Explain the importance of each of Hitler's achievements.-Economic recovery-National Unity-National expansion -Collective Organization

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ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hi there!

First, I would have to take issue with the term "achievements."  The definition of an achievement is "something accomplished"  and carries with it a positive connotation.  I have a hard time seeing Hitler's programs as accomplishments because they were not enduring and he was not the first German to advance them.  That's a quibble, though...not really here nor there.

As for the ideas advanced, let's take a look:

1) Economic Recovery -- Germany's economy was ruined by the first world war (huge payments required by the allies) and further pummeled by the great depression.  Unemployment held at 30% and inflation made German money worthless.  Hitler was able, by controlling the economy, to reverse these trends.  His massive public works projects and emphasis on military buildup put people back to work.  When people are working and earning money they tend to be less radical; therefore, Hitler was able to cut down on dissension and political opposition by reversing Germany's economic down-slide.

Of course, during the war he simply took what he wanted form the countries he invaded (well, forced the people there to sell it dirt cheap back to Germany.)  Forced labor was remarkably cost effective as well : )

It is hard for me to see this as an accomplishment...as a result of his policies German manufacturing was leveled during the war and industry hamstrung.  His policies had the long-term effect of ending the German economy.

2) National Unity -- Germany, throughout history, has been a fractured entity.  It is only recently that it has been able to function as a unified body.  Hitler, through destroying rivals, abolishing unions, outlawing political parties, and running an incredible propaganda campaign was able to unite the German people.  It can't be forgotten, either, that he was able to consolidate German nationalism by vilifying foreign governments and scapegoating the German Jews.

I don't see this as an accomplishment, either.  Because of his plan Germany would be split apart after the war and not be united for 40 years or so.

3) National expansion -- Germany lost territory during the first world war, including some very economically productive areas bordering France.  Hitler was able to get that back, as well as the "peaceful" annexation of Austria.  Had he stopped there he probably would have gotten away with it.  At its height, he had, indeed, expanded the German nation well beyond its borders.

Again, this is not a real accomplishment, though, as it was all taken back after the war (and then some.)

4) Collective Organization -- To be frank, I am not sure what you mean here.  The only type of "collective organization" I can think of are trade unions.  Under Hitler, these were made illegal.  Though this might be considered an "accomplishment" by some fat-cat business types, it's hard for me to see it that way.

I hope these ideas bring something to the discussion!

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anytime the term "achievements" is used with Hitler, I tend to cringe.  Nevertheless, Hitler's consolidation of power allowed he and the Nazis to accomplish their goals.  One such goal was to create a centralized authority structure that fostered national unity by being "the only game in town."  When the Nazis burn down the Reichstaag, the historical and symbolic meaning of the burning of the Reichstaag marks the end of parliamentary style government for some time.  Certainly, while it has not been proven that the Nazis set the fire for the Communists were blamed for it, Hitler and the Nazis benefitted from it as the German President signed away the suspension of individual liberties in order to maintain control, the control of the Nazis and their newly elected German Chancellor.  This helped to ensure that there would be no resistance to Hitler and the Nazis within Germany.  At the same time, in being able to restore national unity under the collective organization of the Nazis, internal economic control was overtaken by the Nazis to feed the state.  The expansion of borders and widening of the German military under Nazi control and contrary to the interests of the West in the Versailles Treaty allowed the strength of Germany to return to an unprecedented level.

jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must say I'm a bit perturbed at your question, and that's an understatement.  Do you really value Hitler's "accomplishments" considering the human cost of those so-called accomplishments?

Was "economic recovery" an accomplishment when it was achieved through a massive military buildup that led to a war in which millions died? 

Was "national unity" an accomplishment when its purpose was to invade and conquer peaceful neighbors?  Was it an accomplishment when it was often used as a bludgeon against the Jews, a people who had lived peacefully in Germany for approximately a thousand years?

Was "national expansion" an accomplishment?  Or was it merely conquest and plunder?

And was the "collective organization" of death camps an accomplishment?

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, all of these have pretty much the same significance.  All of these would have helped Hitler and the Nazis be popular.  The German people had been very depressed because of all their problems due to World War I and the Great Depression.  These things all helped pull them out of this attitude.

National unity and collective organization gave German people a sense of unity and belonging.  This helped improve their morale.  The other two made them feel as if their country was once again becoming powerful.  This also made them feel better.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Out of the four achievements listed in the question, only two the first are real achievements of Hitler. He failed in his attempt for the third of the achievement listed. AS for the last of the listed achievements, he does not appear to have made any attempts for it.

Hitler was definitely very successful in building up the economic and military strength of Germany, and had he been satisfied with just a unified and strong Germany, he could have take Germany to even higher levels of strength and prosperity. Hitler also unified the Germany in to a bigger and more closely knit country. In spite, losing the war, Germany has retained that character, and credit for that must go to Hitler.

However the expansionist aims of Hitler failed miserably miserably. By the time World War II ended, Germany was left with no control over any other country that Hitler had earlier invaded and occupied.

In the area of collective organization the performance of Hitler is absolutely zero. Hitler, followed a system of of organization which was based on absolute power and loyalty to Hitler. This was in theory as well as in practice. Hitler openly supported dictatorial rule in his statements to public. He newer practiced collective organization.

vhg99 | Student

Topic to discuss. A person I know says that if it werent for hitler, medecine, vitamins, communications and technology advanced greatly if it werent for his research funding. I know Hitler had rockets, jet planes which he for some reason was not confident enough to use during WW2, and recently runors that he had a stealth plane? I am just curious if anybody would loike to weigh in their opinion about how the after the German defeat, both the Soviets & Americans scrambled for German scientists and thus the Americans got those that developed the space technology which in turn led to what we have in computers, internet smartphones etc. The Russians got more the Scientist that were into medicine & science thus it wasnt until athletes defected Eastern European communist countries & even defected from Soviet Union that the West realized why they were so much bigger in size and it was due to vitamins & steroids. Anybody want to weigh in on this? does this have any truth??