1984 and the rise of Nazism

Another historical influence for Orwell was the rise of Nazism. As most of you know, Germany’s economy was in ruins after World War 1, because The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that war reparations had to be paid, particularly to France. Germany had been a modern nation for only a little more than forty years, and the German people felt that the strictures of the treaty were designed to humiliate this proud nation. The Nazi Party’s ideology provided a simple explanation for the woes of Germany. They blamed the Communists and the Jewish bankers. Hitler and Goebbels created an ideology around eugenics, a distortion of Darwin and genetics. According to the Nazis, the pure people of Germany were being polluted by people of inferior race, and it was the destiny of Germany to rule the world for a thousand years. This ideology attempted to justify an unspeakable cruelty that rivalled that of Stalin. On becoming Chancellor, Hitler put Germany on a war footing and began a process of military expansion that resulted in World War 2. Hitler was known as a great orator, and his speeches at the Nuremberg rallies inspired and swayed thousands of people.

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