Rise of the Nazis

Neil ofthe nene

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I am currently recording and watching this three part series on BBC2. For some reason I have long been fascinated by this subject. But there is one part of the story that never seems to be explained.

Programmes like this concentrate on the main individuals, Hitler, Goerring, Von Hindenberg etc. and the main events like the Reichstag Fire. What intrigues me though is the attitude of the electorate, the “man (and woman) in the street”. Immediately after the violent destruction of the German Communist party 44% voted Nazi in a general election. It was the people who gave Hitler and the Nazis power. Without their support I doubt events would have turned out as they did, that violence and fear would not have been made semi-legitimate political weapons.

Wars are fought not by politicians but by the population. The pre-war Stormtroopers were ordinary people, the crowds attending rallies were the voters who gave the Nazis their power and permission to continue. But of course finding anyone to admit to being a Nazi supporter or voter after the war was almost impossible. This may be why so little is said of their role and reasons.

What intrigues me and I have never seen explained is why did presumably ordinary people give their support and blessing to a party that thrived on violence, that blamed certain sections of society for all of Germany's issues and ultimately, because of the power granted by the people, devised The Final Solution. While the ideas were created at the top it must have been ordinary people who turned them into a horrible reality.

I can understand a small section of society, like today's race hate groups, having a totally skewed vision that leads them to joining the quasi military Stormtroopers. But a large portion of the non violent people otherwise going about their ordinary lives threw their lot in with the Nazis and gave them power through the ballot box. Why?

Why could they not see that the way the Nazis were behaving was immoral in an otherwise ordered and law abiding nation? What was it that blinded a nation and ultimately led them to war. A war in which it was they and not the Nazi leaders that were going to die.
 

Zerkalo

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This sounds like a good watch especially as I have an interest the subject too. I've long been fascinated by the Weimar Republic and get a feeling it was a reaction to a lot of the debauchery and slipping away of values combined with the economic situation, it was very easy climate to sell Germany as the 'Fatherland' to the population, remembering support came as much from rural Germans as it did in the metropolitan cities.

Another period that I'm interested in is the Denazification period, everything suddenly went very conservative which is why there was hardly any decent German culture other than 'The Sound of Music' until the 70s in West Germany.

I will watch the series and see what I think.
 

mickthestick

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The far right is gathering momentum all over Britain and Europe , same song people blaming a certain section of society for everything , even a few on maggotdrowners
 

Dave

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Germany was still smarting from their defeat in WW1 which ended only 20 years, or so, previously and which many people will have remembered, memories often tainted by their own country's propoganda at the time
 

ukzero1

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I hate those Germans, they bombed our chip shop, and the pub.
 

Dusty

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I am currently recording and watching this three part series on BBC2. For some reason I have long been fascinated by this subject. But there is one part of the story that never seems to be explained.

Programmes like this concentrate on the main individuals, Hitler, Goerring, Von Hindenberg etc. and the main events like the Reichstag Fire. What intrigues me though is the attitude of the electorate, the “man (and woman) in the street”. Immediately after the violent destruction of the German Communist party 44% voted Nazi in a general election. It was the people who gave Hitler and the Nazis power. Without their support I doubt events would have turned out as they did, that violence and fear would not have been made semi-legitimate political weapons.

Wars are fought not by politicians but by the population. The pre-war Stormtroopers were ordinary people, the crowds attending rallies were the voters who gave the Nazis their power and permission to continue. But of course finding anyone to admit to being a Nazi supporter or voter after the war was almost impossible. This may be why so little is said of their role and reasons.

What intrigues me and I have never seen explained is why did presumably ordinary people give their support and blessing to a party that thrived on violence, that blamed certain sections of society for all of Germany's issues and ultimately, because of the power granted by the people, devised The Final Solution. While the ideas were created at the top it must have been ordinary people who turned them into a horrible reality.

I can understand a small section of society, like today's race hate groups, having a totally skewed vision that leads them to joining the quasi military Stormtroopers. But a large portion of the non violent people otherwise going about their ordinary lives threw their lot in with the Nazis and gave them power through the ballot box. Why?

Why could they not see that the way the Nazis were behaving was immoral in an otherwise ordered and law abiding nation? What was it that blinded a nation and ultimately led them to war. A war in which it was they and not the Nazi leaders that were going to die.

Neil, following the First World War Germany was hit very hard with reparations from the war which left them totally skint. The nation was on its knees, the currency was worth nothing, they had no army, unemployment was at its highest level.

When Hitler and his party came along they saw someone who could pull them out of this mess, In the beginning he did a lot of things which won over the German public. He set about fixing their economy, started building the Autobahn networks amongst many other projects.

In 1933 the enabling act was passed which effectively gave Hitler who was chancellor at the time total power, he could pass laws in parliament of his own free will.... the rest is history.
 

RedhillPhil

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Mr. Hitler was a charismatic leader who promised to make Germany great again. After WW1 Germany was humiliated - not only in defeat but by the terms of the peace treaty. The German people were low, inflation was at a state where wages were being brought home in a wheelbarrow. Mr. Hitler came along and promised to make Germany great again with his part of National Socialism. His charismatic leadership enabled him to blame Germany's economic woes on the Jewish population (much like 35 years later with Uganda's Idi Amin blaming the Indians). The rest - as they say - is history.
Incidentally, when looking at Germany's economic post-war miracle through the fifties, sixties and seventies it's worth bearing in mind that whilst the unions and management in Britain were fighting and bringing British industry to it's knees Germany's workforce were getting on with it. The reason being that rampant inflation on one hand was still in many people's memories as well as the cold dour oppressive hand of Marxist inspired communism on the other was just over the border.
Are we going the same way/is there a danger that we will go the same way with east European immigrants or the people that are already here? I doubt that very much but............bear in mind that Germany's pre-war Jewish population were German citizens who were for the most part an integrated part of German society. That's what made the singling out of them all the more horrific.
 

johng19

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I no what gets said now and how it's all portrayed, right or wrong, hitller was loved by the his people.
 

Zerkalo

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Aside from the economic situation, I've heard Berlin in the 1920s was a cultural cosmopolitan mecca like Paris at the end of the previous century, with nightclubs and prostitutes so on, even after WW1.
 

Markywhizz

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You mustn’t under estimate the power of the media. Moving picture newsreels were a new thing and the propaganda the nazis put out was incredibly persuasive at the time. The people had gone through a very dark period in the early thirties and the nazis were promising a bright future ahead. People just got sucked in.

It worries me now the power that the media still hold and the massive influence they have on people’s thinking.
 

ukzero1

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a cultural cosmopolitan mecca like Paris at the end of the previous century, with nightclubs and prostitutes so on, even after WW1.

I didn't know you'd been round my little village. typical Friday night round here.
 

ukzero1

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While I was there, I felt that there is still some animosity. Not just towards the Brits but the French also. We visited Berlin, nice place, good eateries and all, but felt as though we weren't welcomed for some reason. If I tried talking to some of the locals, it was as though we were totally ignored. Yet in Baden, they couldn't be friendlier, very odd.
 

Dusty

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While I was there, I felt that there is still some animosity. Not just towards the Brits but the French also. We visited Berlin, nice place, good eateries and all, but felt as though we weren't welcomed for some reason. If I tried talking to some of the locals, it was as though we were totally ignored. Yet in Baden, they couldn't be friendlier, very odd.

Went to Germany last year and found the people to be absolutely lovely, probably one of the friendliest places I have visited.
 
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