World War 2
To comprehend the events that took place in Germany during Hitler’s era, it is prudent to analyze the geo-political climate of Europe. The changes in the international system in Europe caused the two world wars. European leaders took advantage of the situation since the international system changed from its previous status to the modern form that emphasized on the formation of alliances.
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Before the World Wars, European politics was characterized by the balance of power. The major powers respected each other since they were all assured of mutual destruction. In this case, it can be observed that the international system was multi-polar since France, Britain, Germany and Russia were all powerful.
The states cooperated on mutual basis since there was no need of solving conflicts through war. Hitler took advantage of the European politics to consolidate support and create a totalitarian government that would later lead Germany to fight a deadly war. During the First World War, the central powers were led by Germany while the allied powers included Britain, Russia and France. Italy joined the war on Germany’s side mainly because they had similar ideologies (Mueller 1973, p. 64).
The multi-polar international system continued to support the actions of leaders such as Hitler, even after the First World War Western powers allowed Germany to ream itself due to the fears posed by the international system. Britain was weary of Russia and France. In other words, the international system allowed real politicking where states were simply concerned about the national interests.
Britain feared that France would embark on its mission of domination just the way it did during the Napoleonic era. In this case, Britain embraced Germany and appreciated it as a development partner in the international system. This gave Germany an advantage and encouraged Hitler to consolidate power around him. The unfolding events in Russia gave Hitler a chance to form a totalitarian regime in Germany.
France and Britain were forced to tolerate Hitler’s governance style due to the Lenin’s Bolsheviks acquisition of power in 1918 (Browning 1998, p. 11). The communist ideology and the strength of the Russian military posed a threat to other actors in Europe. Britain and France were therefore forced to allow Germany to revitalize its army. In this case, armed Germany would serve as s rampart against the Red Menace.
Furthermore, the grotesqueness of the First World War presented Hitler with an opportunity to revamp the military. Britain and France had encountered many casualties since the young generation was affected greatly. When Hitler took power in 1933, Britain and France did not take action for fear of retrogressive effects. In 1938, the major world powers allowed Hitler to annex some parts of Czechoslovakia. This was a sign of fear on the part of Britain and France.
Having considered the Aryan race as being too strong, Hitler employed some techniques that would assist the race ascend to power. Initially, Hitler used the ideas of the communist party to capture governmental power and authority.
He observed that communism was against the wishes of many Germans. German investors trusted him and went ahead to fund his campaigns hoping that communism would be resisted by the state. Even though they differed in ideology, Hitler employed the tactics of Stalin and Mussolini to suppress any opposition to his rule.
For instance, he unleashed terror to those who opposed his style of leadership. In this case, the police was deployed to arrest and intimidate any opponent of the state. Hitler and the Nazi party encouraged people to be hardworking, sacrificing and loyal to the administration. Through this, Hitler knew that Germans would be self-sufficient and submissive to his ideas. Stalin also employed the same tactic (Orlow 2007, p. 42).
Moreover, Hitler understood the power of the press as regards to propaganda. The Nazi party under the directorship of Hitler scared other races by sending out information that would amount to hate speech. In this case, the schools churches and the press were effectively used to venerate the Nazi goals. To minimize the influence of the economically superior race, Hitler opened up concentration camps for the Jews.
This was aimed at giving the Nazi party a chance to invest in the economy that was previously dominated by Jews. Hitler underscored the fact that people would be loyal to his administration only if their economic status was improved. This led him to come up with restructuring programs that would improve the working conditions hence raise the standards of living. Due to this, Hitler banned protests and introduced a system that would rectify the wages and salaries of workers.
Hitler viewed himself as a transitory leader who had absolute powers over the matters pertaining to governmental decision-making. He was therefore a leader with power to determine the activities in society. In other words, Hitler was considered a prince whose duty was to reform society, bring unity and ensure that people had the same visions and missions.
What Hitler did could only be measured according to how it preserves the status of the state. In this case, it was believed that a leader is born but no made. Hitler’s leadership was not to be questioned as long as the greatness of the state was achieved. Those questioning his authority had to face stern consequences. Therefore, political assassination was another technique employed by Hitler in the management of state affairs (Schneider 1998, p. 12).
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To Hitler’s sympathizers, the leader had to employ all forms of tactics to manage the state. Leadership could only be measured through the stability of the state. Hitler viewed the modern state being civilized but not barbaric. For this reason, the leader had to employ modern tactics to succeed in whatever he or she pursues. Hitler understood that being strength alone could not bring greatness to Germany.
Therefore, he decided to be as cunning as a fox in order to be successful. Through tricks, he made people to believe that Germany could conquer other races only if it became self-reliant economically. For this case, people had to work very hard to produce enough goods that would sustain the state.
Furthermore, Hitler understood that it reaches a time when the only language that a man understands is violence. Therefore, both violence and murder become valid tools in achieving state stability. Hitler utilized this tool to suppress any form of political opposition. In terms of supremacy, it was the responsibility of the state to wage war against other states, annex some sections of foreign land and conquer other nations.
All these involve waging war. Although Hitler was kind at some instances, he knew that the subjects would easily misinterpret his kindness to mean ineffectiveness. He therefore employed the tactic of unpredictability where he could change his character from time to time. This was important as far as his goals and aims were concerned.
It can be concluded that Hitler’s rise and fall was propagated by the changes in the international system. Britain and France allowed Germany under Hitler to rearm itself for fear of the Bolsheviks in Russia. Hitler employed a number of techniques in order to trounce his enemies but the major one was the use of propaganda.
List of References
Browning, C 1998, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, Harper Perennial, New York.
Mueller, J 1973, War, Presidents, and Public Opinion, John Wiley, New York.
Orlow, D 2007, History of Modern Germany: 1870-present, Prentice Hall, New York.
Schneider, P 1998, The Wall Jumper, Chicago, University of Chicago press.