Looking at history in hindsight with a critical apprehension, a lot of incidents and events effectively fall into a domino effect – making sense as slight factors contribute to a revolutionary movement such as the Suffrage Movement in the 1920s.
However, some of the drastic occurrences that marked the Earth for better or worse remain strangely inexplicable. One of such neon question marks entails Hitler’s rise to power while the rest of the world slept soundly. The superpowers of that era simply turned a blind eye to Hitler’s blatant disregard of the infamous Treaty of Versailles, the unveiled rearmament of Germany which was essentially in light of preparation for the war and the consequent invasions into Sudetenland and Poland. Was it simply to prolong the unbalanced threatened world peace for the sake of humanity? Or a result of Appeasement policy which was tinged with personal incentives as Chamberlain bought time to rearm Britain instead of crumbling Germany before it spread its root into a detrimental wolfsbane?
More questions cloud the atrocious folding of history which we try to measure and contain into unsentimental pages and textbooks; the factual details which are poorly inert to the true scalding events, and cannot begin to fathom the epitome of massacre and agony seeping into the crevices.
Germany’s history itself is saturated with totalitarian and rigid hierarchical dynamics even before the Nazi Regime; the Kaiser ruled Germany with a constitutional hierarchy and Germans drew symbolism of strong dictatorship to prosperity and success. Hence, astonishingly, when the Kaiser’s abdication led to one of the most democratic and egalitarian constitutions in the world – The Weimar Republic – Germans vicariously rejected the ideology and perceived the democratic republic as weak and incapacitated. Essentially, Germans experienced two ends of a spectrum in a short time, totalitarian rule followed by a free democratic republic, hence paranoia and hysteria were bound to surface and permeate an atmosphere of distrust.
More than Hitler was exceedingly intellectual and cunning, he was simply lucky. Moirai’s weaving of fate certainly aligned the odds in his favor. Following the decline of the Weimar Republic, Germans were desperately looking for a strong government to latch their hopes onto and when the Great Depression hit Europe, exponential inflation and chaos ensued. Germany further disintegrated as money became worthless, so much so that a middle class family could sell their house and still couldn’t afford a loaf of bread. Hitler was perceptive of politics and had already become leader to the dynamic Nazis; he cunningly replaced the initial leader, Drexler, and was attracting attention as a powerful orator.
In the following years, Hitler’s Munich Putsch failed drastically yet brought a long term success. The mass public realized his potential and the judges at the trial were greatly swayed by his extremist ideologies and got off very lightly with a little of five years in prison in luxurious Landsberg Castle. During this time, Hitler had a life-changing epiphany – he concluded all his ideologies, theories regarding the Aryan race and his future plans to make Germany a superpower again in the book Mein Kampf (my struggle), which also became a best selling. Hitler came out of the prison as a nationally renowned personality and ready to cripple the democratic republic. One of the pivotal reasons Hitler obtained success was his aims and ideas began to align with the wishes and wants of the struggling Germans as the left wing had left them in further disdain.
Hitler was an outstanding diplomat and eloquent orator, his speeches attracted the mass population and portrayed him as the ultimate saviour – the Fuhrer – and the Nazi propaganda appealed to a large variety of the population. It was from this point the Nazi Party started successfully competing in the Reichstag elections. Infact, the Nazis gained more popularity on the basis of mutual fears rather than mutual beliefs. This negative cohesion allowed Nazis an even stronger footing on their way to rise. Another psychological theory Hitler made use of was the behavior of the public when undergoing one extreme. If a population is encountering one form of an extreme end of a spectrum (be it liberal or conservative) and the current affairs are becoming detrimental, the public starts looking forward to the other opposite and extreme viewpoint as an automated response. The decadent Weimer republic was becoming notorious and the orthodox traditional conformities of the Nazis held more appeal than ever.
It was another fluke that ultimately bestowed Hitler supreme power which presented itself on a golden platter. The Weimar system of government was disintegrating and President Hindenburg had already diminished democracy’s true essence by running the government on Emergency Powers. Hindenburg and Von Paen made a secret pact and offered Hitler the post of Chancellor believing they would be able to control and mold Hitler to their advantage – they couldn’t have been more wrong. Hitler soon consolidated his power by the ultimate enabling act and on the death of Hindenburg, Hitler became the Fuhrer – in every sense of the word.
Hitler was exceedingly sharp who knew how to manipulate circumstances to his own advantage. The opportunity presented itself and he seized it with both hands. He continued to gamble upon each opportunity, never showing his true cards, and swiftly moving his game pieces. He quietly waited for reaction to his radical moves before progressing – testing the waters, and each time his narcissism was fueled to such an extent that he moved his chess piece into a fatal trap and fired WW2.
From there ensued one of the most right-wing absolute tyranny that not only affected Germany but had detrimental repercussions for the entirety of the world. The pages of history flip onto one of the worst degradation and atrocities of human rights seeping with gore and blood. World War Two backflipped all the gradual progression the world has made and backtracked the world’s economy. The effects are still felt today. The scars are still present to this date.
An entire totilaritian state doesn’t come into existence by singular ideas; an entire state submits and accepts ignorance. Hitler knew the correct words, the right wounds to press onto, and the precise time to show his ace card – gambling away the future.