Friday, February 1, 2008

A Loser Who Rose to Power

If I were to tell you a story about somebody who was a nobody, a failure at everything he ever did, who got his life together and became a leader of a nation, you might find this intriguing. If I were to tell you that this person's name was Adolf Hitler ... your feelings probably would change. Before he came to power, he was a vagabond. He was a failed artist and couldn't find a job. He was homeless. He became a foot soldier in the Austria's army during World War I and this experience transformed him. So while World War I transformed the world, perhaps the most transformative event in world history, this tiny little man was transformed into the most vilified person in modern history.

When World War I ended Hitler was wounded and blind in an army hospital. He thought hard about Germany's predictament and pondered a life of politics. Like most citizens of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria), he hoped to have a fair agreement to come from the peace. When peace came and the agreement was very unfair, he was angered. While Germany struggled to recover from the war many radical splinter groups evolved about the mayhem. Much like how the disenchanted white Southerners after the US's Civil War coagulated to form splitter groups like the KKK, disenfranchised groups sprung up all over the place after World War I in Germany. After the war Hitler got a job from one of his superior officers whose jobs it was to keep tabs on these splitter groups. One of these groups was called the National Socialist German Worker's Party. Hitler attended one of their meetings ... as we say ... the rest is history. They were more commonly known as the Nazi Party and were impressed with their young recruit who had an impeccable ability for public speaking.

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