During a depression, political trends become extremist and so the Nazis flourished; Hitler offered both a scapegoat and himself as a strong leader to look up to. The depression gave Hitler the edge he needed to gain ninety-five seats in the Reichstag and ultimately progress from the leader of a minority party to the Dictator of the Third Reich. The Depression also drew attention to the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution; as poverty and unemployment increased, respect for the democratic system drastically decreased. The German population did not want to be governed by a democracy as it was such a governing body that signed the Treaty of Versailles. Hatred for this document was still rife in Germany and so Hitler, who openly detested the Treaty, became the obvious choice.
At that time people didn’t take the Nazis anti-Semitic ideas seriously because they were too extreme. Hatred of the Jews and taking over land in Eastern Europe became embarrassing to people in a Germany that was doing well. The SA –what remained of the Friekorps, were very violent and many Germans saw them as hired thugs which put many people off. In conclusion I think the Nazis failed to gain power because the ‘roaring 20’s’ was a time of peace and prosperity. Hitler’s ranting’s about the Jews and the Treaty of Versailles fell upon deaf ears which meant that the Nazi’s message became less appealing and the party lost
Although Germany suffered greatly from a string of after-effects from the brutal Treaty of Versailles, their economic situation was only a small factor in Hitler’s gaining of support. The Great Depression had the most impact on Germany and it lead to mass unemployment and liquidation of businesses, which meant Germans were very desperate for money, and Hitler, being so extreme, seemed an ideal way to solve the problems. The economic problems also showed Hitler’s skill and knowledge, as no other chancellor before him had solved any problems economically, but he managed to. A major part of the reason that Germans turned to Hitler, is Hitler himself. Being incredibly charismatic, and having a great campaign, Hitler was very likeable at first.
‘The Wall Street Crash was the main reason Hitler got into power’. Do you agree? When the Wall Street stock market crashed in 1929 America’s economy was plunged into a depression. This had a big impact on Germany’s economy, as they relied on the loans from America, and was a big reason in the Nazis coming to power. However there were many other factors that contributed towards the Nazis rising to power, for example Propaganda, the weakness of the opposition and the role of Hitler.
However it can be argued that the roots of Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in January 1933 lie in the disaster of the Wall Street Crash of 1829 and the subsequent depression. This economic crash and the rise in unemployment had the important effect of further polarising German politics. The fact that Germany’s growth in the 1920’s had been funded by American capital which was now forced to withdraw hit Germany’s industry hard. Furthermore it was unemployment and the consequential insecurity that so undermined confidence in the present structures. By 1933 over 6 million German workers were unemployed.
‘The most important factor enabling the Nazis to control the people was their use of terror’ The Nazi use of terror played a large role in controlling the people. However there were many other factors such as the desperation of the people and the way the Nazis tapped into what the German people wanted. So terror was a factor but not a determining one. The majority of the German population accepted Hitler and his policies. The Weimar Republic had recently failed and they were still sore about The Treaty of Versailles.
This made people give up hope on the democracy as it was not working and caused people to resort to extremist groups which made the Nazis seem like they were the solution to the problem. This links to Germans viewing the Nazis as an alternative party to support. The rise in unemployment and a renewed fear of communist uprisings gave Hitler’s messages a new importance which increased the support for the Nazis. They had Hitler, someone who could be seen as strong party leader, to be seen as being someone who could prevent a similar crisis from happening again. The Nazi’s had also made promises to solve the problems and promised most groups in Germany what they wanted such as being promised jobs, employers having restored profits, farmers higher prices and shopkeepers protection against competition.
Due to their harsh loss during World War One, Germany and Russia faced economic turmoil. After discovering the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, France forced Germany to not only take full responsibility for World War One but also to pay for all the reparations. Due to the terms of the treaty Germany’s economy fell into shambles. The German economy hit an absolute low when the United States’ dollar was actually worth roughly 4,500,000 German Marks. The Mark was valued so low German people were noted for using it for wallpaper.
There were a number of key threats to the Weimar Republic in the period 1919 to 1923. To an extent one could argue that a major threat to the Republic was the severe economic crisis Germany had to endure after the war. The First World War left Germany with high inflation as much of the cost of the war had been financed by increasing the money supply and the German currency consequently declining in its value. For example, 1923, 4.2 trillion marks were needed to buy $1. The harsh reparation payments by the Treaty Of Versailles ( £6600 million) was indeed a threat to the Weimar Republic.
Due to the failure of the Weimar Republic and general public dissatisfaction arising from poor economic conditions exacerbated by the Treaty of Versailles, coupled with the 1929 Wall Street Crash, German citizens were understandably desperate for change. Until this point in time the Nazi party, and Hitler, had been essentially unpopular. However, the economic situation ensured Hitler’s increasing popularity as the people looked toward more extreme but non-communist ideals. The initial consolidation of Nazi power in 1933 arose from key events such as the reichstag fire, implementation of the Enabling Law, removal of external and internal opposition, and the night of long knives. Although Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazi party was still outnumbered in the cabinet, so when the election was called in February 1933 Hitler knew that he must once again win the support of the public.