How Hitler Rose to Power By Skillfully Exploiting German People’s Fear With Extreme Rhetoric

Ted-Ed Educators Anthony Hazard and Alex Gendler explain through somber animation by Uncle Ginger, the array of circumstances that allowed Hitler to rise to such power in a democratic, culturally assimilated country like Germany and how something like this could easily happen in other democracies around the world.

Disturbingly, many of Hitler’s early measures didn’t require mass repression. His speeches exploited people’s fear and ire to drive their support behind him and the Nazi party. Meanwhile, businessmen and intellectuals, wanting to be on the right side of public opinion, endorsed Hitler. They assured themselves and each other that his more extreme rhetoric was only for show. Decades later, Hitler’s rise remains a warning of how fragile democratic institutions can be in the face of angry crowds and a leader willing to feed their anger and exploit their fears.