"You can see that what motivates us is neither self-conceit or self-interest, but only a burning desire to join the battle in this grave 11th hour for our German Fatherland... One last thing I can tell you. Either the German revolution begins tonight or we will all be dead by dawn!" - Hitler
"I cannot remember in my entire life such a change in the attitude of a crowd in a few minutes, almost a few seconds... Hitler had turned them inside out, as one turns a glove inside out, with a few sentences. It had almost something of hocus-pocus, or magic about it." - Dr. Karl Alexander von Mueller
It is often claimed that Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany through democratic means, and while that is a stretch, it is true that he managed to become an absolute dictator as Chancellor of Germany in the 1930s through a mixture of politics and intimidation. Ironically, he had set such a course only because of the failure of an outright coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch about a decade earlier.
At the close of World War I, Hitler was an impoverished young artist who scrapped by through selling souvenir paintings, but within a few years, his powerful oratory brought him to the forefront of the Nazi party in Munich and helped make the party much more popular. A smattering of followers in the hundreds quickly became a party of thousands, with paramilitary forces like the SA backing them, and at the head of it all was a man whose fiery orations denounced Jews, communists and other "traitors" for bringing upon the German nation the Treaty of Versailles, which had led to hyperinflation and a wrecked economy.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors