Hitlers Rise to Power


Adolph Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. Hitler fought in World War I on the Western Front, participating in many of the main battles of the war.  He was hospitalized near the end of the war, for temporarily blindness caused by mustard gas. When he was discharged from the hospital Hitler moved to Munich, and became a police informer, infiltrating the small German Workers Party (DAP) . Hitler was impressed by the party and became active in it. He became the party's most dynamic speaker, at times speaking in front of crowds of 6,000. In July of 1921, Hitler took control of the party.
In 1922 Mussolini gained power in Italy by staging a march on Rome. This encouraged Hitler and what had become the Nazis( or National Socialist Party) to try to follow his path and seize power. Their opportunity came after Gustav Stresemann leader of a large coalition government, agreed to a policy that was known as "fulfillment" ;that is fulfilling the German treaty obligations while at the same time working to decrease them. His policies were very unpopular with German nationalists. Hitler decided that the time was right to try to seize power. His plan was the seize control of the Bavarian government. Once that was done they would march on Berlin and seize power. Unfortunately for Hitler, the plan did not go as planned. It began in a Munich Beer Hall in the evening of November 8, 1923, were the leadership of Bavaria was partying. Hitler seized control of them, and members of the party took control of some key locations in the city. However, when he and his man began a march on city hall, the local leaders escaped and warned the army. The army broke up the demonstration and arrested the leaders including Hitler. Four policemen were killed in the demonstrations.
Hitler actions were considered treason, punishable by death. He was sentenced to only five years in prison. The judge explained the light sentence by stating that Hitler had acted “by a pure patriotic spirit and most noble will”.  Hitler was sent to a prison where he was able to receive visitors and gifts at will.  While in prison he began drafting a book called Mein Kampf (My Struggle). In it he laid out his vision for the future of Germany. In the book he clearly laid out his view that racial conflict was the essence of history, and that the Jews were the sworn enemy of the German people.  Under his leadership the Nazis party would break their international power and annihilate then totally.  After spending one year in prison Hitler was paroled on December 20, 1924.
On February 27th 1925 at a meeting in a Munich beer cellar attended by 3,000 Hitler refounded the Nazis party. The next year he founded the Hitler youth and published the second volume of Mein Kampf. In 1927 both Bavaria and Saxony lifted the ban on Hitler’s public speaking that had been a condition of his earlier parole. That year he spoke to 56 public rallies. In 1928 the Nazis party ran in the national elections for the first time. It was one of 31 parties that participated in the elections. Twelve of its members were elected the German Reichstag (parliament). Twelve out of 491 seats was not exactly a big vote of support, but Hitler made the most of his party’s new position in the Reichstag.
By 1930 the Great Depression was having a major effect on Germany, where almost 3 million were unemployed. German nationalist were violently protesting an agreement in which the last Allied occupation troops withdrew from the Rhineland in return for Germany agreeing to pay much reduced reparation for its actions in World War I. Nazis party members known as brownshirts started the year by killing eight Jews in Berlin. On September 24th new elections were held for the Reichstag. The Nazis ran a well-organized vigorous campaign. The Nazis surprised everyone winning 107 seats, becoming the second largest party in the Reichstag.
Hitler refused to enter into any coalition government. He demanded that he be appointed Chancellor. German Chancellor Bruning refused to even consider it. Throughout the year the Nazis movement held demonstration, rallies all calling for an end of reparations and an end the Jewish influence in Germany. Burining could barely hold together his coalition, and the parties of the right led by Hitler demanded new elections. Meanwhile in local election the party continually to achieve larger and larger victories. The Nazis Brownshirts continued their terror in the streets. Franz von Papen became the new chancellor of Germany. He dissolved the Reichstag and called new elections. On July 31, 1932 elections were held and the Nazis won 230 seats in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party winning 37.5 percent of the vote. Von Papen refused to make way for Hitler to become Chancellor, the only position he would accept. Von Papen called new election and in those elections held in November. In those elections the Nazis vote went down, and they received only 197 seats. When Von Paper resigned German president Hidenburg offered Hitler the position of chancellor. Hitler refused unless he was given extraordinary powers. After a number of months of political turmoil in which Hitler brownshirts controlled the streets, Hindenburg had not choice but offer Hitler the chancellorship again. On January 30th Hitler became the new chancellor of Germany.