Role of Events and Conditions:
Before Hitler’s rule Germany was in the middle of a economic crisis due to:
The Treaty of Versailles
Germany had to take full responsibility for the war that meant they had to compensate for the Allies losses, which left them with $6,6 billion worth of debt in 1921.
Germany had hyper-inflation 1923
Germany suffered immensely from the Great Depression as they had loaned large sums of money from USA and after the Wall Street Crash USA wanted their loans back.
The German Weimar Republic political system was weak. It had numerous parties and struggled for one party to obtain a majority.
The political system did not have the public support because of the countries suffering from result of:
Weak economy with high inflation
Fear of communism
The public had no faith in the political leaders after the failure of WW1.
The Treaty of Versailles caused Germany to suffer large territorial losses (1million square miles, 6million subjects)
Territorial losses meant that Germany lost precious sources of raw materials and a major income source (economic)
As a result of the Great Depression, companies throughout Germany were declaring bankruptcy and millions of workers were being laid off.
By January 1933 6,100,000 Germans were unemployed
The popularity for Hitler and the Nazi Party was growing during 1929-1932
Hitler was a very effective public speaker and told the Germans what they wanted to hear;
Germans were the 'master race' that the German government should abolish the terms of the Treaty of Versailles;
Hitler's stormtroopers or S.A. was effective in attacking the Nazis' political opponents. The Nazi party received financial support from wealthy German businessmen. He used this money to pay for his financial campaign. 1932
Became Chancellor and from there changed the laws to turn himself into a dictator. 1933
Role of the leader
Hitler had 3 main aims
1. Abolish the Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty was a reminder to Germany about their embarrassing defeat in WW1.
2. Create a Greater Germany (a country of all the German people).
3. Lebensraum (living space) to conquer land for Germany in Eastern Europe.
The core ideas in Nazism’s were:
Authoritarianism – Absolute obedience to the Führer, Hitler.
Totalitarianism – The government exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life.
Nationalism – complete devotion to Germany
Militarism – power through militant control
Racialism – Belief in a superior race, Aryan Race
Use of force & legal or appearance of legality:
Hitler banned all other political parties.
Censorship was rigorously enforced
Children were taught out of re-written Nazi textbooks and boys were encouraged to join Hitler Youth.
The Enabling Act allowed Hitler to pass any law he wanted.
Any Nazi opponents were imprisoned or sent to concentration camps.
They instilled fear into the population through the persecution of Jews.
Role of propaganda:
Simple propaganda slogans were used to sway public opinions and specific slogans were targeted towards different groups
Nature and extent of support:
The main groups who supported the Nazi’s were
The young, new voters and those who previously had not voted.
The Nazi message had a strong appeal to the young and particularly women
Protestant middle-class voters,
They had lost confidence in the Weimar Republic with the onset of the “Great Depression”
Nazi support was strongest in the Protestant and rural areas of Northern and Eastern Germany
Conservative older voters
They believed Hitler would restore the traditional values of the German past e.g. order and discipline.
This poster of 1932 says: ‘Hitler – our last hope’
C. Analysis and Synthesis
During the late 1910’s to early 1920’s Germany was in