In the last truly free election in Germany before WWII on November 6, 1932 the Nazis received only 33% of the vote. The Nazis formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Party which gave them a 53% majority and Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30, 1933. As Chancellor, Hitler asked German President Paul von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a new parliamentary election. The date set for the elections was March 5, 1933.
On February 27, 1933 an arson fire burned the Reichstag, Germany's Parlement building to the ground. It was allegedly started by Marinus van der Lubbe, a communist and unemployed bricklayer. Many historians now believe that the fire was planned and started by the Nazis themselves. This crisis created a huge backlash against the communists and a huge boost in popularity for the Nazis.
Still on March 5, 1933 the Nazis were only able to muster 43.91% of the vote. Hitler alleged that Germany was on the verge of a Communist revolution and was able to form another coalition and pass the Enabling Act on March 30, 1933 which essentially gave Hitler dictatorial powers.
During “The Night of the Long Knives” which actually occurred between June 30 and July 2, 1934, the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders which further consolidated the Nazi's power. Many believe at that time Germany passed a point of no return
In 1933 and 1944 Germany arguably had the best educated population in the entire world. They were a largely homogeneous, traditional and cautious society. Yet they were able to be led like lambs to slaughter down the path to complete destruction. Obviously economic challenges were a factor but the German economy was in recovery and the populace had plenty to lose.
Excuse me, I had a typo it should have said “In 1933 and 1934 Germany arguably had the best educated population in the entire world.”
In the last truly "free" election in Germany before WWII on November 6, 1932 the Nazis received only 33% of the vote. The Nazis formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Party which gave them a 53% majority and Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30, 1933.
I must be one of the few Freepers to remember WWII from start to finish. The more I have read since, the more happier that I am to be able to try to understand what really went on. This is in retrospect and not in the heat of the actual war.
George Orwell became part of the propaganda war within that organization the BBC. Later Orwell conceded that in order to defeat Hitler, the use of lies and other innacuracies was necessary. I would not be the one to judge that here.
I do have the Horst Wessel Lied on Youtube. It is the marching song of the Germans. One grainly film shows Hitler before he attained power, at the salute. From the left of the film, a small boy waves his hands weakly at the Nazis. Then the communist hard men start in. The helmeted German policeman has his head gear knocked awry. Now come the Nazi hard men. What a fist fight!
I hold it that more than half the Germans did not want that war. Most of my countrymen did not want it either. Once it started, there was no turning back.
The civilized English speaking peoples surely will not fall for a any sociopathic dictator. The Constitution prevents that. IMHO.
Excuse the ramble.
I think that traditional, cautious mindset has something to do with the fact that the Germans were, if I recall correctly, statistically more likely to trust authority figures than other countries. The U.S. was in second place on that measure (don't remember if it was all countries or just western ones measured). German is our largest ethnic group.