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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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With a lock of hair falling...With a lock of hair falling over his forehead and a square little mustache on his often, somber face, Adolf Hitler seemed a comical figure when he first entered into politics. He was a public speaker who ranted and raved until his voice was hoarse and sweat dripped from his brow. Hitler was an evil genius. With the help of fanatic disciples and gullible masses, he profoundly changed Germany and the political face of Europe; unleashing the most terrible war in history and unprecedented genocide in which more than six million Jews died. Hitler is called mad; but were the men around him also mad? They were cultivated, educated, learned men. Germany wasn't a backward country, preyed on by ignorance, but one of the most advanced nations in the world; renown for great scientific and cultural achievements. His program was one for evil and destruction and yet the majority of the people in Germany accepted it. How did Hitler come to power? His ideas have lived on, unfortunately. Many around the world still find inspiration in his words. Also have lived on, the memories. Time has not dimmed the terms storm troops, gas chambers, death camps, and holocaust. A new generation asks, why? On the morning of September 15 1930, early editions of newspapers across Germany brought the first reports that Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party NSDAP had scored a stunning electoral triumph. Only two years earlier, the party had languished in obscurity. The appeal of the Nationalist Socialists was so small that most commentators, those who recognized them at all, saw them as a minor and declining party. Yet, when the polls closed on the evening of September 14, 1930 the NSDAP had become the second largest party in the Weimar Republic. The NSDAP was founded as "Deutschearbei Partei", the German Workers Party DAP in Munich, during January 1919. It was one of a number of German political parties clustered along the outskirts of German politics in the immediate post-war period. Initially, it was hardly more than a debate society. It had less than thirty members, only three of which were active political speakers. The organization would probably have remained this way had it not been for the extraordinary leadership and propagandistic talents of Adolf Hitler who joined the party in 1919. Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. He stood out in no way as a boy and didn't finish High School. He moved to Vienna in 1907 and applied to the Vienna Academy of Art, twice, but was rejected. The heads of the department felt he was not talented enough. They had no idea how this decision would affect history. When World War I broke out, Hitler enthusiastically enlisted in the German army. His life was going nowhere and the war provided him with something to fill the void. He was looking for an adventure. In the war, he proved a dedicated and brave soldier. He was temporarily blinded by poisonous gas and was shot on the leg. He learned a lot about violence and its uses. But he was never promoted to a leadership position. His supervisors claimed that he had no leadership qualities. They were quite wrong. At the end of the war, Hitler was disillusioned and angry: Germany had lost. He became very nationalistic and anti-Semitic like many other disillusioned soldiers. He was sure, suddenly, that the purpose of his life was to lead Germany. Adolf the artist was the dead and Hitler the politician was soon to emerge. It was his remarkable energy and magnetism as a public speaker that first shot the party into the local Munich limelight and later catapulted the movement into national recognition. From it's beginning, the DAP was distinguished from other German parties. Like the others, it was extremely nationalistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Marxist and anti-Weimar Republic. But the DAP was determined to win the support of the working class for its cause. The party emphasized its commitment to "ennobling the German worker." They claimed the Jews were controlling Germany and taking over. In reality, there were only about six hundred thousand Jews living in Germany and they represented less than one percent of the population. From the very moment of his early entry into the tiny DAP, Hitler was determined to transform the party into a prominent political organization. He had great plans, most of which came true. His tireless activity he was unemployed and his surprising success as public speaker soon made him indispensable. By the end of the year, Hitler had become both propaganda chief and a member of the executive committee. At the same time the party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party NSDAP; or Nazis for short. Hitler, ordinary as he seemed, turned out to be a mesmerizing speaker. During 1920, his reputation as a fiery and effective speaker continued to attract increasingly large audiences to his carefully orchestrated and powerful public appearances. His voice, his features, his words, the passion he displayed put a spell on his audiences. He was like a magician. But it wasn't just magic: the meetings were always held in the late afternoons after his audiences had left work. They were more susceptible to what he had to say. The mood in Germany was grim and his public was depressed. Hitler took advantage of all their weaknesses. Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other members of the upper class, as well as workers began to join the Nazi party. Hitler dressed up his creed with symbols of power. He put his early Nazi followers into brown-shirted uniforms and called them storm troops or SA. The name inspired fear. So did the way they looked and the sound of their boots. Hitler also created a Nazi flag: a red banner with a black swastika on a white circle. He did not invent the swastika and before he adopted it, the swastika was a positive, spiritual symbol that meant life and was used by many cultures. Hitler's followers left the meeting halls after he spoke shouting "Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!" Fired by his words, they went out into the streets singing angrily, "When Jewish blood flows from our knives, things will be better!" Not only did they sing, they looked for Jews to beat up. With bully bravado between 10 and 15 of them would gang up on just one person. Hitler's followers were everywhere. Out of fear or out of sentiment, the public hesitated to interfere. Did the German government try to stop the brutality? It did, but by the time, the police got there, the aggressors had dispersed. In addition, the Weimar Republic was not very powerful. From it's foundation during the coalition of 1918, two days before the end of World War II, until it's demise with Nazi assumption of power in 1933, the Weimar Republic was burdened by a series of overlapping, political, social, and economic problems. A lot of hostility towards it was due to the Versailles Treaty. Germany had agreed with the Allies to stop the fighting, believing that President Woodrow Wilson's idealistic "Fourteen Points" would be the basis for a negotiated peace treaty. They found that the treaty was not negotiable and the German delegation was advised to agree or be taken over. The Allies, against President Wilson's wishes, were determined to get their revenge on Germany. Under the terms of the treaty, Germany was charged with sole responsibility for the war, stripped of it's colonial empire and a huge chunk of its land, and forced to pay heavy reparations. The treaty seriously disrupted German political and economic life and was considered horribly unfair by Germans and non-Germans alike. By early 1923, Hitler was in firm command of the Nazi party. As he was responsible for the growth of the group, he could and did set himself up as its leader. Hitler was ready to test the political waters. He wasn't willing to wait any longer and ruled out participation in electoral politics as the road to power. He was convinced that the Republic could be toppled by revolution. At the time, the Republic seemed vulnerable. The Weimar Republic was determined to avoid the postwar recession and mass unemployment among the millions of demobilized veterans. It also had to pay pensions to millions of injured veterans, widows, sons and other surviving dependents of the war dead. It also, of course had to pay billions of dollars in war reparations. The result of all these economic demands was high inflation and the result of the inflation was a dramatic deterioration of the Reichmark's RM value. In January 1922, a dollar was worth 8.20 RM. By December, it was worth 7,589.27 RM. In January 1923, it was worth 17,952 RM. By August the exchange rate reached an astronomical 109,996.15 RM to the dollar. Economic life in Germany acquired an almost surrealistic quality. Imagine that in August you buy a ticket for a streetcar in Berlin for 100,000 RM. One month later the same ticket costs 4,500,000 RM and by November, it's 150 million RM. In January you buy a kilo of potatoes for 20 RM. In October, the same kilo costs 90 billion. Bread was more than five times that, eventually at 467 billion. The price of one kilo of beef at 4 trillion simply defies imagination. Life was madness not to mention how it affected the cost of living. As prices went up, salaries went up but not quite as quickly as prices. Meanwhile, the Allies refused to accept payment for the war offered in devalued German currency. They sent French and Belgian troops to occupy the Rurh. A broad political and economic crisis soon developed in Germany. There was rampant inflation, high unemployment, uprisings in the Rhineland, a communist coup in Hamburg, and mobilization of rightist forces in Bavaria. The Republic had the world on its shoulders. This atmosphere of political and economic crisis inspired Hitler to enlist the NSDAP in a conspirational alliance with a number of other German, political parties and right-wing groups. They planned to overthrow first the Bavarian government and eventually the Third Reich. When at last the accordingly named Beer Hall Putsch went into action it was a fiasco. It was not very organized nor supported by the army. The conspiracy was immediately crushed, Hitler was arrested and the NSDAP was banned throughout the Reich. The humiliation of the Beer Hall Putsch taught Hitler patience. If he wanted to gain power, he would have to do it the hard way: by getting elected. Although he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in prison, Hitler was released within a year. During his short stay, he was given private quarters and allowed to receive visits often. While in prison he wrote Mein Kampf My Struggle, the bible of the Nazi party. In Mein Kampf, Hitler set forth his racial views. He said that Germans were the master Aryan race and deserved to rule the world. Actually, the Aryans were one of the first settlers of India and had nothing to do with Germany. He also said that the Jews were evil. The evil was in their genes and could never be eliminated. While Hitler was in jail, the NSDAP participated in their first Reichstag election. Although the failure of the Putsch had sent the already shaky movement into disarray, some order was restored in the first few months of the following year. Shortly after the failed rebellion, Hitler had entrusted the leadership of the group to Alfred Rosemberg, a man with little organizational experience and less personal authority over the group; qualifications which may have highly recommended him to Hitler. The future Der Fuhrer didn't want the Nazis to be entirely without leadership but he also didn't want to be upstaged. With it's leader arrested and it's organization banned throughout Germany, the NSDAP floundered. Before the Putsch, Hitler had given very little thought to any type of plan B should the plot miscarry. As a result, the party wavered on the brink of disintegration. But the election of 1924, nicknamed the "inflation election" because it was during a time when Germany was in a chaotic state due to hyperinflation, was a successful one. They brought in 6.5 percent of the vote. Germany entered a period of relative prosperity and political stability. Just as economic turmoil and political unrest characterized the early postwar period, the years from 1924 to 1929 would be remembered as the Golden Twenties. It was the calm before the storm. For the National Socialists, the next four years were filled with failed tactic after failed tactic to regain a foothold in German politics. After his release from the Landsberg prison, Hitler was determined to reestablish his control over the National Socialist movement. He was also still determined to climb to power the legal way. In practical terms this meant he needed to recruit more supporters for his Nazi party and needed to get them to vote for him. But nothing worked. When the Reichstag that was elected four years earlier was dissolved, new elections were set for May 20, 1928. The NSDAP brought in 2.6 percent of the vote. It seemed that the organization was done with. Until Black Tuesday. Half a world away from Germany was the US. But the distance didn't stop the Great Depression in America from devastating the German economy just when it was getting back on its feet. In late 1929, industrial production began a steady slide. As production fell, unemployment rose. By January 1930, over three million Germans were unemployed. Once again the state of Germany was disrupted and there was misery. Meanwhile, the NSDAP was better organized and better financed than at any other time in their brief history. Hitler had used the years spent in obscurity to firmly establish his leadership and came to be seen almost like a god to his fanatic followers. The Nazi machine began to take up steam and they began an extensive propagandistic campaign. They promised debt relief to desperate farmers, new jobs for the unemployed and the perfect answer to very problem plaguing Germany. But it was more than that. Hitler and his Nazis provided hope. Hitler with his words wove a comforting picture of a united, prosperous Germany, which was exactly what they needed to hear. He told them he would save them from the long chain of disasters. They had lost World War I and been forced to accept the brutal Versailles Treaty and then had to deal with inflation. Now this, the Depression. Screaming, his voice charged with emotion, he spoke of acquiring territory and winning glory for Germany. He told them they were not to blame for losing World War I, they had lost it because of their enemies, the Jews. Again and again he made the same points. Germans were a master race fit to rule the world. Nazis were a force of good in the world, Jews were a force of evil. Soon, there appeared an upward curve in the Nazis' electoral fortunes. They became incredibly popular and had a major breakthrough in the elections of September 1930. Their status as a major political party was instituted. As the depression deepened, the Nazi's membership began to swell. By 1932, the NSDAP had a membership of 1.5 million. The most important election for the Nazis and for the whole world took place in 1937 after a very illustrious campaign. In its most dramatic stroke, Hitler took to the skies in a highly publicized tour appearing in 21 cities in six days. Their campaign was a great success. At this election, the Nazis took 37.3 percent of the votes. They had finally won. The result put Hitler in a commanding position. But refused to name him Chancellor. This was a very unpopular decision. The Nazis were not yet the most numerous group in Germany but they were certainly the most active and rather most menacing. They desperately wanted Hitler to be chancellor. In January of 1933, President Hindenburg finally asked Hitler to become Chancellor. Because the Nazis did not have a majority of seats in the Reichstag, Hitler had to form a coalition government. In 1933 after the death of President Hindenburg, the German cabinets combined the offices president and chancellor to make Hitler, Der Furher. He had achieved his goal. He was supreme leader and unlimited master of all Germany. Now he had the power to make war on the Jews. He wanted to make Germany Judenrein, free of Jews. He was going to scare them out. As soon as Hitler took power he put his beliefs into practice. He abolished freedom of speech and assembly, banned all parties except for the Nazi party and had his political enemies murdered; including seventy-seven Nazis whose loyalty he questioned. Herman Goering, Hitler's second-in-command, ran the Gestapo, the dreaded secret police. They arrested, tortured and killed any one who opposed Hitler. Joeseph Goebbels was in charge of propaganda and utilized all media to spread hatred of the Jews. The black-shirted SS wore on their uniforms the death emblem, a skull and crossed bones to signify that they were as obedient as corpses. Their duties were to conduct door-to-door searches looking for Hitler's opponents. The list was a long one: Jews, communists, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, Jehovah's Witnesses, socialists, unfriendly writers, homosexuals"¦. You could be arrested for anything or nothing at all. Even his precious Germans weren't always satisfactory. German cripples, the deformed and mentally ill, orphans, and the homeless marred his image of the master race. Hitler wanted to make all Germans perfect physical specimens. All of them tall and strong with blue eyes and blond hair though he himself was short, with brown eyes and hair. The Nazis controlled every aspect of German life. They organized Germany's schoolchildren into "Hitler Youth Groups". They wore swastika bands and were taught to hate Jews. They were also encouraged to spy on their parents and other adults and to report anyone who said anything against Hitler or his party. And what of the German Jews? They were caught in a terrifying, situation. No one had ever expected Hitler to become Chancellor; and certainly didn't expect him to become Der Furher. HIs raving speeches and messages of hatred were to be ignored in a civilized world. Right? The Jews had suffered from the war and the inflation and the Depression just like everyone else. Now their home was a strange, hostile, dangerous place no matter where in Germany they lived and eventually no matter where in Europe you lived. The SS beat Jews in the streets, raided synagogues, trod on sacred Jewish objects, and burned holy books, laughing and joking as they did so. They mocked, humiliated and murdered Jews. Goebbels fed the flames of hatred. All over Germany, the press reported false acts of Jewish treachery. Stories about Jews drinking the blood of Christian children. The lies rang like truth when they appeared in bold, black ink on the pages of respected newspapers. Moviehouses, cafes, concert halls and other public places began to put up signs reading, "Jews not wanted." Signs at swimming pools read, "No Jews and no Dogs." As if there was no difference. In cabarets, German entertainers put on mock weddings between a German and a pig that was wearing a sign that said, "I'm a Jew!" Hatred and suspicion were everywhere. Germans began to shun their former neighbors and friends. German mobs felt free to loot Jewish stores and homes. German children felt free to bully their Jewish classmates. April 1, 1933 there was a national boycott of Jewish stores. Armed, glaring, uniformed Nazis stood guard outside every Jewish store and allowed no one to enter. On March 12, 1938 German troops marched into Austria. They were met not with resistance, but with flowers. Here too, Hitler launched a campaign against the Jews. Soon, Austria hated the Jews too. Jewish stores were, again, boycotted. The SS made Jewish men get down on all fours and eat grass, then climb trees and twitter like birds. They made Jewish women run until they fainted. Now Hitler wanted Austria to be Judenrein too. But they were so annoying he wanted them out of all Europe. Let the Americans deal with them. Then one day, he decided he wanted them off the face of the Earth. He would make the whole world free of Jews. He needed an excuse to do so and was given one by a very enraged Herschel Grynszpan. The seventeen-year old was living in Paris when he received word from his Jewish family that, being Polish they had been expelled from Germany and sent back to Poland. But Poland no longer recognized them as citizens and they were wandering around, stateless with invalid passports in the "no man's land" between Poland and Germany. On November 7, 1938, or Kristallnacht, "Night of Broken glass" the angry boy went to the German embassy in Paris and shot the first official he saw. The boy was arrested and the official died two days later. This act triggered off events the dimensions of which Herschel could not have begun to understand or even guess at. It led to the Final Solution, the systematic murder of millions of Jews all over Europe. The Holocaust. Hitler committed horrible crimes against the Jews and many others in the concentration camps, and ghettoes but he was never punished. In anticipation of his downfall Hitler killed himself in 1945. Because he did it himself he had the last laugh. His book, Mein Kampf is banned in Germany and considered a dirty word. Most Germans want to forget any of it ever happened. But perhaps they shouldn't. The holocaust was plain, undeniable truth of the horror of humanity. It has been immortalized in pictures, in visual and verbal accounts of those who experienced it and the horrified minds and hearts of the world. If we always remember it and learn to understand it, then we can prevent it from ever happening again; if we answer the question, how did Hitler come to power? Perhaps it is the weakness of democracies that anyone can take control. Hitler came to power the legitimate way, through participating in elections. True he broke or bent a few rules and cheated and lied but probably no more than any other politician. It is common belief that had Hitler come along at another less desperate time for Germany, history would have played itself out very differently. Germany was weak. The people were miserable and Germans were scared after being hit with wave after wave after wave of calamity. The Nazis provided the answer for impoverished farmers, ruined shopkeepers and small-business owners, workers disillusioned with the socialists and communist parties, and a host of frustrated and embittered young people of all classes, brought up in the postwar years and without hope of personal economic security. Hitler did a lot of good for Germany, fulfilling most if not all his promises. He provided employment and stabilized the economy. Hitler told Germans they were the master race and promised them the world. He also provided them with a scapegoat; someone to pinpoint their anger at: the Jew. If someone had to suffer and pay the price for Germany's prosperity then let it be the Jew. Such was their mentality. History books should not portray the Germans as evil; their eager acceptance of Hitler's ideas and policies is the product o human weakness and imperfection. But Hitler was evil. Perhaps the most evil of men. An amoral man he viewed his fellow human beings as mere bricks in the political structure he wanted to erect. Hitler has hurt and permanently scarred the world with his destructive message, a message that still lives. But he too deserves understanding. He was born to a submissive, quiet mother and a cold, fearful father. When he was eighteen, his mother whom he was moderately close to, died. He failed at his life's ambition, to become an artist and saw the country he loved torn apart in a million directions; saw the people he loved starve. Maybe he did believe in every crazy thing he said. Who knows? But we must never forget the Holocaust or Hitler. Both event and figure have something to show about humanity that is ugly but always there. Always ready to strike out. If we forget, it might happen again.   

With a lock of hair falling over his forehead and a square little mustache on his often, somber face, Adolf Hitler seemed a comical figure when he first entered into politics. He was a public speaker who ranted and raved until his voice was hoarse and sweat dripped from his...

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There are three main schools of...There are three main schools of thought that trace the origins of the Cold War. The Orthodox view is that "the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin" Doc 1 cause the Cold War. The Revisionists claim that "American policy offered the Russians no real choice"¦[and] the United States used or deployed its preponderance of power" Doc 2 and these actions caused the Cold War. The Post-Revisionist position is that the Cold War was initiated both by the United States and the USSR. Through the analysis of documents and other sources, the actual cause of the 'war' lies with both powers. Both powers caused the Cold War because, although the US and the USSR were allied during World War Two, the USSR and US had different ideologies and aims of the war that conflicted after the war was over and the threat that each power imposed on the other. The primary cause of the Cold War is the exceedingly bipolar systems of government that the USSR and the US were administered under. The US had a democracy and had, in April of 1945, just said farewell to one of the most liberal presidents that ever had been elected. By making many social reforms, President Roosevelt pulled the US out of the crippling depression and into on of the most prosperous decades ever. The aims of the US are evident in the 'Atlantic Charter', which was signed by Churchill and Roosevelt in August of 1914. According to the Charter, the US 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" Doc 4. While still early in the war, the 'Atlantic Charter' was later adopted by the United Nations and remains, to this day, one of the cornerstones of the western world. However, the other power that emerged still 'intact' after the war, the USSR had a very different way of government and dissimilar aims of the war. The USSR was a communist nation and had Stalin its dictator. "From the Soviet perspective, extending the borders of the USSR and dominating the formerly independent states of eastern Europe would provide security and would be proper compensation for the fearful losses the Soviet people had endured in the war" p. 1111. This shows that Soviet ambitions directly conflicted with the western doctrine as outlined in the 'Atlantic Charter.' "Stalin presented his views on the distinctive nature of the war that was being waged: '"¦. whosoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army has power to do so" Doc 8. These documents and accounts show that both the US and the USSR had governmental systems to which they deeply adhered and those systems were in 'close quarters' in Europe after the war, which caused the tensions the heighten even more. They were not willing to try to make the spheres of influence coexist in peace, neither of them. Another factor that added to the tension between the two powers was the ultimate threat that they posed on each other. The condition in Europe after the war encouraged communism because there were starving citizens as well as wealthier citizens and this extreme and life-threatening example of class division encourage those to wish for total equality, the definition of communism. If countries such as France, Britain and the western half of Germany fell to communism, then the USSR would control the whole of Europe and perhaps become an insurmountable enemy just a the Atlantic away on one side and three miles on the other. "The extent of the damage suffered by the city in air raids and form the other effects of the war were enormous"¦. There was no gas, no water, no electric current and no means of transportation" Doc 5. Communism was beginning to look appealing to those downtrodden citizens in western Europe. Stalin, after alluding to the massive losses suffered by the USSR during the war, said: So what can there be surprise about the fact that the Soviet Union, anxious for its future safety, is trying to see to it that governments loyal in their attitude to the Soviet Union should exist in these countries? How can anyone"¦ describe these peaceful aspirations of the Soviet Union as expansionist tendencies on the part of our state? Doc 20 Thus showing the USSR's wish to expand, even if for a 'noble' cause. These threats to US influence and European security did not go unanswered by the US. In March of 1947, president Truman delivered his famous speech, the 'Truman Doctrine.' "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 freedoms" #7. He goes on to ask for hundreds of millions of dollars to aid the masses in Europe, thus deterring them from becoming communist, and fundamentally declaring that the US's main goal is containing communism to the eastern half of Europe. He does this through harsh and generalizing comparisons between the communal way of life and the democratic but the message was clearly heard throughout the world. Through these documents, this is apparent that both the US and the USSR were very rigidly adhered to their cause and way of life, thus neither power was willing to compromise, which caused and already high tensions to further escalate into a period that lasted from the end of the war to, perhaps, 1989, when the USSR collapsed. Thus, through the very different ideologies of the US and the USSR and the hazard that each power imposed on the other and thus the fact that neither was willing to compromise with each other, the Cold War was initiated. These aspects of both USSR and US diplomacy caused a line to be drawn down the middle of Europe with communist nations and influence on the eastern half and democratic on the west. An aspect that was declared in Churchill's famous speech at a college in Missouri: "An iron curtain has descended across the continent" Doc 19.   

There are three main schools of thought that trace the origins of the Cold War. The Orthodox view is that "the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin" Doc 1 cause the Cold War. The Revisionists claim that "American policy offered...

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