Monday, March 28, 2011

Nazi Thesis- Part IV

Here is part four in my ongoing series.

As the party gained steam in the late twenties and early thirties, more and more people joined, some disaffected like Hitler, others simply succumbing to the latest political trend. Many joined because they felt like Germany was going in the wrong direction as a result of the Great Depression. Hitler had felt this same way in wake of the First World War, and now Germany was where he had been ten years earlier. Everyone was dissatisfied and wanted a way out of the misery, but there were a select few whose chip was bigger, and they became forever tied to the fate of the party. If there was a mold for the personality of the typical party member of the early years it was Joseph Goebbels. 

Angry, bitter, revenge seeking misanthropes with ambition, like Goebbels, gave the party its backbone. The work of Hitler, Goebbels and the other early members rooted Nazism in racial superiority, German dominance and the seizure of power. Once in power, the Nazis needed a different kind of personality, one that still had the underlying inadequacy and bitterness, but could put forth a smooth, ideal German exterior. Reinhard Heydrich and Hermann Goering were two such men.

Heydrich and Goering were two men who helped give the party legitimacy to Germans who might not have otherwise become affiliated with the movement. Heydrich was in many ways the quintessential German that the Nazis promoted. A talented violinist, and a master fencer, Heydrich’s outward appearance shielded his true nature as one of the worst Nazi criminals. The Fuhrer utilized Heydrich’s skills to carry out his most heinous atrocities, and it was all masked by a lust for power, and the desire to make Germany strong. 

All of the leaders of the party sought to gain their own area over which they could rule supremely. Heydrich was no exception, and as Heinrich Himmler’s right hand man in the SS he was given the job of administering the Final Solution. Himmler and Heydrich did not have a national post at the time the Nazis took power in 1933, but they soon did all they could to increase their power.  Neither man was content to sit by and let the party overshadow them, and so they began to make the SS the most powerful organization within the Nazi party. Goering, perhaps the most amicable of the top Nazis, displayed a duality in his personality as well.
Hermann Goering

A large, boisterous man with a crude sense of humor, Goering used his military knowledge from World War I to gain advancement within the party. Bitter about the German defeat like so many at the time, Nazism afforded Goering the opportunity to try and salvage German superiority. Aviation was his first love, but as the Prime Minister of Prussia, he fell in love with power. Hitler prized Goering for his vast business contacts in the world of aviation, and rewarded him accordingly. As the number two man in the political arena, Goering was able to swallow up many titles and jobs. To the public Goering was the second most powerful man in the Nazi Reich, and he was loved by the masses. In reality, there was another man who had the second most power in the regime, and he did not need the love of the people for validation. Heinrich Himmler sought only power, and the means to maintain it.

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