Prof asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Why did the German and Japanese people allow their leaders to do so much evil in WW2?

Please don't take offence. I have always been puzzled about why the German and Japanese peoples wanted to take over the world. Or, why they allowed their leaders, such as Hitler, to lead them like they did?

I am not criticising or judging the people. I am curious about the dynamics that caused the general populations to support such actions.

Part of my interest is to identify how we today might be just as misled as they were.

Are humans today any different from the people of 70 years ago? What can keep us from being just as deceived by another charismatic leader today?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hitler got into power legally through convinving the German people he was their only hope. The Treaty fo Versailles devastated the Germany economy and in the early 1930s they were hit hard by the economic depression. The current democratic government was inceapeable of dealing witht he crisis and many people were starving and unemplyment reached 10% (6 million). Hitler convinced people that the Nazis were their only hope, and out of desperation the German people voted the Nazis, and Hitler into power.

    Once in power Hitler set about creating a totalitarian state. By the time WW II started, the Gestapo had the power to arrest and kill people without reason or trial. People feared that the Gestapo had spies everywhere, and couldn't even trust their own friends and family. Speaking out against the regime would be a certain way of being turned in to the Gestapo and being imprisoned or even executed. By 1939, the SS also had considerable powers, and their forces were so powerful that no-one had any real hope of overthrowing the regime. The people of Germany had no choice but to let Hitler get on with his extermination of Jews, for fear of being exterminated themselves.

    Another point is that most German people did not know the full horrors of the concentration camps. the Nazis never showed the people the truth, and actually many films were made by the Nazis which made the camps look like humane, even pleasant places to live. Very few people knew the truth, and those that did were afraid to speak out in case they and their families were taken to a camp.

    Hitler was very clever in building a totalitarian state. he did not transform Germany overnight from a peaceful nation into a murderous war-making state over night, as this may have provoked outright rebellion. Instead he underwent a series of small changes, slowly removing civil rights and building up the power of his law enforcement organisations (Gestapo and SS). None of the changes he made initially were distressing enoughfor anyone to risk punishment by opposing them, and by the time he did implement horrors, no-one could do anything about it.

    The Japanese situation was fairly similar. The Emperor was believed to be divine by the people, and his government slowly took contorl of the country to the point where anyone wh opposed was imprisoned/killed.

    Today we are much less likely to be decieved by such a leader because we know what the Nazis did to get into power. Hitler hid behind fine words, and today we are able to use his tactics to recognise what people really mean when they are saying. Also, welfare is much more available and much better today. The mass chaos of the 1930s Germany is unlikely to be repeated because the government have the resources to deal with crises. Therefore, the desperation which brough Hitler to power is unlikely to be repeated.

  • 1 decade ago

    b/c if the fascists had won, there would be no issue.

    "Are humans today any different from the people of 70 years ago?"

    -No. Never. People never change, just the surroundings around them. i.e., "there's nothing new under the sun." It's naive to think that people 500 years ago were stupid, because consider this....500 years from now, people will look back on us and think of us in the same regard. And it's not that we're stupid in our thinking, but we just make best with what science\reasoning we have.

    Hitler was not the first in history who tried to exterminate specifically the Jews; that's been attempted many times before.

    "What can keep us from being just as deceived by another charismatic leader today?"

    -Education is your best bet, but even the most educated can be the most corrupted.

    Therefore, I would say wisdom.

    But to answer your question about, in the after-math of it all, how did the people all welcome these evil leaders\governments blindly?

    Well, how is it that after 9/11 it was nearly forbidden to voice protest against Bush and the whole concept of going to war...otherwise you were dubbed supporting the terrorists..i.e., not american. "Terrorist" were arrested without due process, and the gov't started phone-tapping to search for "terrorists".

    So far, the public doesn't seem to mind and takes for granted that the government knows what's best when it is violating the Bill of Rights, right under our noses.

    Sound familiar?

  • 1 decade ago

    I know about the Germans not the Japanese.

    The German's allowed Hitler to have control over Germany due to his promises of better life such as job oppurtunities, and ripping up the Treaty of Versailles - something every German wanted. He had a youthful appeal which other politicians wanted. He promised the people what they lacked, and they voted him in to power. However, it was after he went into power that he did all those evil acts. He did however brainwash the younger generation that Jews etc were evil. So, yeah..

    Dunno 'bout the japanese though.

    Source(s): Got a 1 in Standard Grade History (:
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well... to put it very very short

    Germany was in a desperate state, the treaty of Versailles had devastated it, the Allies were extremely unfair on the German people after WW1 and Germany was being torn apart by the treaty, unemployment was really high and Germany was in huge amount of debt... at one point you couldn't even by a loaf of bread with a wheelbarrow of cash...

    In times like this, people vote for far right and far left parties (such as Nazis and Communists)

    People wanted drastic change to how things were.

    Adolf Hitler gave the people something ot believe in, he was a brilliant speaker and convinced people he was right.

    He gave them hope, he wanted a greater Germany and to tear up the treaty of Versailles that had devastated Germany.

    Adolf Hitler god to power for many reasons, the Nazis were organized and people with businesses didn't want the communists to take over because they would loose their Business. The Nazis also gave out free food to the needy and they looked the best option for Germany.

    Hitler Got to power

    He ignored the treaty of Versailles and got Germany economy back on track, he made Germany one of the richest, industrialist country's in the world, Millions of unemployed people were now in work.

    Hitler built up the army, restored Germany's Honor.

    Then the Richstag (Germany Parliment) was burnt down, a German communist was found near by, Hitler claimed the communists were trying to take power, he demanded the enabling law, which alowed Hitler to make new laws.... making him dictator.

    He got the enabling law and became dictator... he whent on to unite the German states that had declaired their independance from Germany earlier... he made them part of Germany again, he annexed Austria, saying he was uniting all German people (Austrians speak german and are of German ethnicity)

    He silience all oposition... before you know it... speak out about hitler and you would be dead.

    Most Germans wouldnt have had a clue that Hitler would turn into the mass murdering nutcase he turned into when they voted for him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In Germany many years ago, and probably even now," Papa" was the undisputed boss in the family, the Burgermeister/ Gauleiter was undisputed boss or the town or district, and everybody kowtowed to authority.

    Much the same for Japan, and the Emperor was believed to be divine.

    In the USA of today, we are blind sheep, trying to be politically correct lest someone call us racist.

  • Paul A
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Can I just say Kaps is an idiot? Quite apart from the slur on the German Jews in WW1 (higher casualties pro rata than "Aryan" soldiers. Liman von Sanders (Jewish general) beat the Allies at Gallipoli) he don't know his billions from his millions!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No offense. But I think you wanted to ask why america used WMDs and killed more than one billion civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and and billions later in Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Columbia, Venezuela created Al Queda in Afghanistan (1979-1989) ,Iraq etc.

    Probably you are also confused as to why england had killed and massacred more than one billions of civilians in 70 colonies which it had ??

    America did elect evil as their presidents. But england is / was may be did not have enough food for its citizens so it ventured to other countries in search of food.

    If these countries had not been granted exemption from international war crimes tribunal, the Tribunal would have been busy for thousand years

    Source(s): history. germany / japan never killed in large scale as americans / britons. and never civilians. Putting jews in camps was tp prevent jews from sabotaging german army and navy the way they did in WW1
  • 1 decade ago

    This is simple. They lied!

    And humans today are no different. Remember Iraqs weapons of mass destruction?

    Don't get me started on M.Ps' expences!!

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