Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr
How did an Austrian tramp named Adolf Hitler become chancellor of Germany, in a position to launch the most infamous reign of terror experienced in the 20th century? The book explains the Nazi rise to power in a single volume, so the reader can experience what it was like to be there in the Germany of the 1920s and early 1930s, as the Nazis grasped for power and the foundations of democratic Germany crumbled. This book focuses exclusively on the issue of why and how Hitler and the Nazi Party attained power in Germany, a question asked by all thinking Americans in the second half of the 20th century. This book presents new information, dispensing with the hackneyed theory - presented by Hitler in "Mein Kampf" and repeated by historians as illustrious as William Shirer and Allan Bullock - that the heroic young Fuehrer struggled to survive against poverty and incredible odds, working as a day labourer and living in a flop house, hunger his constant companion. In fact, Hitler's father earned a good living, and Hitler's income was higher than that of a junior postal employee, a teacher with less than five years' service, or a court lawyer with one year's salary.
Hitler attained power in 1933 as the result of a complex set of factors, some of which were complementary and some of which were mutually exclusive. This book describes and analyses the reasons Hitler became chancellor of Germany, which included the harsh Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I; the Germans' lack of faith in democracy and the reasons behind it; the corruption and political and economic mismanagement which characterised the Weimar Republic, as democratic Germany was called; the hyperinflation of the early 1920s, when the cost of a dollar exploded to 4.2 trillion marks and the German currency lost 99.3% of its value; the Great Depression, during which nearly a quarter of the German work force was unemployed; the political and economic instability of the times, in which the Nazis thrived; and the evil genius of Hitler, the master politician. This book transports the reader back to Germany of the 1920s and 1930s, so he or she can experience what it was like to be there as Hitler and his cronies grasped for power and the foundations of the Weimar Republic crumbled.