Hitler's Rise to Power
What did the Nazis Stand for in the 1920s?
Abolish the Treaty of Versaille
Destroy the Weimar Republic
Strong Central Government
Challenge terror or violence with your own terror or violence
Remove all Jews from positions of power/leadership across Germany
No non-Germans to be newspaper editors
Educate gifted children at the state's expense
Nationalise important industries
And why did people support a party with such policies?
WHEN CONDITIONS ARE BAD, PEOPLE TEND TO CHOOSE EXTREME IDEOLOGIES
Why did people choose the Nazis?
The Treaty of Versaille:
- took away Germany's land
- reduced the size of their army
- made them pay for the war
- said it was all their fault
Wall Street Crash:
- In 1929 the US economy went into a crippling depression
- The US called in all loans from the UK, France and Germany
- These economies also collapsed
- Unemployment spiralled in Germany
- Support for extreme parties (Nazis and Communists) increased
What did other people try to do?
The Left (Communists, then known as Spartacists):
- The left tried to stage a Communist revolution
- The new, democratic government of Germany (called the Weimar Republic) sent ex-soldiers (called the Feikorps) to fight and kill the Spartacists. 600 died.
- The far-left never forgave the Weimar Republic
The Right (6000 Feikorps led by Dr.Kapp):
- The army refused to put down this revolt
- The workers of Germany did not want a right-wing revolution
- They staged a general strike to stop Kapp and the Feikorps
Economic Crisis - 1922
In 1922, Germany could not pay its reparations (debts to France and the UK)
The French invaded the Rhur (industrial Germany) and the economy went into crisis. As a reponse, the German government startied to print money on a huge scale, leading to hyper-inflation and the collapse of the German currency.
By 1923, there was another extremist party trying to get a hand in; the Nazis.
In 1923, the Nazis staged their own revolution in Munich (the Munich Putsch)
This ended in failure and Hitler's imprisonment: things still weren't quite bad enough for an extreme ideology to be successful.
It was the wall street crash in 1929 (previously explained) that initiated the growth of support for the Nazis and other parties like them.
Use these points in your essays when asked to use 'own knowledge' - think of them as your greatest hits! Inevitably, the sources will not cover all 8 main points so just add the ones that have not been mentioned in at the end of your essay.
The Nazis used emotive slogans and propaganda that spoke to everyone, so that everyone could be reminded of their message constantly. The Nazis used posters, radio, and records. Goebbels was the propaganda minister - and he was very good at his job.
The Role of the SA
The SA caused riots and disrupted the meetings of other parties. It showed that Germany was falling apart and it needed a strong leader: people tend to choose extreme ideologies, when things are bad.
Fear of Communism
Hitler played on the middle classes' fear of Communism. He told them what they wanted to hear and they voted for him. This made up a large proportion of the population.
The Role of Hitler
Hitler was a very good, emotive public speaker. He made good policies that suited the masses, and he was a popular and famous figure. He also organised rallies, which meant that people felt involved in the election process and it gave them some thing to enjoy, to be pround of. This made Hitler very popular.
The Wall Street Crash and the Depression
When things are bad people tend to choose extreme idelologies. Things were so bad in Germany that Hitler could express his wish for a dictatorship, and people would vote.
Dissillusionment with Democracy
The population was so fed up with the greedy Weimar Republic 'democracy' that when Hitler said he would take everything and share it out equally, people jumped at the chance.
The Legacy of the Treaty of Versaille
It was humiliating for the Germans, put them in debt, and made the country smaller. The German people were behind anyone who wanted to try and get rid of it.
Support for Big Business
They met with officials to persuade them that appointing Hitler Chancellor was a good thing. It put him in a position of power.
Why was Hitler appointed Chancellor?
Though the Nazis had been the largest party in the Reichstag since July 1932, Hindenburg and the establishment would not appoint Hitler.
Hitler, however, had persuaded big businesses and the army that it would be good for them.
The political establishment thought that they could control Hitler and the Nazis, while Von Papen believed he could do the same by forming a coalition government, as Hitler then would never be able to have the majority.
Hitler and his
Hitler, like every leader, had many enemies who tried to stop him getting into power:
- Von Papen
- Other parties eg social democrats
- The army
- The SA (Ernst Rohm, the leader, did not agree with Hitler's ideas)
- Trade unions
January 1933 - Hitler becomes Chancellor
Feb 1933 - The Reichstag burns down, Communists are blamed
March 1933 - Hitler has full power for 4 years under the Enabling Act
August 1934 - Hitler becomes Fuhrer
Consolidation of Power
- Centralise power in Hitler's hands
- Deal with the workers
- Deal with the church
- Control the media
- Remove other political parties
- Remove opposition from own party
- Control the police and law courts
- Hitler - Fuhrer
- Goering - Gestapo, air force
- Himmler - SS
- Goebbels - propaganda