What was the condition of Germany at the time when Hitler was in power?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I noticed your question actually asks about the condition of Germany when Hitler was in power, as opposed to when he was seeking power.  On the chance you mean during his reign and not before it, let's approach this another way.

From 1933 - 1938, Germany was recovering from a worldwide economic depression, just like the US.  This means times were still somewhat tough, but what Hitler did was restore order and reduce crime, so that Germany was safer to live in (unless of course, you were anti-Hitler).  He also created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new German military and in war industries making weapons for the coming conflict.  So Hitler was very popular because life in Germany became visibly better in these early years.

Once the war started, his government became harsher and more controlling, and by 1943 bombing raids were making it harder to live in the cities, travel or get the things you needed to live.  More and more families lost loved ones as soldiers in war or as civilians in the line of fire.  So life in Germany during the wartime half of Hitler's rule became increasingly more deadly and difficult.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Pick your adjective to describe "weak."  Decrepit, flawed, tragic, discombobulated, or lost could all be good descriptors of Germany at the time of Hitler's ascension to power.  The effects of the First World War had cataclysmic challenges for Germany.  There was the obvious physical toll on both people and nation, and the financial one which was exacerbated by the Treaty of Versailles and its intensely harsh and punitive nature inflicted upon Germany.  Outside of this, there was an existential crisis of being.  Like all of Europe, the impact and sheer horror of the First World War had many Germans questioning much of their reality.  Yet, for Germany, with the Treaty's demeanor of Germany, as well as the fact that so many outside of Germany was literally feasting at its carcass, existentialism gave way to pure resentment at its condition.  There was not a sense that Germany did wrong, but rather Germany was wronged.  This sense of bitterness was something upon which Hitler capitalized greatly.  The political scene of Germany was one where an artificial notion of democracy was imposed on her through the Weimar Government, a political being that was faced with a mammoth task of trying to govern a nation in the throes of every possible problem imaginable.  In this vacuum of leadership, there was a constant vying for power from every possible imaginable political faction.  The dangerous combination of bitterness and apathy allowed a party like the Nazis and a charismatic leader like Hitler to gain power in a time where weakness proved to be fatal for both Germany and the rest of the world.

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