The Rise of Hitler and the Nazis

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  • Created on: 03-06-16 22:39

Paper 1 : Development of dictatorship : Germany , 1918-1945

The rise of Hitler and the Nazis

  • Hitler and German Workers' Party

The German Worker Party (DAP)

  • Right wing group founded by Anton Drexler in 1919.
  • DAP members were angry about:
    • Communists and Socialists who brought down the Kaiser
    • Weimar politicians who agreed to the Treaty of Versailles
    • The weakness of democracy as means of government.
    • The Jews, who were blamed for weakening the economy (anti-Semitism)
  • Hitler attended his first meeting in 1919 where there were only 23 members in the group.
  • Hitlers found out that the entire party was only funded by only 7 marks.
  • Hitler had been sent to DAP to spy for the army but later he realised he agreed with the DAP.
  • September 1919, Hitler joined the party.
  • By 1920, he was Anton's right-hand man.
  • Changes to the party 1920-1922

The 25 point programme (1920)

  • Main points: 
    • Scrap the Treaty of Versailles
    • Expand Germany borders to give people it's Lebensraum (living space)
    • Deprive Jews of rights and citizenship
    • Destroying communism
    • Making Germany great again
  • DAP used force and violence to achieve all this.
  • Hitler's public speaking was full of confidence and attracted a large number of people to meetings.
    • Many people were dissatisfied with the Weimar Republic as of 1923.
    • Hitler's excellent and convincing oratory skills attracted support from the army, police, small businesses.
    • Membership grew rapidly to 1,100 people in 1920 from 23 in 1919.

The Growth of Hitler's role in DAP during the 1920s

  • In 1920, Hitler changed DAP's name to NSDAP.
  • Members of the NSDAP were known as Nazis.
  • The party adopted the swastika as its emblem.
  • Members began to use the arm salute as a Nazi characteristic.
  • Members of the NSDAP increased to 3,000.
  • Increased membership boosted party funds which enabled the party to buy the newspaper Beobatcher for 180,000 marks.
    • This meant that the party was able to spread propaganda and Nazi views more efficiently.
  • In 1921, Hitler pushed Anton Drexler aside and became the Party Leader.
  • He gathered powerful party members 
    • Ernst Rohm (founder of SA)
    • Goering (leader of SS, hero of Luftwaffe)
    • Rudolf Hess (Hitler's deputy)
    • Julius Streicher (founder of Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer)
  • He was also close friends with General Ludendorff (leader of German army during WW1)

The Sturmabteilung (SA)

  • Stormtroopers / Brownshirts 
  • Created in 1921.
  • Recruited members were demobilised soldiers from 1919 Treaty of Versailles.
  • The Nazi party's private army.
    • Provided security at Nazi meetings.
    • Acted as bodyguards for Nazi leaders
    • Broke up meetings of opposition groups.
    • Spread Nazi propaganda
    • Intimidated oppositions
    • Gave Nazis appearance of strength and order
  • Causes, Events, Results of Munich Putsch (1923)


  • Hyperinflation
    • Caused Germans to lead a miserable life.
    • Germans had a shortage of goods due to the French occupation in the Ruhr.
    • Germans reacted with passive resistance where workers went on strike.
    • France brought in their own workers and took German resources which were mainly coal.
    • The loss of agricultural land due to the treaty and lack


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