The Rise of National Socialism

The Rise of National Socialism
The Rise of National Socialism The rise of National Socialism in Germany resulted in World War II and the Holocaust. The signing of the Treaty of Versisad in 1919 proclaimed that over 10 million were killed in the first World War and Germany must take the blame and pay for all the damage. This meeting set up three goals: Repayment from Germany for all the damage occurred (12-13 billion dollars), to ensure the Germany would never be able to pose this kind of threat again, and to make sure this situation could never happen anywhere ever again. To help accomplish these three tasks they put into action a League of Nations to watch all countries and make sure this could never happen again. Germany?s economy was crushed from the strain of this agreement and when they finally started doing better in the 20?s the U.S. stock market crashed knocking Germany?s economy even farther back. This left Germany open for a strong leader to take control. The Germans needed something and someone to believe in again. Adolf Hitler was a great orator and the perfect man for the job. He was an early member of the Nazi party. Hitler was imprisoned for treason and while in prison he wrote.
He wrote about the problems the Germans faced. Someone needed to take the blame and the Germans were tired of it always being them. Hitler convinced the people it was the Jews faults. He classified them as ?stingy? and ?rich? he wrote that the Jews ratted out the Germans. In 1933 the National Socialist German Workers Party elected Hitler chancellor. In the next year things become worse and worse for the Jews. Laws were passed stating non- Arrieans could not hold government jobs, Jews were expelled from schools, and mass book burnings of Jewish books took place. All this was done in an attempt to get the Jews to leave Germany and purify or perfect the country. By the end of 1933, 37,000 Jews had fled the country. On August 2, 1934 the president, Hindenberg, died and the very next day Hitler ,the chancellor, was appointed president until an election could be held. This made Hitler the absolute head of Germany. This is the setting and scene which Hitler (1889-1945), Frankl (1905-1997), and Sartre (1905-1980) wrote their different opinions on life and how their lives had been affected by the conditions all around them. The Holocaust was a terrible event in history, but if we take the information and learn from the mistakes made perhaps we can keep this from happening again in the future. Three influential men wrote books on this event each with a different point of view. Hitler, in his book Mein Kampf, shows us a great demonstration of the power of persuasive writing. While very few agree with what he did, he was able to convince an entire nation that what he was saying was right. Frankl wrote about his concentration camp experience and was a tremendous witness to people that you always have a choice. He believed that life is taking responsibility to find answers to your problems. How you react to your problems is always up to you. Finally Sartre also believed that man has an active roll in his own destiny. Sartre wrote Existentialism is a Humanism, and in his book he addresses his belief that being in itself has no meaning we must assign a meaning to it. His belief in Existentialism promoted the idea that Man is condemned to be free and therefore has no one to blame but himself. Adolf Hitler, a man responsible for the sentecing and killing of nearly six million Jews, wrote in his book Mein Kampf why he believed race mattered so much. Hitler wrote, ?Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents.? He convinced millions of Germans that this belief was correct. Hitler was not a good man when compared to many others, but we can still learn from his leadership abilities. He unified a group of people who were beaten down by the rest of the world, and made them believe that they were not only a good race of people but the best race of people. His words united his nation of Germans, ?All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out by blood poisoning.? Hitler convinced the Germans that by mixing with other races, lesser races, they were mixing or deluding the perfect German blood and making them lesser of a nation. He influenced them and made them believe that the only way to become a great nation again was to purify themselves of this poison, the Jews. The effects of his own writing must have amazed even Hitler himself. To be able to take a nation that had been devastated and put down for so long and pull them together to accomplish so much, it shows how effective even one man can be. Frankl was on the opposite side of this equation. While Hitler was a great contributing cause of the holocaust, Frankl was a great effect of the holocaust. He actually lived in a concentration camp for sometime. Frankl addressed the three stages of prison life in his writings. First was the shock of showing in a concentration camp. One would be in total shock and almost not believe this was really happening to them. Then secondly one would become apathetic and life would fall into routine. The Germans mad e this step more difficult by never being consistent. While growing up a person learns what is expected of them and if they do wrong they are punished. The human mind can follow and understand this, but in the concentration camps people would be punished just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. This made a routine life very difficult because there was no definite guidelines to follow. Nevertheless many found a way to make it through the concentration camps which leads to the third stage, liberation. Many prisoners did not know what to do after they were liberated. They had been being told what to do for so long that they did not know where to begin. Most of their families were gone, their homes were gone everything completely gone, and they did not know where to restart. The other major theme in Frankl?s book was that no matter what happens in one?s life they always have a decision. Even while in the concentration camp, people were being told what to do but they always had the option to say no. The consequences were very severe but the choice was still up to each individual person. It was every persons choice to stick it out one more day and keep the strength if only in the mind to make it out of there. Many gave up and many did not make it but there was always a choice. ?Life is taking responsibility to find answers to problems.? Life throws things at each person, how one reacts and comes out is up to them. Jean Paul Sartre was a French Existentialist. He believed many of Carl Marx?s ideas such as, man has an active roll in his own destiny. He looked at forward progress, at making history by choices. Existentialist believe that existence precedes essence. This means that the idea is, or is in ones head first and then it is put into existence. There are two different types of Existentialist: Christian Existentialist and Atheistic Existentialist. Christian Existentialist believe God is being and everything exists in God?s mind first and then is put into existence. Atheistic Existentialist on the other hand believe you can not prove there is a God and that there is no definite answer key. Sartre, an atheistic existentialist, was asked, ?If God didn?t exist, everything would be possible.? and Sartre replied, ?Indeed everything is permissible is God does not exist, and as a result man is forlorn, because neither within or without does he find anything to cling to. He can?t start making excuses for himself? ?We find no values or commands to turn to which legitimize our conduct?. we have no excuses behind us nor justification before us. We are alone, with no excuses.? This leads us to Sartre?s conclusion that responsibility equals your decision. Man is condemned to be free and has no one to blame but himself. The holocaust was a huge event in history that has affected millions and still is affecting people today. Adolf Hitler, Frankl and Sartre were three men that were either directly or indirectly affected by the Holocaust. Hitler was directly responsible for the holocaust. His writing influenced many Germans and convinced a nation they were not to blame for their own problems. He led them to believe the Jews were to blame and persuaded them to participate in the mass killing of the Jews. Frankl who was one of those being persecuted by the Germans took an opposite stand. He wrote about how each individual person has choices in their own life. There is no one to blame but yourself. Sartre also wrote along these lines with his writing s on existentialism. ?Man is condemned to be free? Sartre said, which again restates everyone has choices in life. How one chooses is up to each individual person and there is no one to blame but yourself.

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