4: Rise To Power
Hitler’s Trial 1923
- Charges of high treason. Threats to expose gen Ludendorff.
o Hitler was arrested and put on trial- charged with high treason. He was scared of
being put to death or deported to Austria (his political career and party would
o During the interrogations, he could implicate the military and political figures.
o His blackmail worked and he wasn’t deported- he was a German patriot and
fought in WW1 for Germany.
o The outcome of the trail was far from clear but he realized he could transform
the trial for publicity.
- Peoples Court in Munich (instead of the Reich Court in Leipzig).
- Trial as a publicity event (“political carnival”)
o The public was allowed in the courtroom and the public was allowed in the
courtroom- “political carnival” he used the trial to voice his nationalistic beliefs
- Acting against “treacherous government”…
o He tried to nullify his role, he used the idea of resistance to tyranny
o He said he just wanted the best for the people.
o He was able to transform this physaco into a small victory for his party- only got
5 years in prison with minimal security.
o He argued that he couldn’t commit technical treason because the government
- Demonstrations of Hitler’s sympathizers
Time in Prison
- He was given a comfortable cell. He wore a suite- not a prison uniform.
- Some of the guards even greeted him with Heil Hitler.
- His prison became a pilgrimage site to his followers/admirers (over 500).
- “My university paid for by the state”
- He made good use of his time in prison- he read and wrote his memoirs, undistracted by
- He had time to reflect on the past strategists. The product of his writing was the first
volume of his memoirs called my struggle.
Hitler Released on Parole- Dec 1924
- Prison term shortened to 1 year.
- In 1925, the ban on his party was lifted, but he wasn’t allowed to speak in public in
Munich/Bavaria until 1927.
Mein Kampf (My Struggle), 1925
- He believed in Judeo-Bolshevism- “international Jewish conspiracy”. 2
4: Rise To Power
- Jews were people without their native land so they had to adapt to local cultures. In
order to make themselves comfortable they invented Marxism.
- He made it his mission to destroy Judeo-Bolshevism in Germany and Russia.
- Germany must conquer soviet-union because it was the center of Judeo-Bolshevism and
Germany needs to turn east because they need more space for their people.
- It is climatically and geographically better for Germany to expand to eastern Europe.
- They could live there and cultivate their racial vitality.
- He imagined that it was the struggle between 2 races- Jew (anti-man) vs. everyone else.
Jew must have come from another face of the earth
- Germany needed a Furher to lead German Democracy.
- His german democracy was to be the complete opposite to real democracy (individual
freedoms, government accountability, popular representation).
- The leader would set the rules- would not obey conventional rules. He was above the
- In Germanic democracy, the leader would be acclaimed buy the public, but not elected
- Fuher had a unique inside to the destiny of nation. The leader has responsibility to
leading the nation to greatness. The leader is radical and responsible. He is the
embodiment of truness of nation- believed he had been chosen by fate.
- Hitler believed that everything in is life hardened him in preparation of leading and
renewing the German nation.
- Leadership positions were open to people from all social groups (the elite based on
- With freedom comes conscience, and with conscience they need to choose between
- It contained one democratic feature that was attractive- leadership positions should be
open to all walks of life. He argued that all positions of power should be open to
everyone as long as they are willing to submit to the authoirity of the Furher- Hitler was
example of self made man.
- He had a vision of a racially pure society (equal opportunities for the Arians).
Prepating the mind of the Germans…
- Mein Kampf was written by a person sitting in prison
- He was banned from speaking to the public- but he had ridiculous self confidence- he
still believed that one day he would rule.
- He deeply believed in his own nation- and because he presented such radical ideas, his
book wasn’t taken seriously at that time because it was written by a convicted prisoner.
- Everything he would do over the next 10 years was following Mein Kampf.
Rebuilding the party, 1925- 1929
- The Nazi Party in 1924- personal rivalries and ideological disagreements.
- 1925- Hitler’s position as the Fuhrer reaffirmed.
o Now that the party was so shit, it worked to his advantage because without
Hitler they would fall off the political face.
o He required that the party would be 100% obedient. 3
4: Rise To Power
- Lessons from the putsch: not revolution but legal assumption of power through
o He came to realize that they failed to come to power through the revolution
because the Germans were probably not ready for the revolution.
o Every revolution depends on the support from the military- and he didn’t really
have their full support.
o He decided to take another path- he was going to use parliamentary democracy
to come to power.
o Under the conditions of recovery, people began to lose interest in radical
parties- the hate and anger to the other side didn’t fit their ideal picture of this
o Many nationalistic groups faded away but he wasn’t daunted.
- Political and economic climate in Germany, 1925-28: (relative) prosperity & stability,
o Less Intense and extreme parties.
- New tasks- expanding the party and reaching out to a wider audience.
o His party would come out stronger. He knew he needed to expand his party
geographically to other parts of Germany.
o Needed to reach out to new social groups- they needed many different voters.
o The party and Hitler didn’t have any legal experience- they were the political
- New propaganda techniques:
- Reshaping Hitler’s image: from the drummer up to the Fuhrer.
o He met this challenge with new propaganda- reshaped his image along the lines
that he presented in Mein Kampf.
o His personal