Adolf Hitler

In today’s readings: The Speech of April 12th, 1921, Mein Kampf, and The 25 Points of 1920, Adolf Hitler expressed many of the tenets of his political ideology, which was still in its fledgling stage. In this National Socialist ideology Hitler rejected both leftist and rightist ideologies alike. He stated, “the condition which must precede every act is the will and the courage to speak the truth-and that we do not see today in either the Right or in the Left.” Hitler despised capitalism because he believed that the Jews were able to harness it as a tool to oppress the German population through economic means. He also detested socialism and Marxism because he associated these movements with the Bolshevik-Jewish led Russia, and believed that it would lead Germany to “complete destruction-to Bolshevism.” Hitler advocated a political philosophy where the German peoples were to put the “nation” above everything else in degree of importance, and secondly to bolster the strength of this “nation” by being “social” and acting in the best interest of the community at large; Hence the term National Socialism.

Compared to the Hitler’s popular conceptions, I believe that the aforementioned documents expressed both similarities and differences. Hitler is well known for his demonization of the Jewish peoples, and this component was present in the various examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Hitler’s ideology created a binary opposition where there existed only the “victory of the Aryan or annihilation of the Aryan and victory of the Jew.” In his mind it was either one or the other, with no room for compromise. While he was professedly anti-Semitic, he did not yet advocate violence against this population. In these writings his principal aim was to distance the “pure-blooded” Germans from their Jewish counterparts. It was not until later, particularly with Hitler’s mandate of the Final Solution, that he garnered the reputation as a heinous, bloodthirsty, maniacal mass-murderer.

3 thoughts on “Adolf Hitler

  1. I agree with the points you made. You touch on a lot of what we discussed in class last time. We see that Hitler is definitely continuing with the trend that Mussolini and Spengler started, one harkening back to the days of extreme statism. Modern Japan takes a similar approach to citizenship as Hitler’s 25 Points does, in that only those with Japanese blood can be a citizen, even if you have lived in the nation all of your life. It is important to note that the Japanese case was not as blown out of proportion as the Third Reich, but it is a parallel.

  2. Its interesting, as you pointed out, that Hitler started out as a political moderate, although admittedly a vehement one. In that way, he follows a very similar path to that of other world leaders at the same time as him. The consensus was: things are very messed up. The rising leaders needed to find a way to navigate that, and hopefully offer a solution, if not someone to blame. As you point out, in this piece he is advocating for people to blame the Jews, and in that way many people fell behind him.

  3. I also think it is interesting Hitler started as a “moderate” when he began his crusade, because that is definitely not a popular conception of him. While he is in many ways similar to other budding socialist countries, there are obvious signs of the Hitler we popularly know within even his moderate rhetoric. It is easy to see how his National Socialism and antisemitism could have escalated from these original 25 points. However, it also makes sense that a leader like Hitler could gain popularity in a war-torn and desperate country. Hitler offered a solution to Germans, and then took things too far after he had gained enough power and influence.

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