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Roosevelt and Hitler: Democrat and Dictator


In 1933, the US and Germany received new political leaders. Franklin D. Roosevelt became the President of the US, and Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany. The period in which they reached the power was a difficult one, the world trying to overcome the drastic outcomes of World War I and the Great Depression. Although the two leaders proved to have different strategies, their inauguration speeches given in 1933 had many similarities. The paper analyzes the views of Roosevelt and Hitler on the causes of problems they faced and the possible ways of resolving them.

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At the beginning of their speeches, both leaders discuss what they consider to be the root of the difficulties encountered by their countries. Hitler tends to accuse the Treaty of Versailles of all Germany’s problems. Germany’s chancellor makes references to the date: “more than fourteen years have passed since the unhappy day” when the Germans were “blinded by promises” and “lost touch with honor and freedom” (Hitler, 1933). Hitler refers to the Treaty as the “day of treachery” (1933). Also, he continuously mentions that the nation lost its unity and received the confusion of opinions as a result of the Treaty. In his turn, Roosevelt blames the financial instability and trade difficulties: values “have shrunken to fantastic levels,” “taxes have risen,” people’s ability to pay “has fallen,” government “is faced by the serious curtailment of income,” “the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade,” and “the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone” (1933).

Both leaders find the high rates of unemployment a major source of difficulties and intend to solve this issue. Roosevelt proposes to increase employment through “direct recruiting by the Government itself,” and he also suggests “accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources” (1933). Hitler’s ideas of dealing with unemployment are concerned with “compulsory labor-service” (1933). Speaking about Roosevelt’s views on banking, finance, and the economy, it is necessary to note that he suggests “strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments” and putting an end to speculation with other people’s money (1933). Hitler’s position on the economy is related to the preservation of farming and promoting employment (1933). An important place in both speeches belongs to discussing agriculture. Hitler considers a “back-to-the-land” policy as a determinant of the country’s success and says that to provide the nation with the necessary things, “the German farmer must be rescued” (1933). Roosevelt remarks that it is crucial to “raise the values of agricultural products” through the prevention of foreclosure of farms and homes (1933). Speaking of foreign policy, the US President wants to implement the practice of being a “good neighbor” that respects himself and others (Roosevelt, 1933). Hitler views the need to overcome “the destroying menace of communism” as a decisive factor in fulfilling Germany’s duties towards other countries (1933).


The common ground in both leaders’ proposed solutions is their belief in their nations’ integrity and patriotism. Their vision in regard to the power of their position is that they should overcome the destruction and improve the levels of life for the people. Both Roosevelt and Hitler express confidence in their nations’ support and hope that with God’s blessing, they will accomplish the goals they set for themselves and their people.


Hitler, A. (1933). Berlin: Proclamation to the German nation

Roosevelt, F. D. (1933). First inaugural address

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