From A Mediocre Student to A Dictator: Adolf Hitler

The day is April 20, 1889 and the place is Austria. It was there that

the man who was to “save the fatherland” was born. Hitler began his

schooling in a monastery in Germany and was known as a “lazy, bad-tempered,

arrogant ‘leader.’” His dreams of being a great artist quickly went down the

drain after he was rejected at the Academy of Fine Arts. Hitler sank deep

into himself, living on the street and through his discontentment began to

see the uses of hate. His views began to push him to wanting to conquer

Germany; he was only 18 at the time. He joined the war with Germany as a

dispatch worker. After World War I, Hitler began looking for his

opportunity to take control of Germany as their leader. This never would

have been accomplished if the economic, social, and political conditions of

the day were not all in place for him to take control.

After the war the economic conditions of Germany were in shambles.

Because Germany was forced to take most of the blame in the war, they

were required to pay most of the damages of the war, not including their

own debts from the war. Before the war four German marks could have

bought one American dollar, but after the war it tool 4.2 trillion marks just

to equal one dollar. Inflation was running rampid. People were using money

as toilet paper because it cost less. Finally the government did away with

the old currency and brought in a new one. The effects of this will be

discussed later. Also because of the war there was great unemployment.

Unemployment had doubled since before the war and was steadily increasing.

Factories were producing more than they needed and so in order to fix the

problem they produced less and therefore had to lay off several workers.

Just like all over the world, Germany was experiencing their share of the

Depression and just like in America their banks closed as well. This quote

accurately described the Depression and Hitler’s gain from that: “The

depression was ‘the last ingredient in a complicated witches brew’ that led to

Hitler’s takeover.”

A lot of the economic problems Germany was facing contributed to

the social problems. Because a new currency was formed, thousands of

people lost their entire life savings. People were roaming the streets looking

for food. The loss of lives from the war severely hurt the population as well.

15% of the young men of the population of Germany were killed in the war.

Because of all of the economic and social problems Germany was undergoing

it made the people begin to look for an answer to their problem. They

wanted someone who would be stable and set things right.

It is here at the point of the political problems that enabled Hitler to

gain his role in government. The moderates’ positions in the Weimar

government collapsed. Revolutions were breaking out all over Germany. The

Republic was formed and at the same time violence formed. The government

could not keep things under control. Hitler began giving speeches across

Germany and this stirred up the people and made the government cautious.

Hitler used his propaganda, such as radio broadcasts, press, and storm

troopers, to gain widespread popularity. After two failed attempts at the

presidency, Hindenburg finally offered Hitler the chancelloship. This gave

him just the right amount of power he needed. On February 27, 1933 a fire

was set to the Reichstag building. It was blamed on the communists and

Hitler used this to sway public opinion towards him. He ran again and this

time he won. This man would now be one of the meanest creatures this world

has ever known.

Adolf Hitler’s views can best be described in the book he wrote when

he was 39 years old Mein Kampf. He stated that all inferior people were

destined to be German slaves, terror will succeed unless opposed by a

greater terror, all evil is embodied by the Jew, and France is the ultimate

enemy of the Germans. If the economic, social, and political conditions had

not been so unstable this “great leader” may never have been able to come to

power.

Bibliography

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Word Count: 713

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