Rise of Nazism and Enlightenment Thought

2086 Words Oct 4th, 2010 9 Pages
HIST215 – Later Modern Europe,1789-1939
Assessment Task One

Research Essay

The rise and subsequent take-over of power in Germany by Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 1930s was the culmination and continuation not of Enlightenment thought from the 18th and 19th century but the logical conclusion of unstable and cultural conditions that pre-existed in Germany. Hitler’s Nazi Party’s clear manipulation of the weak state of the Weimar Republic through its continued failure economically and socially, plus its undermining of popular support through the signing the Treaty of Versailles all lead to the creation of a Nazi dictatorship under the cult of personality of Hitler. This clear take-over of power and subsequent destruction of any
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Hitler himself even declared on the 3rd of March, 1933 that: ‘The government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation’s moral and material health. The whole educational system, theatre, film, literature, the press, and broadcasting – all these will be used as a means to this end. They will be harnessed to help preserve the eternal values which are part of the integral nature of our people’[9] This removal of the ability to criticize and question the Nazi regime led to one of the first acts when the Hitler was given power by Hindenburg in 1933, and that was to begin a campaign of terror against all opponents from the extreme left, namely the communist party. Which was the only party in Germany after the 1930 elections that really held any sort of power as the centre left had collapsed[10] what this lead to was the quick consolidation of power as Hitler and the Nazi party controlled the apparatuses of government that allowed them to unleash a reign of terror against their opponents, chief among them the communists. What this culminated in was the attempted burning down of the Reichstag by a communist sympathiser and the subsequent arrest of 4,000 Communists as Hitler declared to Goebbels, Goring and Rudolf Diels that: ‘There will be no more mercy now; anyone who stands in our way will be butchered’ not only that but that

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