Wall Street Crash
In 1929, the American Stock Exchange collapsed, and caused an economic depression [Economic depression: The slowing of economic activity, which usually results in high unemployment, a sharp drop in prices and a fall in production. ]. America called in all its foreign loans, which destroyed Weimar Germany. Unemployment in Germany rose to 6 million.
The government did not know what to do. In July 1930 Chancellor Brüning cut government expenditure, wages and unemployment pay - the worst thing to do during a depression. He could not get the Reichstag to agree to his actions, so President Hindenburg used Article 48 to pass the measures by decree.
The Nazis gain support
Anger and bitterness helped the Nazis to gain more support.
Many workers turned to communism, but this frightened wealthy businessmen, so they financed Hitler's campaigns.
Many middle-class people, alarmed by the obvious failure of democracy, decided that the country needed a strong government. Nationalists and racists blamed the Treaty of Versailles [Treaty of Versailles: The peace treaty signed by the Allies and Germany at the end of the First World War, on 28 June 1919. ] and reparations [Reparations: Monetary compensation from one country to another for having started a war. ].
By July 1932, the Nazis held 230 seats
In 1928, the Nazis had only 12 seats in the Reichstag; by July 1932 they had 230 seats and were the largest party.
The government was in chaos. President Hindenburg dismissed Brüning in 1932. His replacement - Papen - lasted six months, and the next chancellor - Schleicher - only lasted two months. Hindenburg had to use Article 48 to pass almost every law.
Hitler handed power on a plate
In January 1933, Hindenburg and Papen came up with a plan to get the Nazis on their side by offering to make Hitler vice chancellor. He refused and demanded to be made chancellor. They agreed, thinking they could control him.
In January 1933, Hitler became chancellor, and immediately set about making himself absolute ruler of Germany using Article 48.
The previous eight suggestions about why Hitler rose to power fall into three categories:
To familiarise yourself with them, work out which reasons fall into which category.
Now put them in order of importance. This is just your opinion, so there is no right or wrong answer, but make sure you have a reason for putting each factor in the ranking order you have chosen for it.
As part of your revision, think about the arguments and facts you would use to explain:
- How Hitler came to power in 1933.
- Why Hitler came to power in 1933.
- How important Hitler was in the Nazis' rise to power.
- Why the Weimar Republic collapsed
Now try a Test Bite
Word count: Li Chun Ho (Alvin)Date: 12/01/2011 IB History HLEssay Question: To what extent was the rise to power of either Hitler or Mao due to personal appealand ability?1
As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice
.” Adolf Hitler
Hitler’s rise in power, to a larger extent contains factors other than his personal appeal in te
rms of personality and ability. Although having the ability to create long speeches often leaving audiencesstunned and to organize the SA into a much disciplined force, these events could not have occurredwith successes without a significant tragedy that rocked the nation. His appeal to the public as apatriotic former soldier can be seen as an advantage to increase his appeal as nationalistic spiritswere widely felt across Germany after the outrageous result of the Treaty of Versailles. Yes, some of Hit
ler’s abilities were responsible for the large scale of media attention he attracted.
The news of hisbrave attempt of the Munich Putsch in 1923 began to spread throughout the nation during the trialsas well as his novel. His ability to unite people through the identification of scapegoats derived fromhis ability to distract the majority of the German public. However, the crisis took the form of aneconomic depression where hyper-inflation led to the worthlessness of the German Mark which wascaused by an
external factor outside the Weimar Republic’s control.
Without such an importantcrisis to create, no solution would be needed. Moreover,
Hitler’s rise to power would not have
occurred without the incompetence of Von Schleicher who failed to enforce German stability,prompting Von Papen to position Hitler in a coalition government inadvisably.
Hitler’s background as a soldier from the first war
emphasized his sense of nationalism to thecountry. He recognized the growing need for promises to be made during a time of uncertainty.With numerous other small parties in Germany, it was impossible to gain the total majority of votesneeded to pass parliament without bilateral cooperation with other parties. This being impossible,
Hitler’s aggressive use of the mi
litary, highlighted by his attempt at the Munich Putsch, can bedemonstrated as his methods to creating a government he believed could move forward. Setting up
his small party among some thirty others of the same size, Hitler wasn’t known nationwide until
hisarrest following the coup. Here, his advantageous ability to create speeches that drew massattention from the public
, such as the quote, “There is no such thing as treason against the traitors
of 1918. I only wanted what is best for the German people,
” were further emphasized by his novel“Mein Kampf,” which appears to be read like a long speech. Both of these sources indicate a strong
need for nationalism, promises that included the rise of the economy and the identification of
He supports his ideas through past theories, however often distorted ones, such as how SocialDarwinism and how the purity of the great German Aryans were ruined by the Jews, where we canperceive Hitler as naming them scapegoats. Hitler identified this as a major reason to unite togetherbecause they are motivated by the patriotism of the country which made the people view him as anational hero in times of chaos. Many of his values were made so that they were interconnected;when we believe in one value, we believe in all of them. By doing so, he creates a heavy nationalisticaudience that not only supports his initial social reforms but other steps that eventually lead him topower, such as the belief parliamentary democracy was weak, implying a form of single party state isneeded.