The Promise of Prosperity

TimeWatch Editorial
December 13, 2016

The History Place website introduces itself as “a private, independent, Internet-only publication based in the Boston area that is not affiliated with any political group or organization. The Web site presents a fact-based, common sense approach in the presentation of the history of humanity, with great care given to accuracy. The website, founded and established on July 4, 1996, is owned and published by Philip Gavin, who has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern University and a Master of Science degree from Boston University.” Except specifically identified, the author of the articles is Philip Gavin. In one of his articles entitled “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” there are a number of interesting issues that are incredibly revealing.

“Germany was in the grip of the Great Depression with a population suffering from poverty, misery, and uncertainty, amid increasing political instability. For Hitler, the master speech maker, the long awaited opportunity to let loose his talents on the German people had arrived. He would find in this downtrodden people, an audience very willing to listen. In his speeches, Hitler offered the Germans what they needed most, encouragement. He gave them heaps of vague promises while avoiding the details. He used simple catchphrases, repeated over and over.” Philip Gavin
, “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” The History Place website

 One of the more appealing techniques used by him was the theatrical approach to his presentation. There was little substance delivered, but his atmospheric speeches were electrifying.

“Hitler began each speech in low, hesitating tones, gradually raising the pitch and volume of his voice then exploding in a climax of frenzied indignation. He combined this with carefully rehearsed hand gestures for maximum effect. He skillfully played on the emotions of the audience bringing the level of excitement higher and higher until the people wound up a wide-eyed, screaming, frenzied mass that surrendered to his will and looked upon him with pseudo-religious adoration.” Philip Gavin
, “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” The History Place website

 But Mr. Gavin describes the real essence that won the hearts of the excited crowds listening and imbibing his speeches. Again without substance or, for that matter the means by which these things would be accomplished,

“Hitler offered something to everyone: work to the unemployed; prosperity to failed business people; profits to industry; expansion to the Army; social harmony and an end of class distinctions to idealistic young students; and restoration of German glory to those in despair. He promised to bring order amid chaos; a feeling of unity to all and the chance to belong. He would make Germany strong again; end payment of war reparations to the Allies; tear up the treaty of Versailles; stamp out corruption; keep down Marxism; and deal harshly with the Jews.” Philip Gavin
, “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” The History Place website

 On the Holocaust Encyclopedia website, can be found an explanation of the war reparations referred to in the above quote from Mr. Gavin. The website says that “After the devastation of World War I, the victorious western powers imposed a series of harsh treaties upon the defeated nations. These treaties stripped the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary, joined by Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria) of substantial territories and imposed significant reparation payments.”

“Perhaps the most humiliating portion of the treaty for the defeated Germany was Article 231, commonly known as the "War Guilt Clause," which forced Germany to accept complete responsibility for initiating World War I. As such Germany was liable for all material damages, and France's premier Georges Clemenceau particularly insisted on imposing enormous reparation payments. Aware that Germany would probably not be able to pay such a towering debt, Clemenceau and the French nevertheless greatly feared rapid German recovery and a new war against France. Hence, the French sought in the postwar treaty system to limit Germany's efforts to regain its economic superiority and to rearm.”
the Holocaust Encyclopedia website

Sally Marks, in the book entitled "The Myths of Reparations" published in September 1978 states that the liability of reparations was 132 billion marks. Hitler promised to set Germany free from this insurmountable debt and make Germany “Strong Again.”

“On election day September 14, 1930, the Nazis received 6,371,000 votes – over eighteen percent of the total – and were thus entitled to 107 seats in the German Reichstag. It was a stunning victory for Hitler. Overnight, the Nazi Party went from the smallest to the second largest political party in Germany. It propelled Hitler to solid national and international prestige and aroused the curiosity of the world press. He was besieged with interview requests. Foreign journalists wanted to know – what did he mean – tear up the Treaty of Versailles and end war reparations?” Philip Gavin, “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” The History Place website

The fact that Hitler had won a Democratic Election did not dissuade him from pursuing his intended goal.

“They had no intention of cooperating with the democratic government, knowing it was to their advantage to let things get worse in Germany, thus increasing the appeal of Hitler to an ever more miserable people. Nazi storm troopers dressed in civilian clothes celebrated their electoral victory by smashing the windows of Jewish shops, restaurants and department stores, an indication of things to come. Now, for the floundering German democracy, the clock was ticking and time was on Hitler's side.” Philip Gavin
, “The Rise of Adolf Hitler,” The History Place website

It has always been that those who seek dominance will find a similar path to tread. This is why it is so important that we remain awake and aware as time slips swiftly by.


Cameron A. Bowen

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