The National Socialist German Workers’ Party almost died one morning in
1919. It numbered only a few dozen grumblers’ it had no organization
and no political ideas.
But many among the middle class admired the Nazis’ muscular opposition
to the Social Democrats. And the Nazis themes of patriotism and
militarism drew highly emotional responses from people who could not
forget Germany’s prewar imperial grandeur.
In the national elections of September 1930, the Nazis garnered nearly
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to Orleans on the Loire and then due east toward the
Seine south of Paris. By August 23 the Seine was reached southeast and
northwest of the capital, and two days later the great city, the glory
of France, was liberated after four years of German occupation when
General Jacques Leclerc’s French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th
Infantry Division broke into it and found that French resistance units
were largely in control.