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Without Hitler would the Nazi party have been as successful?


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#1 jaxson50

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:52 PM

I'm not asking these question's as a platform to bash or praise Hitler, for all of his short comings, no one can deny that he was a dynamic speaker and a very savvy politico. When he rose to power Europe was teaming with many new political parties striving to fill the void created by WWI and the end of the era rule by King's and Czars and the end of the Ottoman Empire.
At one point there was a dozen or more political party's fighting for power in Germany. The Nazi Party was a very small party in the 1920's that many viewed as weak at best. Even in the Nazi Party itself Hitler was one of many who could have risen to be the leader of the party.
So I ask;
1. Would the Nazi party have been as powerful without Hitler as it's leader?
2. What other party would could gain power?
3. If Hitler had not joined the party, who would have been the most likely leader?
4. Would war have been inevitable without the Nazi Party in power?
5. What would Europe and the world look like today if the Nazi Party had never risen to power?



#2 Wolfy

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:56 PM

Don't forget this man:

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#3 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:18 PM

What about him? Are you suggesting he would be a alternate Leader of the Nazi Party if Hitler did not? He was in the Navy until 1931. Hitler's leadership and his influence on the party was already established by then. So in order for him to become the Leader he would have had to taken control at the earliest in 1919 when he was 15 years old and the party was created or in 1921 when he was 17 when Hitler became Party Chairman. Hitler was much older and experienced then Heydrich would have been.
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#4 WotNoChad?

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:20 PM

Or the Strasser brothers;

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Are these questions coursework?

cheers,

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#5 jaxson50

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:50 PM

No course work involved, just curious, after the Nazi party took over all other parties were banned, so they must have been afraid of someone.

#6 PzJgr

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

1. Would the Nazi party have been as powerful without Hitler as it's leader?
Nope. Hitler's oratory gift gave the party the voice it needed and Hitler also had a way to sway those to do his bidding

2. What other party would could gain power?
Don't know if there would have been a dominant party. Perhaps the communist party was but I don't think it would have come into power

3. If Hitler had not joined the party, who would have been the most likely leader?
Good question. Don't know

4. Would war have been inevitable without the Nazi Party in power?
Correct. It was Hitler in power, not the Nazis

5. What would Europe and the world look like today if the Nazi Party had never risen to power?
same as 1936
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#7 jaxson50

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:02 PM

PzJgr
On question 4 & 5, what about Stalin?
Without Hitler in power in Germany would Stalin have tried to grab even more territory?

Edited by jaxson50, 29 January 2009 - 11:08 PM.


#8 PzJgr

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:37 PM

I don't think so. Stalin only made his moves towards Finland and the Balkans because of Hitler. Stalin would have supported the communist parties of external countries and even support civil wars like that in Spain. I think he knew he was not ready to invade.
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#9 jaxson50

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:52 PM

Maybe your right, I am of the opinion that Stalin wanted Poland, Finland, Estonia etc.

#10 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:27 AM

IMO There are way too many variables in the scenario. Though the odds of the war and the Holocaust occuring are extremely less likely due these being Parts of Hitler's desires for the future and there were many who were willing to turn a blind eye to what was happening or quite willing to skip down the dark paths of his madness with him . Hitler therefore being the catalyst for what happened before and during the war.
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#11 LRusso216

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:58 AM

I don't know if the Nazi Part, per se, would have developed without Hitler, but there were plenty of radical right wing, ultra-nationalist parties in Germany of the 1920's that would have tried. The old line conservatives, freikorps members, etc. had no love for the Weimar Republic, and most of the legal system was aligned against any democratic tendencies; witness the lenient treatment of Hitler and Ludendorff after the Munich Putsch. When the Stresemann government showed some signs of success in 1924-1928, he was called a traitor because he refused to turn toauthoritarianism and military adventures. In the words of the German Conservative party (DNVP):
With all our hearts we hate the present form of the German state
because it denies us the hope of freeing our enslaved Fatherland,
of cleansing the German people of the war-guilt lie, and of gaining
necesary Lebensraum in the East. (Taken from The Fascist
Tradition by John Weiss)

It seems to me that Germany was ripe for some kind of radical right government. That said, I'm not sure that means that we can extrapolate that out to say that all of the resultant woes of the '30's and '40's would have been repeated. I don't think there was another German politician with the kind of charisma and single-mindedness that he had (can you say monomania?).

#12 Sir Plus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:11 AM

Well, first it should be remembered that there technically was no Nazi party until Hitler was involved and well on his way to becoming the leader. The Deutsche Arbeiterpartei did not become the NSDAP until after Karl Herrer resigned from the party. Hitler announced the "new" party (or new name) in a speech on 24 February 1920 after the Hofbrauhaus Krewalla at the same time the official party platform was announced. Hitler was well on his way to solidifying his place as the leader at this point. After that the Nazi Party essentially became a means for Hitler to take power in Germany. As for what would have been the dominant group and who would have led it, who knows. Drexler probably would have remained the head of the DAP, but numerous Volkisch groups were in existence at the time. Also remember that the DAP assimilated several of these groups on its way to becoming the NSDAP. Plus, as someone mentioned earlier, the communists had a prescence, although I personally doubt they would have ultimately gained power because of German sentiment regarding the war at that time. But, who knows? WIth the aid of the Russians it was certainly possible. As far as the war goes, that question is tricky one to answer. The German people were disillusioned, humiliated, and angry. The mood was right for war, it would just depend on who ultimately came into power.

#13 jaxson50

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:52 PM


Sir Plus
Great points, Hitler taped into the frustration and disillusionment that was rampant in post WWI Germany.
I have two follow up questions;
With out the Nazi Party would Germany have still followed the same path to Nationalism?
What roll would the USSR play in Europe and the world politics with out the rise of Nazism?
Let's not forget that there were many in the west who did not trust Stalin, until Germany's invasion of Poland the jury was out on which leader was the greater threat, Hitler or Stalin, without Hitler in the picture would there have been a greater movement to go to war with Stalin?
As paranoid as Stalin was, would any anti Soviet rhetoric in the west have driven Stalin to become as aggressive as Hitler

#14 Sir Plus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:51 PM

Thank you. Those are some good questions. First, I think it would have been very possible, if not likely, that Germany would have eventually followed a similar path to Nationalism. One of the things that Hitler used to his advantage was the nationalistic feelings already present in a large portion of the German population. I don't think the the results would have been nearly as drastic, but Germany was already headed in that direction. There was a popular idea in Germany at the time that culture was more important than civilization. Many influential Germans felt that the only real culture that existed was the German culture and that the west was doomed to failure because of their lack of culture. As for the second question, there is no doubt in my mind that Russia would have played a much greater part in the history of Europe and world politics. Stalin was very much on his way to becoming a "Hitler" in his own right. Many argue that Stalin had reached this point, and that the outcome of WW2 only served as a smokescreen of sorts for the atrocities Stalin had carried out. Everyone remembers the Holocaust because of the images of the liberations of the camps, but Stalin was carrying out his own mass murders at the time. It should also be noted that like Hitler, Stalin also had a plan for European domination. Stalin believed that there would be another war in western Europe that, much like WW1, so exhausted and drained the opposing armies that they would no longer have the will to fight. At this point Stalin would charge across Europe with his armies to take advantage of what he felt would be the collapse of capitalism in the West.

Edited by Sir Plus, 30 January 2009 - 08:53 PM.
Edited for clarity. J.


#15 LRusso216

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:02 PM

Jaxson50

I think SirPlus is right about Germany moving toward Nationalism, even without Hitler. There was a deep feeling among many German conservatives that their brand of ultra-nationalism was the future of Germany. This included many of the concepts that formed the basis of the NSDAP (see my earlier post). Consequently, I think that some kind of conflict with the USSR was almost inevitable. Both states were looking to expand influence in central Europe, if not take them outright. The Nazi-Soviet pact took many by surprise, and I have to think that ultimately there would have been some sort of clash. If there was no Hitler, however, I kind of think that Stalin would have become the more dominant force in European affairs. I'm not sure where that would have led, although a widespread conflict is not out of the question.

#16 jaxson50

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:10 AM

lRuss0216 and Sir Plus

There are two events in history that are overlooked when this subject arises, that is the two powers in Europe that were born out of WWI. The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918 and the Rapallo Treaty of 1922.
In the Polar Bear Expedition, the US, Great Britain and France intervened in the Bolshevik Revolution under he pretext of preventing Allie war material from falling into the hands of Germany. Allied troops remained there until August 5 1919. It was a fiasco that cost the lives of thousands of Bolsheviks and Allies alike. Stalin never forgot this and was always suspicious of the west and particularly of Churchill.
Then in 1922 at Rapallo Italy Germany became the first nation to recognize Communist Russia, the two signatories mutually canceled all prewar debts and renounced war claims. The agreement was most advantageous to Germany because of the inclusion of a most-favored-nation clause and of extensive trade agreements. The treaty enabled the German army, through secret agreements, to produce and perfect in the USSR weapons forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.
This relationship grew until the Nazi Party took over power.
One can only imagine what the axis would have been capable of had Germany built on this relationship.



#17 jaxson50

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:10 AM

lRuss0216 and Sir Plus

There are two events in history that are overlooked when this subject arises, that is the two powers in Europe that were born out of WWI. The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918 and the Rapallo Treaty of 1922.
In the Polar Bear Expedition, the US, Great Britain and France intervened in the Bolshevik Revolution under he pretext of preventing Allie war material from falling into the hands of Germany. Allied troops remained there until August 5 1919. It was a fiasco that cost the lives of thousands of Bolsheviks and Allies alike. Stalin never forgot this and was always suspicious of the west and particularly of Churchill.
Then in 1922 at Rapallo Italy Germany became the first nation to recognize Communist Russia, the two signatories mutually canceled all prewar debts and renounced war claims. The agreement was most advantageous to Germany because of the inclusion of a most-favored-nation clause and of extensive trade agreements. The treaty enabled the German army, through secret agreements, to produce and perfect in the USSR weapons forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.
This relationship grew until the Nazi Party took over power.
One can only imagine what the axis would have been capable of had Germany built on this relationship.



#18 LRusso216

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:59 PM

I'm not sure that the Polar Bear expedition has much influence on German nationalism. As for the Treaty of Rapallo, it was a way for 2 countries that no one trusted to attempt to have some influence on European affairs. However, it was concluded by Walter Rathenau, who was hated by nationalists and conservatives, as witness his assassination by 2 nationalists in 1922. So, I still believe that the radical right had a real future in Germany, even if Hitler was not in the picture.

#19 jaxson50

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:22 PM

I didn't mean to suggest that the Polar Bear mission had anything to do with Germany, but Stalin had grave distrust of the British and Americans after the expedition failed.
Then after that, the first nation to recognize Communist Russia was Germany, they created a favored nation trading pact. So;
1. Russia didn't trust the west, we had after all activly supported the White Army against the Bolshevik Revolution killing thousands of them in combat.
2. Germany and Russia were allies before Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power.
Of course we all know that Hitler despised communism.
There was a active communist movement in Germany supported by Stalin during the 1920's. Had they come to power, the odds are great that these two would have become Allies, God help us.


#20 British-Empire

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:49 PM

Without Hitler there would have been no National Socialist Movement.
Germany would likely instead have developed a Fascist party along the lines of Mosleys BUF which would have been much more succesful.
By the mid 1930's would expect a coalition government of the German Fascist Party and the German National Peoples Party.
Large scale Social Reform, Nationalisation and Public works projects would be put into action to keep down the Communist and Social Democrat vote.
Germany would not have the holocaust or anti-semtism but would likely have some sort of border extension.

#21 jaxson50

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:10 PM

British-Empire
Good point's, what do you think Stalin's roll in Europe would have been with out Hitler and the Nazi Party?
Would Stalin have just stepped into a similar roll?
He did invade Finland, and Poland and other nations with out any prodding from Germany.
After reading many of Churchill's book's and the writings of some American political leaders of the time, I get the feeling that if Hitler would not have come along, we would have still had a "World War", but it would have been Britain and it's Allies (the US) and Germany against Stalin.


#22 British-Empire

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 10:53 AM

British-Empire
Good point's, what do you think Stalin's roll in Europe would have been with out Hitler and the Nazi Party?
Would Stalin have just stepped into a similar roll?
He did invade Finland, and Poland and other nations with out any prodding from Germany.
After reading many of Churchill's book's and the writings of some American political leaders of the time, I get the feeling that if Hitler would not have come along, we would have still had a "World War", but it would have been Britain and it's Allies (the US) and Germany against Stalin.


I fully agree.
Stalin would have gone for Eastern Poland and Germany may have come to Polands aid in exchange for the Polish Corridor.
Romania, Finland and Hungary would have allied with them and it's likely Mussolini would have come in too.

#23 British-Empire

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 10:55 AM

Of course without Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, Fascism in the rest of Europe would have been more popular and not anti-semitic.
France was already heading in this direction and Britain could well have ended up with a Fascist/Conservative coalition to keep the Labour party out.
Both countries may well have joined the crusade against Communism in the East.

#24 LRusso216

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:48 PM

Fascism in the rest of Europe would have been more popular and not anti-semitic.


I'm not so sure about that. There was already a strong anti-semitic tradition in Germany. Whoever was the leader of a fascist party would probably have continued that feeling. Anti-Semitism was not Hitler's invention, nor was it limited to the Nazis. Fascist parties in other countries, including France and Britain, had their own, though less overt, traditions. I agree that without Hitler and the Nazis, fascism might have been more palatable to other countries.

#25 justdags

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 05:31 PM

With out Hitler's gift of speaking the party would have been highly unlikly to have gained power but would the party have been so Anti-Semitic without him?
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