One German's Story of Life under Hitler's Reign
The day was January 30, 1933, and that day was one I will never forget. Adolf Hitler has just become our Chancellor, and history has therefore been made. The support here in favor of Hitler is overwhelming. The people are in love with him as he has promised to bring us out of debt and rescue our economy. He gives us hope. I will admit that at first, I and many others were a bit skeptical of him as he had previously been imprisoned for his ambitions within the government, and as the entirety of the situation seemed quite sudden and forced. In the years following, however, he has proven his good intentions to us as he took our problems into his own hands and has worked hard to effectively solve them. He has given millions of Germans jobs within factories he rebuilt, decreasing the amount of unemployed Germans drastically from 6 million to 1.5 million people. He strengthened the unity of our country by building highways so our cities are connected. His foreign-policy successes brought us all great joy and a sense of loyalty to him in 1939. Hitler increased our security with the increased production of weapons and the growth of our military despite the demands of the loathed Treaty of Versailles. We Germans have been angry and bitter over the treaty as it was unfair for the Allied nations to blame the entire war on us when Austria-Hungary was the true instigator in our eyes. The Treaty of Versailles has put our country in much debt and widespread turmoil as it is taking the efforts of every citizen to meet its demands. Hitler, however, has changed all of this for us.
Translates to "Yes! Leader, we follow you!"
As time went on, fear began to emerge as we suddenly didn’t have the choice to support Hitler – we were forced to support him despite our wishes and opinions. We were threatened by Hitler’s secret police force, the Gestapo, and never dared to even speak out against Hitler for fear of punishment or death. Hitler’s power came from his paranoia, meaning he eliminated anyone that he thought might potentially threaten his power and therefore created a fear in people of being captured for doing anything in defiance of Hitler’s power. Yet despite it all, there was still so much support for Hitler and his views and ideas. Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass”, was even caused by angry rioters that supported Hitler and his anti-Semitic opinions. Joseph Goebbels, a close friend of Hitler’s and the head of all Nazi propaganda, will even claim, “Whether you agree with my propaganda or not, the fact is that the entire German people have become National Socialists thereby”.
Our freedom finally came as the war was ending. The German army had suffered a terrible loss but Hitler refused to give up. He believed that they should fight on to the death, no matter the cost. Hitler finally met his end when he committed suicide in an underground bunker of the chancellery building, refusing to be captured by enemy forces. The Germans were no longer under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, and freedom had returned. Hitler’s secrets began to arise to the public around the world, including his greatest secret – the torture and murder of millions of Jews. The world was horrified, mortified. The people cried for their lost loved ones and friends. And I, I left Germany as soon as I could, seeking a place somewhere in the world where I could escape the terror of my memories of Germany under Adolf Hitler.
This newspaper announces Hitler's death
"Adolf Hitler: Fall of Hitler and the Third Reich." Infoplease. Sandbox Networks, Inc., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017. <http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/people/hitler-adolf-fall-hitler-third-reich.html>.
"Adolf Hitler Is Named Chancellor of Germany." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2017. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/adolf-hitler-is-named-chancellor-of-germany>.
"Jews Facing New Decrees in Germany." Reading Eagle 11 Nov. 1938: 1+. Google News. Web. <https://news.google.com/newspapersnid=1955&dat=19381111&id =BnAhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AYgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2514,2433449&hl=en>.
Kershaw, Ian. "The Führer Myth: How Hitler Won Over the German People." SPIEGEL ONLINE. SPIEGEL ONLINE, 30 Jan. 2008. Web. 9 Mar. 2017. <http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-fuehrer-myth-how-hitler-won-over-the-german-people-a-531909.html>.
*This story was written in the point of view of a made-up person. It is, however, based on true historical facts.