Adolf Hitler’s rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.
His rise to power has been spectacular since after 14 years only, the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act in March 1933. This act assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection. After being chancellor, he voted measures to be able to maintain his control over the country and also to assure himself a wide popular support.First of all, during 1930–1933, the mood in Germany was grim. The worldwide economic depression had hit the country hard, and millions of people were out of work. The unemployed were joined by millions of others who linked the Depression to Germany’s national humiliation after defeat in World War 1.
Many Germans perceived the parliamentary government coalition as weak and unable to alleviate the economic crisis. Such a situation offered fertile ground for the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. In addition, Hitler was a powerful and spellbinding orator who, by tapping into the anger and helplessness felt by a large number of voters, attracted a wide following of Germans desperate for change.
On another hand, Hitler made a wide use of propaganda, promising to pull Germany out of the Depression. The Nazis pledged to restore German cultural values, reverse the provisions of the Treaty Of Versailles, turn back the perceived threat of a Communist uprising, put the German people back to work, and restore Germany to its “rightful position” as a world power. Consequently, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, not after an electoral victory but instead as the result of a constitutionally questionable deal among a small group of conservative German politicians. Within two years, however, Hitler and the Nazis outmaneuvered Germany’s conservative politicians to consolidate a radical Nazi dictatorship completely subordinate to Hitler’s personal will.
First of all, the first method of keeping complete control was through the use of terror. Hitler gave the Gestapo (German police) complete control so they could just arrest someone and throw them in jail for no reason at all!! He also used the S.S. (shooting squad) these were Hitler’s personal army.
They served as Hitler’s bodyguards but he expanded them so that they could wipe out the brown shirts in just one night called “night of the long knives”. People knew that if they foul-mouthed Hitler they would either end up dead or in a concentration camps. In addition, propaganda also so took a big part of keeping control of Germany. Hitler and the Nazi party had many ways of using propaganda to gain supporters, maintain power, and brainwash the people. For example, loyalty to Hitler and the Nazi Party was promoted in schools among children since textbooks had been modified, history classes glorified Germany, all non-Nazi teachers were fired and replaced by new teachers of the “National Socialist Teachers’ League”, Jews were portrayed as bad in the textbooks and children’s stories, religious education had been abolished… Also, it was compulsory for young germans to be part of the “Hitler Youth Movement” in which nazis indoctrinated boys and girls by preparing boys for war and girls for motherhood. On another hand, Hitler had complete control over all German newspapers, which were only allowed to print pro-Nazi stories and newspapers that printed unapproved stories were closed. Censorship has been another powerful tool for Hitler to maintain a strong pressure on the country.Thirdly, Hitler was a very clever man and he used strategies to make his popularity grow tremendously, from having a few hundred people supporting him to just about the whole of Germany.
First of all, he was able to maintain popular support among the middle class people with a popular economic policy. He was a “feel good dictator,” a leader who not only made Germans feel important, but also made sure they were well cared-for by the state. To do so, he gave them huge tax breaks and introduced social benefits that even today anchor the society.
He also ensured that even in the last days of the war not a single German went hungry. Despite near-constant warfare, never once during his 12 years in power did Hitler raise taxes for working class people. He also particularly pampered soldiers and their families, offering them more than double the salaries and benefits that American and British families received. In addition, Hitler gained reputation with a strong social policy among workers and youth. For example, he organized leisure time of workers through “Strength through joy” organizations, he gave a chance to every german to own the volkswagen “people’s car”, he encouraged Germans to save up for travel.
He also opened up clubs which proved very enjoyable for young people. The Hitler Youth was Hitler’s belief that the future of Nazi Germany was its children. In addition, Hitler promoted family popular values.
The Nazis pledged to restore German cultural values. He voted Law for the encouragement of marriage and enabled newly-wed families to receive a loan. Every German woman should have at least 4 children.In conclusion, Hitler and the Nazis have been able to gain a vast political power on Germany. Afterwards they have succeeded to maintain a strict control over the country and its inhabitants and keep a wide popularity for a while.
They had a massive impact on German people, changing people mentalities and the country of Germany beyond what anybody had ever seen. German society changed beyond recognition.