Hitler, in my opinion, had three core ideas. These ideas were racism (wanting a pure master race), Nationalism, and Anti Communism. It was these core ideas that gained the support of the German people. You can see many of Hitler’s views incorporated into the German Workers’ Party’s Twenty-Five Point Programme.
Non-Germans, sharing the land and businesses of the German people, was not acceptable to Hitler. He wanted Germany to house only German people. This belief was used to unite different groups of Germans such as the rich and the poor and the rural and urban, which had began to drift apart due to rapid industrialization. Many of the Twenty-Five Point Programme represented Hitler’s views. For example: Point 1- We demand the union of all Germany in a Greater Germany on the basis of the right of national self-determination, Point 4-Only members of the nation may be citizens of the State.
Only those of German blood, whatever be their creed, may be members of the nation. Accordingly, no Jew may be a member of the nation, Point 8- All non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after 2 August 1914 shall be required to leave the Reich forthwith and finally Point 9- All citizens shall have equal rights and duties. He believed there was a hierarchy of races and that slaves and Jews were at the bottom. He defined Jews as a racial class not a religion. He wanted Germany to achieve racial purity.
Nationalism consisted of repossession of the land which had been lost through the Treaty of Versailles. Expansion into Eastern Europe and Russia was also thought of partly for acquiring additional land to expand his master race but also expansion into Russia would have destroyed the center of communism. This would particularly appeal to soldiers who felt greatly betrayed by the government at the end of World War 1. The ideas of Nationalism can be found within the Twenty-Five Point Programme as well. Point 2- We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain and Point 3- We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to settle our surplus population.
In Hitler’s anti-communism views he believed that socialism was more about uniting the people and not about sharing power with them. With his hate of the Jews increasing he focused on the ‘Jewishishness’ of communism. For this reason Hitler argued that communism was part of a Jewish world conspiracy.
One argument for supporting Hitler’s methods as the most significant influence towards his rise to power begins with his own oratory skills, which first got him recognized. From the first time he spoke at a German Workers’ Party meeting people took notice. When Hitler spoke you would listen. This of course helped in his own rise to power and also that of the NSDAP in later years. His speeches were filled with emotions, power and conviction. It can be argued that good timing was an additional factor. Hitler used surrounding events to spread his propaganda, to his advantage. He did this with great success.
To reap the rewards of effective propaganda you must first understand how it works and how it must be used. This was something Hitler knew. He knew how to use it successfully. The Party’s use of propaganda seems to have been very effective. They used images which would have helped Hitler/NSDAP gain the German peoples support. The slogans they used worked in the same way. Bring these together and you would achieve a powerful message which would help to unite the Party and the people of Germany and gain extra support.
Hitler’s Nazi party captured 18% of the popular vote in the 1930 elections. In 1932, Hitler ran for President and won 30% of the vote, forcing the victor, Paul von Hindenburg, into a runoff election. A political deal was made to make Hitler chancellor in exchange for his political support. He was appointed to that office in January 1933.
Western Civilization, Vol 2, Spigel
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