On the 3Oth January 1933, Hitler was eventually appointed chancellor of Germany. Hitler attained the chancellorship due to a multitude of reasons. It is my intention throughout this essay to investigate this argument and it is therefore necessary to concentrate on events; months, week and days prior to Hitler’s appointment.
Many would agree that the weaknesses of the constitution played an important role in Hitler coming to power. The voting system was Proportional Representation. Fischer “Proportional Representation allowed extremism to reach the heart of democracy”. This allowed the radical left and right to gain representation within the Reichstag which allowed them to legally exploit and undermine the democratic system from within. Once the Nazis gained entry into the Reichstag they were able to gain a foothold and a platform to build support. With patience and foresight Hitler saw the opportunity to destroy democracy with democracy. Proportional Representation made coalition governments inevitable, it is argued that such governments are weaker than single party governments and are prone to collapse in times of crisis as with Muller’s Grand Coalition in March 193O. This marked the end of Parliamentary government and a switch to Presidential government. The 3 Chancellors prior to Hitler continuously overused Article 48 to bypass the Reichstag and make laws by decree. This undermined the democratic system and accustomed the people of Germany to presidential government rather than parliamentary. The inability of the Weimar politicians and indeed the democratic system to alleviate the misery felt by millions led many to lose faith in the system and look to the extremes for salvation. This led to a dramatic increase in support for the Nazis as for example in September 193O they had 1O7 seats which then rose to 23O seats in July 1932, this would eventually lead to the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor.
When assessing the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis it is necessary to look at the personal role of Hitler. Bullock recognises the importance of Hitler’s personality and charisma when explaining how he came to power he states “He identified people’s ills and grievances, manipulated their thoughts and emotions and promised solutions to their problems. Strasser “His words went like an arrow to their target, touching each private would on the raw”. Goebbels agreed, “He is promptly transformed into one of the greatest speakers of the century”. Hitler was able to captivate and hypnotise his audiences. It was these abilities of Hitler that attracted many to support the Nazis. His passion and conviction led to millions being converted to Nazism. Without Hitler at the helm it is very unlikely that the Nazi’s would have become that largest political party.
After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 the Nazis consistent and hostile message began to strike a chord with those who were increasingly dishearted and disillusioned with the Weimar Republic. Large scale entrepreneurial farmers faced great hardship and had solid reasons to change their political allegiance from the National, conservative DNVP or Catholic centre party and…