Fall of Weimar/Rise of Nazis 1929-1933

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Depression

  • After WSC, economy was back to square one
  • Support for Weimar declining
  • Companies all over Germany went bankrupt, six major banks collapsed, workers sack
  • Unemployment peaked at 8 million
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Rise of Nazis

  • As support for Weimar was declining, support grew for Nazis
  • Popular among urban and rural voters
  • Leader Adolf Hitler was charismatic and very popular among electorate of Germany
  • He criticised "November Criminals" for signing ToV
  • With economic slump crumbling Weimar support for Nazis kept growing in support
  • Hitler wanted to make Germany great again through nationalism if and when he came to power
  • Nazis also aimed to attack their "racial enemies"- Jews, Communists and Marxist
  • All appealed to German nation
  • Nazis also had plans to fix economy once in power
  • Hitler's right-hand man Joseph Goebbels was an effective propaganda machine
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Weaknesses of the Constitution

  • PR was disliked as it allowed many splinter parties to form- many did not like an overabundance of parties- preferred one eg Nazis
  • Article 48 allowed the President to rule by emergency decree which effectively paved the way for a dictatorship- many did not want this
  • Article 48 was regularly used by Hindenburg so many Germans were accustomed to it which technically led to a Nazi dictatorship
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Political Intrigue

Muller

  • His SPD led coalition was divided on how to combat depression- Muller asked Hindenburg to user Article 48 to support his govt but he refused and Muller resigned

Bruning

  • He was the "Hunger Chancellor"- govt. didn't have an overall majority
  • Got his finance bill passed by Article 48 though great opposition to this, Bruning asked Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag
  • Sept 1930 elections this opposition was evident as Bruning could no longer gain a majority due to rise of extremists eg Nazis
  • Govt. hung on through Presidential decrees- unemployment was getting worse, Bruning did little to combat this
  • 1932 Nazi support growing, Hindenburg turned against Bruning and dismissed him

Papen

  • Formed a non-party govt
  • July 1932 elections extremists made further gains and Papen dismissed

Schleicher

  • Papen was upset that he had been dismissed and asked Hindenburg to appoint him as Chancellor- intriguing against Schleicher
  • Hindenburg said no and Hitler was then appointed Chancellor with Papen as deputy
  • Schleicher only lasted 57

Hitler now in power through intrigue from Papen and Hindenburg

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