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The Relationship Between Leader And Led In Nazi Germany

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The relationship between "leader" and "led" in Nazi Germany was a bit unusual. During the time in which Hitler was in power, German citizens looked to him as a father figure. Members of the Hitler Youth looked to and obeyed Hitler over their own biological mothers and fathers. Hitler was even more of a surrogate father figure to those who lost their fathers during World War I and the economic depression during the years 1930-1932. This connection between youths and Hitler was so strong that a former member of the Hitler Youth said, "I loved him like a father, I would have died for him." However, this idea of Hitler as a father was not only prevalent among the Hitler Youth. German adults also felt the need for a father, due to the emotional and physical stresses of World War I. Children and adults alike believed in Hitler because he managed to pull Germany out of an economic recession after the war, and raised a huge feeling of pride in German nationalism with the promise that he would make Germany more successful, powerful, and beautiful than ever before. On the other hand, Hitler looked to the German people to offer him support and maternal care. Hitler is sometimes described as a "raging child." It has been concluded that the Germans were fond of Hitler because the raging child in him reminded them of the raging child in themselves. Hitler was able to find some companions who tamed and nurtured his raging child within. Women such as Frau Bruckmann, Carola Hoffman, and Frau Bechstein were mother figures to Hitler. They would feed, support, and care for Hitler as if he were their own child. Hitler and the people of Germany relied on one another for "parental" support. Hitler supported the Germans by making them believe he would make Germany the greatest nation on earth. The German people supported Hitler by tending to his inner "raging child."



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