Hitler's Popularity

Adolf Hitler is regarded as a “direct descendant of Satan,” the face of evil with a toothbrush moustache, a person with absolutely no heart and no conscience, the worst political leader of all time. Yet, his rise to power was slow and dogged. Before he could consolidate power, he spent time in prison after a failed coup.

In fact, Hitler’s National Socialist Party never won more than 37% of the vote in the four turbulent elections of 1932. Yet, once he assumed chancellorship, Hitler used his strange charisma to become a surprisingly beloved and popular “Fuhrer,” honoured by the masses with the infamous Nazi salute. With the end of the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, German nationalism was dealt a crippling blow. During this time of hardship, in the 1920s and 1930s, an Austrian known as Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany through charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was able to hypnotize the crowd, with his careful honed techniques, which included arriving late, beginning quietly, and gradually, through his riveting voice and gesticulations, driving the crowd into a mass hysteria In 1924, Hitler and his fellow Nazi Party members attempted a coup d’etat in Munich, but were arrested and sentenced to a year in prison. After his release, Hitler again became the leader of the National socialist party, also known as the Nazi Party.

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In 1932, he was appointed chancellor by then president Paul Von Hindenburg. When he assumed power, Hitler was already admired by the people of Germany, and became even more popular when the Germans began occupying Poland and the rest of Europe. He had kept his “word” about Pan-Germanism and increasing national morale. To fulfill his goal to control all of Europe, he had increased the Wehrmacht’s manpower to a total of 13 million men. Only by 1944 and 1945 did he begin to lose popularity, as displayed in the failed assassination attempt of 1944.

When the Soviets began entering Berlin and Eastern Germany, many Germans decided to retreat instead of taking arms and fighting back like “real” nationalists would do. In the end, when the Soviets took Berlin, Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide in a hidden bunker. Surprising as it may be, Hitler did actually enjoy a period of wild popularity after a failed coup in 1924 and forcing his way up to the chancellorship in 1932. When Hitler and his fellow Nazis began to dominate Germany’s political stage, many invested their trust in him and his fascist ideology. Most Germans believed that, by following him, the morale of the country would soar to great heights. Through his charisma and his riveting voice, Hitler was able to move the crowd and draw supporters easily.

Though now he is considered the face of evil, at the time most Germans craved a leader who would increase the pride of the country. Hitler was the one to do so.