.. hite background with a broken cross in the middle. Hitler took full leadership of the party. Violence was now the partys trademark. He persuaded the other party members to rent one of the largest halls in Munichone that seated at least 2,000 people. There Hitler made of list of demands to the German government.
Point twenty-five said, “For modern society, a colossus with feet of clay, we shall create an unprecedented centralization, through which we will unite all powers in the head of the government.” The audience roared its approval. Ernst Rohm, a friend of Hitlers, organized a group of storm troopers for Hitler. The German name for storm troopers was Storm Abtcilung, or SA for short. They first beat and killed hecklers at Nazi speakings. When there were no hecklers, they found Jews to beat up. Synagogues were destroyed and Jews were beaten in the streets.
By the summer of 1923, the Nazi party had grown to 150,000 members. With the Nazi movement growing so rapidly, Hitler knew it was time to make a move on Germany. November 11, 1923 seemed like a perfect time for Hitler to make the grab for power. It was the fifth anniversary of Germanys surrender to the allies. At the last minute he changed the date to November 8th. A large gathering was to be held on the outskirts of Munich. Three important government leaders would be there.
On that evening, 600 storm troopers moved in. Hitler captured the government leaders and forced them to join him. His 3,000 men then marched to Berlin in an attempt to take it over. The German police were waiting. Shots were fired and sixteen nazis and two policemen lay dead.
Hundreds more were wounded. Hitler was arrested and charged with High Treason. The trial was a “political circus”. Hitler was allowed to speak for hours at a time. During one of his speeches he said, “It is the External Court of History That court will judge us as Germans who wanted the best for their people and their fatherland, who wished us to fight and die. You may pronounce us guilty but the Goddess who presides over the External Court of History acquits us”. Hitler served only nine months of his five-year sentence.
The guards gave him a suite of several adjoining rooms where guests could come or go as they pleased. He was sent many gifts and grew visibly fatter. He wrote a book called Mein Kampf, or My Struggle. It was a blueprint of what he would do in the next two decades. The government banned the Nazi party after the revolt.
There were also many reasons for lack of Nazi activity. The Allies had loosened their grip on the German economy. The French had left the Ruhr leaving Germanys industries intact, and the United States pumped in millions of dollars to stabilize Germanys economy. Most Germans were happy. In 1925, the Nazis picked up where they left off.
Ernst Rohn was given the order to reinstate his troops. Germany held elections, but the Nazis got only three percent of the voters support. The depression in America caused the economic system in Germany to plummet. Because of the harsh times, Nazis got two million more votes then the Communist party. The election put them just under the Democratic party and gave them 107 more seats in the House. Hitler was planning on running for President of Germany against Paul Von Hinderburg, a social democrat. Hitler campaigned frequently, going to every major city and town.
He was the first to use the airplane in order to get from one campaign to the next. By 1932 the SA troops numbered 400,000. The SAs goal was to make people afraid, and they accomplished that with ease. One of the most popular chants of the SA troops is as follows: “Sharpen the knives on the sidewalk so that they can cut the enemys body better. When the hour of revenge strikes, we shall be ready for mass murder”.
The SA troops were getting out of hand, and Hitler wanted an orderly group. He created the SS soldiers. They were dressed in black from head to foot with a little skull pin on their helmets. They had to swear total loyalty to Hitler. In the election of 1932, Hitler could not beat out the eighty-five year old President Hindenburg. However, 230 Nazi candidates held seats, and Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany. It was the second highest position in the German government. With only a week left till the new election, Hitler needed an incident that might put him ahead in the polls.
Two nights later, the old courthouse, the Reichstag, began burning. The Nazis immediately began blaming it on the Communists. This was just what the Nazis needed to put them ahead in the race. Hitler still was not elected to the Presidency. Using force, Hitler got Hinderburg to pass a law that abolished freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly.
Hitler then brought before the court the Enabling Act. This law gave Hitler the power of a dictator for the next four years. With violent persuasion, he got the bill passed. Germany had become a dictatorship. After the bills were passed, the German military feared that when Hitler took full leadership of the country, they would lose control, and the SA would take over.
Hitler assured the military that this was not true. To gain their trust, he gave them a list of 500 to 1000 SA leaders which they could dispose of. In a period of two days, all the men were brought before a firing range in a school basement and shot . In August of 1934 President Hindenburg died. Hitlers last obstacle in his quest for complete power was removed.
Using his unlimited powers, he combined the offices of president and chancellor. To everyone in Germany he was now Der Fuhrer, the leader. The Reich had begun. Avoiding capture by the approaching forces, Hitler shot himself on April 30, 1945. The world was never the same again.
Hitlers Reich was over, and millions of jews were dead. Quite rightly, the world asked questions: How could this have happened? Truthful answers cannot put the responsibility on Hitler alone. He led the Reich, but millions of people followed him eagerlyand many others chose to stand and watch him alone in frightened silence.