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Hitler's Last Speech to the Nation - January 30, 1945
Why Did Hitler Love Germany So Much?
Let’ s look at it from Hitler’s point of view.
1. Hitler believed Austria and Germany should merge, but this was prohibited by the Versailles Treaty. When they did merge, the bulk of the Austrians and Germans approved.
2. Hitler wanted to get rid of the social classes. Children from the working class were almost never allowed any kind of higher education. Hitler gave them this chance which was greatly appreciated except by the ruling right-wing elite. One-third of all
professors in higher education establishments were fired because they were too right-wing.
3. Hitler wanted to get rid of the divide between Protestants and Catholics which had been tearing Germany apart since 1871. In the days of the German Empire, Catholics were actively discriminated against and had a hard time becoming high-ranking
military officers or civil servants. Hitler halted discrimination of Catholics (he was Catholic himself ).
4. Hitler wanted to stop the ultra-capitalist Weimar Republic economy from exploiting the working class. This he did, which was greatly appreciated except by the right-wing conservatives.
5. Hitler wanted and did introduce better healthcare and paid vacation.
6. Hitler strongly believed, and so did most Germans, that Germany was entitled to colonies in the East, a Germanic dream going back to the 12th century. Nicolas Stargard wrote a brilliant book on this (The German War) which makes it clear the Germans supported Hitler’s expansionist plans to the East. The famine and starvation of 1918 had convinced Hitler and most Germans that Germany needed to become self-sufficient.
7. Hitler believed the Versailles Treaty was cruel and should be nullified, almost all Germans agreed. He did nullify it.
8. Almost everybody in the political spectrum hated the Weimar Republic, Hitler got rid of a political system that was not working. Even his communist opponents had to admit that he was able to improve the lives of the average worker now that democracy was out the door. A lot of Germans supported a dictatorship.
9. The concentration camps were initially meant to be re-education camps where life was better compared to life in prison. This was indeed true in the first years. Most political prisoners had been “re-educated” and were released in 1937/1938. Common criminals were taught skills so that they could be integrated into society once released. Providing prisoners with free education is now common in many countries and the concept was seen as being very progressive.
10. Most Germans believed that Jews had been responsible for a lot of the misery that had befallen Germany and they agreed with anti-Semitic legislation: 63% supported the Nuremberg Racial Laws.
Most Germans agreed with Hitler that the 1940's was the last point in history where Germany could successfully gain colonies in the East before the Soviets became too powerful. While most Germans were not ecstatic about a new war (as opposed to 1914), the bulk agreed that the war was necessary and fully supported Hitler. Check “The German War” by Nicolas Stargard for the details.
So, was Hitler really that bad for Germany? He gave the bulk of the Germans exactly what they wanted.
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