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The way in which Hitler took over Germany was very open, but yet it was not thwarted by others in the political realm. By the time they realized what was taking place, it was already done.
Hindenburg was still president of Germany at that time, but right before he died a law was passed that the presidency would be abolished with his death, and all power over the government and the country would go to the chancellor (Hitler) (Benderwky, 62). This was a very insidious way to get the remaining power that he was still lacking, and it provided him with completely political and legal control over Germany and its people. In 1934, Hitler told a reporter how people had laughed at him 15 years prior, when he stated that he would become ruler of Germany (McNab, 70). At that time, he said he would remain in power, and his National Socialist party would endure for 1,000 years (McNab, 70). Once Hitler had complete power, a number of people who had been against him in the past -- and many who still were -- were rounded up, arrested, and executed. Many people were shocked by this display of power, both in Germany and in other parts of the world. Other people felt that Hitler was restoring order to the country and righting wrongs that had been taking place for a number of years prior to his taking office. Either way, it was a bold move. There was really no one to challenge it, though, because Hitler had complete power over the country.
By the time Hitler was done "restoring order" and addressing both military and legal issues, he had removed every challenge that could be made or used to remove him from power. His dictatorship was in force, and he commanded the country and its military forces. If people got in his way, or if they were not "on board" with what Hitler wanted to do, they were removed. Documents were falsified, people disappeared, and a number of nefarious activities were engaged in so that Hitler could keep power and stop people from standing in the way of what he wanted to do (McNab, 95). Still, the people largely supported him. One of the reasons they did so was that he was providing them with something they did not have before -- a stable economy that was growing. The six million people in the country who were unemployed were reduced to only one million, and people had work for the first time in a long time, in many cases (Maser, 38). Hitler focused on building the military, and that allowed a lot of people to go to work and help with that effort, which gave them a purpose and a paycheck.
People who have an awareness of history know what happened. Hitler and Germany went to war, and were eventually defeated. That only took place after a number of Jews and others were killed, however. Hitler wanted to have a "pure" Germany, and an Aryan race that did not have any other bloodlines in it. The concentration camps were among the largest atrocities in history, but the overarching issue here is that people liked Hitler. He rose to power -- and kept that power until his death -- because people liked him and supported him. In the eyes of many, he could do no wrong. He was dedicated to his country, and he wanted to see it be the best it could be. The real issue was not with that desire, but only the way in which he went about achieving his goals. The deaths of so many people were a part of his life and legacy, which is one that most Germans prefer not to discuss. While understandable, there is much more to Hitler than the terrible acts he committed on the Jewish people and the country he allegedly loved. At one point he was a young man with big dreams, focused on gaining political power so he could make his country great. That, by itself, is an admirable thing. It is what his supporters and followers saw in him, and a big part of the reason people followed him and focused on the values he offered to them.
Aigner, Dietrich. Hitler's ultimate aims -- A programme of world dominion? In Koch, H.W. Aspects of the Third Reich. London: MacMillan. 1985. Print.
Bendersky, Joseph W. A History of Nazi Germany: 1919 -- 1945. NY: Rowman &…[continue]
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