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How did Hitler become Chancellor in 1933?
In July 1932, elections were held in the Reichstag. The Nazis came out of the elections as the
largest single party with 230 seats. As a result of the Reichstag elections, Hitler should have
automatically become the Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. However, this did not happen
due to the President, Hindenburg, whose responsibility it was to appoint a Chancellor.
Hindenburg was suspicious of Hitler, so he allowed the current Chancellor, Franz von Papen, to
continue with his role. After reappointing von Papen as Chancellor, Hindenburg used his
emergency powers to pass the measures that von Papen had hoped would solve the
Soon after the emergency powers were used, von Papen was in trouble he had virtually no
support at all in the Reichstag. To try to gain more support, he called yet another election in
November 1932. Yet again, the Nazis came out as the largest party, although their share of the
vote fell. Hitler, however, regarded this election as a failure because of the loss of 2 million votes
along with 38 seats in the Reichstag. To aide this, the Nazis were running out of funds and their
leader was threatening suicide.
After these elections, Hitler again demanded his seat as Chancellor, but once more Hindenburg
refused. With much deliberation, Kurt von Schleicher was assigned to the post of Chancellor in
December and von Papen remained as an advisor to Hindenburg.
Von Schleicher only lasted a month. In January 1933, he was forced to resign. On 30th January,
the post of Chancellor was offered to Adolf Hitler by Hindenburg amidst great surprise from the
public. Hitler had finally achieved his goal.
Historians feel that there were many contributing factors as to why Hitler became Chancellor
most people feel that it was the weakness in the Weimar government which played the biggest
part in the Chancellorship of Hitler. The Weimar government was failing miserably. The Weimar
Republic had a failed economy and a great depression to deal with. Unemployment was rising
drastically and desperate people were looking towards the extremes in parliament for an
answer. This meant that the Nazis, along with the Communists, were gaining crucial votes during
the time of the Great Depression.
This rise in votes can also be accredited to the lack of people voting for the Social Democrats.
During the years that Stresemann was chancellor, the Nazis could not get many seats in the
Reichstag, but the Nazis and their appealing polices were too good for the Germans to refuse,
and so while the votes for the Social Democrats were fluctuating, the Nazi votes were only
going up and up with every election.
Another factor which helped Hitler to come to power was that the Nazis were incredibly good
at changing their policies to suit their audiences at rallies. The Nazis were flexible with their
ideas. If they found that an idea was not working then they would abolish it and come up with a
new one. In some rallies, when a policy wasn't going down too well, they would immediately
drop it and would never mention it again. In some cases, people would struggle to keep up with
the Nazi ideals because they were so broad.
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In the late 1920s, Hitler began to realise that the only way he could become truly powerful was
through the up and coming Reichstag elections. The Nazis increased their membership greatly
during the late 1920s. They did this by winning over the working and middle classes. The
working classes were won over by the antisemitic message preached by the Nazis.…read more
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I think that all of the events and factors mentioned above played important roles in Hitler's road
to Chancellorship, but there are two that played the largest part of all: propaganda and Hitler. I
think that the support gained from the propaganda and Hitler's speeches were the main
contributing factors of Hitler's rise to Chancellorship.…read more