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This is from AP history and bear with me because some of the stuff got a little screwed up in transit. :- Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signified, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold but not clothed." There was never a war that this idea can be more correct applied to than the Cold War. According to noted author and Cold War historian Walter Lippman, the Cold War can be defined as a state of tension between states, which behave with great distrust and hostility towards each other, but do not resort to violence. The Cold War encompasses a period from the end of the Second World War WWII, in 1945, to the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1989. It also encompassed the Korean and Vietnam Wars and other armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, that, essentially, were not wars for people but instead for territories and ideologies. "Nevertheless, like its predecessors, the Cold War has been a worldwide power contest in which one expanding power has threatened to make itself predominant, and in which other powers have banded together in a defensive coalition to frustrate it---as was the case before 1815, as was the case in 1914-1918 as was the case from 1939-1945" Halle 9. From this power contest, the Cold War erupted. In April 1945, Russian forces that had been triumphant at Stalingrad had pushed the German forces back into Germany and American and British forces that had been victorious in their invasion of Normandy did the same; they met at the Elbe River in central Germany Lukacs 17. Europe was separated into two independent halves, one Russian occupied and the other American; from this division, the Cold War emerged. "When a power vacuum separates great powers, as one did the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, they are unlikely to fill it without bumping up against and bruising each other" Gaddis. This 'bumping' and 'bruising' caused the tensions and hostilities that surfaced in the years following WWII. There are three doctrines examining the origins of the Cold War: Orthodox, the belief that "the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin" McCauley 88 caused the Cold War; Revisionist, the idea that "American policy offered the Russians no real choice"¦either acquiesce to American proposals or be confronted with American power or hostility" McCauley 90 and thus, America caused the war; and the Post-Revisionist view, a combination of the two, citing both American and Soviet Russian policy as causes. The fact that both the Orthodox and Revisionist views have convincing evidence is confirmation that the Post-Revisionist viewpoint is the correct assessment of 'blame.' Beyond the evidence that the other two viewpoints provide in support of the Post-Revisionist outlook, there were deep-seated fundamental differences such as the dissimilar attitudes, aims and ideologies that Moscow and Washington subscribed to. One of the fundamental differences between the attitudes of Washington and Moscow originates from the happenings in each nation during and before WWII. "The basic factor in producing this national sense of insecurity has been geographical. Throughout its history Russia has been without natural frontiers to serve for its defense" Halle 13. The Soviet outlook was one of paranoia and insecurity because Soviets had been massacred from their western border several times in their history. In Asian and European historian Elizabeth Seeger's chronicle The Pageant of Russian History, there are numerous examples of Russians being devastated by attacks from their western border such as the Napoleonic attack of 1812 and the especially brutal attack by Germany during WWII. These humiliating attacks left a permanent impression on Russian mentality that can be observed through their national sentiment. Because of this mindset, Stalin sought to secure a friendly and neutralized western border and the Soviet occupation of half of Europe after WWII presented itself as the perfect time to act on these aspirations. "'The war is not as in the past,' Stalin himself explained to the Yugoslav communist Milovian Djilas in 1945, 'whosoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system"¦.It cannot be otherwise'" Gaddis. As demonstrated by this quotation, Stalin planned to install friendly satellite governments in all Soviet subjugated nations, which, as he knew, threatened the western powers' presence and authority. Therefore it could be said that the Soviet plan caused the Cold War, which would defend the Orthodox view. The United States, conversely, had an attitude of greatness and an outlook of omnipresence. This outlook differed from the Soviet attitude mainly because the United States stood apart from Europe and its problems, had never been attacked on its native soil and because: When [WWII] was done there rested spirits of most Americans the belief that they had saved China, rescued the beleaguered European democracies and enabled the Russians to withstand, and presently conquer, the German invaders. They expected appreciation and cooperation in the service of their ideals which the war had deemed to have proved were best. Feis 3These two bipolar positions sharply differed and therefore anxieties arose when the Soviet Union was forced, by Washington's overconfident actions, to be defensive. "The cultural gap between American and Soviet leaders contributed to the emerging Cold War. American negotiators acted as if the mere recitation of their legal and moral rights ought to produce the results they desired" Kissinger 438. These points support the Revisionist view. Both in diplomatic historian Herbert Feis' From Trust to Terror: The Onset of the Cold War 1945-1950 and Hungarian professor of history John Lukacs' A History of the Cold War, there is ample evidence that these divergent attitudes exhibited by each country prevented the other from establishing what they perceived as a secure position in Europe. In short, they forced the other country to be on the defensive and thus, they lashed out at each other. These tantrums can be seen in Europe, the Middle East and other places. There is plenty of sound support for both the Revisionist and Orthodox views and therefore, because of this evidence, the Post-Revisionist standpoint is the historically correct assessment of 'blame.' Each country, not just one or the other, caused the tensions that arose from the differing attitudes. Another fundamental difference between the Soviet Union and the United States was the bipolar aims of each nation. Because of these differing attitudes, both the Soviet Union and the United States had several objectives to achieve after the Central Powers were neutralized during WWII and when the two agendas conflicted, tensions arose: The collapse of Nazi Germany and the need to fill the resulting power vacuum led to the disintegration of the wartime partnership [between the United States and the Soviet Union]. The purposes of the allies were simply too divergent. Churchill sought to prevent the Soviet Union from dominating Central Europe. Stalin wanted to be paid in territorial coin for Soviet military victories and heroic suffering of the Russian people. The new President, Harry S. Truman, initially strove to continue Roosevelt's legacy of holding the alliance together. Kissinger 424 As demonstrated above, the ambitions of the two prominent world powers after WWII were extremely different. Soviet Russia wanted to achieve security because of repeated attacks and the only way that Stalin saw to do this was to acquire territory: "The behaviour of Russia under the Communists had been Russian behaviour rather than communist behaviour"¦.There has been the same effort to achieve security by expanding the Russia space, by constantly pushing back the menacing presence of the foreigners across the Russian borders" Halle 11. Because of the Soviet feelings of insecurity and paranoia, Stalin wanted one thing: the acquisition of territory with Communists-friendly governments in each 'acquired' nation. Another thing that complicated relations was Stalin's mistrustful nature. "National security had come to mean personal security, and [Stalin] saw so many threats to it that he had already resorted to murder on a mass scale in order to remove all conceivable challengers to his regime" Gaddis. Both Stalin and the Russian people felt vulnerable and especially weak on their western front from repeated surprise invasions launched against them. As a result, Stalin wanted to secure his country, to establish a 'buffer zone' against the poisonous capitalist countries to the west a crawl back into the sheltered nook that the Kremlin was. Therefore, one could deduce that Russian intensions caused the Cold War because Stalin was acting while well aware that his actions would contrast with those of America, which supports the Orthodox viewpoint. However, the United States and other western countries also had their own aims. These aims can be observed by analyzing 'The Atlantic Charter' and 'The Truman Doctrine.' Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt signed 'The Atlantic Charter' on August 14,1941. While still early in the war, it was later adopted by the United Nations and remains, to this day, a cornerstone of civilization. The western powers would "seek no aggrandizement"¦. respect the rights of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live"¦.bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations"¦.[and seek] the abandonment of the use of force" Avalon. The Charter was basically a statement that unified the Western democracies against any right-wing fascist government. It was a precursor to Truman's policy of containment because it set democracy liberty against fascist domination and this turned out to be a central theme during the Cold War. The Cold War resulted from the western countries accepting and embracing these principles and the Soviets and eastern bloc countries not doing this. Truman's speech, called his doctrine because it outlined his plan, addressed Congress on March 12, 1947. "One way of life is based upon the will of the majority"¦guarantees of individual liberty"¦and freedom from political oppression. The second way of life is based upon terror and oppression"¦fixed elections"¦and the suppression of personal freedom" Halsall. Truman went on to ask for hundreds of millions of dollars to be sent to Greece, Turkey and other countries in danger of falling to Communism. Truman, in a roundabout way, declared that the United States vowed to contain the spread of Communism all over the world he also piercingly contrasts Communism with Democracy to intensify the hatred and recoil that he wants his audience to feel towards Communism in order to attain the affirming public opinion that he needs to carry out his plan. Through the signing and recitation of these documents it was as if the United States government was drawing a line in the sand and forcing the Soviets into a corner. If they should exceed their dictated borders, as they did in Korea and more so in the Middle East, then they would be punished. Through these threats and confining measures, one could make a worthy argument supporting the Revisionist viewpoint. The divergent attitudes brought about divergent aims after WWII. When examining these aims, there is ample evidence supporting both the Revisionist and Orthodox views and thus, the Post- Revisionist view is the most appropriate one. Both the United States and Soviet Russia acted on these aims and outlooks in different ways. The Soviet Union was in a perfect position to act on its aims to secure Europe because its troops occupied half of it. The German attack forced the Soviet Union into a tactical alliance with the Western Powers but Stalin always sought to expand his influence by using indigenous communists and the Red Army. Not content with eastern and south-eastern Europe, the USSR attempted to draw the whole of Germany into Soviet orbit and by fomenting strikes and social unrest in western and southern Europe and Asia sought to expand communist influence in those regions as well. McCauley 9 Moscow's foremost aim after WWII was securing its western border and in order to do this Stalin needed to ensure that friendly governments, and only authority truly friendly to communists, governed all countries adjacent to the Soviet Union. Thus, he required that all neighboring nations had communist, or extremely left wing, governments installed in them. The Soviet troops in eastern Europe only needed to lightly influence the war-torn governments for them to show communist allegiance. The security-driven aims of the Soviet Union are not only present in Europe but also in Asia and the Pacific. Examples of Soviet expansion include Soviet support of Communists in China and also in North Korea. Their involvement in the Chinese Civil War is a clear example of them setting themselves against the American's because the Soviets funded the Communist movement in full knowledge that the Americans were similarly supporting the Nationalists. The Soviets, if not directly but in a roundabout way, also supported the North Korean forces as they launched their offensive against the South Koreans and sparked the Korean War, that candidly positioned Communist forces against those supporting Democracy. The Soviets supported these movements fully knowing that it would disturb the western objectives there and, although later in the 'war,' these events, and others, were responsible for escalating the Cold War to a near nuclear WWIII in some cases. These points support the Orthodox view. The United States also acted upon its ambitions and overall attitude. The clearest act on the objectives of the United States was 'The Marshall Plan.' This proposal was issued on June 5, 1947 and stated that "it is logical to expect that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economical health in the world" Halsall, and as a result millions of dollars were sent to Germany and other central and south- eastern European countries to 'encourage' them to adopt democracy and avoid communism. This taunting and economical war for people waged by the United States against the Soviet Union is support for the Revisionist view. Each country committed these acts in full knowledge that the other was doing the opposite, and thus the tensions that arose from the incompatibility of these actions are the fault of neither the United States nor Soviet Russia alone, as the supporters of the Revisionist and Orthodox viewpoints believe, but instead, the United States and the Soviet Union were at fault for beginning the Cold War. The final fundamental difference that existed between Washington and Moscow was the immensely different ideologies that each of the powers subscribed to. Based solely on the fact that the Soviet Union and the United States had different forms of governments many tensions arose. The Western democracies sought a form of security that would reject violence or the threat of it: security was to be a collective good, not a benefit denied to some in order to provide it to others. Stalin saw things very differently: security came only by intimidating or eliminating potential challengers"¦.The events of 1917-18 created a symbolic basis for conflict between communism and capitalism by setting the self-proclaimed objectives of the United States and Soviet Russia against one another in a most fundamental way. GaddisThe most evident dogmatic divergence is the forms of government that each country was administered by. The Soviet Union was a communist republic and an autocracy, ruled by a man who had killed more of his own countrymen than Hitler. "While mistrust and hostility of Western capitalism had been subdued during the war, the basic belief that by nature it must be rapacious and aggressive lingered deep in Soviet thought---ready to sprout and grow into hideous accusations when quarrels arose" Feis 5. Conversely, the United States was directed by a capitalist democracy and was recently governed by one of the most liberal Presidents in the history of the nation. As demonstrated informer Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy, there are a myriad of examples of conflicts that arose between these two powers based solely or mostly on ideological differences such as the tensions that developed at the Potsdam Conference. The strict adherence to their respective doctrines in the knowledge that the other abhorred it is further evidence that both nations caused the diplomatic tensions, supporting the Post-Revisionist viewpoint. When examining the pre-WWII and WWII circumstances of both the United States and the Soviet Union, it becomes evident that the elemental canon of each country conflicted. The three most prominent fundamental differences are bipolar outlooks, aspirations and dogmas. When examining documents, there is a plethora of evidence supporting both the Revisionist and the Orthodox viewpoints, and because of this evidence the Post-Revisionist position is the accurate assessment of blame. Both the Soviet Union and the United States purposely aggravated each other and prevented each other from obtaining any sort of secure standing both in the international and domestic sense. When examining these activities years after they happened, it is easy to conclude that both the United States and Soviet Russia were culpable for starting the Cold War. However, during the tense years, such as the Korean and Vietnam Wars, this inference was not as easily made. Thus, those belonging to the Revisionist and Orthodox tenets only need to look at the Cold War overall to gain the perspective necessary to gage an educated proposal for blame and not just focus on isolated events. Again referring back to the quotation by Eisenhower, we must always remember those immortal words and learn from past mistakes and realize that communication and diplomacy are the supreme exemplars of brotherhood and unity, more so that paranoia and arms races will ever be. We must never repeat the mistakes of the past and never again utter Churchill's famous words of the 'iron curtain' to report on international events: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent"¦.If the western democracies stand together in strict adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, their influence for furthering these principles will be immense and no one is likely to molest them. If, however, they become divided or falter in their duty, and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away, then indeed catastrophe may overwhelm us all. Halsall
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This is from AP history and bear with me because some of the stuff got a little screwed up in transit. :- Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signified, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold but not clothed." There was never a war that this idea can be more correct applied to than the Cold War. According to noted author and Cold War historian Walter Lippman, the Cold War can be defined as a state of tension between...
mistakes of the past and never again utter Churchill's famous words of the 'iron curtain' to report on international events: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent….If the western democracies stand together in strict adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, their influence for furthering these principles will be immense and no one is likely to molest them. If, however, they become divided or falter in their duty, and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away, then indeed catastrophe may overwhelm us all. Halsall
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Reasons for the increasing support... Reasons for the increasing support given to NSDAP by the German people in the period 1923 - 1936. The NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, who were in the early 1920s, "a small and not particularly distinctive element in the multifarious and fragmented German volkisch movement" had become by 1936 the ruling organisation of German society. There were many factors influencing the German mass support to swing towards the party during 1923-36. In the face of economic turmoil, the overbearing influence of foreign countries on their Fatherland and the inability of presiding governments in dealing with crisis, the German people lived in national outrage and desperation. These feelings were further heightened by events such as the French invasion of the Ruhr, hyperinflation, and the depression. The period's lack of continuity and lack of progressive change under the Weimar Republic had caused Germany's people to lose confidence in their country's future and they began to believe that under the Republic, Germany will never be able emerge from the chaos to it's rightful position in the world stage. In the background of such social turmoil, the ruthlessly opportunistic Nazi leadership began accumulating support as a result of desperate people searching for desperate solutions. Willing to use any situation to their own advantage they portrayed themselves as the only solution to Germany's problems. No where else to turn, the people began giving their support to the NSDAP. In addition to the social conditions of post-war Germany, the party's well-organised and closely controlled nature, enabling strong and enthusiastic following behind the leadership was also an important factor in drawing public support, and so was Hitler's extraordinary gift for speech making, which the Nazis used to the highest possible advantage. Later after 1933 with the Nazis in power, support was maintained through aggressive propaganda, which made much of Hitler's domestic, and foreign policy successes. Although the achievements of the Nazi administration were quite extraordinary it was this constant propaganda that persuaded the people that all was well in the Third Reich. There are three key events that broke the continuity of post-war Germany and led to great social unrest. This loss of continuity corresponds to changes in the relationship between NSDAP and the German people. The period progressed through three different phases as a consequence of these events. Firstly there was the French takeover of the Ruhr in 1923, sparking off an era of hyperinflation, renewed nationalist outrage, and social turmoil. Then in 1929, just as the economy was stabilising the Great Depression hit Germany and "stopped it dead in it's tracks". This triggered a mass social turn towards extremism as the people started searching for radical solutions. And finally the appointment of Hitler as chancellor sealed the fate of democratic Germany and the Weimar Republic and began the Nazi rule in Germany. The overall changes in the Nazi party's progress and success in electoral terms correspond to "the events of discontinuity" quite clearly as outlined by Sebastian Haffner in The Meaning of Hitler; ""¦In the 1920s through his oratory and demagogy Hitler hardly ever gained more than 5% of all Germans as his followers; in the Reichstag elections of 1928 it was 2.5%. The next 40% were driven into his arms by the economic plight of 1930-33 and by the total helpless failure of all other governments and parties in the face of that plight. The remaining decisive, 50% he gained after 1933 mainly through his achievements." The renewed sense of national outrage and desperation caused by the French takeover of the Ruhr and hyperinflation in 1923 provided Hitler with an opportunity to lift the NSDAP's public profile. Although the attempted putsch in Munich failed after which he realised that power must be taken by "legal" means he used the trial to his great advantage. Using the bitter anti-French and anti-anything-foreign sentiment that prevailed, he reminded the public of the Treaty of Versailles, the "November Criminals", the "stab in the back" legend and the pathetically weak and divided governments from the past and present that were unable to look after the peoples interests as they were spending their time quarrelling amongst themselves. Then he called for unity under a strong leader, defiance of the Treaty of Versailles and the foreign powers, the remilitarisation of Germany and everything else the public wished for. The trial lasted 24 days and reached the front pages on a daily basis. With the eyes of Germany on him "he pleaded guilty. Not for treason "“ but for patriotism." Most Germans living in the economic chaos of hyperinflation sympathised to a great extent with his voiced opinions and this layed down the beginnings of the Nazi party's support. However the NSDAP failed to extend on this good fortune as the leadership had become fragmented during Hitler's term in jail. Therefore Hitler spent the next five years reorganising, restructuring and reunifying the party under his control. Although they did not make much of an impact on the electorate, the party had now become a highly efficient, enthusiastic and tightly knit political force, much unlike the government coalitions. This attracted many patriots, militarists and anyone else who felt the need for a strong government under a decisive leader. This was specially evident during the depression era. Hitler's own oratory skills and personality was an effective and vital instrument in the hands of the Nazis. Preferring to draw on the audience's emotions he would keep the content pitched at the lowest level. Making them listen to what they wanted to hear would give the responders a sense of security which they would compare with the instability of the country. As Gregor Strasser observed, Hitler had an ability to read the collective mind of the congregation; "Hitler responds to the vibration of the human heart with the delicacy of a seismograph... enabling him, with a certainty with which no conscious gift could endow him, to act as a loudspeaker proclaiming the most secret desires, the least permissible instincts, the sufferings and personal revolts of a whole nation." Frequently arriving late to create a tense atmosphere he would begin almost all his speeches in a hesitant manner as if waiting to receive some sort of response from his audience. He would then build up tempo and manage to take everyone else with him to the climax. The reactions of the audience was reported by an American journalist Stanley High; "When, at the climax, he sways from one side to the other, his listeners sway with him; when he leans forward they also lean forward and when he concludes they either are awed and silent or on their feet in a frenzy." Hitler's personality was also used by Nazi propaganda experts to attract and gain the support of many Germans who had no one else to place their patriotic pride in. Later when in power the "Fuhrer myth" was to play an important part in maintaining the enthusiastic support of the public. The NSDAP was able to target a broad range of social groups with their energetic and tireless campaigning. The strategy used was to adjust the content of their propaganda to suit the audience. Hitler himself used this method quite masterfully in his speeches. When he spoke to the workers he would complain about foreign exploiters, Jewish capitalists and promise the end of unemployment. If the audience were members of an exclusive industrial club, he would rage against communism and promise to keep the unions under control. If he was campaigning in rural Germany his speeches would idolise farmers and passionately endorse the superiority of pure rural Germany over the cosmopolitan urban Germany. The theme of "stab in the back", and the "November criminals" was repeatedly used to rekindle the anger and bitterness. The propaganda experts of the NSDAP used the prevailing weather of political turmoil and economic crisis to draw support. Support although stretched across a large social base, was not randomly distributed across all German society. The urban lower-middle class and rural landlords made up the majority of supporters. Then came the rural peasantry, the militarists, the monarchists and the Junkers. The party however could not gain the support of the majority of urban workers, the unemployed and the industrialists until much later. From 1926-1932 and especially after 1929 the NSDAP began gaining a large part of its support from rural Germany. The agricultural sector felt the effects of the depression earlier than rest of Germany and the NSDAP had by 1926 shifted their campaign focus from the unresponsive urban to rural Germany. Part of the NSDAP "Blut und Boden" Blood and Soil ideal included the preservation of the sanctity of German soil and protection of the farmer who was to be the backbone of the German people. Reminding them of their economic predicament the NSDAP promised agrarian reform ie redistribution of land, end of reparations, end of depression and protection against foreign competition. Through such promises, the Nazi achieved their first electoral breakthroughs in rural Germany. Much of the rural working-class also gave their support to the National Socialists. Majority of the rural landlords who provided the hardcore support for the NSDAP managed to influence the land-less pheasants to give their support to the party. Their urban counterparts on the other hand preferred to vote for the KPD. However during the depression many from the working-class became dissatisfied with SPD with whom they had previously held their allegiance and a large minority preferred national socialism to communism. The social and cultural innovation during the Stresemann era had seen a rise in nudity and open homosexuality in the club scenes. This along with a renaissance of experimentalist and avant-garde art and architecture alienated many conservatives who linked modernisation with decadence. Many of them also felt that the DNVP were not protecting their interests in parliament and therefore gave their support to the NSDAP instead. Conservatives believed the traditional values they desperately wanted to maintain would be strongly embraced by the Nazis. The real hardcore members of the Nazi supporters came from the patriotic and influential Junkers and landed gentry with militarist sympathies and traditions. They felt that their positions would be secure from communism under a Nazi government. In addition to the nationalistic ideals on which the party was based on, these people were attracted to the strong unity and discipline showed by the members of the paramilitary. The SA and SS parades attracted many patriots who admired the courage shown by the young men in times of desperation. As Albert Speer recalled; "my mother saw a Storm Trooper parade ... the sight of discipline in a time of chaos, the impression of energy in an atmosphere of universal hopelessness, seems to have won her over also." However the majority of Nazi supporters were from the Mittelstand lower middle class. The German Mittelstand was comprised of small businessmen, independent artisans, small shopkeepers and the self-employed. During the depression support from the Mittelstand dramatically increased. The constant fear of sinking down to working class and unemployment as well as the hatred towards the communists, the big businesses and the trade unions was manipulated by the Nazis into more votes. The NSDAP propaganda excited their fears by predicting communist revolutions and reminding them of the helplessness of the government to counter the depression which threatened to drag them down into unemployment or even worse - the working class. As Dick Geary suggests, the NSDAP "in it's combination of anti-socialist and anti-big business rhetoric" was the ideal party for the lower middle class to give their support to when there was no one else around. NSDAP attracted the youth by portraying the movement as "a dynamic inspirer of youth" and when contrasted with the "sclerosis of the traditional right" it proved to be an appealing option. The propaganda messages pitched at the lowest level was designed to provide an easy alternative for any patriotic and insecure youth living during a time of national disgrace and economic turmoil. The Hitler Youth set up in 1926 provided means of attracting the younger non-voting Germany and indoctrinate them with Nazi ideology. The industrialists who were sceptical of the NSDAP's pro-socialist wing became somewhat convinced of the party's anti-communists stand after 1929 when NSDAP joined the anti-young coalition. However support from industrialists was rare as with the unemployed who tended to vote for the KPD. The widely unpopular Young Plan of 1928 gave Hitler another opportunity to increase the NSDAP public profile. An anti-Young coalition formed by the right wing parties brought the rich press baron and respectable National Party leader, Alfred von Hugenburg into contact with Hitler. Hitler soon had Hugenburg's resources at his disposal. Using his expertise in propaganda techniques he was able to put forward an image as the front man and leading force of the anti-Young coalition. No German could now ignore the NSDAP's presence. The alliance with Hugenburg also brought to the Nazis a respectability that was desperately needed. The violence of the SA although useful when dealing with politicians, tended to scare off many middle-of-the-road voters. With this raise in social status they were regarded much more seriously by the wealthy conservatives and monarchists etc. This is another one of many instances where Hitler was able to use circumstances to his own advantage. The republic looked incredibly weak in the face of depression. As Geoff Spencely observed: "As world markets and investments collapsed, economic activity declined everywhere while unemployment increased dramatically. Few countries were affected as badly as Germany, however, and the Weimar Republic visibly wilted under the strain." The German people were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the divided and squabbling politicians who governed them. In all it's history there was never a single-party government and the coalition governments were ineffective in passing decisive legislation that was needed in such circumstances. Many, who looked at the NSDAP's internal strength and unity and Hitler's wonderful promises of a strong and powerful Germany, saw the Nazis as a solution to Germany's problems. The September 1930 elections saw the NSDAP achieve tremendous support. This resulted primarily from the circumstances in which the elections were held. The Great Depression brought Germany and the Republic down on its knees. A combined opposition defeated Brüning's policy of deflation and every other program suggested by the government. The frustrated chancellor attempted to implement his programs as presidential emergency decrees. The Reichstag voted for its withdrawal, forcing Hindenburg to call for elections. The NSDAP rose to prominence as the second largest party after the SPD. They had attained 107 seats 18.3% compared to 12 seats 2.6% of the 1928 elections. The deflationist policies employed by the Brüning government during 1930-32 to battle depression, although courageous because it was political suicide, were widely unpopular with the public as they asked for considerable sacrifices to be made. Hitler, the ruthless opportunist, decided to use this public discontentment to attack and enkindle contempt and anger towards the republic. Again this meant more support for the Nazis as the public felt they had no one else to turn to. The continuation of depression led the desperate German people to look for more extremist options. Parties like the KPD and the NSDAP began accumulating mass support. The importance of the Great Depression as a reason for the dramatic increase in support for the NSDAP is highlighted by Victor Schliff; "If there is indeed a point on which there is"¦ no deference of opinion among us, it must surely be that Hitler owes his rise and his ultimate victory essentially to the World Economic Crisis; to the despair of the unemployed proletariat; to the academically trained youth for whom there is no future; to the middle class businessman and craftsman heading for bankruptcy and the farmers threatened with a fall in agricultural pricing." Chancellor Brüning and the right wing had grown radically anti-republican and they drove Germany into even greater depression, causing the German masses to loose confidence in the republic. The influential right wing's efforts to keep the republican governments weak had sealed the fate of Weimar. With Brüning as chancellor and Hindenburg another ardent monarchist as president, the republic was in the hands of a leadership that didn't want it to exist. The anti-republican sentiment drove many more voters into the hands of the Nazis. This was first seen in the presidential elections of March 1932 where Hitler received 36.8% of votes Hindenburg was re-elected with 53% and then in the local elections and finally in the Reichstag elections in July where the NSDAP won 37.4% of the Reichstag with 230 of it's members in parliament. Once Hitler became chancellor in 1933 he sought to cut away the chains that bound him to the 'captive chancellery'. This had to be done by achieving the first single-party government in the history of the Reichstag. To gain an absolute majority Hitler began a vigorous campaign. His 'Appeal to the German People' on the 31 January of 1933 set the tone as the NSDAP propaganda machine began to sing to the well-worn tune of 'stab in the back'. Blaming the 'November parties' social democrats, Jews and the communists for all of Germany's problems he called for national "unity of mind and will". In effect he was asking the people to give up any allegiance to the weak, divisive parties and to join together under the NSDAP. By this stage the German public knowing, and being further impounded by the continuous propaganda, of the ineffectiveness of the Weimar Republic and the notion of democracy during crisis, looked favourably at Hitler's offers of unity, strong leadership and decisive government. With the newly found resources of the state, brought to the hand of the NSDAP through Hitler's chancellorship they was able to present their message to an unprecedented audience. The Nazis suffered a setback at the elections of March 1933, achieving only 43.9% of votes, which although was an improvement from the previous election, it was still a long way off from a definitive majority. This can be attributed to the street violence of the SA, which had turned off many voters. However by the end of 1933 after the Enabling Act was passed and all other political parties banned the plebiscite on Nazi administration and foreign policy received a 90% vote of approval. In the elections that were held simultaneously the NSDAP finally achieved a majority. 87.8% of the people who turned out to the ballot boxes voted for the only party on the ballot paper. This indicated that the propaganda had been effective and consequently support for the Nazi party had increased. If the Nazis were to have any hope of continuing their regime they needed to make sure that they had the support of the Reichswehr. The army warned Hitler that this would not happen until the SA and its leader Rohm were stripped of their power. The SA was now two million strong and Rohm had intentions of taking over the army. Hitler himself knew that the unorganised and untrained SA were only effective for parading and bashing up politicians and could not be used against a well trained foreign army. On 30 June 1934 Hitler began a purge that saw the end of Rohm, von Schleicher, Kurt von Bredow and the leadership of the SA. This act was applauded by the army and also by Hindenburg who sent telegrams congratulating Hitler. The industrialists were also happy with this development, as they had been fearful of Rohm who wanted nationalisation of industries. Now at last with the support of the most influential groups in Germany, Hitler was practically free to do anything he wished. During the period of 1933-36, Hitler's domestic and foreign policy successes contributed greatly to increasing support for the Nazi regime. In the eyes of almost all Germans, Hitler's complete disregard for the hated Treaty of Versailles was a greatly estimable virtue. After withdrawing from the League of Nations which was regarded as the victor's league, he introduced general conscription and German troops were sent to remilitarise the Rhineland. Both were clear breaches of the Peace Treaty and the Locarno Pact and both were extraordinarily successful. The German people were delighted at the reaction, or more accurately, the lack of any reaction from the British and French. Although they were afraid of another war, by now the public had placed its pride, trust and support in their Führer. The NSDAP's administration of domestic affairs was also a great source of pride for the German people. Inheriting the burden of six million unemployed Germans he had reduced the number to less than two million by the end of 1936. The regime had also managed to end depression without progressing into inflation. Hitler's expansionary policies of put getting people back to work as a priority rather than balancing the budget was a politically safe option, which brought confidence to a people who had been overcome by helplessness. The media spewed forth a continuous stream of propaganda celebrating the genius of Hitler who liberated the German people from the depression, the French, the Versailles peace treaty, the Bolsheviks and the Jews. The vast majority of Germans did not have access to any other news source and were completely under the influence of this propaganda. Numerous spectacular rallies and pageants were held to show to the citizens the power and influence of Germany and to provide a sense of security in the belief that Germany was doing well at last under the Nazis. The Reich propaganda leader for the NSDAP, Joseph Goebbels, began constructing the 'Führer myth', an image of Hitler to which the German people would give their allegiance to even if they were dissatisfied with aspects of the regime itself. In the beginning Hitler was portrayed as the modest tireless worker who sacrificed himself for the German people; as the friend, the caring older brother, a man with simple tastes who shared the prejudices of the common German. Later he became the miracle worker, the saviour who saved Germany from destruction, the political genius who stood up against the rest of the world for the sake of Germany, a man with extraordinary gifts. The foreign policy successes and domestic successes of the regime were exaggerated and made out to be the product of Hitler's single-handed efforts. Appointed Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and given far reaching powers after 13 March 1933, Goebbels used the press, the radio, the cinema and all other media to skilfully present the 'Führer myth' to the public. The effect that this propaganda had on some people was extraordinary. As Dorothy Thompson recounts; "At Garmisch I met an American from Chicago. He had been at Oberammergau, at the Passion Play. "These people are all crazy," he said. "This is not a revolution, it"s a revival. They think Hitler is God. Believe it or not, a German woman sat next to me at the Passion Play and when Jesus was hoisted on the Cross, she said, "There he is. That is our Fuehrer, our Hitler." And when they paid out the thirty pieces of silver to Judas, she said "That is Röhm, who betrayed the Leader." Although cases such as this were extreme and rare it shows that the "Führer Myth" did serve to increase and sustain the support of the German people during the Nazi regime. A more common sentiment towards the führer can be gauged from this extract of a typical letter sent to Hitler; "My Führer! "¦ I feel compelled by unceasing love to thank our creator daily for "¦ giving us "¦ such a wonderful Führer"¦" The Nazis had to implement social projects to satisfy members of the public who would be most disadvantaged by the regime. The most important of these programs included the extensive development of Hitler Youth, the 'Kraft durch Freude' program for industrial workers, and programs to encourage women to abide by the Nazi slogan which defined the females of the Third Reich; 'Kinder, Kuche und Kirche' children, kitchen and church. All these programs were conducted to make these people feel part of the 'new German community' or volksgemeinschaft. Under the leadership of Baldur von Schirach the Hitler Jügend rapidly developed after 1933. Most of the German youth found HJ and the HJ activities quite attractive because of the excitement and camaraderie to be found there. The purpose of developing HJ was to achieve a lasting transformation of society according to Nazi values by winning over the ears of the youth and indoctrinating them with Nazi ideals making them firm supporters of the Nazi regime. The Nazis needed to gain the support of industrial workers, as they were a vital element in the rearmament plans. They were however, not part of central Nazi ideology. To do this Hitler introduced the 'Strength through Joy' movement which provided holidays, concerts and sporting events for workers who never enjoyed such privileges before. There was also a 'beauty of work' campaign which was aimed at improving working conditions to compensate for the lack of pay rises and unions. The workers believing Hitler's claims that he had done away with social prejudices, and becoming deceived by the party's 'bread and circuses' policy, began giving the Nazi party their support. According to Nazi ideology women were seen as biologically destined to give birth to healthy Aryan children and to stay at home and look after them. As a result women were discouraged and sometimes forced to quit jobs and employers were encouraged to discriminate according to gender. As a way of maintaining the support from women the Nazis idolised motherhood and provided compensations for women who chose to raise a family. For example interest free loans were given to families with children. Also medals were given to women who raised large families. By 1936 Hitler and the Nazi party had the active support of the German people behind them. But even then there were small opposition groups indicating that a large minority were dissatisfied with the regime. The party was not hesitant in using terror as a way of stopping these people from spreading adverse propaganda. Support is always easier to maintain when the people who don't like the regime don't talk about the regime. The SS and the notorious Gestapo were ever present at the back of opposition minds. People who put out publications or other material containing information that was not approved could easily get shot or hanged. Even before the Nazis came to power terror was employed through the SA whose function, other than to parade, was to threaten and attack oppositions, and to disturb meetings of other opposition groups. During the passing of the Enabling Act the SA were actually patrolling the Reichstag, helping politicians to vote the right way. If not a way of increasing support, terror was certainly the Nazi way of ensuring the support that they already had was maintained. The Nazis were basically products of the Treaty of Versailles and the depression and a Mittelstand response to unemployment, the growing working class, bolshevism and economic strife. They were able to capitalise on the economic turmoil and national outrage to gain support before and during their accession to power. Once in control of Germany the most vital factor, which contributed to the continuation of support was propaganda; the ability to deceive the public that all was well in the Third Reich. Comparatively Hitler's foreign and domestic policy successes were of minor importance. As a final evaluation it can be said that when normal people are subjected to extreme conditions they usually start searching for extreme solutions and the increasing support experienced by the Nazi party was a consequence of desperation.   

Reasons for the increasing support given to NSDAP by the German people in the period 1923 - 1936. The NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, who were in the early 1920s, "a small and not particularly distinctive element in the multifarious and fragmented German volkisch movement" had become by 1936 the...

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