Hitler’s Rise to Power


On January 30, 1933 Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor, a position of absolute power. It would lead him to control Germany, its inhabitants in every possible aspect and take over neighboring nations. How could Hitler, one man with special background, possibly rise to seize such enormous amounts of power? There were many factors involved that when melded together enabled Hitler to gain power. The many varying factors that contributed to Hitler’s rise in power ranged from a personal-scale to a continent-wide scale and it would not have been possible if they did not span so widely.
The man himself was impressive and his personal traits played a role in his rise to power. Early on in his life Hitler was unsuccessful in many of his endeavors including primary school and art school. He did not find his true calling until 1914 when he joined the Bavarian Regiment at the beginning of the war (1). By 1919 he had formed an image of a party in his mind (2). In the early 1920’s, Hitler was the biggest contributor to his party the NSDAP, or National Socialist German Workers’ Party (3). He then took over leadership in July. Hitler had found his passion and he would stop at nothing to accomplish his goals and make his party more powerful since this was his nature. He was very tenacious and refused to give up. This can be shown through the beer hall putsch of 1923 he organized. Even after he was arrested for that incident he continued his work in jail, writing the book Mein Kampf in order to inspire his followers (4). Throughout his life Hitler would act like this, doing whatever had to be done to get what he wanted.
One of Hitler’s greatest strengths was his speechmaking. He was a great orator, able to incite entire crowds and the masses and force his views on them. While giving speeches Hitler’s true colors showed. He was charismatic, loud, and impassioned. Audiences knew he would make a good leader with those traits. This belief held true since Germany was in tough times and the Weimar Republic had collapsed. The people had nowhere and nobody to turn to, they were lost and confused. Then Hitler appeared with his platform. It was appealing to many people but that was not the most important aspect. It was clear that he had direction and conviction. This was a man that the people could follow with confidence.
Hitler could not have been successful if he was not intelligent and skilled. He was very adept militarily and this allowed him to take over other countries quite easily and gain the respect of his followers. With each swift and decisive victory using his blitzkrieg tactic the morale of Germany grew. It was also important that Hitler had the loyalty of his military. Every gear was important in his well-oiled machine. Everyone from the poor German folk to his generals. His military prowess made him feared in opposing countries causing some of them to appease him.
An aspect that Hitler did not reveal was his deceptiveness. He would use people to give himself the advantage and he was very good at concealing it. One prominent example would be the chancellor before him. The chancellor did not take a liking to Hitler and Hitler knew this. He feigned a change in heart and eventually won the chancellor over. When the chancellor was near death he thought Hitler was the best, or only, person to replace him. Hitler even stayed at his deathbed to ensure his newfound power. In a way, Hitler also deceived the public with his dirty tactics (5).
One of Hitler’s greatest tools in his rise to power was violence. His thinking was simple yet effective. He would be ensured power if there was no opposition and what better way to get rid of them than kill them off. And this was what he did. His political opponents were assassinated on his orders. The public condoned the violence, what else could they do? If they opposed Hitler they were struck down as well. Intimidation was an extremely potent tool also. Getting an opponent to back off was just as effective and the people that disliked Hitler didn’t dare speak up because of fear of violence (6).
Hitler’s personality was an important factor; however, the condition Germany was in at the time contributed to his rise. If Germany wasn’t in ruins then why would people have supported Hitler? Their lives were content. But in reality the opposite was true. The Weimar Republic had collapsed and the economy was in shambles (7). People felt betrayed, had no one to trust and were looking for a charismatic and confident leader to lead them back to glory. Hitler fit the mold perfectly. Citizens in a broken country tend to join the most popular party and the Nazi party was growing fast. That and the intimidation used by the Nazis made many people join them.
The rise in power was also affected on a continent-wide scale by other European nations. The machine that was Germany could have been halted before it got into motion but no action was taken. Other countries could have tried to stop Hitler but nothing was done until it was too late. Countries like England didn’t detect Hitler as a threat early enough. When they finally did they did nothing to threaten him, instead they appeased him. They gave him what he wanted in hopes that he would not carry out a dangerous move. Well nothing was really stopping Hitler from invading a neighbor and doing so would benefit Germany, so why not? Basically, Hitler could have been stopped before he reached his peak but Germany turned into a powerhouse and could put up a fight that would cost countless casualties, something other countries were hoping to avoid (8).
Countries were looking to avoid damage so they put up little resistance. This only encouraged Hitler more. He strived to follow success with success, in order to gain more land for his people. Another factor can be the strength of other nations. If a country had an extremely powerful military, then Germany probably wouldn’t dare invade it. But that was not the case with Poland and the like.
Alliances among the European nations caused confusion and hesitation as well. If one country were to be attacked then another would be obligated to join in. Weak and vulnerable countries were scrambling to get in an alliance. France wanted to ally with Britain but Britain didn’t want to get involved in a conflict.
The United States, Japan and other countries across the globe also played a role in Germany. Events that affected Germany in any way can be said to have affected Hitler’s rise to power. The Crash can mostly be blamed on the United States and that had some effect on the crash of Germany’s economy. The United States had also helped Germany in a way. Any trading between the two countries can be seen as supporting Germany. Other imperialist nations, such as Japan and Italy supported Germany. They encouraged Germany to invade by invading other countries or rather Germany was pressured to catch up with the rest of them. This can be narrowed down even further. Hitler was known to have been inspired by Mussolini since Hitler fashioned his own party after Mussolini’s (9).
It is evident that there existed many different factors contributing to Hitler’s rise to power. Each was relevant and today would not be the same if not all of them existed. The factors spanned from just one person to the entire globe. Had it not been for Mussolini and his Fascists, then maybe the Nazis wouldn’t have existed. If Hitler wasn’t his extraordinary self then he probably would never had been so popular. Maybe, if surrounding countries had acted sooner, so much bloodshed could have been prevented. Each and every factor was important to Hitler’s rise and if even one was a little different then the present would be significantly altered.
  1. Layton, Geoff. “The Early Years of the Nazis 1919-29.” Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-1933. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 102-120. Print.
  2. ibid.
  3. ibid.
  4. ibid.
5. “The Decline of Weimar and the Rise of Nazism 1929-32.” Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 121-147. Print.
6. “The Early Years of the Nazis 1919-29.”
7. “The Nazi Road to Dictatorship 1932-33.” Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 148-179. Print.
8. ibid.
9. “The Rise of Adolf Hitler.” The History Place. N.p., 1996. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <http://www.historyplace.com/.htm>.


List of Sources
Layton, Geoff. “The Decline of Weimar and the Rise of Nazism 1929-32.”
Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 121-147. Print.
- - -. “The Early Years of the Nazis 1919-29.”
Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-1933. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 102-120. Print.
- - -. “The Nazi Road to Dictatorship 1932-33.”
Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. London: Hodder Murray, 2005. 148-179. Print.
“The Rise of Adolf Hitler.”
The History Place. N.p., 1996. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. <http://www.historyplace.com/.htm>.