In 1923, an agitator named Adolf Hitler attempted to overthrow the German government. He was unsuccessful and sent to prison for nine months. While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”). Hitler suggested that there were easy solutions to German’s economic woes. He blamed Germany’s problems on its weak government and said Germany had lost the war because of “a stab in the back.”
Hitler spoke in a charismatic style that impressed the German people. He blamed outsiders for causing problems in the nation. He argued that if only the pure Germans he called Aryans controlled the destiny of their nation, Germany would return to greatness. Hitler blamed many of Germany’s problems on outsiders but signed out one group: the Jews.
By January 1933, Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) party controlled Germany. Hitler became a dictator, a leader with complete control. The Nazis acted quickly against all who opposed their rule. They outlawed all other political parties. People who opposed the new regime were often murdered.
Nazi propaganda focused on teenagers by training them to follow Hitler’s beliefs. The Boy Scouts and other teenage organizations were outlawed. Teens were encouraged to join the “Hitler Youth,” where they chanted Nazi slogans and were taught that they had the power to fulfill Germany’s destiny as a world power.
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Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on World War I and World War II.