WWII & Holocaust Could Never Have Happened Without American Corporations Investing & Joint Venturing with Hitler’s Poor Nazi Germany – Chapter 7

Chapter Seven – Peculiarities of Fascism’s and Hitler’s Rise to Power – Hitler’s Mercurial Rise to Absolute Power in Germany and Its Press Coverage in the Colonial Powers 


In April of 1921, the victorious European Allies of World War One, notably France and England, presented a bill to Germany demanding payment for damages caused in the war which Germany had started. This bill (33 billion dollars) for war reparations had the immediate effect of causing ruinous inflation in Germany.

The German currency, the mark, slipped drastically in value. It had been four marks to the US dollar until the war reparations were announced. Then it became 75 to the dollar and in 1922 sank to 400 to the dollar. The German government asked for a postponement of payments. The French refused. The Germans defied them by defaulting on their payments. In response to this, in January of 1923, the French Army occupied the industrial part of Germany known as the Ruhr.

The German mark fell to 18,000 to the dollar. By July, 1923, it sank to 160,000. By August, 1,000,000. And by November, 1923, it took 4,000,000,000 marks to buy a dollar.

Germans lost their life savings. Salaries were paid in worthless money. Groceries cost billions. Hunger riots broke out.

For the moment, the people stood by their government, admiring its defiance of the French. But in September of 1923, the German government made a fateful decision to resume making payments. Bitter resentment and unrest swelled among the people, inciting extremist political groups to action and quickly bringing Germany to the brink of chaos.

The Nazis and other similar groups now felt the time was right to strike. The German state of Bavaria where the Nazis were based was a hotbed of groups opposed to the democratic government in Berlin. By now, November 1923, the Nazis, with 55,000 followers, were the biggest and best organized.

Hitler and the Nazis hatched a plot in which they would kidnap the leaders of the Bavarian government and force them at gunpoint to accept Hitler as their leader. Then, according to their plan, with the aid of famous World War One General Erich Ludendorff, they would win over the German army, proclaim a nationwide revolt and bring down the German democratic government in Berlin.

They put this plan into action when they learned there would be a large gathering of businessmen in a Munich beer hall and the guests of honor were to be the Bavarian leaders they wanted to kidnap.(‘The Beer Haus Putch,’ The History Place) [77A]

Ernst Hanfstaengel took part in the Beer Hall Putsch. He wrote about the experience in his book, Hitler: The Missing Years (1957)

On 8th November, 1923, the Bavarian government held a meeting of about 3,000 officials. Gustav von Kahr, the prime minister of Bavaria was making a speech, when the door behind us which we had come through flew open and in burst Hitler and Goering with about twenty-five brownshirts with pistols and machine-guns. Hitler began to plough his way towards the platform and the rest of us surged forward behind him. Hitler clambered on a chair and fired a round at the ceiling. Hitler then told the audience: The national revolution has broken out! The hall is filled with 600 armed men. No one is allowed to leave. The Bavarian government and the government at Berlin are hereby deposed. A new government will be formed at once. The barracks of the Reichswehr and the police barracks are occupied. Both have rallied to the swastika! (All untrue of course.) (Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years ) [77B]

The Manchester Guardian (8th November, 1923)

A nationalist demonstration was held in beer cellars here today, in the course of which Herr von Kahr, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, amid the applause of those present, read a manifesto to the German nation in which he denounced particularly the principles of Marxism. The members of patriotic organizations were present in full force.

When Herr von Kahr had concluded his speech Herr Hitler, the Fascist leader, entered the cellars with 600 men and announced the overthrow of the Bavarian Government. The new Government, he added, was in the hands of General Ludendorff, who was the Commander-in-Chief, while he himself would act as General Ludendorff’s political advisor.

The next day Adolf Hitler, Eric Ludendorff, Julius Steicher, Hermann Göring, Scheubner-Richter with other leading Nazis and 3,000 armed supporters of the Nazi Party marched through Munich in an attempt to join up with Ernst Röhm’s forces at the War Ministry. At Odensplatz they found the road blocked by the Munich police. What happened next is in dispute. One observer said that Hitler fired the first shot with his revolver. Another witness said it was Steicher while others claimed the police fired into the ground in front of the marchers.

William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1964) writes:

At any rate a shot was fired and in the next instant a volley of shots rang out from both sides, spelling in that instant the doom of Hitler’s hopes. Scheubner-Richter fell, mortally wounded. Goering went down with a serious wound in his thigh. Within sixty seconds the firing stopped, but the street was already littered with fallen bodies – sixteen Nazis and three police dead or dying, many more wounded and the rest, including Hitler, clutching the pavement to save their lives.

There was one exception, and had his example been followed, the day might have had a different ending. Ludendorff did not fling himself to the ground. Standing erect and proud in the best soldierly tradition, with his adjutant, Major Streck, at his side, he marched calmly on between the muzzles of the police rifles until he reached the Odeonsplatz. He must have seemed a lonely and bizarre figure. Not one Nazi followed him.

Hitler’s imprisonment and Subsequent Change of Tactics

Hitler was arrested on November 11, 1923. Accused of high treason, was tried on February 26, 1924, and sentenced to five years in the Landsberg prison. Hitler’s popularity increased during his trial, as his defense speeches were printed in the newspapers. He served less than a year of his sentence, obtaining a pardon and early release on December 20, 1924.

Landsberg was a relatively comfortable prison, intended for inmates who were considered misguided rather than dangerous. Hitler was allowed to receive visitors as well as fan mail from admirers. Assisted by his deputy Rudolf Hess (1894-1987), Hitler produced the first volume of his political autobiography, “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”), in Landsberg. (‘Beer Hall Putsch.’ history.com) [77C]

While in Landsberg Prison, Hitler spoke of his future intentions to a visiting Nazi Party Member: [77D]

When I resume active work it will be necessary to pursue a new policy. Instead of working to achieve power by an armed coup, we shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag against the Catholic and Marxist deputies. If outvoting them takes longer than outshooting them, at least the results will be guaranteed by their own constitution! . . .” (William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)

The stock market in the United States crashed on 24 October 1929. The impact on Germany was catastrophic. Millions were thrown out of work. Even several major banks collapsed. Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party took advantage of the emergency to gain support for their party promising to repudiate the draconian economic punishments of the Versailles Treaty, rejuvenate the economy, and provide jobs. In December of 1929, a referendum on legislation proposed by German nationalists was held in an attempt to introduce a ‘Law against the Enslavement of the German People’. The legislation, would formally renounce the Treaty of Versailles and make it a criminal offense for German officials to co-operate in the collecting of reparations. Although it was approved by 94.5% of those who voted, voter turnout was just 14.9%, well below the 50% necessary for it to pass but it helped to popularize Nazi ideology.

In September 1930, Germany held its first national elections since the Great Crash of 1929, and the National Socialists won a stunning tally: 6,400,000 votes—10 times their total just two years before—and 107 seats. They were now the second largest party in the Reichstag. The word “Nazi” no longer evoked images of the madhouse, as one commentator wrote. Suddenly the party was almost respectable.(“The Scientist and the Fascist – How Einstein reacted to Hitler’s rise,” Thomas Levenson, The Atlantic, 6/9/2017)[78] 

Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party had risen from obscurity to win 18.3 per cent of the vote becoming the second-largest party in parliament. 

Hitler ran against General Hindenburg in the 1932 presidential elections. Hitler’s speech to the Industry Club in Düsseldorf on 27 January 1932 won him support from many of Germany’s most powerful industrialists.[79]  Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, but with more than 35 per cent of the vote in the final election

[79]  Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, but with more than 35 per cent of the vote in the final election.

Ineffective government by a weak minority party administration prompted two influential politicians, Franz von Papen and Alfred Hugenberg, along with several other industrialists and businessmen, to write a letter to Hindenburg. The signers urged Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as leader of a government “independent from parliamentary parties”, which could turn into a movement that would “enrapture millions of people.”[81] Since two further parliamentary elections, in 1932, had not resulted in the formation of a majority government, Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor.

On 30 January 1933, Hitler was named chancellor during a short ceremony in Hindenburg’s office. The NSDAP received three cabinet posts. Hitler insisted on relevant ministerial positions that gave him control over police in much of Germany.[82]

German Parliament fire and March elections

In February 1933, the Reichstag (parliament) building was set on fire. Hitler got Hindenburg to declare the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended basic rights and allowed for detention without trial. Activities of the German Communist Party (KPD) were suppressed, and about 4,000 KPD members were arrested.[83]

In March, the SS, Hitler’s “elite guard,” established a concentration camp, outside the town of Dachau, in south Germany, for political opponents of the regime.By 1945, the Nazis will build more than 1000 camps.[83a]

The NSDAP engaged in paramilitary violence and spread anti-communist propaganda as it campaigned in the days before the next election. On election day, 6 March 1933, the NSDAP acquired the largest number of seats in parliament, but failed to gain a majority.

Day of Potsdam and the Enabling Act

Not having an absolute majority in parliament, Hitler sought full political control through an Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz), officially titled the “Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich” (“Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich”). It would give Hitler’s cabinet the power to enact laws without the consent of the Reichstag for four years. With certain exceptions, these laws were permitted to deviate from the constitution.[84]

The Enabling Act required a two-thirds majority to pass. The Nazis used the provisions of the Reichstag Fire Decree to arrest all 81 Communist deputies and to prevent several Social Democrats from attending,[85] but the votes of the Centre Party, the third largest party in the Reichstag, was still decisive. Hitler promised Center Party leader Ludwig Kaas that Hindenburg would retain his power of veto, The Act passed with all parties except the Social Democrats voting in favor. The Enabling Act, together with the Reichstag Fire Decree, transformed Hitler’s government into a de facto legal dictatorship.[86]


Having gained control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler led his Nazis on in eliminating all opposition. The Social Democratic Party was banned and its assets seized.[86a] While many trade union delegates were in Berlin for May Day activities, SA stormtroopers demolished union offices around the country. On 2 May 1933 all trade unions were forced to dissolve and their leaders were arrested. Some were sent to concentration camps.[87] 

May 10, more than 20,000 books, many by Jewish authors are burned in a public bonfire, that includes works by John Dos Passos, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Émile Zola, H. G. Wells, André Gide, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky, Helen Keller, Friedrich Forster, Marcel Proust, Jack London, and Erich Maria Remarque.

By the end of June, the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. This included the Nazis’ nominal coalition partner, the DNVP (Deutschnationale Volkspartei).[88] 

July 1, The German government states that “Reich Chancellor Hitler still belongs to the Catholic Church and has no intention of leaving it.”

Demands of the leadership of the Nazi Party’s original paramilitary wing SA (Sturmabteilung, literally Storm Detachment) for more political and military power caused anxiety among military, industrial, and political leaders.

Hitler purged the entire SA in the Night of the Long Knives, which took place from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Ernst Röhm and other SA leaders along with a number of Hitler’s political adversaries, including former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher, were arrested, and shot. While the international community and some Germans were shocked by the murders, many in Germany believed Hitler was restoring order.[89]

Time Magazine July 09,1934 report titled “GERMANY: Blood Purge”

The trouble involved Germany’s three unofficial armies: the 2,500,000 common S. A. Storm Troops in brown uniforms; the 200,000 S. S. Storm Troops in black uniforms who constitute the picked, super-drilled Nazi Praetorian Guard; and the 200,000 grey-clad Stahlhelm or war veterans …

In Berlin the pouncing of Captain Göring’s Secret Police was savage in the extreme. Riot trucks bristling with rifles dashed up and down the main streets while newspapers were rigidly prevented from printing a word about what was going on. No Cabinet Minister seemed to be trusted for the offices of all were occupied by Secret Police and S. S. Storm Troops who shot an aide of Vice Chancellor von Papen as they swept in. … Both Reichsbank President Dr. Hjalmar Schacht and ex-Crown Prince Wilhelm denied over the telephone rumors that they had been shot…but it was established that a Nazi trooper had shot the Chief of the Catholic Action Society Herr Erich J. G. Klausener, charged with having been slated to be Minister of Transportation in some conspirator’s government.

The crowning sensation of last week’s killings came when Secret Police pushed into the swank suburban mansion of General Kurt von Schleicher, immediate predecessor of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. and the officer to whom it fell in 1918 to tell All Highest Wilhelm II that his army was no longer faithful to the Crown and that he had best flee to Holland.

General von Schleicher was for years the master intrigant and “Field Grey Eminence” of the German Reichswehr. The Hohenzollerns had always looked to him as their smartest stalking horse for a return of the Monarchy. Not long ago Paris heard rumors that Chancellor Hitler would be ousted by a military coup led by General von Schleicher.

According to the official Nazi version General von Schleicher resisted arrest by the Secret Police ”with a weapon in his hand,” Frau von Schleicher flung herself before her husband to protect him and the Secret Police shot them both “in self defense.”.

The light for which Germans waited most anxiously was some dawning indication from President von Hindenburg of his attitude toward last week’s massacre. … Forty-eight hours after the shooting began the Hitler Government released two telegrams calculated to set all doubts at rest.


And in England, the conservative Daily Mail editorialized:

Herr Adolf Hitler, the German Chancellor, has saved his country. Swiftly and with exorable severity, he has delivered Germany from men who had become a danger to the unity of the German people and to the order of the state. With lightening rapidity he has caused them to be removed from high office, to be arrested, and put to death.

The names of the men who have been shot by his orders are already known. Hitler’s love of Germany has triumphed over private friendships and fidelity to comrades who had stood shoulder to shoulder with him in the fight for Germany’s future. (The Daily Mail 2nd July, 1934)

When Hindenburg died in August 1934, the office of president was abolished and its powers merged with those of the chancellor and Hitler became head of state as well as head of government, and was formally named Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor).

As head of state, Hitler became commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Immediately after Hindenburg’s death, the traditional loyalty oath of soldiers was altered to affirm loyalty to Hitler personally. On 19 August, the merger of the presidency with the chancellorship was approved by 88 per cent of the electorate voting in a plebiscite.

Sixteen generals, suspected of not being sufficiently pro-Nazi, were stripped of their commands and 44 others were transferred.[90]

Though elections to the Reichstag were still held (in 1933, 1936, and 1938), voters were presented with a single list of Nazis and pro-Nazi “guests.” [91] The Nazis threatened severe reprisals against anyone who dared to vote no or did not vote.[92]

In July of 1933, the “Law Against the Founding of New Parties” was passed, which declared the NSDAP as the country’s only legal political party.

News and Entertainment Corporations in their Coverage Reflected the Finance and Manufacturing Corporations Investments in Hitler and his Nazi Government – Hitler’s Rise to Absolute Power in Germany Received Much Pro-Fascist Press in UK [93] and Largely Anodyne Coverage in the US.[94]

Among the major newspapers only L’Humanité, the paper of the French Communist Party, decried the Nazis’ barbaric persecution of Hitler’s political opponents and repeatedly called for international intervention.[94]

in August of 2018, during the time this book was being written the Times of Israel newspaper did a retrospective review of the wild support Hitler received from London’s Daily Mail. “When Adolf Hitler entered the Reich Chancellery on January 30, 1933, the cheers of the Nazi stormtroopers in Berlin were echoed in Northcliffe House, the home of Britain’s then highest-selling newspaper.”[93]

The Daily Mail was not the only national daily to adopt an overly tolerant attitude towards Hitler during the 1930s, a position which reflected widespread public support for the government’s appeasement policy, but it went far further than any other newspaper in sympathizing with the Nazis and it did so at the insistence of its overweening proprietor, Harold Harmsworth, the first Viscount Rothermere.

“[The Nazis] represent the rebirth of Germany as a nation,” Rothermere wrote in the Mail. “Under Herr Hitler’s control,” he suggested, “the youth of Germany is effectively organized against the corruption of Communism.”

Lord Rothermere supported Oswald Mosley and the fascist Blackshirts. In January 1934, the Mail published an article under his byline entitled “Hurrah for the Blackshirts,” lauding Mosley’s aim of bringing Britain “up to date” by following in the footsteps of Europe’s “best governed” nations, Italy and Nazi Germany. The Daily Mail was not the only national daily to adopt an overly tolerant attitude towards Hitler during the 1930s, a position which reflected widespread public support for the government’s appeasement policy.

Rothermere’s other newspapers also threw their support behind the effort. The Mirror urged its readers to “Give the Blackshirts a helping hand,” The Sunday Dispatch offered free tickets to Mosley’s rallies, prizes for readers who submitted letters on why they liked the Blackshirts, and regular features on attractive female fascists, under headlines such as “Beauty joins the Blackshirts.” 95

While this author was still looking for appropriate material, The New Yorker Magazine, published in March of 2019,  ‘The Moral Failings of American Press Coverage of Nazi Germany,’ by Elisabeth Zerofsky, in which Zerofsky in turn cites “Berlin, 1933,” by Daniel Schneidermann, a French media critic and the founder of Arrêt sur Images, a French analogue to Media Matters for America. Schneidermann examined the work of American, British, and French correspondents posted in Berlin in the nineteen-thirties, to investigate how acutely the foreign press understood the threat of Nazism.

Schneidermann’s analysis begins with the St. Louis, the ship that carried around a thousand mostly German and Austrian Jewish refugees across the Atlantic in May, 1939, only to see its passengers refused entry into both the U.S. and Cuba. At the time, the newspapers reported that the U.S. had fulfilled an annual quota for German and Austrian immigrants, a claim that was later revealed to be likely false. The coverage seems, to Schneidermann, woefully insufficient. He cites the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s encyclopedia entry for the event, which notes, “though US newspapers generally portrayed the plight of the passengers with great sympathy, only a few journalists and editors suggested that the refugees be admitted into the United States.”

It was in part the Times’ quest for credibility with its public—meaning, Schneidermann says, “not seeming like a Jewish newspaper or a ‘Communist newspaper”—that prevented it from attaining the decibel level that we would now consider appropriate.”[94]

Hitler Coverage in American Media

In 1930, Adolph Hitler had been absent from American media coverage for nearly five years. Following his release from prison in 1924, he received only brief and infrequent mention in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, papers that had carried hundreds of articles about him when he tried and failed to overthrow the Bavarian government the previous year. But in 1930, just three years before he would be appointed chancellor, Hitler once again attracted the attention of the American press as his popularity rose amid the most devastating economic downtown in history.

Gary Klein, author of “When the News Doesn’t Fit: The New York Times and Hitler’s First Two Months in Office, February/March 1933,” Journalism & Mass Communications Quarterly [96] examined how the internal dynamics of The New York Times affected its coverage of Hitler’s first two months in office, asserted that the paper failed, by the standards of the time, to provide an accurate picture of what was happening in Germany.

End Notes

CHAPTER Seven – Peculiarities of Fascism’s Rise

77A. “The Beer Haus Putch,” The History Place  https://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/putsch2.htm

77B. Ernst Hanfstaengel, Hitler: The Missing Years (Original from:the University of California (1957) subsequently Publisher:Eyre & Spottiswoode (2020)

page 100

77C. Citation Information. Article Title. “Beer Hall Putsch.” Author

History.com Editors. Website Name. HISTORY. URL. https://www.history.com/topics/germany/beer-hall-putsch. Access Date. August 27, 2021. Publisher. A&E Television Networks. Last Updated. August 21, 2018. Original Published Date. November 9, 2009

77D. Kurt G. Ludecke. Knew Hitler The Story Of A Nazi Who Escaped The Blood Purge, Publication date 1938, Book Source: Digital Library of India Item 2015.499056 / https://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Third-Reich-Original-Sources/dp/1908538007 Source: Kershaw, I. Vol. 1,  (1998).

  1. Thomas Levenson, “The Scientist and the Fascist – How Einstein reacted to Hitler’s rise,” The Atlantic, JUNE 9, 2017
  2. Hitler’s Speech to the Industry Club in Düsseldorf (January 27, 1932) German History in Documents and Images https://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/sub_document.cfm?document_id=3918
  3. “Eingabe der Industriellen an Hindenburg vom November 1932″ [Letter of the industrialists to Hindenburg, November 1932.] Glasnost–Archiv.
  4. Richard J. Evans, (2003). The Coming of the ThirdReich, (New York: Penguin), p. 307 Books. ISBN 978-0-14-303469-8.
  5. [William Shirer, 1960, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich p. 194

83A. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/dachau#section_1

83B. When Nazis Took Manhattan : Code Switch – NPR

  1. Shirer 1960, p. 198
  2. Shirer 1960, p. 196
  3. Shirer, p. 199

86a. Shirer, p. 107

  1. Shirer p. 202
  2. [Shirer, p.201
  3. Ian Kershaw, (2008). Hitler: A Biography.(New York: W. W. Norton & Company), p. 305-315. ISBN 978-0-393-06757-6
  4. Shirer 1960, pp. 318–319
  5. Anthony Read, (2004).The Devil’s Disciples: The Lives and Times of Hitler’s Inner Circle.(London: Pimlico), p.344 ISBN 978-0-7126-6416-5
  6. Richard J. Evans, (2005). The Third Reich in Power. (New York: Penguin Books), p. 109-111 ISBN 978-0-14-303790-3]
  7. Robert Philpot, “How Britain’s Nazi-Loving Press Baron Made the Case for Hitler” The Times of Israel, 5 August 2018 https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-britains-nazi-loving-press-baron-made-the-case-for-hitler/
  8. Elisabeth Zerofsky .“The Moral Failings of American Press Coverage of Nazi Germany” March 14, 2019, The New Yorkerhttps://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-moral-failings-of-american-press-coverage-of-nazi-germany
  9.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-britains-nazi-loving-press-baron-made-the-case-for-hitler/
  10. Gary Klein, author “When the News Doesn’t Fit:The New York Times and Hitler’s First Two Months in Office, February/March 1933,” (Journalism & Mass Communications Quarterly 78 (2001), 128

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News