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Erynne Hagerty

Mr. Hawkins
World History- P, Period 3
March 16, 2016
How did Hitler reawaken feelings of nationalism after the humiliation suffered after the First
World War?
Adolf Hitler, aged fifty-six at the time of his death, drastically shifted from his original
dream of being an artist and turned to becoming the dictator of Germany, the leader of the Nazi
Party, and started the Holocaust. Born in Austria, on April 20th, 1889, he grew up with a strict
disciplinarian as a father who would frequently shout at them if they were not following orders
and occasionally beat them. Both of his parents died when he was young, his fathers death
caused by a lung hemorrhage when Hitler was thirteen; his mothers death caused by breast
cancer when he was eighteen. This harsh childhood likely set the tone for Adolf Hitlers future,
as he was reported being a harsh leader, with no tolerance for disobedience or disloyalty. His rule
was fueled with the desire for revenge against the victors of World War 1, and for who had
become the scapegoats for the aftermath of this war.
After the war had ended and the Central Powers had lost, Germany was heavily struck by
their losses. The reparations that were forced upon them caused an economic crisis, and the
unemployment rate was climbing. The people were hungry, desperate, and looking for
something to improve the economic situation caused by the depression in 1933 [the Nazi
Party] began deliberately blaming the Jewish population for the economic disparity in

Germany (Website #3). By doing this, they created an easy scapegoat for them to release their
anger onto. In addition, it created a sense of unity between those who were anti-Semitism and
gave the people a sense of belonging and importance that had been stolen after the devastating
loss in World War 1. The anti-Semitics began to regain their pride in their own culture and
heritage by tearing another down, making themselves feel superior to others. In a state of
ubiquitous anxiety, the once disjointed Germans unified under a government that provided
comfort and security, a new state that would take control and help Germany become a
rising hegemonic power (Website #3). The war had ravaged their country and torn families
and friends apart, and Hitler and his Nazi Party offered not only a place to belong, but a place
where Germany would be once again built into an intimidating and powerful country that not
only competed with others, but dominated them. After being tossed aside and forced to suffer
during the years in between the wars, the people of Germany were weary and desperate, willing
to listen to anyone who promised to give them food for their hunger and satisfaction for their
revenge. However, their pride and power could not come without a price, which was paid in full
by the Jewish people. The German citizens selective hearing for what was best caused them to
be blinded by these newly instilled nationalist beliefs, coerced by their superiors to believe
that the Nazi way was the right way (Website #3). Once they had found who was going to
give them what they desired, they were willing to follow them to the ends of the Earth and even
past that if it meant they would come out victorious, regardless of what they were asked to do.
They were only allowed to speak their mind if their words agreed with Adolf Hitler, leaving little
to no room for anyone to disagree with him.
When most dictators rise to power, they use threats and fear to climb their way to the top.
However, Hitler was one who didnt. Much of what Hitler did wouldnt have been able to be

accomplished without his citizens loving him, as [his] power was based on the unconditional
allegiance of the population (Website #1). Because the people held such faith in him that he
would create a stronger nation, he was able to become more powerful and sway more people to
his side. Furthermore, because the population followed him unreservedly he was able to
completely unify the nation against those he viewed as imperfect. Considering that he had the
entirety of the population on his side or forced silent, it was much easier for him to raise
nationalism as they were all gathered underneath him. To further unite them, "Nazi propaganda
claimed a supranaturalunity between the Fhrer and the people: "Germany is Hitler, and
Hitler is Germany."" (Website #1). After World War 1, the people craved a strong and
powerful leader who would build them back up after the insufferable losses that came with losing
the war. So when Hitler came with his promises to make Germany great again, the people
naturally drew towards him and put insurmountable faith in both his abilities and Germany.
Hitler used propaganda to make the people believe that Germany will be a great country once
again and to rally the population to have a sense of pride in themselves through pushing the
people that Hitler condemned further down. "Hitler and his National Socialist movement gave
true voice to the fears of the German middle class [saying] that the Jews were the one
and only cause of all their misery" (Website #1). This gave the German middle class a single
common enemy to hate and to become their scapegoat for their resentment, and they were united
through their anti-Semitism. Hitler gave the middle class population a group to belong to and
take pride in, which replaced their feelings of shame and humiliation from the losses of the war.
He fueled their resentment by rebuilding their nationalism in their country by turning their anger
towards the Jewish population.

After Germany lost the war, they were forced to pay extraordinarily expensive
reparations to the Allies, give up land, and follow the war-guilt clause. Furthermore, their
economy fell into a crisis and the inflation of the German dollar ruined its worth. The Great
Depression, more than any other factor, helped Hitlerto come to power (Website #2).
Because of the economic crisis, Germans were desperate for a solution and willing to listen to
anybody who promised to build them up. The German population was weary and beaten-down,
and having a passionate speaker such as Hitler come and promise to raise them back up to the
great country they had once been was enough to make them listen to whatever he said. He fed off
of their fears for the future and told them that if they followed him he would make them a great
nation again. While he was gaining power, Hitler promoted nationalism and militarism
through propaganda, indoctrination, uniforms, 1ags, emblems and a salute, demanding
absolute obedience (Website #2). Through using extreme propaganda, Hitler convinced the
population into black-and-white thinking. He taught them that they were the protagonists and
that everyone who opposed them or who was qualified as imperfect to them was the villain.
Hitler gave them uniforms that symbolized their country, along with their own symbol and
salute. This only increased their pride in their country and their goals. The Nazi Party used
emotive propaganda to mobilise popular support, and Hitler inspired the German people
with his belief in his fate and destiny as their saviour (Website #2). The majority of Germans who
supported Hitler truly believed that they were doing the right thing when they were supporting Hitler. They
believed that he would rebuild their country and make it great again. Hitler managed to inspire and rally the people
into having extreme faith in him, so that they honestly held pride for their actions and in their country.
Hitler is easily one of the cruelest dictators in history that was the most supported by his citizens
throughout his entire rule. He manipulated the Germans onto his side and used propaganda to keep them there. He

baited the German middle class onto his side by taking advantage of their fears for the future because of the
economic crisis. He gave them a group to belong to that would rebuild their country from the ruins back to
something great again. Hitler presented the German population with a scapegoat to take their anger out on so that
they could take more pride in themselves and their own country, all the while tearing down their enemies. He gave
the population a sense of purpose again after being humiliated by their losses from the war, and inspired them to
have faith in him and their country once again.