Hitler’s promise of prosperity.

eco germany

A question people often ask me is “Why did so many Germans believe Hitler and the NSDAP?”

Hitler did not keep his hate for Jews and other groups e deemed unworthy a secret. In fact he wrote about it in Mein Kampf and other political publications.So why did so many Germans endorse him and his policies?

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That question is actually not so hard to answer.

There were a few factors and it also came down to timing.One of the reasons te Nazis cited for the woes of the German people was the treaty of Versailles. Te treart had caused undue hardships for Germany after WWI,but by 1924 the allied had realized that. The hyper inflation  in Germany causing simple daily things like bread and milk to cost millions of reich marks, had not gone unnoticed.

versailles

The Dawes Plan (as proposed by the Dawes Committee, chaired by Charles G. Dawes) was an initial plan in 1924 ease the World War I reparations that Germany had to pay.

The years 1924 to 1929 became known as the ‘Golden Years’, Germany had crawled out of poverty, at least for a big part, and by 1928 unemployment had gone down from a 15% to 8%.By this stage the Germans did not see the Nazis policies as viable policies for the country.

The event that brought changes to that was the  Wall Street Crash of October 29, 1929,which started the great depression.

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Strapped for cash, the United States began to recall loans from Europe. As one of the consequences unemployment started to rise. The economy of Germany, relied heavily on investment from the US, and suffered more than any other country in Europe.

Germany’s unemployment rate rose to 30% by 1932. Hitler promised to get the nation back to full employment, and he succeeded but it came with a price tag.Although by the 1933 elections the economy had already started to pick up somewhat.

The Nazis introduced policies to increase manual labour and banned the introduction of some labour-saving machinery.If a company wanted to reduce its workforce it needed permission from the government.

Gradually Jews were forcibly removed from the labour force and they were replaced by non Jewish Germans.

Women were encouraged to give up their jobs to become homemakers.

The army and the armament industry was rebuild.

Massive infrastructure projects like the motor ways were built.

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The mass production of radios was encouraged, this wasn’t only to reduce unemployment but also to ensure everyone had a media for propaganda.

Hitler had a vision for every German family to own a car, he was influenced by Henry Ford.

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The Nazis abolished tax on cars . Ferdinand Porsche, a well-known designer for high-end vehicles and race cars, had been trying for years to get a manufacturer interested in a small car suitable for a family. In 1934 Hitler became involved and ordered the production of the ‘People’s car’ Volkswagen.

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Especially the Jews and also the disabled were used as scapegoats for the economical hardships of the past.

By 1937 German unemployment had fallen from six million to one million.

It is nor surprising that the Germans fell for Hitler’s promises for he delivered on some of them, and especially the promise on the recovery of the economy

The standard of living though had not improved like it had done in the 1920s. Eventually this new ‘prosperity’ came at a high price,millions were slaughtered and Germany was once again left in ruins during WWII.

An important lesson is to be learned here. If election promises are kept, what is the price tag that comes with it.

 

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‘Fake news’ WWII style-FDR’s dog.

FDR-Fala-1940-crop

On September 23, 1944, Roosevelt opened the 1944 presidential campaign in Washington, D.C., speaking at a dinner with the International Teamsters Union. The half-hour speech was also broadcast on all U.S. radio networks.In the speech, Roosevelt attacked Republican opponents in Congress and detailed their attacks on him. Late in the speech, Roosevelt addressed Republican charges that he had accidentally left Fala behind on the Aleutian Islands while on tour there and had sent a U.S. Navy destroyer to retrieve him at an exorbitant cost to the taxpayers:

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After addressing pertinent labor issues and America’s status in World War II, Roosevelt explained that Republican critics had circulated a story claiming that Roosevelt had accidentally left Fala behind while visiting the Aleutian Islands earlier that year. They went on to accuse the president of sending a Navy destroyer, at a taxpayer expense of up to $20 million, to go back and pick up the dog. Roosevelt said that though he and his family had “suffered malicious falsehoods” in the past, he claimed the right to “object to libelous statements about my dog.” Roosevelt went on to say that the desperate Republican opposition knew it could not win the upcoming presidential election and used Fala as an excuse to attack the president. He half-jokingly declared that his critics sullied the reputation of a defenseless dog just to distract Americans from more pressing issues facing the country.

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog

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Roosevelt was indeed attached to his dog. Fala, a small, black Scottish terrier, accompanied Roosevelt almost everywhere: to the Oval Office, on official state visits and on long, overseas trips including one to Newfoundland in 1941 during which Fala met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

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Roosevelt’s cousin, Margaret Suckley, had given Fala to the president in 1940 when Fala was still a puppy. Although Eleanor Roosevelt disapproved of having a dog in the White House, Roosevelt adamantly kept the dog by his side. Fala slept at the foot of his master’s bed and only the president had the authority to feed him; the White House kitchen staff sent up a bone for Fala every morning with Roosevelt’s breakfast tray.

Fala was so popular that he became the subject of a series of cartoons

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After FDR’s death, Fala lived with Eleanor and, when the dog died in 1952 at the ripe old age of 12, he was buried near the president at his family home in Hyde Park, New York.

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In the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., Fala is immortalized next to the President. He is the only pet ever to be represented in a presidential memorial.

Monument