Nazi Germany part a) questions

  • Created by: Olivia
  • Created on: 29-03-13 15:11

Explain why Hitler did not become Chancellor befor

  • Nazi weakness- before 1929 the Nazi Party and Hitler had little success- in 1923 they had 2000 members- the Munich Putsch ended in disaster with Hitler being sent to prison- 1924 election they had 14 seats, in the 1928 election they had 12 seats
  • Hitler's refusal to join coalition- even after the Nazi party became the single largest party in the Reichstag (July 1932) Hitler refused to join a coalition government and would only except role of Chancellor- November 1932 Election the party lost votes because of the frustration caused by Hitler's attitude
  • Economic issues- Weimar government survived the crisis of 1923, Dawes Plan, apparent economic prosperity- 1929 Wall Street Crash caused new economic crisis because of dependency of American loans- increase in support for extreme parties- loss of votes for parties which made up grand coalition which had dominated Weimar politics
  • Attitude of Elites/ President Hindenburg- catalyst for change was the use of presidential decrees in 1929-32- meant the collapse of democracy and greater emphasis on President Hindenburg- he was at first reluctant to make Hitler Chancellor (he despised Nazis, feared changes to the democratic system)- was persuaded by the army and big businesses- saw Nazis as lesser of 2 evils compared to the Communists
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Explain why Nazi ideology was nationalist

  • Strong Nationalist feeling already in Germany- the First World War encouraged many to have strong nationalist feelings in Germany- this was encouraged by the injustice of the Treaty of Versailles (1919)
  • Desire to 'right the wrongs' of Versailles- Nazi leaders wanted to win over the support of the right wing elites- many of these elites felt betrayed and hates nations involved in the Treaty of Versailles- help them gain support/votes/money from elites/politicians/army/nationalist businesses
  • Acceptance of the 'stab in the back myth'- many Germans blamed the 'November Criminals', who signed the armistice to the enemy, for the huge debt and war reparations- encouraged Nationalist reaction within Germany
  • Hitler's influence- he was a German nationalist- he fought for Germnay in WW1- had left multi-racial Austria-Hungary- felt that Austrian defeat in war was because of lack of commitment for country due to lack of nationalism- personally felt betrayal of Versailles- the NSDAP 25 point programme is a clear statement of nationalist ideas
  • Nationalism was an accompaniment to Hitler's belief in the superior German-Aryan race- believed that being German and having Aryan features made you truly German- idea of perfect race allowed Hitler to blame other races for problems- encouraged people to turn against citizens who did not conform to Nazi nationalist view
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Explain why Hitler became Fuhrer in August 1934

  • Death of Hindenburg- created the opportunity for Hitler to combine his post of chancellor with the vacant post for president in a new post- the vacant post stressed the break between the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich
  • View of Hitler- this new position would make Hitler unique and give him special status- he would be more comparable to the absolute and great leaders of Germany's past
  • Position in the NSDAP- he was already the Fuhrer (or leader) of the Nazi party- Nazi ideology believed that the leader could not be questioned and should be blindly obeyed- this new Fuhrerprinzip (Cult of Personality) was now applied to Germany as a whole
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Explain why Hitler was able to overcome political

  • Legal measures meant the dictatorship was valid- the Nazis overcame political opposition as a result of legislation- the Enabling Act gave Hitler the power to rule by decree for four years- the KPD was banned after the Reichstag Fire- the Civil Service Law led to a non-violent purge of democrats and socialists- the Law Against the Establishment of New Parties of July 1933
  • Propaganda- Goebbels as Minister of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment orchestrated extensive propaganda- newspapers and radio brought under Nazi control through variety of methods- worship of Fuhrer roused- those who were politically unreliable were dismissed from the media
  • Terror- the use of targeted terror destroyed potential opponents- use of SA as added police during the March 1933 election campaign- socialist trade union offices were raided and Trade Unions outlawed
  • Most parties voluntarily disbanded- this was due to them supporting a strong government or through their fear of arrest- the public's desire for a strong government and dislike of the middle class lead to widespread support for removing political opposition
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