23.1 Rise of Hitler speech

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Ch23.1 The Rise of Hitler
CLAIM:
The seeds of World War II were planted in the peace of World War I.
Review from class yesterday, what’s the evidence/proof that this statement is true?
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PRIMARY SOURCE: Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s First Speech to the German people after his election:
February 19, 1933 (video clip from documentary Double Headed Eagle: Hitler’s Rise to Power 1918-1933)
Introduction by Josef Gobbels: You are witnessing this evening, an event of such magnitude which neither
Germany nor the rest of the world has ever before seen. I believe it would be no exaggeration to say that
tonight at least 20 million people in Germany and beyond its frontiers will be able to hear Chancellor Adolf
Hitler speak.
When the Jewish press complains that the National Socialist Movement gives the Chancellor of all Germany
such wide radio coverage, we can only reply: we are merely responding like with like. And if the Jewish
papers think they can intimidate our Movement, and if they think they can ignore our emergency regulations
let them beware. One day our patience will come to an end! And the insolent Jews will have their lying
mouths shut for them!
Making his own way, on his own, smiling gravely at the crowds, here comes he Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, leader
of the New Germany. Our Chancellor, Adolf Hitler…
PAUSE AND REFLECT:
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What event has Gobbels foreshadowed?
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What is his tone?
Speech by Adolf Hitler: Fellow Germans… On January 30 of this year, the new national government was
formed. I, and with me, the National Socialist Movement joined it. I believe that what I fought for in years
past had been achieved. In 1918, when the war ended, I felt, like many millions of Germans, that I was not
responsible for the causes of the war, nor the outbreak of the war, nor the conduct of the war, nor was I
responsible for the political situation in Germany. I was a soldier, along with 8 or 10 million others. A time
came when a German could take pride only in the past while in the present was only something to be
ashamed of. With the decline of foreign policy and the decay of political power, the internal collapse began
of the dissolution of our great national institutions, and decay and corruption of our administration. And so
began the decline of our nationhood. All this was brought about, all this was caused by the men of
November 1918. And now we see the collapse of class after class. The middle classes are in despair.
Hundreds of thousands of lives are ruined. Every year the situation grows more desperate for tens of
thousands. Hundreds of thousands are going bankrupt. And now the ranks of the unemployed are beginning
to swell. One, two, three million. Four million. 5 million, 6 million. Seven million. Today it may be 7 or 8
million. How long can this go on?
I am convinced that we must act now if we are to act before it’s too late. Therefore, I decided on January 30,
with the support of my party, which began with seven members and now is 12 million strong, to save the
nation and the Fatherland. Just as I worked tirelessly for fourteen years to build up this movement, and made
it grow from seven men to 12 million, so will I, and so will we all toil and work for the resurrection of the
German nation. People of Germany! Give us four years and I swear that as I took office so will I leave it. I
did not do this for reward. I did it for you!
Conclusion by Josepf Gobbels: At the end of this massive demonstration let us rise and greet all Germans
within our frontiers and beyond. With overflowing hearts we greet our people, our fatherland, our Fuhrer!
PAUSE AND REFLECT:
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What specific points does Hitler make to appeal to the German people?
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How does the crowd respond to him?
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How are Gobbels and Hitler different in their speeches?
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How does this speech show that the seeds of WWII are in the peace of WWI?
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