Hitler's Germany, 1929-39 - Hitler's ability to become chancellor

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The impact of the Wall Street Crash and Depression

- The Wall Street Crash happened in October 1929

- All of Europe suffered. However, America also demanded the repayment of loans that they had given to Germany since 1924

- Businesses in Germany went bankrupt; unemployment rates shot up - by 1932, almost 6 million were out of work; people suffered from the effects of low wages/part-time work (this led to a rise in homelessness)

- The government in Germany was completely powerless. Because of proportional representation, there were several small political parties in the Reichstag but none of them had half of the seats: this meant that they had to join together in a coalition

- Life was becoming increasingly difficult for German people, so people looked towards extremist solutions. Communist and Nazi parties gained supporters. Communism appealed to the poor working class, and Nazism tried to appeal to both the businessmen and also the unemployed workers

- Nazis spread their ideas through posters, pamphlets and Nazi controlled newspapers

-Josef Goebbels was appointed head of propaganda

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The Weimar System of Government

- With proportional representation, Weimar Germany always had coalitions

- Because of the different parties joining together, they were extremely indecisive, making effective government impossible 

- Article 48 of the Constitution: the President could make laws without consulting the Reichstag in an emergency. He could pass laws by decree, which could be dangerous if misused

- Between March 1930 and May 1932, the Chancellor of Germany was Heinrich Bruning. His economic policies were extremely unpopular - he raised taxes, cut the dole, and reduced government employee salaries

- Nazis grew in popularity - Hitler appealed to the German's nationalism, their pride which had been knocked severely, and to their belief that they had been 'betrayed' by the cowardly politicians after WW1. He was also quick to blame the Jews for all of the problems Germany had been having, financially. He used visual propaganda to give Jews negative publicity 

- Hitler decided to fight against Hindenburg in the coming up Presidential Elections. Hindenburg won, 19 million to Hitler's 13 million 

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Hitler's appointment as Chancellor

- May 1932: Hindenburg appointed Franz von Papen as Chancellor. He was a member of the Centre Party, and he did not have enough support to be in the position. To gain more, he held an election in July 1932, where the Nazis gained more support at minor party's expense

- von Papen called another general election in November 1932, and as a result he was left with fewer seats. He resigned, and von Schleicher became Chancellor, who also failed to gain a majority in the Reichstag

- Hindenburg was then forced to ask Hitler to become Chancellor, which he had been trying to avoid. He did not think Hitler and his party was 'worthy' of ruling Germany

- Hitler was made Chancellor in January 1933. Hindenburg limited his power - von Papen was made vice-Chancellor and the number of Nazis allowed in the Cabinet was restricted to two

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