History - Germany - Key Idea 2

Key Idea 2 - How and why did the nazi party come to power in 1933?

2.1 - Legacy of Versailles and weaknesses of Weimar

2.2 - Nazi Party in 1928

2.3 - Impact of Great Depression, Elections and governments 1928-33

2.4 - Communism

2.5 - Rise and appeal of Nazism, role of propaganda and Hitler

2.6 - Hindenburg

2.7 - Papen, Schleicher and 'Backstairs' Intrigue

2.8 - Reichstag Fire

2.9 - Election of March 1933

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2.1 - Legacy of Versailles

What has Changed? Danzig had been placed under the control of the league of nations when Germans in the Upper silesia and Danzig corridor were living under the polish rule. Due to the Young Plan, Reparations had been cut and were still to be paid. There were secret agreements with the soviet govenment which enabled the government to develop new weapons in the USSR. 10,000 men joined up to the army. Allied troops still occupied the Rhineland and when they withdrew in June 1930, the rhineland was demilitarised and German trooops were forbidden to enter.              What was still the Problem? The DNVP was hostile to the treaty and always wanted an opportunity to attack it. Hindenburg expressed that Germany was free from war guilt. The nazi party were able to gain enough support to force the government to hold a referendum on the young plan. Germans were asked to vote on whehter they agreed with a law that repudiated the war guild clause of the treaty, which forbidded the government from signing anymore agreements. Government won but 5,825,000 germans voted for it. The Withdrawal of French Troops from the Rhineland lead to critism from the Nationalists. German Nationalists were hostile to the treaty and when there was a oppurtunity to attack it they would. They hated the treaty despite any positives which it had.

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2.1 - Weaknesses of the Weimar.

- The German Economy was unable to deliver prosperity, which in turn prevented the republic from creating an effective welfare state.

- The Weimar was democratic, but the disagreements ensured that it was difficult to form a strong government. The reich president had powers and when Hindenburg was elected, they were in the hands of a man who disliked the SPD and demoracy n general.

- German population hated the republic, industrialists thought that it spent to much on welfare. Workers were unable to forget hw it employed the army and biterness were shown to the weimar politicians among the middle class  - whose savings had been wiped out during Hyperinflation.

- The public was shocked by increasing freedom which women began to gain. Modern art and Literature was flourishing which shocked them more and they longed for people to fix up germany and longed for a much rougher government.

- The Weimar republic hindered by the hostility of Judges, Professors and Industrialists to pariliamentary democracy and the Republic.

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2.2 - Nazi Party in 1928

In 1924 Hitler came out of Prison and had to try to rebuild his party, re-establish his power.

The ban was lifted on the Nazi Party in January 1925 so Hitler was able to start rebuilding it.The Nazi Party was divided into regions and were run by activists and were given orders. Party Organisations included: The S.A, The Hitler Youth and the Nazi Teachers Organisation.

Until 1927, the party attempted to dominate cities by appealing to workers but it failed. The Agricultural Depression took place in 1927 -1928, Hitler gave them urban plans and alerted many farmers in small companies. In 1928 Elections, the Nazis didnt do to well but in rural areas they won 10% of the vote.

Nazi Ideology: Hitler revised the parties programme and  modified its ideas which attracted new supporters. Mein Kampf gave an idea into Nazi Ideology - clearly representing his idea of a racial pure state. Lebnsraum or 'Living Space' idea strengthened and was the idea of destroying non-germans, increasing birth rate.

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2.3 - Great Depression

'The Third Global Catastrophe of the century' and it had a massive impact on German History, it had effects on germans lives which were devastating.

Causes: High German Interest rates attracted American money and some German firms heavily depended on the investments from the USA. The state of the German Economy was no state to remain healthy. The loans from America were only short term and were renewed monthly and were easily cancelled. There were signs of a global recession and unemployment had rose to 2.5 Million. The US Economy collapsed and Banks went bankrupt and called in short term loans. Germany had to cut down on products and industrial production fell and had dropped by 40% by 1932.

Consequences: Weimar was in a crisis and the Great Coalition began to fall apart, there were lots of issues in the cabinet in respect to the decisions to combat the issues. Industrialists were pushing the aboltion of the German Welfare state, a plan was proposed to pay for any financial increase in unemployement benefit. This should be paid for by the Government and increased contributions. It was rejected in 1930 by trade unions and the SPD, then the cabinet resigned.

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2.3 The Great Depression and Elections

Two years later the Great Coalition failed and this was the perfect opportunity for the Nazi Party to rise. The chancellor resigned and was later replaced by Bruning, Hindenburg wanted a more right wing chancellor and the army intended to create a stronger Germany, They done this through joining organisations of the communists or Nazis stormtroopers whom were assaulting troops or communist parliamentary forces. Third of workers were unemployed.

Elections: The Nazis became the second largest party in the Reichstag and they began to gain more votes. Hitler created more symbols which created a more powerful image, but the communist threat grew. Hindenburg wanted the Reichstag to pass lefalislation which would let him stay in office. Parties went up against one another in a contest for Power and a campaign was launched on behalf of Hitler. Hitler won 30% of the Votes but the Elections were to be done again.

27th February 1933 - Nazi Campain was helped by the Reichstag Fire, Marinus Van Der Lubbe set fire to the Reichstag

5th March 1933 - Elections of March, Nazis won 43.9% of votes and gained 288 seats.

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2.3 - Governments

Muller Government: Came to power due to the Weimar being plunged by the Great Depression and was put into a major crisis. They lost power due to the Great Coalition falling apart, Backbenchers began to rebel against the chancellor and protested against the decision of the cabinet to build a battle cruiser. March 1930, Muller resigned from his position and Hindenburg appointed someone else.

Hitler Government: Came to power due to the use of succesful Propaganda and ensured they were the best political party. Hitler was loyal and appealed to different audiences. Effective and reassured Germans they wanted to rebuild the economy, German Strength and prevent economy. Nazis were committed to Nationalisation of Big Businesses and industries, Hitler didnt want to alarm the Businessmen with his plans. Aimed for Self Sufficiency in Food Production and Industry. September Elections was turned into 'A Political Earthquake' because of Propaganda and was the Second largest party in the Reichstag. In 1928, Hitler was joined by Gregor Strasser who helped him rebuild the party and succesfully constructed the party which challenged other parties like the Communists. Nazi Propaganda was constructed cleverly by Goebbels which appealed to all audiences.

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2.4 - Communism

The German Communist Party (KPD) was led by Ernst Thalmann and was bale to recruite and mobalise the unemployed. Working Class areas of big cities became 'Red Districts' where they organised rent strikes and set up the Red Front fighters league. it appealed to the young who were made redundant and werent likely to be hired by anyone else. Communists were convinced that capitalism was about to collapse in Germany and only a revolution would install them in power. Different industrialists were convinced that communists could eventually seize power, establishing a dictatorship which was sure to abolish various things.

Bruning was a chancellor whom followed Muller, he represented the Centre Party and was Right Wing. An election is called which hoped to sort it out for power, the Nazis go from 12 to 107 seats in the Reichstag - they are finally given the chance to be taken seriously. He is supported by the SPD and order him to keep Hitler out. By 1932, he is dismissed by Hindenburg as he is being critisised.

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2.5 - Rise and appeal of Nazism, role of Propagand

Hitler used the Media skilfully to influence the public's opinion of himself and the Nazis. Goebbels was the minister of Nazi Propaganda and Enlightment - using it to express certain themes, like Extinction of Jews etc. There were two main aims: Firstly, to ensure nobody in Germany could read or see anything that was hostile or damaging to the nazi party and Secondly, to ensure that the views of the Nazis were put across in the most persuasive manner - they worked with the SS and Gestapo.

In the Newspapers, Nazis took charge through publishing articles on different topics such as Jewish Race, Treaty of Versailles etc - taking complete charge of regular press in 1933. Speakers were used and heavily relied on by the Nazis in order for presentations before they got power, provided with Information to inform the public. Posters used as they were hard to avoid and were pinned up everywhere, even schools. Films were popular to promote thoughts and appropriate for portraying their thoughts. Textbooks were manipulated to favour their needs, for example maps of racial compositions were banned from the classroom. Radio was used as internal and external broadcasts were used for Propaganda throughout the country.

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2.7 - Papen, Schleicher and 'Backstairs Intrigue'

Von Papen was a right wing chancellor from May 1932, The SA ban was ended and there was extreme violence in Germany. In the July 1932 Elections, Nazis now have 230 seats and are one of the Largest Parties. Von Papen asks Hitler to be vice chancellor and in the November 1932 Elections, the Nazis lose votes to 196 seats. In December 1932, Von Papen is dismissed by Hindenburg.

Schleicher is the next chancellor, but he tried to split up the nazis by appointing Strasser as his vice chancellor. He refuses it and Von Papen and Hindenburg try to sort out the problem. Hitler later becomes Chancellor and in the cabinet are 12 people, 3 of which are Nazis in 1933.

'Backstairs Intrigue' was a plan to manipulate the Nazis, as Politicians tried to seize the party behind Hitler's back. This was sneaking behind one another's back.

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2.8 - The Reichstag Fire and 2.9 - March 1933 Elec

The Reichstag fire took place in February 1933, where Marinus Van Der Lubbe was accused of setting the Reichstag on fire. He was found in the burning and building and was blamed, who was a communist - they were seen as the Scrapegoat. Hitler then banned the communists from Political activity, which caused extreme reactions.

With Hitler as chancellor, he attempted to work against his political opponents and build a 'Majority Government'.

On Election Day, on the 6th March 1933 the Nazi Party increased its votes to 43.9% which was the largest number of seats in Parliament. There want a complete majority except from the Nationalists.

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NUMBER ONE: Nazi Party: It appealed to all groups of people around Germany.

NUMBER TWO: Weimar Constitution


NUMBER FOUR: Hindenburg

NUMBER FIVE: Treaty of Versailles

NUMBER SIX: The Great Depression

NUMBER SEVEN: "Backstairs Intrigue" - Politicians were sneaky behind eachothers back.

NUMBER EIGHT: Communists

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