History is made every second. At the point of occurrence, many of these events seem insignificant. If one looks back throughout history, they will realize that although there is no consistent pattern, every single unrelated event, somehow, results in being related to the other. These relationships can be causal, effectual, or correlated. Although there are trillions of events available to study this chain of relativity, we will look at the chain of individual events pertaining to the Hindenburg air ship, Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power, and the spread of Hepatitis B.
The beginning of the twentieth century was when air travel made its entrance and claimed its position in commercial and private travel. In 1900, Germany first began creating massive airships, called zeppelins, for first experimental purposes, then for military and civilian travel. After the success of the LZ-127 (a zeppelin in flight from 1928-1937), the Nazi regime funded the project for the LZ-129 in 1931.
Hugo Eckener was the head of the Zepellin Company and although funds were low for the project due to the Stock Market Crash, Josef Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda prime minister) and Hermaan Goering offered Eckener 2 million marks and 9 million marks, respectively. Goering was Air Minister at the time and persuaded Eckener to divide the company into two divisions: the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin (LZ – the original Zeppelin Company) and the Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei (DZR). The agreement of the DZR was that Goering would take control of all operations regarding zeppelin flight.
Unbeknownst to most is that in addition to having control of airship operations, the goal of the DZR was to have the LZ-129 become the face of Nazism. Eckener did not support the Nazis and in order to have the LZ-129 symbolize the Nazi movement, Goering put Nazi supporter Ernst Lehmann in charge of the DZR. After completing multiple Nazi propaganda flights, the LZ-129 was ready for civilian travel. The LZ-129 was named the Hindenburg, after Paul von Hindenburg, the former president of Germany.
This is of the utmost importance because Hindenburg is the individual who appointed Adolf Hitler as chancellor in 1933. Hitler, as the head of the Nazi party, appointed Goering as the head of his security force, eliminating any and every form of opposition. Now the ulterior motive of having Lehmann in charge and replacing Eckener comes to light. The German Workers’ Party was formed shortly after the end of World War I, in 1919. Hitler joined the movement the year of its creation and climbed the ranks.
Towards the end of 1920, he became the party’s fuhrer (leader) and changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazis. Hitler and other members were jailed in an attempt to disassemble the movement. In 1925 upon his release, Hitler reassembled the party with a full thrust forward. Gaining popularity and many more followers, Hitler was able to successfully create a party powerful enough to participate in future elections for control of the entire state. As mentioned earlier, the Stock Market Crash had an impact on the German economy.
The current government was unable to maintain unity or control over the economic situation. Hitler was able to convince Germans that the reason for the economic turmoil was not because of the stock market crash or even because of the repatriations of World War I, but because of the Jews. In 1933, the first concentration camp was established and by 1935, Jews had been completely stripped of all rights. During 1939, Germany invaded many European countries and occupied them and the Allied Powers (Great Britain, New Zealand, France, Australia) declared war on Germany.
Throughout the remainder of 1939 and 1940, European countries joined either the Axis or Allied powers as the war continued. In December 1941, Japan attacked United States’ naval base, Pearl Harbor. Shortly after, the United States declared war on Japan. Germany, siding with Japan, declared war on the United States days later. The technology of World War II was far more advanced than that of World War I. It led to the creation of new types of bombs, weapons, and biological warfare. The atomic bomb was designed specifically to end the war, among other scientific tactics.
One of these was the need for a biological and chemical weapons program. There was a fear of the possibility of Japan, Germany, and other offensive countries to launch the spread of disease on the United States and other Allied countries. In response to this fear, the United States Department of Defense created vaccines for all active duty military personnel. The vaccines included were for Yellow Fever, smallpox, tetanus, and typhoid. By 1942, all those required to be vaccinated were vaccinated, excluding civilians.
The reason behind the civilians not being vaccinated was because the Food and Drug Administration had not yet approved the vaccinations, and therefore the military members were at risk for being vaccinated with unapproved injections. There is a reason medicine should not be released until it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration – side effects and consequences can be fatal. Resulting in the hurried use of the vaccines, many of them had somehow become contaminated y the Hepatitis B virus.
From the rapid dispensing of these vaccines, a Hepatitis B epidemic began. Inadvertently, 330,000 individuals were infected with Hepatitis B, which resulted in the deaths of many military men. It is guaranteed that the majority of individuals reading this document were very much unaware of the relationship between these three separate events. When most people think about the Hindenburg airship, particularly those of the newer generations, the only thing that comes to mind is that it was an awful disaster and lesson in the history of air travel.
When all people think about the Nazi rise to power, they immediately think of the atrocities of the Holocaust. When people think of Hepatitis B, most actually do not know much about it, other than he fact that it is a terrible disease. However, when one takes the time to actually read into these events, it is evident that they are in fact causal of the next. The Hindenburg airship was a prominent symbol of Nazism and their propaganda movement, leading to more supporters and their eventual take-over of the German government.
When Nazis took over Germany, they attempted, and nearly succeeded in taking control of Europe as a whole. When the Nazis attempted to take over Europe, still-independent nations declared war on Germany and enlisted in the help of other countries. When the United States finally joined World War II, because of a fear of biological and chemical warfare, they unintentionally caused the spread of Hepatitis B. This is just a minor example of how all walks of history, past, present, or future, can only be possible with the occurrence of another event.
Courtney from Study Moose
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