Hitler's Involvement in Politics
In the year of 1919 Hitler joined the German Worker's Party. At the time Germany was engulfed in social chaos, which resulted from the harsh and bitter terms of the Peace Treaty. Hitler used the social chaos and his immense oratory skills to enhance his involvement in the German Worker's Party. Within a space of two years, he transformed the small party into a large and powerful right-wing political party that became known as the Nazi Party.Hitler's involvement in the German Workers' PartyIn the spring of 1919, after he was discharged from the hospital, Hitler returned to Munich where he engaged in politics. A few months later he joined the small German Workers' Party. Hitler found it ineffective and so, for a short while, he was hesitant on committing himself to that party. Much to his advantage, though, the social and economic chaos that enveloped Germany following the Peace Treaty at Versailles worked in favour for the growth of the small party.Resentment at Germany's loss of the Great War and the severity of the peace terms wrought on her by the other European powers created widespread discontent. The internal conflict between the communists and the far right had grown strong, especially in Bavaria. Bavarian separatists in favour of a Soviet Republic had formed a Red Army as large as 20,000 men and had organized a short lived coup in Munich.Munich, at this time, was a Mecca for dissatisfied war veterans who were unwilling to return to civilian life. Determined to oust the newly established Soviet Republic, most of these men eagerly joined the German's Worker Party.Hitler used this volatile situation to his greatest advantage. He took a number of indoctrination courses through the University of Munich to gain a greater knowledge of politics, finance and economics, and used his position in the party as an opportunity to hone his oratory skills. During this time Hitler was placed in charge of the party's propaganda and was also charged with the duty of spying on opposing political parties.The Foundation of the Nazi PartyHitler used his responsibility of the military's propaganda as a platform for his advancement in the party. He was immensely successful in his first speech in October 1919. His fierce and powerful oratory skills enabled him to attract a significantly large crowd of over two thousand people at a party meeting at the Munich Hofbrauhaus. Before a rowdy audience, Hitler presented a list of twenty-five programme ideas which would be the basis of the party. It was here that he renamed the party the National Socialist German Workers' Party, other known as the Nazi party.After his discharge from the army, Hitler continued to vigorously expand his influence in the party. Determined to oust the communists and unite Germany under the Nazi party, Hitler organized squads that were encouraged to attack socialists and communists and quash disorder at party meetings. He also became the main speaker at party events, successfully attracting and swaying large crowds in his favour. "During the summer of 1920, Hitler chose the swastika as the Nazi party emblem," says Phil Stokes.Hitler as leader of the Nazi PartyBy 1921 Hitler had gained complete control of the Nazi party. However, not all Nazi members were willing to accept his leadership. In July of that year, while he was away in Berlin, the discontent members proposed that the party merge with another right-wing political party in Nuremberg with the hopes that this would terminate Hitler's strong influence. Upon hearing the news of the proposed merge, Hitler returned to Munich and threatened to resign. Realizing that the party's funds and its popularity rested on Hitler's shoulders, they could not afford his resignation. Hitler used his oratory skills and aggressive personality to force the committee members to accept him as their sole leader.From then on, Hitler continued to enhance the power of the Nazi Party. The climax of the Party's strength and dominance in Germany would come to a climax in Hitler's attempt to overthrow the Bavarian Government in Munich.SourcesLukacs, John. "Adolf Hitler Biography" on The Biography Channel website (accessed 13 May 2009).Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. New York; Washington: Praeger Publishers, 1973.Stokes, Phil. "A Biography of Adolf Hitler" (accessed 13 May 2009).