Hitler was born in Branau in 1889 to a middle to low class family. At first he wanted to become an artist but when the art academy that he applied to, in Vienna, rejected him, he ended up living on the streets. He then moved to Germany and became a soldier. Hitler first got involved in politics after being a soldier in World War 1, sometime between 1918 and 1921. Also between that time, he developed his hatred for the richer Jewish people.
Some people believe that he disagreed with the way the army was run and how Germany was run. At first, Hitler took over a small political party called German Worker’s Party in 1921. He then named it National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi Party). It was not very successful at first, as it didn’t have much money or publicity but then with the aid of some different factors he slowly got recognition and people voted for him more and more. Within 12 years, the Nazi party was the largest political party in Germany.Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 because of five types of reasons. These are the main events that lead to Hitler’s rapid rise to power:
1) His criticism of the Treaty of Versailles- After the war, when the treaty was signed, the German people were very upset about how the treaty humiliated them. There was a lot of anger and frustration amongst the people because unemployment rates were high and the harvests were poor. Also, the country suffered from a lot of poverty as they had to repay £6,600 million in reparations to the other countries that had won the war. This then helped Hitler to make the people vote for him because hey were bitter about all the land they lost and the fact that they had to disarm. An example of his ideas about the treaty of Versailles: ”The Treaty of Versailles was unfair and land taken away from Germany must be returned”. This was printed in his book, Mein Kampf. He promised the people of Germany that he would make it better. The people also sided with his views as he blamed the French and as many people thought so too, it worked in his favour.
2) His ideas made him quite popular because as the people were angry at the French, like said above, they agreed with his point of view. This resulted him in gaining over 50,000 members in his Nazi party in 1923. The quote in the paragraph above taken from ‘Mein Kampf’ links with this paragraph too.His thoughts flowed very well with the public. He drilled it into their heads that everything that was wrong was the fault of the Jews and that they should be blamed. Another thing that got the public attention were his ‘storm troopers’, his small private army who would beat anyone who criticized him. At this point Hitler thought he had gained enough support to try and revolutionise Germany on his own but he was caught for treason and put in prison in 1923. He then wrote his book, Mein Kampf in 1924. In this book, Hitler had written about his ideas and aspirations for the new Germany. When people read this, they supported him more.
3) The impact of the the great economic depression on the popularity of Hitler’s party were immense. As with the paragraph above about how he took advantage of the timing of the treaty being signed, this depression was very good for his popularity. It worked in his favour as people were desperate for anything to believe in. As work and trade were slow and people were loosing jobs, Hitler promised the people solutions to every one’s problems. The other choices available to vote for were the socialist Nazi party and the communist party, the depression had completely thrown the capitalist party out of the race for power. He swung his focus from his hatred of the Jews to how he could give the people work and provide for them if they voted for him. The amount of voters for the Nazi party increased and by 1932, they were the largest political party in Germany. Then in January 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany
4) A further reason people voted for Hitler was his brilliant public speaking tactics influenced his rise to power a great deal. Hitler was able to convince the people to vote for him through his multiple speeches that he made. He organized a lot of mass rallies and public meetings where he would tell people about all the wonderful ideas he had for Germany, for the people. Hitler was said to have ‘hypnotic’ eyes and this coupled with his mighty temper would entrance audiences as seen in this quote by Otto, Strauss a German who hated Hitler but had to appreciate his excellent speaking skills: ”His words go like an arrow to his target, he touches each private wound on the raw…telling it what it most wants to hear”. He would include many kinds of propaganda but you’ll find out about that int the next paragraph.
5) He realized the value of good Publicity and Propaganda -He did many many different things to try and promote himself in the districts of Germany. For example there were Nazi clubs for young boys, girls, teachers and students. He even changed the education system in order to promote Nazi thinking. It was very important for him that the young people were under his influence. The Nazi party even went as far as to buy 8 newspapers and print millions of posters and leaflets to spread their message. There were also many parades where there would be magnificent marching displays and loud music. He would then make a very passionate speech and whip the crowds into a frenzy. In 1928, the Nazi party even had their own emblem, the swastika. Hitler believed it was eye catching and easy to remember and draw. By this time, at the end of 1928 there were over 100,000 Germans in the Nazi Party.
In conclusion, I think the people were pretty much bombarded with messages of Hitler and of newspaper headlines that screamed ”Our last hope :Hitler” etc. So in the end, they had no choice but to vote for him because Hitler had cunningly used the best kind of publicity and propaganda to push his message across. I think this is the most influential reason for why people voted for Hitler. Hitler knew that if you kept throwing messages of Hitler, Hitler, Hitlerat the people then it would sink in eventually. To summarise, I believe the reason people voted for Hitler was because of how he projected and marketed himself to the audience, the people. Another reason was that they were forced to because of his storm troopers, peer pressure and such. This lead to him going from a tramp to a small time soldier to a polition as the head of a small political army to the Chancellor of Germany and finally, as its dictator.