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Adolf Hitler was a person who changed the course of history when he came to power in Germany. He was a very strong man who knew what he wanted to change in the policy of the country to accomplish his goals. Hitler was a very ambitious person and was ready to do everything to spread his power within the country and far beyond its borders. After the end of World War I, he was very disappointed by the fact that Germany capitulated in this war. As a result, the desire to restore the reputation of his country on the world stage was strongly rooted in his mind. After this war, Adolf Hitler began to make little organizational steps that led him to power in Germany. Hitler is considered the main organizer of the Second World War. His name is associated with numerous crimes of the Nazi regime against the people of Germany and the occupied territories, including the Holocaust.
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Hitler came to power in Germany eighty years ago. This event was preceded by several critical events, which he went through before he took control. The world economic crisis that began in 1929, the growth of unemployment, and the burden of the reparations that Germany was paying according to the Treaty of Versailles, brought the country to severe problems (Corrigan, 2005). In March 1930, after failing to reach an agreement with Parliament on a common fiscal policy, the aged President Paul von Hindenburg appointed a new chancellor, who no longer had the support of the parliamentary majority and depended only on the president. Reichstag no longer influenced the appointment of the Chancellor and the formation of the government, but still could remove them. The changes in the authority became commonplace. Eventually, the new Chancellor, Heinrich Bruning, introduced austerity. Many people were dissatisfied with it. In the elections to the Reichstag in September 1930, the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) headed by Hitler was able to increase the number of its seats from 12 to 107, and the Communists - from 54 to 77 (Lynch, 2012). Thus, the right-wing and left-wing extremists won almost a third of the seats in parliament. In these circumstances, any constructive policy was virtually impossible.
After the new election in 1932, the National Socialists received 37 percent of the votes and became the strongest faction in the Reichstag. However, they did not have the overwhelming majority (Welch, 2001). Hitler could get power from the ruling elite and began to seek its support. For this purpose, he got support from influential businessmen. Hitler was a brilliant speaker, he subordinated the streets of the crowd, he talked about how happy would the Germans be, if they conquered the other nations, came together, and defeated the Entente. Eventually, he was backed by influential businessmen and had success in the elections. “The Nazi Party grew in popularity in each of the elections between 1928 and July 1932, gaining over a third of the popular vote by that last date” (Lynch, 2012). After the excess of stormtroopers that the Nazis released in the streets in August 1932, Hitler asked Hinderburg to appoint him as a chancellor. In turn, Hindenburg did not consider Hitler as a worthy representative on this political post. He did not like Hitler and could only offer him the position of minister. However, in 1933, he conceded the pressure of Hitler. Hitler quickly strengthened his power. After just a few weeks of his appointment to the post of chancellor, a state of emergency was announced in Germany. The government included not only the Nazis but also other conservative politicians. They hoped that Hitler would run Germany and serve them as a tool to actually govern the country. However, they underestimated the ambitions and goals of Adolf Hitler.
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When Hitler came to power, he began intensive preparation for World War II. In his book “Mein Kampf”, the Nazi leader wrote that he wanted to switch his policy to the conquest of European land. Countries that were the victors in World War I by its policy of non-intervention contributed to the situation when Germany ceased to comply with the restrictions imposed on the growth of its military potential by the Treaty of Versailles. Out of 28 primary types of raw materials, Germany had only 7 of its own on the eve of World War II. About 50% of the strategic raw materials were imported from the U.S., UK, and France. The U.S. was the main supplier of oil products in Germany. With the help of the U.S., UK, and France companies, more than 300 major military plants were built in Germany within a short period of time (Victor, 2000). In 1936, Germany sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland and then provided military support to Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War.
The Sharp Increase in anti-Communist and anti-Soviet Sentiment
After the National Socialists came to power in Germany, there was a sharp increase in anti-Communist and anti-Soviet sentiment. Since the mid-1930s, the German government openly declared aggressive plans to capture a new living space, including the Soviet Union. German military doctrine considered the Soviet Union as a potential enemy. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria. The majority of people in Austria were in favor of this accession. The Munich agreement that was signed in September between Germany, Italy, Britain, and France allowed the Nazis to occupy the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia at the international level. They did this under the pretext of security of the German population in this area. In winter 1938, Germany invited Poland to solve ‘the Danzig question. Poland refused. Hitler used this as a pretext for war with Poland. Many actions were made to make Germans believe that Poland wanted to attack their country. Then, on August 23, 1939, the Treaty of Non-Aggression was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union. On September 1, 1939, Germany began military action against Poland. On September 2, on the side of Poland, Britain, and France entered the war. The entire series of events led to the beginning of World War II, unleashed by the Nazi regime and Hitler.
When in 1933 Hitler was appointed as a chancellor, there were no doubts that the man who came to power was totally opposed to the Jews. The personal hatred of Adolf Hitler to the Jews led to Holocaust. Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of the Jews that were living in Germany, on the territory of its allies, or occupied territories during World War II. The Nazi regime was an unpleasant shock to the German Jews, which for the most part have been assimilated and considered themselves as patriots. At that time, they hoped that if they took the burden of state responsibility, the National Socialists would not be so violent with them. However, Hitler was very determined in his actions. Hitler launched the first measures against the Jews on April 1, 1933, calling for a boycott of Jewish shops (Longerich, 2010). Six days later, more serious and inclusive clauses of the law on the advocacy were released, and the decision to restore the professional bureaucracy was made. Most of the Jewish officials were dismissed, often under the guise of retirement. During the following months, many Jews who served in public institutions were dismissed or not allowed to work. In general, several million people were killed during the Holocaust (Longerich, 2010).
The rise of Adolf Hitler’s power in Germany is a great example of how one person can change the history of the world. Many reasons led to World War II and Holocaust. However, the main one was Hitler who could organize the whole German nation to accomplish his goals. He started the Second World War and killed many innocent Jews and people of other nationalities.