Compare and Contrast the Speeches of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill and F. D. Roosevelt
Throughout history, there have been many notable speeches given by leaders of various causes and political parties. These speeches are meant to convey a message to the listeners about the goals and ideas that the speaker seeks to accomplish while in a leadership role. As different significant events may have been taking place at that time in history, the speeches are given for different reasons. The leaders that gave the speeches employ some of the same tactics. Additionally, their methods of speaking to their listeners can be distinguished in some regards. Throughout this paper, I will be comparing and contrasting the speeches given by Adolf Hitler in 1927 at the Nuremberg Rally, Winston Churchill in 1940 as his First Speech as the Prime Minister of Great Britain to the House of Commons, and Franklin Roosevelt to the American people in 1940.
Adolf Hitler starts his speech by arousing concern in his listener that their current way of life and agricultural productivity is not sustainable in its current methods. He encourages the listeners to feel that something must be done, and they have reached a critical time for the survival of their way of life. He calls for the adjustment of territory to population. He also speaks of power and how nations and people obtain power and control. He promotes the value of identity. Additionally, Hitler promotes the assertion that whether one is Chinese or Indian does matter, and for a nation to internalize the idea that it does not is destructive. He also tries to encourage his listeners to understand what things about their country and society they should value. Additionally, he makes it clear to the listener that 62 million is 20 million to many in that country. He also discuss unity, where people are not distinguished by class, but are all members of the same company. He uses the example of how the country lacks a national flag to drive the point home. He feels that the enemy is those that are overrunning the country as well as those who do not promote the value in their German blood, as well as those who are destructive to the unity of Germans. This speech by Hitler seems to be meant more to incite than persuade; he appeals to people interest in self-preservation and collective self-interest.
Winston Churchill, on the other hand, starts off his first speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons by trying to convey information about the current state of the nation. It is during the time of the Second World War. He ends the speech by saying, “come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.” This statement symbolizes the overall tone of Churchill’s speech that although he knows the nations is in an urgent situation, it can move forward to a victorious outcome. During his first broadcast, days later, Winston Churchill discusses the gravity of the situation the country is facing at the moment. He starts off by stating that he is not trying to hide information from his listener. The situation is tremendously serious, and Churchill does not attempt to play this down to calm the fears of the nation’s people. He uses the example of how Holland was overrun by the Axis forces and driven into ruin and slavery to emphasis his point. He is trying to get the people of Great Britain to understand that there will be battles that they will need to endure to preserve their country, but he feels that they are in a good position to prevail. He seems to be trying to promote understanding among his listeners for the country’s current position and what their government is doing on their behalf and the behalf of other nations. Churchill obviously feels that the Germans and the Nazis are the enemies; he calls them the foulest most self-destroying tyranny that has ever stained the pages of history. This vivid language illustrates how he uses vivid imagery to emphasize his points. Additionally, he speaks of all who are on the British side against the enemy. He tries to motivate the people to understand that the task at hand is not just to win the battle, but the war itself. Churchill’s speaking tactics seem to be an effective the situation; he discusses the interest of Great Britain, other Allied countries in Europe, the morally correct position to take, and the perseverance and fortitude to do what needs to be done. He does not leave his people with the illusion that everything will be okay without a hard fight, but he lets them know that Great Britain is prepared to fight until they win the war.
Roosevelt seems to have taken a middle ground between the two aforementioned speakers. His speech is not a call for action; instead, it is to let the people know that the government is doing its job to protect them. His speech, however, does not have the same dire tone as that of Churchill. His speech seems to be more upbeat, promoting the message that the United States government is in a good position to adequately protect its citizens. He details a plan that the country will follow to get the country through this wartime sustaining as little damage and loss as possible. He also discusses how the Germans currently are being handles, as well as the Italians and the Japanese. Roosevelt takes a very effective tone to his speech. He does not sugar coat the message that the country needs to go to war and needs to do something about their German enemy that seems to want to dominate all life. Roosevelt justifies his speech on the moral position that the people of Europe are the concern of Americans when facing an enemy such as the Germans and the Axis. He also discusses the interests of American in ensuring that Britain remains a strong power that is not taken over by the Axis. He speaks of the Monroe Doctrine and how the present issue was considered at that time; he is trying to persuade Americans to understand that it is in their own interests to help defend the British. He is appealing to all Americans to understand their interest in the war overseas.