Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
The question was:
Would Nazi Germany have existed without Adolf Hitler?
What would have happened with out Hitler no-one knows. Hitler inspired the Germans. He gave them what they wanted. He mesmerized them. There are accounts of respectable, successful, intelligent, educated Germans who caught the eye of Hitler for a fleeting second at a mass meeting and henceforth felt their lives had changed. Could someone else have done that? Was such a charisma indispensable? The Germans in World War-2 fought better and with more determination than they did in World War-1. A frequent explanation given by the Germans in question for such determination is the personal oath they had sworn to Fraulein Adolph. Hitler managed to gather around himself a band of perverts, thugs, crooks, and others whom a normal person would be loath to even sit down besides. And most of them turned out to be highly intelligent and diabolically capable in the spheres apportioned to them. At that time there seems to have been many males of talent and determination hanging around and simply waiting for someone like Fraulein A. to come along. My father visited Germany at the time. He says that Hitler played the crowds like a whore tantalizing her customers.
On the other hand everything Hitler and his friends brought to fruition had already been prepared for them. It had all been set in place.
All the policies of the Nazis had previously been formulated, institutionalized, made respectable, and academically sanctified.
Klaus P. FISCHER, "The History of an Obsession. German Judeophobia and the Holocaust," NY, 1998, p.196:
# On one end of the spectrum are those historians who agree that Judeophobia was never more than the obsession of a small but noisy group of Jew-haters who played an insignificant part in German life and culture until the Nazis seized power and turned their anti-Jewish obsessions into a public policy.
# On the opposite side of the spectrum are those historians who argue that rabid Jew-hating was deeply embedded in German life and culture for centuries. The Third Reich, with all its horrors, was for them, simply "a logical continuation to German history"; and the Germans as A. J. P. Taylor described them, "have always been exterminators" and," no other people has pursued extermination as a permanent policy." From this it would follow, if Taylor is to be believed, that the Holocaust presented the deepest wishes of the German people #
In the Weimar Republic of Germany that preceded Hitler:
Out of 9 million young people 4.3 million belonged to rightwing (mainly anti-Jewish) organizations. Fischer (ibid) p.161.
Alienation was especially noticeable among the males.
Though the peace terms following World War-1 limited the size of the army those who enlisted were trained very well. When war came they supplied Hitler with most of the officers and NCOs he needed. Pilots for the future Luftwaffe had learned their trade in Russia which also helped in other ways.
The Army did not accept Jewish members and encouraged anti-Jewish sentiments. Hitler himself began his political career as an official salaried agent of the army. The various police forces were as bad as the army if not worse.
Whereas in France and Britain one could be anti-Jewish yet remain more or less "civilized" in Germany it meant de facto connivance at programs to exterminate the Jewish people.
Student bodies in the Universities along with much of the academic staff were anti-Jewish.
# Many of the leading institutes and courses on "Racialhygiene" and "Rassenkunde" [i.e. Racial Anthropology] were established at German universities long before the Nazi rise to power. And by 1938 it is fair to say that racial hygiene became a scientific orthodoxy in the Germany medical community. In the winter semester of 1932-33, racial hygiene was taught in twenty-six separate courses of lectures in the medical faculties of most German universities. # Robert N. Proctor, "Racial Hygiene under the Nazis," 1988, p.38