I Love Hitler: Hitler’s struggle for Power

Like many Germans, Hitler was shocked and dismayed by Germany’s defeat in the First World War. By chance he attended a meeting of a newly formed political party in Munich in 1919. He decided to join and within a short time had got rid of the original leaders and begun to shape the party in ways that reflected his own ideas. The party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

It was a ‘nationalist’ party in that it wanted Germany to recover the power and prestige that it had lost as a result of its defeat in the First World War. It was ‘socialist’ in that it attacked the rich in a number of ways, for example by demanding the abolition of unearned income such as profits from stocks and shares. The combination of nationalism and a kind of ‘socialism’ was unusual. It was one that Hitler hoped would win a lot of support from ordinary Germans.

The importance of the Nazi Party at this time should not be exaggerated. It was only one of many small parties that sprung up during those years in Munich, however, it was a force to be reckoned with. Hitler proved to be an excellent orator capable of arousing great enthusiasm in an audience. With uniforms, marching songs, cheerleaders and the changing of slogans, Nazi meetings were carefully planned to rouse people to frenzy.

Hitler also formed a section of the party known as the Sturmabtellung or storm-troopers. Their job was to deal with hecklers at Nazi meetings as well as to break up the meetings of Hitler’s political opponents.

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