The Rise Of Nazis Essay Research Paper

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The Rise Of Nazis Essay, Research Paper The philosophical traditions of racism in Europe, the economic catastrophes of the late 1920’s and 1930’s, and the social attitudes following the end of World War I all led to the rise of the Nazi regime. Beginning in the 1880’s Social Darwinism–the belief that certain races are better inclined to rule–became a commonly accepted doctrine supporting imperialism by Europeans. Two champions of this belief, Houston Chamberlain and Gobineau, espoused the idea that the Aryan and northern European races were better fit to rule, also called the theory of “Nordic Supremacy.” Also in the 1880’s, Freidrich Nietzsche and other philosophers began to argue against the power of the rational human mind. The only hope for salvation of

the human race from their loss of creativity was for a few superior individuals (supermen) to free themselves from the masses and in the process advance the human race. Although his ideas were dismissed at the time, the experience of World War I would bring his ideas to life. Following the end of World War I, the “Age of Anxiety” began to establish itself. The world witnessed some of the most horrific fighting and mass death during World War I. Its end left many philosophers and writers with an acrid taste for humanity. The glorified view of human reason and rational thought that had prevailed previously was now replaced with a view of humans as irrational animal-like beings. The belief that certain races were less savage than others led to the increase in racist and

anti-semitic writings during this era. Coinciding with this change in philosophical thought was the economic crisis resulting from World War I. Germany and many other European countries had been left in shambles. Since Germany had lost the war, it was required by the Treaty of Versailles to pay reparations to the allies (especially France). As a condition of the treaty, the Weimar Republic had to sign the War-Guilt Clause, admitting responsibility for World-War One. Not only did this demoralize the German people, but it also aroused suspicion of the Weimar Republic as a puppet government of France and its allies, committing treason against Germans. France also took control of the Ruhr valley and the Rhineland, a region containing many valuable mineral resources. Although

financial payment plans were developed by the United States (Dawes Act) to help the new Weimar Republic in Germany to get back on its feet, without the Ruhr Valley which produced 80% of Germany’s steel and coal, the economy could not regain life. The enormous inflation of the mark (at one point 4 trillion marks equaled one dollar) left the Germans in search of someone to lead them out of their misery. The crisis in the economy demoralized the middle-class, as their life savings were reduced to nothing. Now the most stable population in society, the businessmen and working class, were in financial ruin. Although the economy did improve between 1926 and 1929, the crash of the American economy in 1929 spiraled the Weimar Republic further into economic ruin. During World War I, a

young unaccomplished student who failed to enter the Arts Academy enlisted as a soldier in the German army. This man, Adolf Hitler, became distinguished as a dispatch runner and was given an Iron Cross. After the war, he was hired as a political agent to spy on subversive groups. Through this profession he became involved with the German Worker’s Party (NSDAP). While in Vienna he learned about politics from the anti-semitic mayor Karl Lueger. After building a power base in Bavaria, Hitler attempted a coup in the style of Mussolini’s March on Rome. The Munich ‘Putsch’ in 1923 was put down by policemen, and Hitler was arrested. In his trial, the judges gave him the opportunity to use his oratory skills and give long winded speeches concerning his theories. He was sentenced