My middle name is Rae. I am named after a WWII veteran who was captain in the Air Force. He flew B29 bombers over the Hump in Asia.
He earned his position in the Air Force after he stepped up to protect his crew. They were flying through enemy fire when their plane got hit. The plane was going down, and the crew had to jump. The captain was too busy panicking to command his men. Instead, my Grandpa Ray stood up and took control. He told his fellow soldiers to jump at the right moment, and in the end the captain was the only life lost.
My grandpa died from cancer before I was born, but I have always wanted to ask him how it was to live during this unpredictable time.
Hitler came to power in the 1930s. No one thought this man would threaten most of Europe and bring the world to its knees. Germany looked to him for change, and a brighter future. But Hitler had other ideas. This intelligent man told Germans to follow him and led the German nation to power. Every other country was to blame for Germany’s economic depressions and declines, according to him and his followers.
Other countries refused to see a problem arising, especially after experiencing devastating WWI.
But it came.
January 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Within the next year, Hitler started his fast moving rise to power. He became a dictator; Nazis started book burnings and boycotting Jewish shops; and the first few concentration camps opened within the country’s borders.
It doesn’t shock me that the German citizens were so quick to latch on to such a power hungry man, because they were in such a dire situation economically and politically. But once books were being burned and certain citizens were labeled as pests to society, I wonder how people didn’t see the tyranny of Hitler’s command. It is easy to assume today’s society would see past his promises.
Throughout the next few years, Hitler and Nazi Germany took power throughout Europe. The Gestapo was the top law enforcer in Germany, and Czechoslovakia was taken. Hitler confronted his allies, the Soviet Union and Italy, and thus the threat against Britain and the allied forces were heightened.