Profiles the seminal events that helped Hitler rise to power and consolidate his position, including the end of World War I, the Beer Hall Putsch, the Burning of the Reichstag, and the Night of the Long Knives.
"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 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. 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.
The early 1930s were a tumultuous period for German politics, even in comparison to the ongoing transition to the modern era that caused various forms of chaos throughout the rest of the world.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors