Nazis Rise To Power Quotes

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The key to understanding why many Germans supported him lies in the Nazis’ rejection of a rational, factual world.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
The power which has always started the greatest religious and political avalanches in history rolling has from time immemorial been the magic power of the spoken word, and that alone. The broad masses of the people can be moved only by the power of speech.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The cynical dishonesty of the Nazis’ propaganda received a significant boost from the cult of irrationality that drove their followers: the contempt for, indeed the revolution against, Enlightenment standards of rationality.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
Hitler, in turn, was enraged by the world reaction and convinced himself that it merely proved the power and scope of “the Jewish world conspiracy.” In
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
To some Germans and, no doubt, to most foreigners it appeared that a charlatan had come to power in Berlin. To the majority of Germans Hitler had — or would shortly assume — the aura of a truly charismatic leader. They were to follow him blindly, as if he possessed a divine judgment, for the next twelve tempestuous years.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
What they then wanted was an authoritarian Germany which at home would put an end to democratic “nonsense” and the power of the trade unions and in foreign affairs undo the verdict of 1918, tear off the shackles of Versailles, rebuild a great Army and with its military power restore the country to its place in the sun. These
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
We have seen, then, that certain socioeconomic changes, notably the decline of the middle class and the rising power of monopolistic capital, had a deep psychological effect... Nazism resurrected the lower middle class psychologically while participating in the destruction of its old socioeconomic position. It mobilized its emotional energies to become an important force in the struggle for the economic and political aims of Germain imperialism.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
The government [Hitler promised] will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures. Neither
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The power which has always started the greatest religious and political avalanches in history rolling has from time immemorial been the magic power of the spoken word, and that alone. The broad masses of the people can be moved only by the power of speech. All great movements are popular movements, volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotional sentiments, stirred either by the cruel Goddess of Distress or by the firebrand of the word hurled among the masses; they are not the lemonade-like outpourings of the literary aesthetes and drawing-room heroes.55
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
We German Social Democrats pledge ourselves solemnly in this historic hour to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and socialism. No enabling act can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The sums acquired by the administrators of this domaine extraordinaire in the period of France’s zenith were quite remarkable and in some ways foreshadow Nazi Germany’s plunder of its satellites and conquered foes during the Second World War.
Paul Kennedy (The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000)
   The political ineptitude of the magnates of industry and finance was no less than that of the generals and led to the mistaken belief that if they coughed up large enough sums for Hitler he would be beholden to them and, if he ever came to power, do their bidding. That the Austrian upstart, as many of them had regarded him in the Twenties, might well take over the control of Germany began to dawn on the business leaders after the sensational Nazi gains in the September elections of 1930.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The Reichstag would be asked to pass an “enabling act” conferring on Hitler’s cabinet exclusive legislative powers for four years. Put even more simply, the German Parliament would be requested to turn over its constitutional functions to Hitler and take a long vacation. But
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Society has never regarded virtue as anything else than as a means to strength, power and order. The State [is] unmorality organized… the will to war, to conquest and revenge… Society is not entitled to exist for its own sake but only as a substructure and scaffolding, by means of which a select race of beings may elevate themselves to their higher duties… There is no such thing as the right to live, the right to work, or the right to be happy: in this respect man is no different from the meanest worm.”* And he exalted the superman as the beast of prey,
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The key to understanding why many Germans supported him lies in the Nazis’ rejection of a rational, factual world. Hitler himself, in the words of his biographer Joachim Fest, was “always thinking the unthinkable,” and “in his statements an element of bitter refusal to submit to reality invariably emerged.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
There was some ground for this appropriation of Nietzsche as one of the originators of the Nazi Weltanschauung. Had not the philosopher thundered against democracy and parliaments, preached the will to power, praised war and proclaimed the coming of the master race and the superman—and in the most telling aphorisms?
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Goebbels was sure of one thing, though: “Once we have the power we will never give it up. They will have to carry our dead bodies out of the ministries.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
What interested Hitler was political power; economics could somehow take care of itself.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
German nudists are the only successful rebels against Nazi control,” he wrote.
Andrew Nagorski (Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power)
It was characteristic of the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany and of the Communist movements in Europe after 1930 that they recruited their members from this mass of apparently indifferent people whom all other parties had given up as too apathetic or too stupid for their attention. The result was that the majority of their membership consisted of people who never before had appeared on the political scene. This permitted the introduction of entirely new methods into political propaganda, and indifference to the arguments of political opponents; these movements not only placed themselves outside and against the party system as a whole, they found a membership that had never been reached, never been "spoiled" by the party system. Therefore they did not need to refute opposing arguments and consistently preferred methods which ended in death rather than persuasion, which spelled terror rather than conviction. They presented disagreements as invariably originating in deep natural, social, or psychological sources beyond the control of the individual and therefore beyond the power of reason. This would have been a shortcoming only if they had sincerely entered into competition with other parties; it was not if they were sure of dealing with people who had reason to be equally hostile to all parties.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The concept of the State implies the concept of war, for the essence of the State is power… That war should ever be banished from the world is a hope not only absurd, but profoundly immoral.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Between the Left and the Right, Germany lacked a politically powerful middle class, which in other countries—in France, in England, in the United States—had proved to be the backbone of democracy. In
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The Third Reich which was born on January 30, 1933, Hitler boasted, would endure for a thousand years,9 and in Nazi parlance it was often referred to as the “Thousand-Year Reich.” It lasted twelve years and four months, but in that flicker of time, as history goes, it caused an eruption on this earth more violent and shattering than any previously experienced, raising the German people to heights of power they had not known in more than a millennium, making them at one time the masters of Europe from the Atlantic to the Volga, from the North Cape to the Mediterranean, and then plunging them to the depths of destruction and desolation at the end of a world war which their nation had cold-bloodedly provoked and during which it instituted a reign of terror over the conquered peoples which, in its calculated butchery of human life and the human spirit, outdid all the savage oppressions of the previous ages. The man who founded the Third Reich, who ruled it ruthlessly and often with uncommon shrewdness, who led it to such dizzy heights and to such a sorry end, was a person of undoubted, if evil, genius.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
America is at a crossroads. A country that once stood as the global symbol of democracy has been teetering on the brink of authoritarianism. How did this happen? Is the fall of democracy in the United States inevitable? And if not, how can we reclaim our democratic principles? This crisis in American democracy crept up on many of us. For generations of Americans, grainy news footage from World War II showing row upon row of Nazi soldiers goose-stepping in military parades tricked us into thinking that the Adolf Hitlers of the world arrive at the head of giant armies. So long as we didn’t see tanks in our streets, we imagined that democracy was secure. But in fact, Hitler’s rise to absolute power began with his consolidation of political influence to win 36.8 percent of the vote in 1932, which he parlayed into a deal to become German chancellor. The absolute dictatorship came afterward.
Heather Cox Richardson (Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America)
Did he believe all that he said?' he asked. 'The question is inapplicable to this sort of personality. Subjectively Adolf Hitler was, in my opinion, entirely sincere even in his self-contradictions. For his is a humorless mind that simply excludes the need for consistency that might distress more intellectual types. To an actor the truth is anything that lies in its effect: if it makes the right impression it is true.'" American journalist Edgar Mowrer on Hitler, 1933
Andrew Nagorski (Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power)
In addition, the decree authorized the Reich government to take over complete power in the federal states when necessary and imposed the death sentence for a number of crimes, including “serious disturbances of the peace” by armed persons.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it onto motion, sits the Leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his “intangible preponderance.” His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its members and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. He owes his rise to leadership to an extreme ability to handle inner-party struggles for power rather than to demagogic or bureaucratic-organizational qualities. He is distinguished from earlier types of dictators in that he hardly wins through simple violence. Hitler needed neither the SA nor the SS to secure his position as leader of the Nazi movement; on the contrary, Röhm, the chief of the SA and able to count upon its loyalty to his own person, was one of Hitler’s inner-party enemies. Stalin won against Trotsky, who not only had a far greater mass appeal but, as chief of the Red Army, held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Russia at the time. Not Stalin, but Trotsky, moreover, was the greatest organizational talent, the ablest bureaucrat of the Russian Revolution. On the other hand, both Hitler and Stalin were masters of detail and devoted themselves in the early stages of their careers almost entirely to questions of personnel, so that after a few years hardly any man of importance remained who did not owe his position to them.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The man who founded the Third Reich, who ruled it ruthlessly and often with uncommon shrewdness, who led it to such dizzy heights and to such a sorry end, was a person of undoubted, if evil, genius. It is true that he found in the German people, as a mysterious Providence and centuries of experience had molded them up to that time, a natural instrument which he was able to shape to his own sinister ends. But without Adolf Hitler, who was possessed of a demonic personality, a granite will, uncanny instincts, a cold ruthlessness, a remarkable intellect, a soaring imagination and—until toward the end, when, drunk with power and success, he overreached himself—an amazing capacity to size up people and situations, there almost certainly would never have been a Third Reich.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Adolf Hitler, who was possessed of a demonic personality, a granite will, uncanny instincts, a cold ruthlessness, a remarkable intellect, a soaring imagination and—until toward the end, when, drunk with power and success, he overreached himself—an amazing capacity to size up people
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
From "Irena's Children, Young Reader's Edition" by Mary Cronk Farrell: I am delighted and honored to bring her story to life in this edition for young readers. Irene's choice of lifesaving resistance to the power and evil of Naziism proves to me that we humans have great potential to put aside self-interest, to rise above hatred and fear, and to act with compassion...Some parts of the story are so terrible I don't want to write them, and they might be sad and painful for you to read. But if we don't know about the Nazis' brutality, we can't begin to understand Irena's bravery.
Mary Cronk Farrell (Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage)
Autarky was central to the Nazis’ political campaigns, and the theme of freeing Germany from its dependence on a hostile world clearly struck a chord with voters. The canny party propagandist Joseph Goebbels wrote in 1932 that a nation that couldn’t manage to get control over the “necessary space, natural forces and natural resources for its material life” would inevitably “fall into dependence on foreign countries and lose its freedom.” The outcome of the First World War and the nature of the postwar world had proven this clearly, he claimed. “Thus a thick wall around Germany?” he asked. “Certainly we want to build a wall, a protective wall.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
Mae Brussell began to study the pattern of Nazis coming to the United States after World War Two and patterns of murders identical to those in Nazi Germany. It was as if an early Lenny Bruce bit—on how a show-bit booking agency, MCA, chose Adolf Hitler as dictator—had actually been a satirical prophecy of the way Richard Nixon would rise to power. “How much violence was there in Nazi Germany,” Mae asks rhetorically, “before the old Germany, the center of theater, opera, philosophy, poetry, psychology and medicine, was destroyed? How many incidents took place that were not coincidental before it was called Fascism? What were the transitions? How many people? Was it when the first tailor disappeared? Or librarian? Or professor? Or when the first press was closed or the first song eliminated? Or when the first political science teacher was killed coming home on his bike? How many incidents happened there that were perfectly normal until people woke up and said, ‘Hey, we’re in a police state!
Mae Brussell (The Essential Mae Brussell: Investigations of Fascism in America)
The German correspondent of the British Daily Mail reported on 29 July 1923: "In the shops the prices are typewritten and posted hourly. For instance, a gramophone at 10 a.m. was 5,000,000 marks but at 3 p.m. it was 12,000,000 marks. A copy of the Daily Mail               purchased on the street yesterday cost 35,000 marks but today it cost 60,000 marks.
Charles River Editors (The Rise of Nazi Germany: The History of the Events that Brought Adolf Hitler to Power)
But without Adolf Hitler, who was possessed of a demonic personality, a granite will, uncanny instincts, a cold ruthlessness, a remarkable intellect, a soaring imagination and—until toward the end, when, drunk with power and success, he overreached himself—an amazing capacity to size up people and situations, there almost certainly would never have been a Third Reich.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Three years after he came to power, in a speech to the “old fighters” at the Buergerbraü on the anniversary evening of November 9, 1936, he explained one of the objectives he had had in building the party up into such a formidable and all-embracing organization. “We recognized,” he said, in recalling the days when the party was being reformed after the putsch, “that it is not enough to overthrow the old State, but that the new State must previously have been built up and be practically ready to one’s hand…. In 1933 it was no longer a question of overthrowing a state by an act of violence; meanwhile the new State had been built up and all that there remained to do was to destroy the last remnants of the old State—and that took but a few hours.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Even if popular culture has long enjoyed turning him into an object of mockery, we still tend to believe that the Nazi machine was ruthlessly efficient, and that the great dictator spent most of his time...well, dictating things. So it’s worth remembering that Hitler was actually an incompetent, lazy egomaniac and his government was an absolute clown show. In fact, this may even have helped his rise to power, as he was consistently underestimated by the German elite. Before he became chancellor, many of his opponents had dismissed him as a joke for his crude speeches and tacky rallies. He was a “pathetic dunderhead” according to one magazine editor; another wrote that his party was a “society of incompetents” and that people should not “overestimate the fairground party.
Tom Phillips (Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up)
Alongside the viciousness of much of German politics in the Weimar years was an incongruous innocence: few people could imagine the worst possibilities. A civilized nation could not possibly vote for Hitler, some had thought. When he became chancellor nonetheless, millions expected his time in office to be short and ineffectual. Germany was a notoriously law-abiding as well as cultured land. How could a German government systematically brutalize its own people? German Jews were highly assimilated and patriotic. Many refused to leave their homeland, even as things got worse and worse. "I am German and am waiting for the Germans to come back; they have gone to ground somewhere," Victor Klemperer wrote in his diary--he was the son of a rabbi and a veteran of the First World War who chose to stay, and miraculously survived. Few Germans in 1933 could imagine Treblinka or Auschwitz, the mass shootings of Babi Yar or the death marches of the last months of the Second World War. It is hard to blame them for not foreseeing the unthinkable. Yet their innocence failed them, and they were catastrophically wrong about their future. We who come later have one advantage over them: we have their example before us.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise To Power)
The trial, despite the subserviency of the court to the Nazi authorities, cast a great deal of suspicion on Goering and the Nazis, but it came too late to have any practical effect. For Hitler had lost no time in exploiting the Reichstag fire to the limit.   On the day following the fire, February 28, he prevailed on President Hindenburg to sign a decree “for the Protection of the People and the State” suspending the seven sections of the constitution which guaranteed individual and civil liberties. Described as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree laid down that:      Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searchers, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.   In addition, the decree authorized the Reich government to take over complete power in the federal states when necessary and imposed the death sentence for a number of crimes, including “serious disturbances of the peace” by armed persons.8   Thus with one stroke Hitler was able not only to legally gag his opponents and arrest them at his will but, by making the trumped-up Communist threat “official,” as it were, to throw millions of the middle class and the peasantry into a frenzy of fear that unless they voted for National Socialism at the elections a week hence, the Bolsheviks might take over.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
When politics becomes a matter of vilification and innuendo, then eventually people feel repugnance for the whole process. It is the beginning of a yearning for a strong man who will rise above petty and partisan groups. The Nazis were to exploit this feeling fully, and though they contributed richly to the rise of partisan acrimony, they were also the first to pronounce "politician" with every possible tone of scorn and sarcasm.
William Sheridan Allen (The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town 1922-1945)
The Party program was never taken seriously by Nazi officials; they prided themselves on belonging to a movement, as distinguished from a party, and a movement could not be bound by a program. Even before the Nazis’ rise to power, these Twenty-Five Points had been no more than a concession to the party system and to such prospective voters as were old-fashioned enough to ask what was the program of the party they were going to join.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
Did he believe all that he said?... The question is inapplicable to this sort of personality. Subjectively Adolf Hitler was, in my opinion, entirely sincere even in his self-contradictions. For his is a humorless mind that simply excludes the need for consistency that might distress more intellectual types. To an actor the truth is anything that lies in its effect: if it makes the right impression it is true." Edgar Mowrer on Hitler, 1933
Andrew Nagorski (Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power)
A persistent myth has it that the Treaty of Versailles was excessively harsh, and that its harshness explains the rage that gave rise to the Nazis. Actually, the treaty was the mildest of the post–First World War settlements. Experts on German and diplomatic history generally agree that it did not cause all the troubles of interwar Europe. Certainly, almost all Germans perceived the treaty to be unjust, which didn’t necessarily make it so.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
In the former Austrian vagabond the conservative classes thought they had found a man who, while remaining their prisoner, would help them attain their goals. The destruction of the Republic was only the first step. What they then wanted was an authoritarian Germany which at home would put an end to democratic “nonsense” and the power of the trade unions and in foreign affairs undo the verdict of 1918, tear off the shackles of Versailles, rebuild a great Army and with its military power restore the country to its place in the sun. These were Hitler’s aims too. And though he brought what the conservatives had lacked, a mass following, the Right was sure that he would remain in its pocket—was he not outnumbered eight to three in the Reich cabinet? Such a commanding position also would allow the conservatives, or so they thought, to achieve their ends without the barbarism of unadulterated Nazism. Admittedly they were decent, God-fearing men, according to their lights.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Ignorance of the character structure of masses of people invariably leads to fruitless questioning. The Communists, for example, said that it was the misdirected policies of the Social Democrats that made it possible for the fascists to seize power. Actually this explanation did not explain anything, for it was precisely the Social Democrats who made a point of spreading illusions. In short, it did not result in a new mode of action. That political reaction in the form of fascism had 'befogged,' 'corrupted,' and 'hypnotized' the masses is an explanation that is as sterile as the others. This is and will continue to be the function of fascism as long as it exists. Such explanations are sterile because they fail to offer a way out. Experience teaches us that such disclosures, no matter how often they are repeated, do not convince the masses; that, in other words, social economic inquiry by itself is not enough. Wouldn't it be closer to the mark to ask, what was going on in the masses that they could not and would not recognize the function of fascism? To say that, 'The workers have to realize...' or 'We didn't understand...' does not serve any purpose. Why didn't the workers realize, and why didn't they understand? The questions that formed the basis of the discussion between the Right and the Left in the workers' movements are also to be regarded as sterile. The Right contended that the workers were not predisposed to fight; the Left, on the other hand, refuted this and asserted that the workers were revolutionary and that the Right's statement was a betrayal of revolutionary thinking. Both assertions, because they failed to see the complexities of the issue, were rigidly mechanistic. A realistic appraisal would have had to point out that the average worker bears a contradiction in himself; that he, in other words, is neither a clear-cut revolutionary nor a clear-cut conservative, but stands divided. His psychic structure derives on the one hand from the social situation (which prepares the ground for revolutionary attitudes) and on the other hand from the entire atmosphere of authoritarian society—the two being at odds with one another.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
In retrospect, it is easy to see that Hitler's successful gamble in the Rhineland brought him a victory more staggering and more fatal in its immense consequences than could be comprehended at the time. At home it fortified his popularity and his power, raising them to heights which no German ruler of the past had ever enjoyed. It assured his ascendancy over his generals, who had hesitated and weakened at a moment of crisis when he had held firm. It taught them that in foreign politics and even in military affairs his judgment was superior to theirs. They had feared that the French would fight; he knew better. And finally, and above all, the Rhineland occupation, small as it was as a military operation, opened the way, as only Hitler (and Churchill, alone, in England) seemed to realize, to vast new opportunities in a Europe which was not only shaken but whose strategic situation was irrevocably changed by the parading of three German battalions across the Rhine bridges. Conversely, it is equally easy to see, in retrospect, that France's failure to repel the Wehrmacht battalions and Britain's failure to back her in what would have been nothing more than a police action was a disaster for the West from which sprang all the later ones of even greater magnitude. In March 1936 the two Western democracies were given their last chance to halt, without the risk of a serious war, the rise of a militarized, aggressive, totalitarian Germany and, in fact - as we have seen Hitler admitting - bring the Nazi dictator and his regime tumbling down. They let the chance slip by. For France, it was the beginning of the end. Her allies in the East, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and Yugoslavia, suddenly were faced with the fact that France would not fight against German aggression to preserve the security system which the French government itself had taken the lead in so laboriously building up. But more than that. These Eastern allies began to realize that even if France were not so supine, she would soon not be able to lend them much assistance because of Germany's feverish construction of a West Wall behind the Franco-German border. The erection of this fortress line, they saw, would quickly change the strategic map of Europe, to their detriment. They could scarcely expect a France which did not dare, with her one hundred divisions, to repel three German battalions, to bleed her young manhood against impregnable German fortifications which the Wehrmacht attacked in the East. But even if the unexpected took place, it would be futile. Henceforth the French could tie down in the West only a small part of the growing German Army. The rest would be free for operations against Germany's Eastern neighbors.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The man who had once tramped the pavements of this city as a vagabond, unwashed and empty-bellied, who but four years before had assumed in Germany the powers of the Hohenzollern kings and had now taken upon himself those of the Hapsburg emperors, was full of a sense of God-given mission. I believe that it was God’s will to send a youth from here into the Reich, to let him grow up, to raise him to be the leader of the nation so as to enable him to lead back his homeland into the Reich. There is a higher ordering and we all are nothing else than its agents.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
   Hitler had now, by the start of 1931, gathered around him in the party the little band of fanatical, ruthless men who would help him in his final drive to power and who, with one exception, would be at his side to help him sustain that power during the years of the Third Reich, though another of them, who was closest of all to him and perhaps the ablest and most brutish of the lot, would not survive, even with his life, the second year of Nazi government. There were five who stood above the other followers at this time. These were Gregor Strasser, Roehm, Goering, Goebbels and Frick.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Without such a majority how could the Republic survive? This was a question which on the morrow of the 1930 elections became of increased interest to two pillars of the nation whose leaders had never really accepted the Republic except as a passing misfortune in German history: the Army and the world of the big industrialists and financiers. Flushed by his success at the polls, Hitler now turned his attention toward winning over these two powerful groups. Long ago in Vienna, as we have seen, he had learned from the tactics of Mayor Karl Lueger the importance of bringing “powerful existing institutions” over to one’s side.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The Nazi infiltration into the armed services became serious enough to compel General Groener, now the Minister of Defense, to issue an order of the day on January 22, 1930, which recalled a similar warning to the Army by General von Seeckt on the eve of the Beer Hall Putsch seven years before. The Nazis, he declared, were greedy for power. “They therefore woo the Wehrmacht. In order to use it for the political aims of their party, they attempt to dazzle us [into believing] that the National Socialists alone represent the truly national power.” He requested the soldiers to refrain from politics and to “serve the state” aloof from all party strife.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
If our democracy worked as it should, we would elect wise women and men who made laws for the good of the people and enforced those laws. That, though, is not the way things work. Greedy, power–mad billionaires spend money so that politicians such as George W. Bush can buy elections. Corrupt corporations such as Enron defraud old ladies and commit crimes. And they get away with it. They get away with it because most of us are so afraid of losing the security of our nice, normal lives that we are not willing to risk anything about those lives. We are either afraid to fight or we don’t know how. Or we believe that bad things won’t happen to us. And so, in the end, too many people lose their lives anyway. In Nazi Germany, millions of men who acquiesced to Hitler’s murderous rise to power wound up marching into Russia’s icy wasteland—into the Soviet Army’s machine guns and cannon—to themselves be murdered. In America after 9–11, trusting teenagers who had joined the National Guard found themselves sent to Iraq on extended and additional tours. Our enemy killed many of them because we, citizens of the richest country in the world, did not provide them with body armor. Grieving mothers protested the wasting of their sons’ lives. Nadia McCaffrey defied Bush’s shameful ban on the filming of U.S. soldiers’ coffins returning home from Iraq. She knew, as we all did, that this tyrannical dictum of Bush dishonored our soldiers’ sacrifice. And so she invited the press to the Sacramento International Airport to photograph her son’s flag–draped coffin. Again, I am not comparing George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler, nor America to Germany’s Third Reich. What I do believe is that each of us has the duty to keep the Bushes of the world from becoming anything like Hitler—and to keep America from invading other countries with no just cause. We will never, though, be able to stop corrupt politicians and corporations from doing criminal things until we stop surrendering our power to them. The more we fear to oppose them—the more we want to retreat into the supposed safety of our nice gated communities or downtown lofts—the more powerful people will conspire to ruin our prosperity and wreck our lives.
David Zindell (Splendor)
13. SOVIET UNION, FRANCE, AND UNITED KINGDOM VS. GERMANY Period: Mid-twentieth century Ruling powers: Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom Rising power: Germany Domain: Land and sea power in Europe Outcome: World War II (1939–45) Adolf Hitler led a simultaneous recovery of Germany’s economic power, military strength, and national pride, abrogating the Treaty of Versailles and flouting the postwar order maintained by France and the United Kingdom. Seeking Lebensraum, or living space, Hitler methodically expanded Nazi dominance over Austria and Czechoslovakia. Recognizing his ambitions too slowly, France and the UK declared war only after Hitler’s invasion of Poland, unable to stop German domination of the Continent until millions of Soviet and American forces turned the tide at the end of World War II.
Graham Allison (Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
After further conferences that late spring the following plan was drawn up. Speidel, almost alone among the Army conspirators in the West, survived to describe it: An immediate armistice with the Western Allies but not unconditional surrender. German withdrawal in the West to Germany. Immediate suspension of the Allied bombing of Germany. Arrest of Hitler for trial before a German court. Overthrow of Nazi rule. Temporary assumption of executive power in Germany by the resistance forces of all classes under the leadership of General Beck, Goerdeler, and the trade-union representative, Leuschner. No military dictatorship. Preparation of a “constructive peace” within the framework of a United States of Europe. In the East, continuation of the war. Holding a shortened line between the mouth of the Danube, the Carpathian Mountains, the River Vistula and Memel.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The Third Reich which was born on January 30, 1933, Hitler boasted, would endure for a thousand years,9 and in Nazi parlance it was often referred to as the “Thousand-Year Reich.” It lasted twelve years and four months, but in that flicker of time, as history goes, it caused an eruption on this earth more violent and shattering than any previously experienced, raising the German people to heights of power they had not known in more than a millennium, making them at one time the masters of Europe from the Atlantic to the Volga, from the North Cape to the Mediterranean, and then plunging them to the depths of destruction and desolation at the end of a world war which their nation had cold-bloodedly provoked and during which it instituted a reign of terror over the conquered peoples which, in its calculated butchery of human life and the human spirit, outdid all the savage oppressions of the previous ages.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight in the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
Nazi ideology was an answer to every dimension of Germany’s vulnerability to the world. Some of this the Nazis spelled out clearly at the time, and it contributed to their popularity. Some of it they only hinted at, or they did not explain the full implications of what they planned to do. Their commitment to withdrawing from the world economy, from trade deals, and from all the financial arrangements that were part of the gold standard, was explicit. As early as the Twenty-Five Points, the Nazis had been clear that noncitizens, including refugees and all Jews, could not count on remaining in Germany after a Nazi takeover or on having any political or civil rights. Even before 1933, the Nazis’ paramilitary forces were deploying themselves covertly for defense of the eastern border. The Nazis left no doubt at all that they would ban the Communist Party and that all Communist activists would be subject to arrest, or worse.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
Everything changed in 1933 with the rise to power in Germany of the Nazis, who immediately began to persecute and drive out the well-established Jewish community. With discriminatory immigration laws in place in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries, many German Jews had nowhere to go but Palestine. Hitler’s ascendancy proved to be one of the most important events in the modern histories of both Palestine and Zionism. In 1935 alone, more than sixty thousand Jewish immigrants came to Palestine, a number greater than the entire Jewish population of the country in 1917. Most of these refugees, mainly from Germany but also from neighboring countries where anti-Semitic persecution was intensifying, were skilled and educated. German Jews were allowed to bring assets worth a total of $100 million, thanks to the Transfer Agreement reached between the Nazi government and the Zionist movement, concluded in exchange for lifting a Jewish boycott of Germany.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
The depression which spread over the world like a great conflagration toward the end of 1929 gave Adolf Hitler his opportunity, and he made the most of it. Like most great revolutionaries he could thrive only in evil times, at first when the masses were unemployed, hungry and desperate, and later when they were intoxicated by war. Yet in one respect he was unique among history’s revolutionaries: He intended to make his revolution after achieving political power. There was to be no revolution to gain control of the State. That goal was to be reached by mandate of the voters or by the consent of the rulers of the nation—in short, by constitutional means. To get the votes Hitler had only to take advantage of the times, which once more, as the Thirties began, saw the German people plunged into despair; to obtain the support of those in power he had to convince them that only he could rescue Germany from its disastrous predicament. In the turbulent years from 1930 to 1933 the shrewd and daring Nazi leader set out with renewed energy to obtain these twin objectives. In retrospect it can be seen that events themselves and the weakness and confusion of the handful of men who were bound by their oath to loyally defend the democratic Republic which they governed played into Hitler’s hands. But this was by no means foreseeable at the beginning of 1930.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Fourteen years of sharing political power in the Republic, of making all the compromises that were necessary to maintain coalition governments, had sapped the strength and the zeal of the Social Democrats until their party had become little more than an opportunist pressure organization, determined to bargain for concessions for the trade unions on which their strength largely rested. It might be true, as some Socialists said, that fortune had not smiled on them: the Communists, unscrupulous and undemocratic, had split the working class; the depression had further hurt the Social Democrats, weakening the trade unions and losing the party the support of millions of unemployed, who in their desperation turned either to the Communists or the Nazis. But the tragedy of the Social Democrats could not be explained fully by bad luck. They had had their chance to take over Germany in November 1918 and to found a state based on what they had always preached: social democracy. But they lacked the decisiveness to do so. Now at the dawn of the third decade they were a tired, defeatist party, dominated by old, well-meaning but mostly mediocre men. Loyal to the Republic they were to the last, but in the end too confused, too timid to take the great risks which alone could have preserved it, as they had shown by their failure to act when Papen turned out a squad of soldiers to destroy constitutional government in Prussia.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
German voters never gave the Nazis a majority of the popular vote, as is still sometimes alleged. As we saw in the last chapter, the Nazis did indeed become the largest party in the German Reichstag in the parliamentary election of July 31, 1932, with 37.2 percent of the vote. They then slipped back to 33.1 percent in the parliamentary election of November 6, 1932. In the parliamentary election of March 6, 1933, with Hitler as chancellor and the Nazi Party in command of all the resources of the German state, its score was a more significant but still insufficient 43.9 percent. More than one German in two voted against Nazi candidates in that election, in the teeth of intimidation by Storm Troopers. The Italian Fascist Party won 35 out of 535 seats, in the one free parliamentary election in which it participated, on May 15, 1921. At the other extreme, neither Hitler nor Mussolini arrived in office by a coup d’état. Neither took the helm by force, even if both had used force before power in order to destabilize the existing regime, and both were to use force again, after power, in order to transform their governments into dictatorships (as we will see shortly). Even the most scrupulous authors refer to their “seizure of power,” but that phrase better describes what the two fascist leaders did after reaching office than how they got into office. Both Mussolini and Hitler were invited to take office as head of government by a head of state in the legitimate exercise of his official functions, on the advice of civilian and military counselors. Both thus became heads of government in what appeared, at least on the surface, to be legitimate exercises of constitutional authority by King Victor Emmanuel III and President Hindenburg. Both these appointments were made, it must be added at once, under conditions of extreme crisis, which the fascists had abetted. Indeed no insurrectionary coup against an established state has ever so far brought fascists to power. Authoritarian dictatorships have several times crushed such attempts.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
[Description of the behind-the-scenes situation of the Beer Hall Putsch] The crowd began to grow so sullen that Goering felt it necessary to step to the rostrum and quiet them. “There is nothing to fear,” he cried. “We have the friendliest intentions. For that matter, you’ve no cause to grumble, you’ve got your beer!” And he informed them that in the next room a new government was being formed. It was, at the point of Adolf Hitler’s revolver. Once he had herded his prisoners into the adjoining room, Hitler told them, “No one leaves this room alive without my permission.” He then informed them they would all have key jobs either in the Bavarian government or in the Reich government which he was forming with Ludendorff. With Ludendorff? Earlier in the evening Hitler had dispatched “Scheubner-Richter to Lud-wigshoehe to fetch the renowned General, who knew nothing of the Nazi conspiracy, to the beerhouse at once. The three prisoners at first refused even to speak to Hitler. He continued to harangue them. Each of them must join him in proclaiming the revolution and the new governments; each must take the post he, Hitler, assigned them, or “he has no right to exist.” Kahr was to be the Regent of Bavaria; Lossow, Minister of the National Army; Seisser, Minister of the Reich Police. None of the three was impressed at the prospect of such high office. They did not answer. Their continued silence unnerved Hitler. Finally he waved his gun at them. “I have four shots in my pistol! Three for my collaborators, if they abandon me. The last bullet for myself!” Pointing the weapon to his forehead, he cried, “If I am not victorious by tomorrow afternoon, I shall be a dead man!” (...) Not one of the three men who held the power of the Bavarian state in their hands agreed to join him, even at pistol point. The putsch wasn’t going according to plan. Then Hitler acted on a sudden impulse. Without a further word, he dashed back into the hall, mounted the tribune, faced the sullen crowd and announced that the members of the triumvirate in the next room had joined him in forming a new national government. “The Bavarian Ministry,” he shouted, “is removed…. The government of the November criminals and the Reich President are declared to be removed. A new national government will be named this very day here in Munich. Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, Hitler had told a masterful lie, and it worked. When the gathering heard that Kahr, General von Lossow and Police Chief von Seisser had joined Hitler its mood abruptly changed. There were loud cheers, and the sound of them impressed the three men still locked up in the little side room. (...) He led the others back to the platform, where each made a brief speech and swore loyalty to each other and to the new regime. The crowd leaped on chairs and tables in a delirium of enthusiasm. Hitler beamed with joy.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
The first trailblazer was Ivy Lee. He is often considered the founder of modern public relations and the originator of corporate crisis communications.* In 1914 he went to work for the Rockefeller interests after coal miners striking at one of the mines they controlled in Ludlow, Colorado, were massacred by the National Guard. Between nineteen and twenty-five people were killed, including two women and eleven children. Lee’s press releases claimed that their deaths were the result of an overturned camp stove. Ivy Lee was one of the first members of the Council on Foreign Relations when it was founded just after World War I; he was thus co-opted into America’s foreign policy establishment. Shortly before he died in 1934, Congress began investigating his public relations work on behalf of the notorious German chemical monopoly I.G. Farben, which helped fund Hitler’s rise to power and would later develop the poison gas used in the Nazi death camps.
Anonymous
Throughout history, high inflation has often led to social upheaval. Hyperinflation, when prices rise by 50 percent or more per month, helped bring the Nazis to power in Germany and the communists in Russia and China, and topple both civilian and military governments in Argentina.
Greg Ip (The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World (Little Books. Big Profits))
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Charles River Editors (The Rise of Nazi Germany: The History of the Events that Brought Adolf Hitler to Power)
The social theorist Takamichi Sakurai wrote bluntly: “Group narcissism leads people to fascism. An extreme form of group narcissism means malignant narcissism, which gives rise to a fanatical fascist politics, an extreme racialism." In modern times, this type of group narcissism has gripped two nations in particular, according to Fromm, the racial narcissism that existed in Hitler's Germany, and which is found in the American South, he wrote in 1964, at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Fromm well knew the perils of group narcissism from both his training in psychoanalysis, and his personal experience. He was a German Jew who fled to Switzerland, after the Nazis took power in Germany, and then to the United States in 1934. He saw, first hand, the Nazi appeals to the fears and insecurities of everyday Germans in the lead up to the Nazi takeover. "If one examines the judgement of the poor whites regarding blacks, or of the Nazis in regard to Jews", Fromm wrote, "one can easily recognize the distorted character of their respective judgements." Little straws of truth are put together, but the whole which is thus formed, consists of falsehoods and fabrications. If the political actions are based on narcissistic self-glorifications, the lack of objectivity often leads to disastrous consequences. In both instances, Fromm found the working class to be among the most susceptible, harboring an "inflated image of itself as the most admirable group in the world and of being superior to another racial group that is singled out as inferior," he wrote.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Both Mussolini and Hitler could perceive the space available, and were willing to trim their movements to fit. The space was partly symbolic. The Nazi Party early shaped its identity by staking a claim to the street and fought with communist gangs for control of working-class neighborhoods of Berlin. At issue was not merely a few meters of urban “turf.” The Nazis sought to portray themselves as the most vigorous and effective force against the communists—and, at the same time, to portray the liberal state as incapable of preserving public security. The communists, at the same time, were showing that the Social Democrats were unequipped to deal with an incipient revolutionary situation that needed a fighting vanguard. Polarization was in the interest of both. Fascist violence was neither random nor indiscriminate. It carried a well-calculated set of coded messages: that communist violence was rising, that the democratic state was responding to it ineptly, and that only the fascists were tough enough to save the nation from antinational terrorists. An essential step in the fascist march to acceptance and power was to persuade law-and-order conservatives and members of the middle class to tolerate fascist violence as a harsh necessity in the face of Left provocation. It helped, of course, that many ordinary citizens never feared fascist violence against themselves, because they were reassured that it was reserved for national enemies and “terrorists” who deserved it. Fascists encouraged a distinction between members of the nation who merited protection and outsiders who deserved rough handling. One of the most sensational cases of Nazi violence before power was the murder of a communist laborer of Polish descent in the town of Potempa, in Silesia, by five SA men in August 1932. It became sensational when the killers’ death sentences were commuted, under Nazi pressure, to life imprisonment. Party theorist Alfred Rosenberg took the occasion to underscore the difference between “bourgeois justice,” according to which “one Polish Communist has the same weighting as five Germans, frontsoldiers,” and National Socialist ideology, according to which “one soul does not equal another soul, one person not another.” Indeed, Rosenberg went on, for National Socialism, “there is no ‘law as such.’” The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism. For some, fascist violence was more than useful: it was beautiful. Some war veterans and intellectuals (Marinetti and Ernst Jünger were both) indulged in the aesthetics of violence. Violence often appealed to men too young to have known it in 1914–18 and who felt cheated of their war. It appealed to some women, too. But it is a mistake to regard fascist success as solely the triumph of the D’Annunzian hero. It was the genius of fascism to wager that many an orderly bourgeois (or even bourgeoise) would take some vicarious satisfaction in a carefully selective violence, directed only against “terrorists” and “enemies of the people.” A climate of polarization helped the new fascist catch-all parties sweep up many who became disillusioned with the old deference (“honoratioren”) parties. This was risky, of course. Polarization could send the mass of angry protesters to the Left under certain conditions (as in Russia in 1917). Hitler and Mussolini understood that while Marxism now appealed mainly to blue-collar workers (and not to all of them), fascism was able to appeal more broadly across class lines. In postrevolutionary western Europe, a climate of polarization worked in fascism’s favor.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
When she was in Vienna she saw fascist groups triumph during outbreaks of bloody political unrest. On trips over the border she witnessed Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party rising fast in popularity on the back of his pledge to put Germany first, with his Nuremberg rallies becoming massive displays of Nazi paramilitary power. In nearby Italy, the dictator Benito Mussolini had declared war on democracy itself back in 1925, and had been building up a police state ever since. She was thus witness to the dark clouds of nationalism gathering across the horizon. Peace in Europe and Virginia’s intoxicating “belle vie de Paris” were already under threat.
Sonia Purnell (A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II)
On August 19, 1934, the great majority of Germany’s registered voters went to the polls and handed Hitler 38 million votes, thereby demonstrating overwhelming approval. With this strong mandate, Adolf Hitler claimed that he was the undisputed Führer of the German people. It was in this way that the German Worker’s Party, GPW, started by Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart in 1919, in the beer gardens of Munich, came to power. The next day, on August 20, 1934, mandatory oaths swearing loyalty to Adolph Hitler were introduced throughout the Reich.... Soldiers of the Armed Forces, including the German Officers’ Corps, swore the following oath of loyalty: “I swear by God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time in the fulfillment of this oath.” The following is the Oath of loyalty for Public Officials: “I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God.” It is interesting to note that these oaths were pledged to Hitler himself, and not to the Constitution or the German state. Oaths were very seriously taken by members of the German armed forces and were considered to be part of their own code of honor. This put the entire military in a position of servitude, making them the personal instrument of Hitler. In September 1934, at the annual Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies, Hitler proclaimed that the German way of life would continue on for the next thousand years.
Hank Bracker
In 1933, the regional elections held in many parts of Germany, overwhelmingly favored the NAZI Partei. The full name of this vile group was the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei and actually was originally abbreviated NSDAP, not NAZI. With what seemed to be decisive popular approval, the Reichstag endorsed Hitler. On the morning of January 30, 1933, at the Presidential Palace, Hindenburg swore in Adolf Hitler as the Reich Chancellor of Germany, a title equivalent to that of the Prime Minister of England. However, as the Reich Chancellor, Hitler was in a relatively stronger position of authority than the Prime Minister of England. Everything being equal, it would be much more difficult to remove him from power since the Chancellor of Germany remains in office until the majority of the Bundestag can agree on a successor, whereas the Prime Minister serves at the whim of his party. Hindenburg publicly denounced any responsibility for appointing this “Austrian Corporal” to the Reich Chancellery, while he prudently caved in to Adolf Hitler’s popular demands. On the other hand, Hitler frequently referred to Hindenburg as “that old fool.” Although the men maintained an appearance of cordiality to each other in public, Hitler did not respect the “Old War Horse” and there was definitely no love lost between them. During the following summer, Hindenburg grew increasingly concerned about the radical Nazi rallies in Nuremburg, and the political demonstrations that were being carried out throughout Germany. During the summer of 1934, the elderly German President became extremely ill and was close to death at his mansion in East Prussia. Having contracted lung cancer, he had been incapacitated and bedridden for several months, thereby giving Hitler enough time to plan and impose his next move. On August 2, 1934, at 9:00 a.m., the long awaited demise of 86-year-old Hindenburg finally occurred in the town of Neudeck, near Rosenberg, East Prussia. Within hours after the announcement of Hindenburg’s death, Hitler seized total control of Germany by establishing himself in the contrived, dictatorial and ultimate position of “der Führer.” It was in this way that he became the supreme leader of Germany, ruling until 1945.
Hank Bracker
As the years go by and I grow older, I feel compelled to record my experiences in wartime Germany. It is important that my children, grandchildren and future generations know about the difficult times we all endured and of the horrors that existed in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Due to my advanced age and present condition, I am aware of the urgency to document my memories. If I fail in this, I will fail those who follow me, for they will never know!” Adeline Perry This book had its origin many years ago when Adeline Perry tried to recount her experiences and found that she would become overcome by her emotions every time she tried. The horrors and trials that she had experienced, plus the responsibility of raising her two daughters proved to be overwhelming. It was not until the twilight of her life when her daughters gently persuaded her to try again so that future generations might hear and perhaps learn from her experiences. In fact a good portion of these manuscripts were written while she was in the care of Hospice and only now survive because of immense personal strength and devotion to her family and the desire that what had happened to her would never happen again. Her daughter, and my wife, Ursula can take a great deal of pride in the effort it took to make these manuscripts a reality. After Adeline’s passing I had the privilege to develop the book Suppressed I Rise. Staying true to her story I gave her the authorship of the first edition of this book, which adhered to, and did not exceed what she had left in her original manuscripts. This book which was printed in limited numbers became an instant success and deserved more exposure. Readers also felt that there were questions that went unanswered requiring a follow-up. How did Adeline justify going to Germany prior to World War II? What happened to her marriage to Richard and how did she resume her own life, as a single mother, when she returned to South Africa! With additional reflections by her daughters Brigitte Grigsby and Ursula Bracker, and travel to the areas discussed in Suppressed I Rise, I expanded the book to include the prewar years. I also corrected minor contradictions and factual discrepancies that were inadvertently caused by the passage of time. Talking to people in Germany I confirmed some of what had happened including the hanging of the Russian prisoner of war. The book has now become a powerful example of not only personal courage but also of human tragedy. It is a book that I am proud to have written and share in the concept that it was a story that had to be told.
Hank Bracker
Absolute power could be exercised if the president felt it necessary to intervene if a state was not living up to its duties toward the constitution or federal laws. In cases of major threats to public safety (such as the previous mutinies and protests), the president could temporarily suspend certain civil rights in the interest of restoring order.
Captivating History (The Weimar Republic: A Captivating Guide to the History of Germany Between the End of World War I and Rise of the Nazi Era (Exploring Germany’s Past))
The fall of the short-lived Weimar Republic, and the subsequent rise of Nazi power, tells us that there is a danger to whittling down the power of our institutions when we cannot yet foresee what will replace them.
Tom Head (World History 101: From ancient Mesopotamia and the Viking conquests to NATO and WikiLeaks, an essential primer on world history (Adams 101 Series))
Nazi street gangs launched increasingly violent attacks against Hitler's enemies, especially leftists and Jews. As one historian put it, "To ready the ground for the Nazi rise to ultimate power, the party raised the level of violence witnessed by ordinary Germans with each passing month.
Fred Jerome (Einstein on Race and Racism)
A part war drama, part coming-of-age story, part spiritual pilgrimage, Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is the story of a young woman who experienced more hardships before graduating high school than most people do in a lifetime. Yet her heartaches are only half the story; the other half is a story of resilience, of leaving her lifelong home in Germany to find a new home, a new life, and a new love in America. Mildred Schindler Janzen has given us a time capsule of World War II and the years following it, filled with pristinely preserved memories of a bygone era. Ken Gire New York Times bestselling author of All the Gallant Men The memoir of Mildred Schindler Janzen will inform and inspire all who read it. This is a work that pays tribute to the power and resiliency of the human spirit to endure, survive, and overcome in pursuit of the freedom and liberty that all too many take for granted. Kirk Ford, Jr., Professor Emeritus, History Mississippi College Author of OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance, 1943-1945 A compelling first-person account of life in Germany during the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. A well written, true story of a young woman overcoming the odds and rising above the tragedies of loss of family and friends during a savage and brutal war, culminating in her triumph in life through sheer determination and will. A life lesson for us all. Col. Frank Janotta (Retired), Mississippi Army National Guard Mildred Schindler Janzen’s touching memoir is a testimony to God’s power to deliver us from the worst evil that men can devise. The vivid details of Janzen’s amazing life have been lovingly mined and beautifully wrought by Sherye Green into a tender story of love, gratitude, and immeasurable hope. Janzen’s rich, post-war life in Kansas serves as a powerful reminder of the great promise of America. Troy Matthew Carnes, Author of Rasputin’s Legacy and Dudgeons and Daggers World War II was horrific, and we must never forget. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is a must-read that sheds light on the pain the Nazis and then the Russians inflicted on the German Jews and the German people. Mildred Schindler Janzen’s story, of how she and her mother and brother survived the war and of the special document that allowed Mildred to come to America, is compelling. Mildred’s faith sustained her during the war's horrors and being away from her family, as her faith still sustains her today. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is a book worth buying for your library, so we never forget. Cynthia Akagi, Ph.D. Northcentral University I wish all in the world could read Mildred’s story about this loving steel magnolia of a woman who survived life under Hitler’s reign. Mildred never gave up, but with each suffering, grew stronger in God’s strength and eternal hope. Beautifully written, this life story will captivate, encourage, and empower its readers to stretch themselves in life, in love, and with God, regardless of their circumstances. I will certainly recommend this book. Renae Brame, Author of Daily Devotions with Our Beloved, God’s Peaceful Waters Flow, and Snow and the Eternal Hope How utterly inspiring to read the life story of a woman whose every season reflects God’s safe protection and unfailing love. When young Mildred Schindler escaped Nazi Germany, only to have her father taken by Russians and her mother and brother hidden behind Eastern Europe’s Iron Curtain, she courageously found a new life in America. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is her personal witness to God’s guidance and provision at every step of that perilous journey. How refreshing to view a full life from beginning to remarkable end – always validating that nothing is impossible with God. Read this book and you will discover the author’s secret to life: “My story is a declaration that choosing joy and thankfulness over bitterness and anger, even amid difficult circumsta
MILDRED SCHINDLER JANZEN
Hitler’s rise from humble beginnings to ‘seize’ power by ‘triumph of the will’ was the stuff of Nazi legend. In fact, political miscalculation by those with regular access to the corridors of power rather than any actions on the part of the Nazi leader played a larger role in placing him in the Chancellor’s seat.
Ian Kershaw (Hitler, Vol. 1: 1889-1936 Hubris)
[Germany's] political establishment--big business, the military, and the Church--had initially dismissed the Nazis as a band of loudmouthed hooligans who would never attract wide support. Over time, they saw value in the party as a bulwark against Communism, but nothing more. As for Hitler, they were not nearly so scared of him as they should have been. They underestimated the man because of his lack of schooling and were taken in by his attempts at charm. He smiled when he needed to and took care to answer their questions with reassuring lies. He was, to members of the old guard, clearly an amateur who was in over his head and unlikely to remain popular for long.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
They had been fed on legends of heroism for as long as they could remember. For them the call to the ‘ultimate sacrifice' was no empty phrase. It went straight to their hearts and they felt that now their hour had come, the moment when they really counted and were no longer dismissed because they were still too young…If there is anything that forces us to examine the principles on which we operated as leaders in the Hitler Youth and in the Labor Service, it is this senseless sacrifice of young people.”[104] The top leader of Hitler Youth was Baldur Benedikt von Schirach. He claimed that he had no desire for the boys to fight, and that he used his power to prevent it, but he was demoted for criticizing the plans to keep the boys out of harm’s way. In addition to challenges to this claim, there remains the fact that Von Shirach’s purpose was to indoctrinate the youngest of Germans to remain loyal to Hitler and his cause. He later admitted that while he had opposed the idea of the youth taking part in the fight, his educational programs had caused the youth to desire to do exactly that.[105]
Charles River Editors (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: The History and Legacy of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler)
Hitler’s electoral success—far greater than Mussolini’s—allowed him more autonomy in bargaining with the political insiders whose help he needed to reach office. Even more than in Italy, as German governmental mechanisms jammed after 1930, responsibility for finding a way out narrowed to a half-dozen men: President Hindenburg, his son Oskar and other intimate advisors, and the last two Weimar chancellors, Franz von Papen and Kurt von Schleicher. At first they tried to keep the uncouth Austrian ex-corporal out. One must recall that in the 1930s cabinet ministers were still supposed to be gentlemen. Bringing raw fascists into government was a measure of their desperation. The Catholic aristocrat Franz von Papen tried as chancellor (July– November 1932) to govern without politicians, through a so-called Cabinet of Barons composed of technical experts and nonpolitical eminences. His gamble at holding national elections in July let the Nazis become the largest party. Von Papen then tried to bring Hitler in as vice chancellor, a position without authority, but the Nazi leader had enough strategic acumen and gambler’s courage to accept nothing but the top office. This path forced Hitler to spend the tense fall of 1932 in an agony of suspenseful waiting, trying to quiet his restless and office-hungry militants while he played for all or nothing. Hoping to deepen the crisis, the Nazis (like the Fascists before them) increased their violence, carefully choosing their targets. The apogee of Nazi street violence in Germany came after June 16, 1932, when Chancellor von Papen lifted the ban on SA uniforms that Brüning had imposed in April. During several sickening weeks, 103 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Von Papen’s expedient of new elections on November 6 diminished the Nazi vote somewhat (the communists gained again), but did nothing to extract Germany from constitutional deadlock. President Hindenburg replaced him as chancellor on December 2 with a senior army officer regarded as more technocratic than reactionary, General Kurt von Schleicher. During his brief weeks in power (December 1932–January 1933), Schleicher prepared an active job-creation program and mended relations with organized labor. Hoping to obtain Nazi neutrality in parliament, he flirted with Gregor Strasser, head of the party administration and a leader of its anticapitalist current (Hitler never forgot and never forgave Strasser’s “betrayal”). At this point, Hitler was in serious difficulty. In the elections of November 6, his vote had dropped for the first time, costing him his most precious asset—momentum. The party treasury was nearly empty. Gregor Strasser was not the only senior Nazi who, exhausted by Hitler’s all ornothing strategy, was considering other options. The Nazi leader was rescued by Franz von Papen. Bitter at Schleicher for taking his place, von Papen secretly arranged a deal whereby Hitler would be chancellor and he, von Papen, deputy chancellor—a position from which von Papen expected to run things. The aged Hindenburg, convinced by his son and other intimate advisors that Schleicher was planning to depose him and install a military dictatorship, and convinced by von Papen that no other conservative option remained, appointed the Hitler–von Papen government on January 30, 1933. Hitler, concluded Alan Bullock, had been “hoist” into office by “a backstairs conspiracy.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
It was highly revealing which point was developed at the greatest length, several times longer than any of the others. Point 23 combined Hitler’s antisemitism with his obsession with media and propaganda. It read: We demand legal warfare against intentional political lies and their dissemination through the press. To facilitate the creation of a German press, we demand: a) That all editors of, and contributors to, newspapers that appear in the German language be people’s comrades. b) That no non-German newspaper may appear without the express permission of the government. Such papers may not be printed in the German language. c) That non-Germans shall be forbidden by law to hold any financial share in a German newspaper, or to influence it in any way. We demand that the penalty for violating such a law shall be the closing of the newspapers involved, and the immediate expulsion of the non-Germans involved. Newspapers which violate the general good are to be banned. We demand legal warfare against those tendencies in art and literature which exert an undermining influence on our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand. There would be no free press in a Reich ruled by the Nazis.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
Such, then, was the political analysis that the proto-Alt-Rightist paleoconservatives bequeathed to the early twenty-first century. Liberal democracy, they argued, is totalitarian, despotic, illiberal, and in reality undemocratic. Hard regimes on the model of fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany are alternatives worth considering, they said. Political ideas are mere tools of elite domination, with the sole exception of far-right ideas, which are pure science and mere realism. Racial and ethnic differences trump human rights and the rule of law. Politics is no more than an unending power struggle in which values count for nothing and victory for everything.
Thomas J. Main (The Rise of the Alt-Right)
rise of the Nazis posed other problems for Keynes’ worldview. In his letters to Lydia, Keynes at times used “Jewish” and “circumcised” as synonyms for “greedy.” The economist Robert Solow has even suggested that Keynes’ attacks on “love of money” in “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” reflect a “polite anti-semitism.”20 Solow presses his case too far, but Keynes’ jokes with Lydia do represent more than some unfortunate, outdated terminology. In 1926, he had written a brief sketch of Albert Einstein, one of his intellectual heroes, after meeting him in Berlin. Einstein, according to Keynes, was one of the good Jews—“a sweet imp” who had “not sublimated immortality into compound interest.” Keynes knew many such good Jews in Germany. There was a Berlin banker named Fuerstenberg “who Lydia liked so much” and the “mystical” German economist Kurt Singer and even his “dear” friend Carl Melchior, whom he had met at the Paris Peace Conference. “Yet if I lived there, I felt I might turn anti-Semite. For the poor Prussian is too slow and heavy on his legs for the other kind of Jews, the ones who are not imps but serving devils, with small horns, pitch forks, and oily tails. It is not agreeable to see a civilisation so under the ugly thumbs of its impure Jews who have all the money and the power and the brains.”21 The sketch was rancid even by the standards of his own time. Keynes may have realized it. The piece was not published until after his death. After the Nazis came to power, Keynes became more considerate
Zachary D. Carter (The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes)
rise of the Nazis posed other problems for Keynes’ worldview. In his letters to Lydia, Keynes at times used “Jewish” and “circumcised” as synonyms for “greedy.” The economist Robert Solow has even suggested that Keynes’ attacks on “love of money” in “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” reflect a “polite anti-semitism.”20 Solow presses his case too far, but Keynes’ jokes with Lydia do represent more than some unfortunate, outdated terminology. In 1926, he had written a brief sketch of Albert Einstein, one of his intellectual heroes, after meeting him in Berlin. Einstein, according to Keynes, was one of the good Jews—“a sweet imp” who had “not sublimated immortality into compound interest.” Keynes knew many such good Jews in Germany. There was a Berlin banker named Fuerstenberg “who Lydia liked so much” and the “mystical” German economist Kurt Singer and even his “dear” friend Carl Melchior, whom he had met at the Paris Peace Conference. “Yet if I lived there, I felt I might turn anti-Semite. For the poor Prussian is too slow and heavy on his legs for the other kind of Jews, the ones who are not imps but serving devils, with small horns, pitch forks, and oily tails. It is not agreeable to see a civilisation so under the ugly thumbs of its impure Jews who have all the money and the power and the brains.”21 The sketch was rancid even by the standards of his own time. Keynes may have realized it. The piece was not published until after his death. After the Nazis came to power, Keynes became more considerate with his vocabulary. In August
Zachary D. Carter (The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes)
But she already knew the answer: they had ended up at this hellhole on earth because they, like every German, hadn’t done enough to stop Hitler and his Nazis from rising to power and had complacently followed him or refused to seriously challenge him once he had seized power.
Samuel Marquis (Soldiers of Freedom (World War II #5))
For the ugly truth was that every German was ultimately guilty for allowing Hitler and the Nazis to rise to power and hiding their head in the sand and turning their backs when the regime began singling out Communists, Jews, clergymen, and other racial, political, and social enemies of the Reich.
Samuel Marquis (Soldiers of Freedom (World War II #5))
There are some immediately obvious problems with this “proof” that Pacelli helped Hitler to power. First, there was no Reich in the 1920s. Hitler was not in power then; there is also a problem of how a Papal concordat would have prevented the rise to power of the Nazi party when the infamous 1933 elections saw the overwhelming majority of the Weimar Republic vote against freedom by voting either Nazi or Communist. It is also difficult to imagine how Pacelli could have foreseen the worth of a failed Austrian painter in the early 1920s, soon to be in the jail from which he would write Mein Kampf, and then prevented the signing of the concordat (this is, of course, assuming that the concordat would have made a difference one way or the other). Second, when the concordant was signed, Eugenio Pacelli was then Papal Secretary of State, so it was left to the German bishops to “submit” to Hitler, and even then, Pacelli was not overly happy about it—he is said to have exclaimed “Why did the bishops have to meet the government halfway?”[184] This also ignores that the Catholic Church had made concordats with the three most Catholic German states of Bavaria, Prussia, and Baden, and the Hitler pursued a concordat in an attempt to seek international recognition,[185] and harassed the Catholics of Germany in order to get one[186] in what some have called “Nazi terror against the German Catholics.”[187] Besides,
Declan Finn (Pius History: The Facts Behind the Pius Trilogy)
I have often wondered since if anything could have stemmed the tide at that time. The students saw in the Nazi promises a rising of Germany to her old power and glory. In Berlin, where patriotism had always been strong and the political sentiment conservative, the dream of a rejuvenated Germany turned their eyes and their hopes toward the coming movement. The professors were not so easily persuaded and tried to warn us that dangers lurked in the strong nationalistic and anti-Semitic theories of the Nazis, but great numbers refused to listen to them and there was a tremendous ferment among the student body.
Kathrine Kressmann Taylor (Day of No Return)
The Fall of the City, the trailblazing broadcast of April 11, 1937. That a playwright with the stature of Archibald MacLeish would write it for radio assured keen attention from the press. It was an allegory in verse, dark and chilling in a time when the Nazi war machine was on the rise. The action took place in the square of a city, which managed while remaining unnamed to suggest both antiquity and a hereafter. The city seemed eternal: its imminent fall was, through the understated technique, rendered all the more powerful from the opening lines.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
He had a lively intelligence and a gift that is particularly rare among political fanatics: he could step outside his own fanaticism and imagine how Nazi views looked to someone who did not share them.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
At this point, it may be of value to revisit the United States involvement in the rise of the “Colonels in Greece” and the Juntas in Latin America. Just after WWII, Britain and the United States intervened in the Greek civil war on behalf of the fascists against the Greek left which had successfully ousted the Nazis from Greece—a formidable feat given that Britain had intervened during WWII against the left-wing guerillas. With the help of Britain and the United States, the fascists prevailed in the post-WWII civil war in Greece and “instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek),”8 just as it had helped create the repressive SAVAK in Iran. The fascist government erected a statue of Harry S. Truman in Athens as thanks for the United States’ role in the coup under his leadership. This statue has been blown up, rebuilt, and blown up again several times. And then, much to the chagrin of both Britain and America, democracy broke out again in Greece—the country which, as we all know, invented democracy—when liberal George Papandreou was elected in 1964. Just before the 1967 elections which Papandreou was sure to win again, a joint effort of Britain, the CIA, Greek Military, KYP and US military stationed in Greece brought about a military coup which brought the fascists back to power. And, as with the Shah in Iran, the new rightist government immediately instituted “martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killing, the victims totaling 8,000 in the first month. … Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.”9 Sound familiar?
Dan Kovalik (The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran)
But even these talents cannot fully explain Hitler’s success. The key to understanding why many Germans supported him lies in the Nazis’ rejection of a rational, factual world. Hitler himself, in the words of his biographer Joachim Fest, was “always thinking the unthinkable,” and “in his statements an element of bitter refusal to submit to reality invariably emerged.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
We can remind ourselves that historical circumstances in Germany, especially from World War I through the Weimar Republic, prepared Germans to applaud Hitler’s rise to power and then to become participants in his wild ideas and brutal behavior. The heavy hand of disappointing events worked on pastors and professors too. Therefore, they liked much of what Hitler offered. They indulged in nationalistic emotions, which convinced them that Germany needed to take strong actions to redeem its place in the world.
Robert P. Ericksen (Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany)
That depression ultimately helped bring about Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, of course, which in turn led in March 1938 to the Anschluss—Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria. And that sad event ultimately led directly to Schloss Itter’s transformation from fairytale castle and hotel into something decidedly more sinister.
Stephen Harding (The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe)