Reasons For German People To Follow Hitler Into The Holocaust

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Evaluate why the German people followed Hitler into the Holocaust

The Holocaust occurred between the years of 1941 and 1945. It was the World War 2 genocide of the European Jews, lead by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Hitler manipulated the German people and their weaknesses, dreams and fears. He blended old prejudices and beliefs with his own racist ideologies, leading the majority of Germans into the horror of the Holocaust and the eventual collapse of the Holocaust.

Propaganda was prominent during this time from 1941 and 1945. Information was manipulated or misrepresented to mislead people into believing that their old prejudices were right. Hitler enforced his obsession of Anti Semitism through propaganda, which the German people embraced over time. The Germans were encouraged to blame the Jews for the problems they faced and stood by as Hitler stripped away all of the rights of the Jews.

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Desperation following the collapse of the economy and the democratic process after World War 1 played an important and key role in the downfall of Germany. Hitler offered a strong foundation and gained the German people’s trust and their devoted loyalty which became one of many reasons why the Gemans followed Hitler into the Holocaust.

Anti Semitism is highlighted as a popular form of manipulation throughout Hitler’s process of taking over Germany. He used it to change the way people thought, replacing their human dignity with unprecedented hatred towards a community they knew little about. Instead the Germans trusted Hitler enough to spread this hate, and to follow him.

Propaganda is designed to change the way people feel or influence their actions. Hitler used propaganda to further anti-Semitic ideologies and ultimately cause the systematic dehumanization of an entire group of people. Through the propaganda film “Triumph of the Will”, a narrative film published in 1935, it has been said that the entire German population was influenced and brainwashed. In the recent documentary titled “Triumph of the Will of Propaganda” it was noted that Hitler was well aware of the power of propaganda as he writes in his famous book Mein Kampf ‘Propaganda should not depict truth’. Hitler cunningly manipulated the German people with a plan to indoctrinate all citizens to his anti-Semitic ways. Hitler used the propaganda principle of repetition of information of a biased or misleading nature, to promote the Nazi political cause, assert his power and ultimately lead the German people into the Holocaust.

Hitler used Anti Semitism propaganda to make the Jewish and communist communities the scapegoats for Germany’s failings. He manipulated the population of Germany into believing his words. Germany was searching for their identity after WW1, they were in desperate need of a leader who was willing to step up and take over the fragile and crippled country. Antisemitism became the “normal way of everyday life,” for the Jews, a constant nightmare.

The Germans trusted Hilter enough to blindly do as he asked of them, not knowing where it would take them. The origin of ‘Anti semitism” and the associated hatred, discrimination and persecution had actually been occuring since the Middle Ages. The Jews became Hitlers victims because of his past experiences. One reason for his hatred took place after WW1 when the majority of banks and large companies were run and controlled by the Jews and many Germans blamed them for the massive hyperinflation and economic collapse. Hitler blamed the loss of the war and the economic downfall on the Jews. He also built up years of hate because of the bad decisions of the Wiemar Republic which was Germanys government during the years of 1919 till 1933 until the Nazi takeover. The betrayal of the German people led them to be known as the “November Criminals”. This was the motive of why Hitler had a powerful hatred of the Jews. Hitler later publicly declared communism and capitalism as wrong or evil and he announced that they were ‘Jewish Conspiracies’ created supposedly to destroy Germany.

Hitler introduced racist rules outlining criteria that only pure Germans could meet. This created hostility and discrimination towards those who did not meet this criterion of Adolf Hitlers ideal and flawless expectations. This basis and standard included aspects such as; blue eyes, blond hair and tall. These people were known as the Aryan race and in Hitler’s eyes they were considered “racially pure”. Ironically Hitler did not conform to his own standards of purity. Anti Semitism is manifested in the photo “Anti Semitic graffito’, a photo representing the effects of Anti Semitic ideologies. The photo was taken sometime after the German Annexation of Austria, the annexation was the invasion of Austria into Nazi Germany on the 12th of March 1938. The picture depicts Nazi storm troopers standing gurad outside a Jewish owned buisness. On the building there is graffiti plastered on the window, a quote in German that translates to “You Jewish pig may your hands rot off!’. This reveals that Hitler’s grand scheme managed to embark a raging hatred within the Germans, leading them to paint these hostile and antagonistic messages across Jewish buildings and businesses. Anti Semitism became violent including mobs, attacks, racism and prejudice acts, this behaviour was commonly known as “Pogroms”. A Russian word meaning to “wreak havoc, to demolish violently”. In the end this hatred built a strong foundation for Hitler to direct their hatred elsewhere, making them vulnerable enough to follow him.

Desperation after WW1 became highlighted as a key component in Hitler’s manipulation process. Using Germany’s faults and deficiencies to attract them to Hitler, a seemingly Godlike father figure who could put their country back together after it was shattered by the first World War and the Great depression. The Germans were afraid and desperate, making them weak and in need of help and guidance. They were angry because the economy had collapsed and the entire country was on the verge of chaos. The whole of Germany was paying for the mistakes made in the past and the situation was perfect for a strong figure who offered hope.

One of the causes of desperation sprung from the Great Depression, which transpired in 1929, Hitler took advantage of the Germans anger. He offered them a scapegoat, the Jews. After losing over a tenth of Germany’s territory, and the great German army as part of the agreements after WW1, Germany was forced to accept full responsibility for the War and to pay reparations. This, along with the Great Depression, almost destroyed Germany’s already weak government and economy. Unemployment made it extremely difficult to earn money and people were desperate and angry.

The Industrial Revolution had played a role, changing the nature of war, going from men on horses to machine guns which killed thousands more people. This increased people’s fear, leading to desperation. This is demonstrated in the video “How did Hitler rise to power?” by Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard, it was published on the 19th of July 2016. The video describes times and events that occurred during this time. The information is initially intended to educate and teach factual material, not based on opinion. The source was created to inform people on how Adolf Hitler came into power and kept, using facts, information and details that occurred at the time. The video creates ideologies about what happened during the time of the Nazis, Hitler and the antisemitism of the Jews. In Hitler’s mind, desperation of the people led to weakness then led to minds to be easily manipulated, with whatever Hitler wanted Germany to believe. He would make sure this happened. The fragility, anguish and vulnerability of Germany worked in Hitler’s favour, as he twisted their minds to shape what he wanted them to believe. He used these traits to forcibly lure in followers, slowly but surely, creating his “army”. During the years of Hitler’s reign, these years became Germany’s weakest period, which Hitler took to is advantage and weaved his way into power. Hitler managed to mould his own thoughts, values and beliefs into the minds of his people. Ultimately driving them into irrationally and impulsively following the Nazi Party and Hitler into the Holocaust.

Hitler became one of the most powerful, deceiving infamous leaders of all of history. He was a political leader and a dictator who used Germany’s flaws and imperfections to lead them into WW2 and the Holocaust, using Propaganda, Desperation after WW1 and Anti Semitism. Both sources used and referenced are only two of the many examples of which, the Germans, became almost a shadow of Hitler, believing and following him with every decision he made. Anti Semitic graffiti was seen all across Germany. Desperation after WW1 was prominent in source two (video/transcript), this bred ineffectiveness of the mind. Hitler prevailed himself over all other people and aspects of daily life during his time as chancellor. His influence affected millions of people and used fear, anger and bigotry to bring people to embrace Hitler’s delusions.

Desperation, Propaganda and Anti Semitism were three of Hitler’s greatest and strongest weapons in leading Germany into the Holcaust and WW2 and he undeniably changed history forever. He has gone down in history as an infamous megalomaniac and dictator. Hiter indoctrinated and brainwashed the entire country successfully in order to get his way. He was a powerful politician who is remembered in history as drawing the Germans into following him into World War 2 and the Holocaust.


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