11.1 The Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis
The Depression and the Rise of the Nazis.
In 1929, the stock market in America crashed and sent the USA into a disastrous economic depression. Germany was particularly affected badly. American bankers lost huge amounts of money and in order to counter this, the USA asked the Germans to repay their debt.
This led to a huge economic collapse in Germany, as businesses went bankrupt and unemployment rocketed.
Although the depression affected countries worldwide, Germany was a nation that depended on American loans. It was also difficult for the Weimar Constitution with its complicated but secure system, to make a decision quickly and efficiently.
The 25 Point Programme attracts those who were most vulnerable such as the unemployed, elderly and middle-classes.
Hitler offered the people scapegoats to blame such as the Allies, the ‘November Criminals’ and the Jews. This was clear from the start, that the Nazis thought these ‘scapegoats’ were the reason for Germany’s problems.
In the 1930 elections, the Nazis got 107 seats. In November 1932, they got nearly 200.although, they did not get the majority, and they were the biggest single party.
Why did the Nazi’s succeed in the elections?
When Germany’s government was well established, the propaganda minister, Goebbels came up with his own version of the events from 1929-33 exclaiming that Hitler was meant to become the leader and it was just that Germany had only realised in 1929.
The Nazi campaigning was effective and modern. They relied on slogans, posters and pamphlets. The rallies often encouraged many to give their full enthusiasm and energy into the campaign.
Frequent street battle took place in Germany at the time by Communist gangs and the police. Unemployed workers would also gather on street corners,
This was contrasted by the SA which gave the impression of discipline and order; something that many people believed the nation needed.
The Nazi campaign would often talk about:
- Traditional values, however they were never really clear on what this involved. This made them hard to criticise.
- The Weimar Constitution and how it was unable to solve Germany’s problems.
When the Nazi’s were criticised for a specific policy, they were known to drop it.
Communism was looked down upon in Germany and the people…