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Hitler had fought for Germany in World War I when he was promoted to Corporal for valor. Following the war, he had no where to go, so he remained enlisted in the army so he had a place to sleep--in the barracks. The army employed him as an informant to spy on political organizations which might be a threat to the government of the Weimar Republic. One of the groups he was asked to watch was the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Hitler attended their meetings, and was supposed to sit quietly and observe; but he got so caught up in the meeting that he began making speeches there which quickly caught the attention of the leadership. He soon joined the NSDAP (He did NOT found it) and became one of its leaders. Later, he soon used his gifts as an orator to build the party organization and membership. At one point, he believed the party had sufficient strength to take over the government of Munich. This was the famous Beer Hall Putsch, which failed miserably. He was sent to prison and while there, dictated Mein Kampf to his cell mate. This was the beginning of his transition to power.
I think that one of the areas upon which you want to place specific focus would to analyze the state of Germany after World War I. The decimation and sense of ruin that gripped German was fairly horrific for the German people. Into this mix, the Allied nations, largely led by France and England, pushed for the Treaty of Versailles, which punished Germany and sought to humiliate the nation. Hitler was able to construct an argument that was appealing to many Germans. He essentially argued that Germany didn't really lose World War I. He asserted that the nation was subverted and betrayed by forces that want to see it downtrodden. Hitler appealed to the "fatherland" as strong enough to triumph over anything, but these "outsiders" sought German desecration. In the void of substantive leadership following World War I, Hitler was able to paint a picture that tapped into the disenchantment and resentment that many Germans were feeling due to economic chaos, a lack of political and material control over their own affairs, and the need to pay reparations back to other nations. Hitler's most pressing role was to trigger this resentment and parlay it into acceptance of his own plan, which was not really outlined in detail, other than to surrender all power unto him and allow him to represent "the fatherland" into a brighter vision of the future.
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