < web >
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Research essay sample on The Acceptance Of Nazism In Germany