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When one hears the word evil, Adolf Hitler is usually the first face that comes to mind.

However, if he was so wicked, how was he able to get the people of Germany to back him? The
answer lies within his manipulation of the people through persuasion in his engaging speeches
and strategic propaganda techniques. Hitler was quite aware of his skills as well. He was once
quoted as saying, I am conscious that I have no equal in the art of swaying the masses,
according to Herman Rauschning, a Nazi politician. (Dufner 66) Adolf Hitlers statement may
have been accurate back when he claimed it and, quite possibly, remains applicable today.
Hitler was also very aware of the situations that surrounded him. In the early 1920s, Hitler used
the failures of Germanys preceding government, the Weimar democracy, to his advantage in
order to win over the people of Germany. When the Nazi Party took over, he and other officials
of the Nazi regime made it point to appeal to the issues that their citizens were feeling at the
time. According to Frank McDonoughs Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party, Nazism built its
support by tapping into the negative feelingstowards such things as the harsh terms of the
Versailles treaty, high inflation, the instability of democratic government, the economic position
of Jews in a German society and the growth of a vibrant communist movement. (51) While this
approach was not uncommon for politicians and is still tactically used currently by various
parties, Hitler had an uncanny ability to tap into his listeners emotions through his sincere
excitement and provide them a vision of a promising future in a time of despair.
Adolf Hitlers pride and character put him in prime position to attempt to take on the role of
resurrecting a disorganized country. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitlers closest accomplices,
referred to Hitlers oratorical skills as having the ability to express things so clearly, logically
and directly that listeners are convinced that that is what they have always thought themselves.
(http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ahspeak.htm) While some Germans may have had
similar thoughts before Hitler preached his visions, many of the German citizens were just in
search of some sort of leadership. Hitler took little time to illustrate to his people what an
idealistic Germany and world should look like.
Hitler always attempted to stay consistent with his message of national unity, as he knew that
without the German citizens support his mission would be a complete failure. However, in
reality, he may have been intentionally creating the opposite of unity, unknown to the people.
Hitler set out to supplant the personal, physical love of a husband with an immaculate love of
the Fuhrerchildren were to be given an ersatz Father. (LeBor & Boyes 52) Hitler recognized
that without the youth of Germany, the nations reign would only last as long as he was alive so
he held Hitler Youth rallies and created schools to create strong, courageous children for the
future. According to Frank Capras Why We Fight, every day these students would sing the
following tune:
Adolf Hitler is our savior, our hero

He is the noblest being in the whole wide world


For Hitler we live, for Hitler we die
Our Hitler is our Lord
Who rules a brave new world
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q1OKMlhRXQ)
This form of propaganda brainwashed the German youth into not only believing that Hitler was
someone to believe in, but also that he was a god worthy of worship. When Hitler spoke of
rescuing Germany, the Aryan nations and European civilizationhe did not flinch from
comparing himself to the Christian savior. (Wistrich 121) This propaganda was not only limited
to the Hitler Youth, however. Many messages were constructed with visual stimulation for the
older segments of the population. Hitler created the Swastika logo and Goebbels produced
posters that presented slogans such as Hitler Germanys last chance and One People, One
Nation, One Leader. (McDonough 73) Both slogans ultimately implied that Hitler was the
authoritative figure and the country of Germany would be nothing without him. Ironically (or not
so ironically), the message in the propaganda for the adults was not much more complex than
that for the children. Adolf Hitler himself claims in his book, Mein Kampf, All propaganda must
be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among
those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its
purely intellectual level will have to be." (181) In essence, Hitler is claiming that one must try to
appeal to the lowest form of intelligence in order to gain acceptance by the overwhelming
majority of a population. As a result of his own preaching, he continuously emphasized the same
simple themes of unity, loyalty and superiority in both propaganda and his speeches.
These tactics to manipulate the people of Germany through words and images may seem
immoral to many because of the final outcome of the Nazi regime and what became of Germany
afterward. However, one must keep in mind that during the time of Hitlers rise and peak
unemployment had dropped substantially, furniture shops were reaching record sales, cinemas
and theatres were flourishing financially, and marriages were increasing. (LeBor & Boyes 68)
Due to this perceived success, the citizens trusted in the Nazi Party and what Hitler advocated.
While this accomplishment cannot be solely attributed to Hitler, it is surely not pure irony that
the German government and economy began to regain structure after he came into power.
During his orations, sweat often poured from Hitlers face, breathing became heavy and the
volume of his voice fluctuated based on what he wanted to put emphasis on. In fact, as Dufner
states, [people] used the vocabulary of a sexual experience, including such words as climax,
discharge and mass orgasm, to describe the interaction of Hitler and the crowds during his

audience. (67) If one watches his speeches, these seemingly dissimilar activities are actually
quite analogous and evident.
For example, in Triumph de Willens, a German propaganda piece produced by Leni Riefenstahl,
the progression of Hitlers speech inarguably gets the crowd to whom he is speaking excited. The
beginning of his speech begins with over 10 seconds of silence, leaving the audience in suspense
and anticipation. When he begins to speak, his voice almost seduces the crowd with an assuring,
yet calm tone. The Sixth Day of the Movement has come to an end, Hitler says. As he
progresses further, he stresses the fact that the Socialist Party began with only seven members
and he hold up seven fingers to the crowd to reemphasize the point. Hitler exclaimed that even at
that time [the party] already voiced two principles. First, it would be a Party with a true
ideology and second, it would be uncompromisingly the one and only power in Germany. It can
be presumed that Hitler mentions this to give credibility to the Socialist Partys beliefs.
Hitler then addresses the insecurity that once existed in Germany, but gives a satisfaction in the
same sentence when he says, the German people are happy to know that a constantly changing
vision has been replaced by a fixed pole! The crowd erupts with a standing ovation and chants
sieg heil! It is important to note how Hitler tells the German people what they are happy and
disappointed with because this utilized tactic of persuasion led to his success as a leader. He
continues to give the nation hope for security in the speech by first oversimplifying how to
become the most powerful nationality in the world. He claims that whoever feels that he is the
carrier of the best blood and knowingly uses it to attain leadership will never relinquish it.
As he stiffly swipes his arms through the air and crosses his hands over his heart, his passion
becomes visual when he talks about the citizens that are willing to fight for Germany. Hitler
makes the powerful declaration, for them it is not simply enough to make the pledge: I
believe. Rather, the affirmation: I fight! His energy permeates throughout the crowd as they
erupt. Essentially what Adolf Hitler implies when he makes that statement and receives the
crowds reaction is that a German citizen is not nearly as respected if they only believe in the
German Reich; they must also be willing to fight for what they believe in as well. Again, Hitler
was well aware that without true allegiance in Germany there would be no hope for his dream of
an Aryan race. In the same speech, Hitler further emphasized the importance of loyalty to
country through loyalty to Party. It must be shown, however, that all upstanding Germans
become National Socialists, Hitler explains to his listeners. Only the best National Socialists,
however, are Party comrades. Hitler further backs his speech with happy thoughts for the future,
saying that the Reich will last for a thousand years and that the future belongs entirely to the
German population.
This speech was targeting mainly German adults, but Hitler knew that he could use parents as a
multi-step flow of information to the German youth. In the speech, Hitler indirectly implies the
responsibility of the parents to teach their children the right way of life. When the older ones
among us falter, the youth will stiffen and remain until their bodies decay, Hitler exclaims. His

use of somewhat perverse imagery and violent body movements also guides his listeners to
believe that they are an unwavering, powerful group of people. He ends the speech by shouting
Long live the National Socialist MovementLong live Germany!, When Hitler repeats the
phrase long live, he is essentially implying that the Socialist Movement and Germany are one
in the same.
Regardless of an individuals thoughts of Hitler as a human being, there is no denying his ability
to grip an audience through his persuasive words and emphatic actions. It is irrelevant that he
manipulated a weak and suffering country, but what is of relevance is that he was successful in
obtaining the confidence of the German people through his speeches and make them want to take
part in something greater than themselves. It is difficult enough for most people to convince a
group of 1000 individuals to truly commit to a particular belief, imagine trying to sway an entire
country. Hitler had a substantial amount of success convincing his people and had it not been for
extremely frigid weather conditions in Russia in 1941, he might have accomplished his ultimate
goal of world domination and an Aryan race.