Ellis Washington
Adolf Hitler: the middle years (1920-1932)
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By Ellis Washington
October 3, 2015

We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is like Mohammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with wild god. That can be the historic future.

~ Psychiatrist Carl Jung, The Symbolic Life (1939)

Then will come a National Socialist State tribunal; then will November 1918 [Armistice of Compiègne], be expiated; then the heads will roll.

~ Hitler's testimony at a trial of German Officers (Leipzig, 1930)

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.

~ Adolf Hitler



Remember Adolf Hitler was freely elected by the German people: A poster before the 1933 election (pictured with Paul von Hindenburg) reads "The Reich will never be destroyed if you are united and loyal."

Hitler's Year One: World War I – August 4, 1914

As a historian on Hitler and the Nazi period, one cannot fully nor properly understand Hitler's middle years (1920-1932) without going back to that singular most transformative experience in Young Hitler's life, the World War I Years: 1914-1919. Such an epiphany experience were those crucial years in shaping and forming the psychological Weltanschauung (worldview) of Young Hitler, that I consider 1914, not his birth year of 1889, Year One for Adolf Hitler. The start of World War I: August 4, 1914 was the official date for Young Hitler where Austria-Hungary was at war with Serbia, and the date Germany had declared war on Russia and France.

Historian, William Shirer, in his classic treatise, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, in his concluding paragraphs of chapter one, puts the pivotal period of Hitler's life in its' proper historical context leading us from his early period to his middle period years where the reader comes to see the failed, frustrated, sexually abused artist transmute himself in 20 short years to the Man of Destiny history and millions of German citizens would salute with Seig Heil in worshipful adoration calling Adolf Hitler, "Der Führer" (the Leader). Shirer writes: "To me," he wrote in Mein Kampf, "those hours came as a deliverance from the distress that had weighed upon me during the days of my youth. I am not ashamed to say that, carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment, I sank down on my knees and thanked Heaven out of the fullness of my heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live in such a time... For me, as for every German, there now began the most memorable period of my life. Compared to the events of this gigantic struggle all the past fell away into oblivion." What Hitler meant by "those hours" was that pivotal time of August 4, 1914, the date Germany entered World War I; the date Hitler would become a Man of Destiny to lead Germany in just 20 years.

"For Hitler the past, with all its shabbiness, loneliness and disappointments, was to remain in the shadows, though it shaped his mind and character forever afterward," continued Shirer. "The war, which now would bring death to so many millions, brought for him, at twenty-five, a new start in life." Later Hitler would write of those heady times in his typical transformative and dystopian language – "Germany will either be a world power or will not be at all."

Hitler and early Nazism: 1920-1922

With little education, a German economy in depression, and World War I now at an end, Hitler, like millions of other disillusioned German veterans had little prospects for work. Returning to Munich in July 1919, he took a voluntary position with the Reichswehr (German army) and was appointed Verbindungsmann (intelligence agent) of an Aufklärungskommando (reconnaissance commando). In other words Hitler's first real job outside his military service was as a spy for the hated Weimar Republic, charged to influence other veterans, and to infiltrate the German Workers' Party (DAP), a precursor to the Nazi Party. Hitler soon formed a strong relationship with the DAP founder and leader, Anton Drexler whose radical, revolutionary ideas of Jewish hatred, aggressive German nationalism, anti-Capitalism and anti-Communism created a new political reality in Germany, a dynamic Weltanschauung (worldview) which greatly appealed to Young Hitler. Fascinated with Hitler's rhetorical abilities, Drexler soon invited him to join the DAP which he did in September 1919.

Although Hitler was initially hired by the government as a spy against what would be called an early incarnation of the Nazi Party, after his discharge from the army in March 1920, Hitler started working for the NSDAP on a full-time basis. In those early days the primary objectives of the Nazi Party, (then headquartered in Munich, a haven of anti-government German nationalism), was to defeat all Marxist organizations while working aggressively to destabilize the hated Weimar Republic, which the Nazi Party blamed as cowards, appeasers, and collaborators with the Allied Powers of World War I for agreeing to the onerous terms of the Treaty of Versailles (effective 20 January 1920). Thus, in the minds of most Germans and particularly the Nazi Party, viewed the Weimar Republic (and their perceived allies, the Communists and Jews) as weak, treacherous, and "decadent." So devoted was Hitler and the Nazis at avenging the humiliating surrender after the defeat in World War I, that 10 years later in 1930, in testimony at a trial of German Officers in Leipzig, Hitler was still raging passionately against what he perceived as the treachery of the Weimar Republic against the German people. Hitler said, Then will come a National Socialist State tribunal; then will November 1918 [Armistice of Compiègne], be expiated; then the heads will roll.

Throughout the early 1920s Hitler's venomous beer hall speeches started attracting consistently larger crowds of disaffected and angry Germany young men, many of them veterans. Under Hitler's dynamic leadership the German Workers' Party was bringing in so many new members that they frequently ran out of application forms. During the early 1920s Hitler frequently hearkened back to two key political figures during his struggling artist years in his Vienna Period (1908-13), Schönerer and Lueger. Georg von Schönerer was a popular, nationalist Austrian politician pushing a unified and aggressive Pan-German nationalism. The second major influence on young Hitler was Karl Lueger, Mayor of Vienna from 1897 to his death in 1910.

Hitler perfected his oratorical skills during the 1920s becoming increasingly skilled at using populist subjects to give voice the existential German angst and resentment. Hitler was especially adept at exploiting the technique of scapegoats, blaming others for the social, political and economic privations of the German people; these rhetorical tactics Hitler especially learned from Schönerer. Hitler during this period also mastered using exaggerated physical gestures he effectively used to win the hearts and minds of the growing crowds; techniques he learned from Lueger, who was Mayor of Vienna during the time Hitler lived there. (See picture below of Hitler practicing his patented oratorical moves)

From Hitler's middle period we see his evolution and perfection as a master orator who possessed an almost hypnotic effect on his audience that hung on his every word. Psychiatrist Carl Jung, later commenting about Hitler's rhetorical gifts, wrote that he was the "first man to tell every German what he has been thinking and feeling all along in his unconscious about German fate, especially since the defeat in the World War." Similarly Jung in his 1939 book, The Symbolic Life, wrote about what kind of utterly diabolical man Hitler would become and appeared to be prophetic in connecting Hitlerism with their ideological twin Islam: "We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is like Mohammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with wild god. That can be the historic future."

Hitler's Revolution against Germany: Beer Hall Putsch (1923)

In an earlier article, Hitler's Reichstag fire and the Progressive pretext for Tyranny, I wrote the following about this pivotal event in Nazi history – 'The Beer Hall Putsch, also known as the Munich Putsch. This was an unsuccessful coup d'état effort by the Nazi Party leaders Adolf Hitler, Erich Ludendorff and other Kampfbund ("Battle-league") leaders – to take power by force in Munich, Bavaria, during November 8–9, 1923. Approximately 2,000 Nazi men marched to the Munich Square and engaged in a series of protracted battles with police. The riots led to the death of 16 Nazis and four policemen.'

'Adolph Hitler and Rudolph Hess were arrested two days later and charged with treason. However, from Hitler's viewpoint, there were several positives from this coup against Germany. First, the Putsch immediately catapulted Hitler from obscurity to national and international attention. During Hitler's trial, he made masterful use of the 24 days it lasted to transform negative event into a huge positive venue to make public his National Socialist ideas known to the German people and throughout Europe. Hitler was eventually found guilty of treason and he was sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison. The second positive to Hitler arose with the writing in prison and eventual publication of his memoir Mein Kampf(My Struggle), which was published in two parts – Vol. I (1925), Vol. II (1926) and transcribed by his fellow prisoner, Rudolf Hess, who essentially was the ghostwriter of this book, transcribing Hitler's rantings into a coherent narrative. Mein Kampf was an immediate national bestseller and brought Hitler fabulous book royalties and more national and international celebrity.'



Defendants in the Beer Hall Putsch trial. From left to right: Pernet, Weber, Frick, Kiebel, Ludendorff, Hitler, Bruckner, Röhm, and Wagner.

Hitler Consolidates his Power: 1924-1929

Riding high on his ascending national superstardom and international notoriety, Hitler was freed from jail on December 20, 1924, having served only nine months of his five year sentence. The lasting lesson Hitler would learn from the Beer Hall Putsch was his understanding that the pathway to power was through legal and democratic means, not bloody, protracted revolution – that would come after the initial power was acquired. Therefore, the Putsch influenced Hitler to change National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) tactics, which would lead to a growing dependence on the advancement and promotion of Nazi propaganda to achieve his evil ends.

From Dec. 1924- Feb. 16, 1927, as part of his plea agreement with the Bavarian government, Hitler was banned from associating or speaking on behalf of the Nazi Party. However, during this interim period Hitler shrewdly used surrogates like Gregor Strasser, Otto Strasser, and Joseph Goebbels (who would later become Hitler's Minister of Propaganda), to advance his political goals, to further unify and develop the Nazi Party, particularly in northern Germany. A superb organizer, Gregor Strasser directed a more independent political development, stressing the socialist fundamentals of the Nazi Party's Weltanschauung (worldview) in seizing the minds and hearts of the German people.

Hitler's Ascendancy as Der Führer: 1930-1932

History, from antiquity to modern times, always demonstrates that nature abhors a vacuum which in the past was usually filled by a demagogue crouching in a dark corner like a rat ready to lurch into history. The grim, social, political, and economic circumstances in Germany under the Weimar Republic from the 1920s through the early 1930s was ripe for social upheaval as the Weimar Republic collapsed under its own incompetence and irrelevancy. The universal economic depression devastated the German economy causing tens of millions of people to be unemployed. Hitler and his Nazi Party essentially was a product of the visceral discontent, hatred and rage of most German citizens after their shameful defeat fifteen years earlier during World War I where the victorious Allied Powers-England, France and America forced the Germans to sign the oppressive Treaty of Versailles. As the Germans staggered pathetically through the 1920s under the feckless and incompetent Weimar Republic, these existential, evil circumstances set the stage for the ascendancy of a bold, new leader, with new, radical ideas. Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi Party would fill this leadership void left open by the weak, feckless Weimar Republic and soon seize this immense power to change modern world history forever.

Hitler the Orator

Hitler was a master of rhetoric and political speaking witnessing the positive affect of political orator during his Vienna Years (1908-13) where he leaned from two gifted and power Austrian politicians – Schönerer and Lueger. Hitler's mesmerizing rhetoric throughout the 1920s had a virtually hypnotic effect on all who heard him and thus appealed to the growing legions of disaffected German citizens, many of them veterans, the unemployed, young people, and members of the lower middle class (small store owners, office employees, craftsmen, and farmers) all desperate for change. Hitler and his Nazi Party systematically exploited this German angst and vowed revenge against the irrelevant apparatchiks of the Weimar Republic who he felt kept Germany on her knees. To the embittered German citizens, Hitler promised to bring Germany off her knees within a newly restored and powerful Germany.



Hitler, a fanatic of rhetoric and theatrical technique, poses for the camera (1930)

The ascendancy of the Nazi Party in German politics was legendary and rapid. Prior to the economic depression of Oct. 1929, the Nazis were virtually anonymous, for example, in the elections 1924 the Nazi Party only won a paltry 3 percent of the vote to the Reichstag (German parliament). Nevertheless, by the 1932 elections, the Nazis would win 33 percent of the votes; surpassing every other political party in Germany, yet the Nazis did not achieve a majority in the German Parliament, therefore on the surface it seems that Hitler and the Nazis had "lost." Yet, here is where Hitler once again beat the odds, was tactical, and cemented his reputation as a Man of Destiny. Thus, despite that fact that the Nazis would not gain a majority in democratic elections, when the aging, moribund President Paul von Hindenburg offered the dynamic young Adolf Hitler a position on his ticket, Hitler quickly seized the opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and formed a unified National Socialism coalition with von Hindenburg's conservatives. After months of intense negotiations, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany in on January 30, 1933.



A crowd cheers Adolf Hitler as his car leaves the Reich Chancellery following a meeting with President Paul von Hindenburg. Berlin, Germany, November 19, 1932.

– National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

Hitler Rising, Russia Rising

Earlier this week on Facebook I posted some remarks to demonstrate how like in Hitler's time the political dynamics of today appears to be repeating history. Remember, 'Nature abhors a vacuum.' Wherever there is a dearth of leadership like with President Obama's 7-year feckless administration, stronger men like Putin, like Iran's Ayatollah will arise and displace the weaker. Recounting Putin's speech before the United Nations earlier last week, I wrote: 'America, I'm not sure if you realized what happened yesterday at the United Nations. We literally witnessed History. Obama didn't step down from the stage as the "Leader of the Free World." Russia's Vladimir Putin, a real man and a strong leader, kicked Obama off the world's stage like a NFL punter kicks an extra point.'

Now we hear this morning that Russia is bombing the hell out of Syria and demands that Obama take the U.S. military out of Syria now. (Trump said on O'Reilly last night, let it be Putin's problem). Note also that China has moved a nuclear submarine into the Middle East. Obama's treachery, duplicity and feckless foreign policy for 7 years has only turned the Middle East into a giant catastrophe. Putin and the world leaders understood that Obama had no intention of getting rid of ISIS, and that he was deceitfully using them (and the so-called U.S.-CIA trained 'Syrian Rebels') to fight a proxy war against his real enemy, Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, who is an ally of Russia's Putin.

The new coalition is rather complex – Russia, fighting Syrian Rebels, ISIS, and Muslim Chechen terrorists from the Russian North Caucasus fighting in Syria; Iran, fighting Sunni ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria; China, fighting Muslim Chinese Uighurs from their Western province; Syria, fighting Muslim Sunni ISIS and Syrian Rebels (i.e., terrorist coalitions). Now that Russia's Vladimir Putin has a strong and effective coalition I believe that ISIS will be defeated, or at least neutralized and prevented from causing existential chaos in the Middle East any further. This coalition is there to stop ISIS combatants from Russia, China, America and other countries from fighting with ISIS in Syria and then re-entering their countries unless it's in a body bag. Furthermore, Putin and Russia is the essentially the de facto savior of Christianity in the Middle East where Obama has failed. Putin and Al-Assad will protect churches, synagogues, Christians and Jews living in Syria who would most certainly be slaughtered by ISIS should they succeed in toppling Bashar Al-Assad.



Things to come: Nazi Muslim soldiers of the Handschar Waffen SS reading a pamphlet written by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini titled 'Islam and Judaism' (circa 1943).

Dr. Ben Carson warns of Hitler rising today

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is warning voters to remember history, to learn from history, and be careful or they could see the second coming of Adolf Hitler in the United States. Carson made the comments on Wednesday while speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, saying if people are willing to give up their freedom, a government similar to the Nazi regime could rise up.

"If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech," Carson said, also that "If people don't speak up for what they believe, then other people will change things without them having a voice."

When Carson rightly says that "Hitler changed things there and nobody protested. Nobody provided any opposition to him," those words have an even more prophetic meaning today and are derivative of a famous quote by Hitler, "How fortunate for leaders that men do not think."


Book Notice

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Invitation for manuscripts

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© Ellis Washington

 

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Ellis Washington

Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review (1989) and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute (1992). Currently he is an adjunct professor of law at the National Paralegal College and the graduate school, National Jurisprudence University, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, American History, Administrative Law, Criminal Procedure, Contracts, Real Property, and Advanced Legal Writing, among many other subjects... (more)

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