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  • Created on: 08-11-18 14:28


- Nazis got into power as they played on people's fear of communismBolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia aroused fear within Germany's affluent sector of society, which were the rich landowners and businessmen thus people wanted to prevent communists gaining any political influence 

- The Nazis were violently opposed to communism and the SA often attacked communist groups in the beer halls and the streets, so landowners and businessmen supported the Nazis 

During 5th to 12th January 1919, about 50,000 members of the communist party, the Spartacists, rebelled in Berlin, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht and in the aftermath, communist workers' councils seized power all over Germany, and a Communist People's Government took power in Bavaria. 

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- Nazis got into power as of propaganda, volksgemeinschaft, working towards fuhrer, basically the appeal + popularity of Nazis/Hitler

-  The Nazis continued to put forward their 25-Point Programme agreed in the early 1920s

- They had broader social and geographical appeal than the communists, who only really appealed to the industrial workers in Germany’s cities. Nazi support in rural areas + particularly strong amongst both middle class shopkeepers and artisans, farmers and agricultural labourers 

- Support from wealthy businessmen  frightened by the increase in support for the communists, they began to finance Hitler and the Nazis support from the middle-class alarmed by the obvious failure of democracy so wanted a strong government which they thought Hitler would providesupported by nationalists who hated  the Treaty of Versailles & reparations and  the legacy this created e.g. caused the depression and so lent their support to the Nazis

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- Winter of 1929-1930 the number of unemployed rose from 1.4 million to over 2 million.

- By the time Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, 6.1 millions Germans were unemployed  which raised government expenditure on unemployment insurance and other benefits.

- Germans began to lose faith in democracy & looked to extreme parties e.g. Left (the communists) & the Right (the Nazis) for quick and simple solutions to solve their problems

- March 1930  German Chancellor Hermann Müller resigned when his government couldn't agree on how to tackle the rise in government spending caused by the rise in unemployment so was replaced by Heinrich Brüning

- Bruning's policies were ineffective in dealing with the unemployment crisis and further undermined Germans’ faith in democracy.

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- July 1930 Chancellor Brüning cut government expenditure, wages and unemployment pay adding to the spiral of decline & unemployment continued to rise making those who had lost their jobs even poorer

-However, Brüning could not get the Reichstag to agree to his actions, so President Hindenburg used Article 48 of the Weimar constitution, which gave the President unprecendented power to pass laws by decree

- This undermined democracy and weakened the power of the Reichstag – arguably opening the way for Hitler’s later dictatorship. 

- By 1932 parties committed to the destruction of the Weimar Republic held 319 seats out of a total of 608 in the Reichstag, with many workers turning to communism and nazism 

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- Many Germans hated the government for signing the armistice in November 1918 and the government officials were called the November criminals as they signed the Treaty of Versailles that put all the blame on Germany

- Many Germans felt their country had received a very harsh deal in the Treaty of Versailles and resented the government for agreeing to its conditions and signing it, even though they were forced to by the Allies. 

- the government was also blamed for “the stab in the back myth”, which depicted the new government as being the reason as to why Germany lost the war

- the foundations of this “stab in the back myth” originated from Hindenburg and Ludendorff who wanted to shift the blame for Germany losing the war into the new government. 

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- The Weimar Republic's unpopularity meant it faced violent uprisings from both sides of the political spectrum during 1919 and 1920

- When people are unemployed, hungry and desperate, as millions were in Germany between 1930 and 1933, they often turn to extreme political parties offering simple solutions to their problems. Between 1930 and 1933 support for the extreme right-wing Nazis and the extreme left-wing communists soared 

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