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ADOLF HITLER ESSENTIAL QUESTION What led to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazis ruling Germany?

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Presentation on theme: "ADOLF HITLER ESSENTIAL QUESTION What led to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazis ruling Germany?"— Presentation transcript:




4 ESSENTIAL QUESTION What led to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazis ruling Germany?

5 A DICTATOR IS BORN ♂ Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, near Linz, Austria on April 20, 1889


7 HITLER AS A YOUTH Adolf was an intelligent child, but a poorly performing student, both of Adolf’s parents died when he was a teenager, leaving him with a modest inheritance; Adolf sought to become an artist LEFT: Hitler at age 13 BELOW: Hitler, part of a church choir group

8 THE YEARS IN VIENNA In January 1908, the 19 year old Adolf moved to the city of Vienna, the capital of Austria In Vienna, Adolf is exposed to culture and life in a big city Adolf tries to enter the Academy of Arts, but is rejected; his audition painting was deemed not good enough THE ACADEMY OF ARTS IN VIENNA

9 This 1914 painting is titled: "The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich." A 1914 painting: "Ruins of a Cloister in Messines." SAMPLES OF HITLER’S ART

10 ONE OF HITLER’S GREAT LOVES: THE MUSIC OF RICHARD WAGNER GERMAN COMPOSER RICHARD WAGNER ♫ Adolf enjoyed the opera music of Richard Wagner, whose stirring music glorified Germany and often had warlike themes (such as “Ride of the Valkyries”) ♫ Wagner’s music had a profound effect on the young Adolf Hitler

11 FIRST EXPOSURE TO POLITICS Galician Jews are present in Vienna. As with much of Europe, there are anti-Semitic feelings in Vienna (it was Adolf’s first exposure to anti- Semitism). The politics of Georg von Schoenerer (an anti-Semite) and Vienna’s mayor, Karl Lueger (who said the public would do without freedoms for security), would have an influence on young Hitler. KARL LUEGER GEORG VON SCHOENERER

12 POLITICIZATION OF HITLER It is while living in Vienna that Adolf first learns of the ideas of mystical German nationalism and the “Aryan ideal”; these ideas would shape the Nazi ideology decades later, as exemplified in this 1930s poster

13 THE FRUSTRATED ARTIST  Adolf is rejected a second time by the Vienna Academy of Arts in November  Hitler then earns his living as a street artist, making drawings and sketches for tourists and trying to sell them.  His inheritance money dwindled away quickly, and soon Adolf found himself living in various homeless shelters in Vienna.

14 A FUGITIVE Adolf was supposed to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s army when he turned 20 years old, but he avoided military service. He was a fugitive from the Austrian police. His motivation was not cowardice: Hitler hated the Austrian monarchy and did not want to serve in a heavily multi-ethnic army alongside Jews, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Slovaks, and other groups he deemed “inferior.”

15 When World War I breaks out, Adolf Hitler finds a purpose; he volunteers to be a soldier for the country he adored: Germany



18 WARTIME SERVICE  Hitler served as a dispatch runner (messenger) on the Western Front, carrying messages from headquarters to the trenches by bicycle.  It was often a dangerous assignment; Hitler was wounded twice in one week in 1916 and sent to Germany to recover.  Awarded medals for bravery (including the Iron Cross), he returned to fight in 1917.

19 When the Great War ends in 1918, the Treaty of Versailles left Germany with huge war debts to pay; many restrictions were forced upon the defeated Germany by the victorious Allies Germany felt humiliated and thought they were singled out unfairly as the only power to start World War I

20  Adolf Hitler never forgot the humiliation that Germany was served at the hands of the Allies.  Hitler was outraged by the actions taken to punish Germany after the war.  This outrage was shared with many Germans, especially the soldiers of World War I. AN ANGRY YOUNG MAN Corporal Hitler (right) with two fellow German soldiers, one of whom is missing a leg

21 HITLER’S LIFE TAKES A FATEFUL TURN As he recovered at a Stettin hospital from eye injuries suffered in an Allied poison gas attack in Ypres, Hitler heard about Germany’s defeat. His reaction: “The burning in my eyes could not match the hate burning in my heart. From that moment, I knew I should enter politics.” “The burning in my eyes could not match the hate burning in my heart. From that moment, I knew I should enter politics.”

22  Many Germans were disillusioned after the defeat in the Great War and hated the democratic government that took power after WWI (the Weimar Republic)  Ex-soldiers like Hitler felt that they had been “stabbed in the back” by Jews and Communists back home in Germany; they felt that they had not been defeated on the battlefield GERMANY AFTER THE GREAT WAR ( ) An anti-Communist poster

23 Extremist groups like the Nazis gained popularity by saying that they would not obey the Treaty’s terms and would restore Germany’s glory

24 A SOLDIER WITHOUT A WAR  After the war, Hitler remained in the German Army; he acted as a “mole” and spied on various organizations suspected of being communist  From the military leaders, Hitler learned of the Germans’ destiny as the “master race” and of the “economic conspiracy” of the world’s Jews against the Fatherland  Hitler, now 30 years old, also discovered while at Munich that he had a flair for public speaking, delivering several passionate speeches at the local university and transfixing audiences

25 PARTY MEMBER #55  Continuing his work as amole, a group Hitler spied on was the German Workers’ Party; this group was anti-Bolshevik as well as anti-Semitic  Hitler agreed with the party’s views and became a member in 1920  Later on, he became a party leader, recruiting many German soldiers from his barracks; Hitler’s goal was to seize the German Workers’ Party and reshape it to his own ends

26 THE NAZI PARTY With Hitler becoming its new leader, the German Workers’ Party later became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (in German: Nazional Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei). The party’s name was abbreviated as NSDAP and shortened to “Nazi”


28 NAZI USE OF THE SWASTIKA  The swastika is an ancient symbol that has been used for over 3,000 years by many cultures, representing life, strength, and good luck.  German nationalists in the mid-nineteenth century began to use the swastika; this made it seem the Germans had a long history with ancient Aryans (a culture that used the swastika)

29 NAZI USE OF THE SWASTIKA  What better image to use as a new political party's symbol? The swastika suggested that the Nazis were connected with ancient tradition  For Hitler, the new flag had to be "a symbol of our own struggle" as well as "highly effective on a poster." The simple yet strong swastika fit the Nazis’ needs perfectly.


31 THE MUNICH BEER HALL PUTSCH  Viewing the Weimar Republic as weak and ready to be taken down, Hitler plotted a putsch (takeover) of Germany  After they marched into a Munich beer hall (where a political meeting was taking place), Hitler’s stormtroopers were met with a hail of bullets from the Bavarian police  18 Nazis were killed. Most of the others were arrested.  Apprehended shortly after the failed putsch, Adolf Hitler was put on trial.

32 HITLER ON TRIAL FOR SEDITION  In February 1924, Hitler was brought to trial.  The trial was a political circus: the judge was sympathetic to Hitler and allowed him to express his political views.  Hitler made statements during the trial that made him well-known nationally and increased his popularity with Germans. Hitler and several of his fellow Nazis during a break in the trial  Charged of treason against the unpopular Weimar Republic, Hitler proclaimed : “There is no such thing as treason against the traitors of 1918.”

33 MEIN KAMPF: “MY STRUGGLE”  Hitler received a light sentence and only served 9 months in a minimum security prison. He spent most of his time writing his autobiography.  Mein Kampf expressed Hitler’s beliefs  Two of the major issues he addressed in Mein Kampf were: 1.Lebensraum (“living space”): Germany must take over other countries, especially Russia, for the use of the German “master race”. 2. Anti-Semitism: inferior races, especially the Jews, must be destroyed.

34 “Ballots, not bullets.”  The failure of the Beer Hall Putsch demonstrates to Hitler that power needs to be achieved through legal means, not violent overthrow.  When Hitler leaves prison, the Nazis have a new approach to gaining political power: getting votes  When the Great Depression hits Germany, desperate, starving people were willing to give the Nazis their votes

35 When times are bad… …people turn to extremes for answers

36 The Nazis’ Power Increases

37 CHANCELLOR HITLER  The aging German President Paul von Hindenburg appoints Hitler as chancellor in January  Hitler’s power was increasing (over one million members of the Nazi Party and 400,000 men in his private army), so Hindenburg thought to contain the Nazis by offering Hitler a position in the government.

38 CHANCELLOR HITLER  When Hindenburg dies of old age, Chancellor Hitler takes the President’s role and power as well.  Combining the titles of president and chancellor, Adolf Hitler becomes Der Fuhrer (The Leader)

39 Using violent tactics against political opponents and telling the German people what they wanted to hear, Hitler increased his power. Once he cemented his position as Der Fuhrer, Hitler used his power to turn Germany into a totalitarian state. GAINING POWER

40 THE REICHSTAG FIRE Within a disaster lay an opportunity for Hitler… an opportunity to eliminate his worst political enemies: the Communists

41 ELIMINATING POLITICAL ENEMIES  On February 27, 1933, a “feeble minded” Dutch Communist named Martinus van der Lubbe set the Reichstag (Germany’s government) building on fire  Hitler used this fire as a reason outlaw the Communist Party and arrest their leaders  With the Enabling Act, the Reichstag gave Hitler dictatorial powers because of this “crisis”  CONSPIRACY: The Nazis may have helped start the fire in the Reichstag building  Hitler used his new powers to outlaw all other political parties and abolish trade unions  Hitler was now “Der Fuhrer” both in name and in fact

42 ELIMINATING RIVAL NAZIS June 30, 1934: “The Night of the Long Knives” June 30, 1934: “The Night of the Long Knives” Hitler’s black-shirted SS murderers killed over 1000 Nazis who were seen as threats to Hitler’s power in the Nazi Party

43 THE THIRD REICH The Nazis identified their rule as the successor to the Holy Roman Empire (the First Reich) and the Bismarck- created German Empire of 1871 (the Second Reich) The Nazis called their new empire the “Third Reich”

44 PURIFYING GERMAN CULTURE Ideas thought to be “un-German” were outlawed. As a result, book burnings took place all over Germany. (May 1933) “They that start by burning books will end by burning men.” German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, 1821

45 THE WILL OF THE FUHRER As Fuhrer, Hitler’s personal views on every aspect of German life (art, culture, the role of women, family, genetics, politics, Social Darwinism, economics, foreign policy, military strategy) was rigorously imposed on the German nation.

46 RAISING NAZI CHILDREN Teachers had to join the Nazi Teachers Association; those who didn’t were fired The Third Reich carefully subverted the German educational system to mold children into loyal Nazis School curriculum taught Nazi beliefs: history courses blamed Communists and Jews for Germany’s problems Geography courses focused on lebensraum (living space) Biology courses taught the “science” of Aryan racial superiority

47 VICIOUS ANTI-SEMITISM Hitler’s racial views were put in everything Germans read or saw In this German children’s book, a pious mother teaches her little son, “The Jew is the most poisonous mushroom in existence.” “The Jew is the most poisonous mushroom in existence.” The children’s book “Der Giftpilz” (The Poisonous Mushroom)

48 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES  One of the greatest weapons in Hitler’s arsenal as he battled for power was his ability to deliver apocalyptic and convincing speeches  He made a science out of rousing crowds into a frenzy  The crowds would react as if Hitler were a quasi- Messiah, come to bring glory to Germany

49 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Hitler’s speeches would begin calmly. He would speak slowly and quietly, his voice muted and emotionless.

50 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Hitler would closely watch the audience, looking for the right time to turn on the emotion and rouse the crowd.

51 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Hitler’s voice would rise as he spat out accusations against Germany’s “enemies”.

52 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Usually, his speech would become enraged. As his speeches went on, Hitler would be gesturing furiously, shaking with anger, and covered with sweat.

53 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Hitler would whip his audiences into a frenzy, pausing his speeches as the crowds would salute him and thunder with applause and cries of “Sieg Heil!”, which means “Hail Victory!”

54 “If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the Earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" Adolf Hitler on January 30, 1939

55 HITLER’S FIERY SPEECHES Many of Hitler’s techniques in delivering speeches were learned in his church-going days: the power of the reiteration of key phrases, massed voices chanting and singing, the splendor of ritual and ceremony, and the use of powerful symbols.

56 THE POWER OF REITERATION A commonly repeated phrase Hitler would use to hold sway over his audiences was “One People! One Empire! One Leader!” It also made for effective propaganda on various posters.

57 The devotion many Germans felt to Adolf Hitler was profound. That devotion is apparent in this poster. Hitler appears larger than life, being cast as a robust Aryan knight. THE ADULATION OF HITLER



60 Hitler loved to show off the might of his rebuilt Germany, staging huge rallies and military parades




64 This Nazi propaganda poster reads, “Behind the enemy powers: the Jew”

65 Concentration camps were set up to enslave and exterminate the thousands upon thousands of “undesirables”, especially Jews The slogan that crowned the gates at the camps displays a false promise: “Arbeit Macht Frei” “Work Sets You Free”

66 The reality was that you would not be set free, but exterminated. Hitler and the Nazi party labeled the mentally ill, communists, Gypsies, homosexuals and Jews as subspecies of the human race. These dead bodies are being burned to get rid of “evidence”.

67 Cruel (and often deadly) medical experiments were performed on young boys and girls of the concentration camps. “Angel of Death” Dr. Josef Mengele

68 Gold and silver teeth were extracted and collected from gassed prisoners, then melted down for profit

69 Adolf Hitler quickly became the most powerful and feared man in Europe. But about as swiftly, his empire crashed and burned around him.


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