A Comparative Study of Nelson Mandela and Adolf Hitler Essay Sample
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A Comparative Study of Nelson Mandela and Adolf Hitler Essay Sample
Adolf Hitler and Nelson Mandela are vastly different men, however in many ways through out their lives they both held a huge influence over their countrymen, the politics of their country and inevitably they both shaped the course of history for better or worse. Their fight, was not won without a struggle, but was helped by their masterful oratorical skills and the willingness of their followers to do anything for “the cause”.
Following the First World War Germanys economy began to fail, the German people were disgruntled with their current government and went in search of another leader. They were looking for a man that had the mettle to lead their country out of the bad times and into the good. As the world slipped into an economic recession caused by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, conditions in Germany got worse, and the people more desperate.
At this same time, Hitler saw a weakness in the current government and began to exploit it for all it was worth. Hitler finally came to power in a country that was suffering from national humiliation, economic depression and mass unemployment. As he went slowly about fixing these problems his popularity soared. Hitler was the first leader to fully exploit the power of propaganda and mass media. By utilizing these tools combined with his moving oratory’s he was able to quickly win the German people over. It is said that when Hitler spoke, the audience would hang on his every word, and eventually some people did. By using statements that reflected the hopes and expectations of large sections of the population such as “Hitler, Unsere letze Hoffnung” (Hitler, our Last Hope) he was able to create a dependence of the German people on himself. They were looking for someone to lead them and Hitler has presented himself as their man, “a man of the people who would save Germany from decline”. As Hitler built up his base of followers through ventures such as the Hitler Youth and his personal army the German people became more and more convinced that he was their savior. They not only believed in the principles and moral values that he held but much more than this they loved him, they would do anything for him, and later many were called upon to do so.
Following Word War One, Germany’s previous governing monarch was ousted and replaced with an alien democracy. This however was not to last long, with many people viewing this change of system as responsible for Germany’s numerous problems. As soon as Hitler came to power he removed and challenge of a political form , sometimes using force and then further more entrenched himself as dictator of Germany. As he became less and less dependent of the other politicians around him he effectively made all the decisions on Germany’s future by himself. Hitler, through the use of his incredible influence on the people of Germany had engaged them to such a stage where they were happy to let Hitler run the country. As history has proved time and time again one man making all the decisions for a country is a very dangerous situation and as you know it was proved once again. Through Hitler being empowered as dictator of Germany he had influenced Germany to such as stage that, he was politics within Germany.
The twentieth century was a time of much development and amazing achievements and there is no doubt in my mind that many of these will go on to be remembered well into the future. However it is true that the events best remembered are those which involve horrific acts, such as the death of six million Jews. In this way Hitler, has influenced history for ever. Hitler has also instilled in history mean important lessons that no one will ever forget. Hitler was also in many ways a pioneer, he was the first leader to truly take advantage of mass media, propaganda and to really display his views on Semitism on such a physical level. Through this Hitler was able to cement in the minds of the people of Germany and of the onlookers all over the world his ability as a leader and at the same time his tyrannical, cruel, uncaring, domineering style of leadership that ultimately cost so many lives and at the same time write himself into the history books as one leader who will never be forgotten. As well as doing this he changed the way future leaders would campaign for public support, and inevitably promoted a more cautious attitude to the leadership of a country by one man.
Nelson Mandela is a very different man from Hitler although at one stage or another their countrymen and women both felt the same about them.. Nelson Mandela was a black Zulu, with a royal heritage, unlike Hitler who most believe lead for his own gratification Nelson Mandela lead because of what he believed in and because he was disgruntled with the life he was forced to lead, all because his skin was black. With his strong beliefs, Mandela who had a degree in law set about finding a way that he could finally return Africa, to the black Africans. With this in mind he joined the ANC (African National Congress), however was quickly disgruntled with the lack of progress being made and decided that violence was the only way to get the whites to “sit up and take notice”. With this in mind he formed a radical branch of the ANC known as Umkhonto we Sizwe ( Spear of the Nation), whose aim was to use violence as a political lever. It was this willingness to lead, to take risks and his want of a quick solution that made him such a good leader, and won him the support of all those around him.
As the years passed Nelson Mandela gained more influence on those around him as they increasingly came to respect him for his true courage. Unlike Hitler, Nelson was willing to sacrifice himself and later proved his loyalty to the cause when he was thrown in prison, after being charged with treason, during the time he was in prison he was kept in isolation however he remained in the minds of all black Africans and undoubtedly influenced their actions in the struggle for freedom. “We will speak to them with guns, again and again, now here, now there, until their day is done and apartheid destroyed for ever.” Is a statement that very much sums up Nelson Mandela’s influence on politics in his earlier life. I think you cannot rightly say that he had any real influence on the politics of white South Africa before his spell in jail other than the fact that he made them take notice and never let them forget the lengths blacks were willing to go to, to gain some control over their country. At the same time he also had a large influence of the politics within the ANC, he convinced many members, that violence was the language the whites had chosen and the only solution was therefore to answer them in the same language.
Following his spell in jail, Nelson Mandela changed his ways and his views on how South Africa should enter an era of reform. Using his background in law, he set about improving the rights of black people in South Africa, and was rewarded when much later in his political career he was made the President of South Africa. Nelson Mandela has never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he has never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration, in South Africa and throughout the world, to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. It is these principles, will power and strength that he used to change the politics of South Africa to such an extent where it was once impossible for blacks to earn a decent living and to travel without a passbook to a country where they were once again free.
Nelson Mandela lead a life that a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit over man s inhumanity to man, it is with this attitude that he shaped the history of South Africa. Nelson Mandela was undoubtedly a critical figure in shaping the future of South Africa. He guided reform to apartheid, giving black South Africans a say in how their country was run, and in the struggle for this allowed himself to be unjustly imprisoned without a struggle, all the time increasing the strength of the feeling of the people for him. Even then after he had succeeded in achieving equal rights for blacks, he didn’t not end his fight for justice. He was constantly using his privileged situation as an educated black, to help those around him. It was this generosity and tireless devotion to the cause that has lead him to being cemented in the history books of the world as the man that saved the black Africans and gave them back their freedom.