Who supported the Nazi party after 1929
Middle classes - thought they could fight off communism
Unemployed - work and bread
Peasant Farmers - believed in Hitlers promises of help
German Nationalists & Former Soldiers - angry about defeat, humiliated by treaty
Young People - inspired by rallies
Nazis promised shelter, food and clothing at a time where this aid was most needed due to the current economic climate.
Key groups that Hitler used:
SA (Brownshirts, Stormtroopers) - Nazis private army, little more than street thugs.
** - Hitlers bodyguards.
Gestapo - secret police.
November Criminals - Weimar politicians who signed the armistice, Hitler believed they stabbed the German people in the back by doing so.
President Hindenburg - President from 1925 - August 1934 (death), well respected WW1 general, member of Germany's powerful aristocracy (The Junkers)
1928-33 Nazi votes increased. Votes for extreme parties like the Communists and Nazis increased after 1929.
1932 Nazis had the biggest party in the Reichstag but did not have overall majority.
Hindenburg appointed his friends as chancellor using his emergency powers however neither Von Papen nor Von Schleicher were popular and could not get their policies passed by the Reichstag and so Hindenburg appointed Hitler in 1933 in the hope he would prevent the Communists from gaining power and because Hindenburg and his military friends believed that they could control Hitler.
Hitlers Problems when he became Chancellor
- Hindenburg still powerful and could get rid of Hitler at any time.
- He still had to follow the Weimar constitution and get permission to pass laws etc.
- The Nazis still did not have an overall majority in the Reichstag and could be outvoted at any time.
The Reichstag fire (1933) helped Hitler to ban the communists as it was supposedly started by a communist Van Der Lubbe.
Hitler then passed the enabling act which allowed him to:
- Put Nazis in charge of different regions of Germany
- Ban Trade Unions so he did not have opposition from workers
- Ban the formation of other parties
- Gain control over some Churches
- Censor newspapers and radios
Problems in 1933
Two obstacles that prevented Hitler from gaining total power were:
- Army and it's senior officers.
- Death of Hindenburg in August 1934
- Night of the Long Knives in 1934,
** killed off opposition to Nazis and leading members of the SA to weaken it as the Army and Hitler became worried about Ernst Rohm's wish to merge the SA with the German Army and the fact that he might try to overthrow Hitler. Killed them off and the German Army promised its support.
Hitler combined the post of chancellor and president to become Fuhrer of Germany.