Term Paper: Nazi Germany Nazism Is a Form

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Nazi Germany

Nazism is a form of socialism, featuring racism and expansionism (Answers.com 2006). It was the philosophy of the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). The Nazi Party was formed in the city of Munich in Bavaria after World War I. Its initial membership consisted of former German soldiers who believed that the War was lost because of the rebellion of Jews and Marxist traitors in October 1918. They also held that the Versailles "Diktat" must be rejected. The Germans' universal condemnation of the Versailles Treaty and the economic decline of Germany rendered the Germans vulnerable to the appeal of Nazism. The hyper inflation of 1923 and the massive depression, starting in 1929 characterized the collapse of the economy (Suffolk).

Adolph Hitler was an Austrian soldier in the German army, who attended the meetings of the then small Nazi Party in Munich (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). Through his magnetic speeches, Hitler won the admiration of the other soldiers and attracted new members to the Party. He came to be viewed as essential to the movement and he used that sentiment to maneuver himself into its leadership. As the leader, he managed to demand and receive the complete subservience of the Party members. Hitler was described as a fanatical soldier who held racist, anti-Semitic and authoritarian views (Suffolk Community College Department).

The Nazi Party was only one of the political movements existing in Munich in those restless years from 1919 to 1923 of the Weimar Republic. The Republic was then ruled by a Communist faction (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). Many paramilitary groups were established and hatched reactionary and right-wing thinking. The fall of the economy brought discredit to the Weimar Republic in addition to the prevailing conditions of dissent and despair. The Nazis tried to overthrow the government in 1923 and Hitler was arrested and imprisoned for almost a year. But while in prison, he wrote "Mein Kempf," which outlined his world-view and his concept of the master race of Aryans for Germany. The Weimar Republic recovered from 1924 to 1929. The Social Democratic Party was the leading party, while the Nazis were a minority party during the period. At this time, the Great Depression, which began in the United States, spread into Europe out of interdependence on the United States. The inability of the centrist parties to contain the huge economic hardship of the decade through Constitutional procedures led to the rise and popularity of extremist parties, particularly the Nazi Party. The Weimar Constitution provided for a Parliamentary democracy, which recognized the leader of the majority party as the chancellor. The Nazi Party obtained plurality vote and Hitler used the position to be appointed Chancellor of Germany, after a brief resistance by the aging war hero, Hindenberg (Suffolk Community College Department).

The racial theories of the Nazis derived from pseudo-scientific 19th - century studies, which rejected the principles of equality and common humanness advocated by the Enlightenment (Kniesmeyer and Brecher 1995). The Nazi Party viewed that different races competed for territory and power and that only the fittest among them should survive. That race should not mix with the inferior races in order to survive, as it was the pure one, which alone could create a lasting civilization. This was the master race, consisting of the elite Aryans, who were perceived to rule and enslave inferior races, such as the Slavs. In fulfilling their destiny, the Germans must eliminate all opposed political and cultural beliefs and inferior blood among themselves. The first to be subjected to "racial purification" were the German Jews. The genocide of other Jews and minority groups extended to other parts of Europe and North Africa by Nazi Germany and its collaborators under the control of Nazi Germany. This is known as the Holocaust, considered the greatest crime against humanity in history made possible by the total control of the totalitarian regime of the Nazi Party, the passive consent of the majority of the German population, a collaboration of regimes with similar views and a deeply rooted anti-Semitism among Christian countries in Europe (Kniesmeyer and Brecher). This combination of factors and effects made Nazism an effective political, economic and cultural philosophy and agenda.

Government

With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler claimed the power of the Presidency in January 1933 (MFA Productions LLC 2005). He became the Fuhrer, or the leader, of all of Germany. He proclaimed the Third Reich, a theory of history, which stated that German unity would be achieved in the Third Kingdom. He also proclaimed that his rule would last a thousand years (MFA Productions LLC). Upon their ascent to power in 1933, the Nazis made the expulsion of the Jews from German society one of their top priorities (Kniesmeyer and Brecher 1995). They conducted a propaganda and terror campaign of vast scope and violence to stigmatize German Jews, separate them from the rest of the population and then forced them to leave the country. They also aroused traditional anti-Jewish attitudes among the people in order to gain approval and support for their regime. Anti-Semitism became the propaganda rallying point of the German Revolution. The Nazis used the print and broadcast media to promote the successes of the regime in every town and every village. They started with boycotting Jewish shops and their businesses in 1933 throughout Germany in the night known as Kristallnacht. Then they campaigned for the expulsion of the Jews from civil service and the professions gradually from all the sectors (Kniesmeyer and Brecher).

The Nazis always used violence to intimidate their opponents (MFA Productions LLC 2005). It used police power in intimidating political opposition to its propaganda in maintaining power (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). The Nazi police suppressed negative news from public knowledge and presented imagined or exaggerated developments to public attention. It blamed the Communists as behind every rebellion and took advantage of that blame to use special powers, such as an Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler to rule by decree for four years. The Nazis political enemies were sent to concentration camps. In 1933, they opened the Buchenwalk Concentration Camp for thousands of political prisoners, such as the intelligentsia and, later, the Jews. The Nazis also burned the Reichstag that year and blamed the Communists. Then they sent the disabled and mentally retarded Germans to special "hospitals" where they were forcibly sterilized and then killed. All non-Nazi organizations were banned or dissolved. Church youth groups, farmers' unions and labor unions were enlisted as affiliates to the Nazi Party. Hitler's youth organizations also practiced extreme anti-Semitism and highly militaristic practices. They enforced gender segregation, especially among the young. Every organization was made to hold and revere Hitler like a cult figure. The lack of economic progress under the Weimar Republic led manufacturing conglomerates, called th Junkers, to throw in their secret support for the Nazis, who advocated for rearmament. Then some bankers followed suit, in the belief that they would acquire the freedom to trade, which they could not get under the Weimar Republic. This fusion of capitalism and Nazism was the element, which gave the Nazi Party the funding and the seats it needed and wanted at the Reichstag, They eventually gained control over all of Germany (MFA Productions LLC, Suffolk Community College Department).

In 1935, Hitler's government decreed the Nuremberg Laws. These laws defined the Jews as a separate and inferior race, required them to wear the yellow Star of David armband, and discriminated against them in every possible way (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). Under these laws, the Jews lost legal equality and citizenship with the Nuremberg laws in 1935. The new regulations deprived them of property until they were banished from German territory (Suffolk Community College Department).

The laws also prohibited marriage between Jews and Aryans, and rendered racial science and membership in Hitler's youth organization compulsory (MFA Productions LLC 2005). Between 1933 and 1937 alone, 129,000 Jews fled Germany but found it difficult to live in other countries. Most of these countries were unwilling to accept the fleeing Jews because of feelings of anti-Semitism and a failure to understand the fate of these displaced Jews (MFA Productions LLC). Realizing that millions of Jews could not be moved to other countries, Nazi officials, in February 1942, decided to exterminate them. The Jews were systematically shipped to death camps (Suffolk Community College Department 2006). At least 6 million Jews and 3 million non-Jews perished during the Nazi regime as its enemies (Suffolk Community College Department). When the Nazis found that the expulsion of the German Jews did not proceed fast enough, they conducted a nationwide "pogrom" on November 8 and 9, 1938 (Kniesmeyer and Brecher 1995). In the evening of the outbreak of World War II, only approximately 200,000 Jews remained in Germany, who could not emigrate because of the War. Of this number, only around 10,000 survived the Holocaust (Kniesmeyer and Brecher).

The Olympic games of 1936 were… [END OF PREVIEW]

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