y in 1933?The reason why Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, were because of
many reasons; long term causes like World War One, treaty of Versailles,
fear of communism, the November criminals, the early nature of the
constitution1923 crisis. The economic depression 1929-1933; failure of the
Weimar government; political crisis 1930-1933; role of the traditional
elites and Hitler’s action, skills and leadership.
I believe that all these point are equally important because, if one of
them had not of occurred then I do not think that another point could have
taken place, all of the points links to each other.
The Germans’ were very proud people, they were proud of their country they
were proud of their army. Their army was very important to the Germans, so
when they lost the First World War they found it very hard to except. This
could be because of the masses of propaganda Germany printed out;
therefore, the people were very convinced that they would win the war. Even
during the last week of the war, Germany still printed propaganda. Some of
the generals still had hope that they will win because they were still on
French land when they signed the Armistead. However, others Generals and
politicians knew there were no chance of them winning, and if they did not
sign the Armistead then Germany would be taken over by the Allies.
Therefore, the left wing politicians had to make a huge and very important
decision, whether to carry on with the war and hope they would win or they
would have to sign the Armistead and come to some kind of agreement. The
group of left-wing politicians who had to make this choice were, Friedrich
Ebert, Hermann Mller and Matthias Erzberger, they were seen as anti-
patriotic because they signed the Armistead. General Hindenburg accused
them of stabbing the nation in the back, by signing the Armistead. They
were also called “the November criminals” because they signed the treaty of
Versailles, the German people and army would have preferred to die in
battle then to give up. Yet again, the public was not happy by the decision
of their leaders. This was extremely useful for the anti-republic right,
like General Hindenburg who always undermines the new government and its
The Constitution was made in Weimar because the Spartacist revolt which was
taking place in Berlin at that time. Therefore, some articles made in the
constitution were to protect the country from an extreme party revolution,
especially from the communist party. Communism was spreading very quickly
and Germany did not want to a communist county, they were very more scared
that they would become a communist country because they are next to Russia.
Then there was the 1923 crisis, Germany could not pay the Allies
reparations because, they just did not have the money to give them.
Therefore, France with support from the Belgian took it upon them to get
the reparations, so they invaded the heart of Germany’s industries, the
Ruhr. This came as a great shock to the Germans because they were trying
their best to pay the reparations on time, but they just did not have the
money. In retaliation, the German government ordered the Ruhr workers to go
on strike, passive resistance. This idea hit Germany’s economy really
badly; Germany was not making anything so they did not have the goods to
back up the mark, therefore the value of the mark dropped. The Government
had to pay the striker on strike because they asked them to stop working,
yet again the Government was spending money they really did not have. The
government’s way around this problem was to produce more and more money.
The more money the Government produced the less it was worth, they were
printing money out in billions. However, they needed the money to pay the
striker. This caused the hyperinflation in 1923. Because of the
hyperinflation in 1923 all the banks in Germany went bust, therefore anyone
who had their lifesaving in the bank was gone. The worst hit were the
middle class, who were saving up to buy a house or some other reason, and
the old people would affected to because they would not be able buy
anything with the money they get from the Government. All confidence in the
financial system has been lost because of the collapse of the currency.
All these long-term causes had a great impact on the German people, and
they did not want to go through that again. When Hitler and the NSDAP want
to make the Weimar Government look bad then they would remind the people
what they went through, and if they want to go through that again. And if
they carried on supporting the socialist then hat is what is going to
happen, what the German people need is a strong leader and he can give that
to them if they supported him. Many people found the thought of a one-man
leadership very appealing, and then it would be as it was before the world
There was a great economic depression1929-1933. The agricultural slump
happened much before the great depression and it was world wide too. Then
there was the wall start crash, which caused the great depression,
unemployment, banks closing, loan were being called in.
The agricultural slump happened much before the great depression, this was
because of new machinery and equipment that big and rich countries like USA
have that cause the agricultural slump. These big farms would sell all
their harvest for very cheap prices, so therefore it would be cheaper for
poor countries like Germany to by the product they get from abroad then to
buy them from the farmer in their country. So the Farmers would soon become
bankrupted, because no one is buying their goods. However, some farmers
would still try to compete with the big farms.
Germany was just starting to settle after the crisis in 1923, when the Wall
Street crash happened. The stock exchange collapsed in America, October
1929. This effect many countries in the world but it would hit Germany the
most because its loans are from America. When America was going through the
depression, it needed all the money it can get from different countries it
had loaned out to, including Germany. Germany was in no state to give back
all the money it had borrowed, Germany was just recovering from its last
depression. When Germany was forced to give back all the money that they
had borrowed, many businesses became bankrupted because it had no money to
borrow to put in the businesses. Therefore, many people were left
unemployed. By 1932, nearly 30 % of the labour force was unemployed, that
is around 12 million people unemployed. And the Government is spending a
lot of money from banks to pay them the unemployed benefits.
Because money is being taken away from the banks, the five biggest banks in
Germany had to close because it went bankrupt. When the main banks start to
close down ten there are huge problems, it will affect nig business, all
the people who have invested in the back, people who saved money in the
bank. Yet again, the German economy failed the German people; people were
just getting over the crisis in 1923 and the hyperinflation when they lost
all their money again in the great depression.
The economy crashing the first time was good source for Hitler to use
against the Weimar Government. Now that it has happened the second time,
this just show and proves how incompetent the Weimar government really is
and he was right about them along. Hitler would of said that, the Weimar
government have failed them once and now the second time, the who is to say
they would not do it again. Hitler would made out that the Weimar
Government is doing all of this on purpose because they are anti-patriotic
people. This would help the Hitler to convince the people of Germany that
what they need is a strong figure like him.
There were many failures from the Weimar democracy. They had a minority
government, people started to lose faith in the Government, Article 48 and
25 gave the president too much power. There was a political crisis 1930-
It was very hard to have a stable government because, at times there could
be up to four or five different parties in the coalition government, this
made it very hard to run a government. All the different parties would have
different ideas and they would not be able to agree on anything. The more
parties there are in a coalition government the harder it is to solve
problems, and the shorter time the government would run the country, before
it collapses and another government is elected. In about 5 years, they
could of when through around 5 to 7 different governments. This just shows
who unstable the country is. This concept must be very hard for the more
mature German citizens, because they were used to having strong leadership
all their lives and now they have been through into a very unbalanced
There was a political crisis 1930-1933, where the coalition government
failed to work together and to make new laws. So Hindenburg used his power
to dissolve the Reichstag and then to hold another election in July 1932.
In this election, the NSDAP had 37% of the votes, which was the most
individually, but they did not have enough voted to be a majority
Article 48 and 25 gave the president many powers; the president has more
power then the Reichstag. The presidential election takes place every 7
years, and he has strong power against the Reichstag. Under Article 25, the
president could dissolve the Reichstag in a state of emergency. He could
also block any new laws by calling a referendum. Under article 48, he could
suspend the Reichstag and rule by decree in the case of a national
emergency. The president also chooses who will become the next chancellor.
In 1925 when Hindenburg ran of president, he won just but 3%. But by then
Hindenburg was very old, so he depended on his advisers a lot. His advisers
took advantage of the fact he is very old and they told him what to do,
basically if you were on the good side of Hindenburg then you can tell he
to do almost anything with his powers. While Hindenburg was the president,
there was a minority Government, so it was very hard to pass any new laws,
because you need more the 50% of the Reichstag vote to pass laws. The first
Presidential Chancellor was Heinrch Brning; he was right-wing member of
the centre party. Brning was very tolerate towards the NSDAP, even when
they NSDAP was thought to had grouped up with the army, which was very
illegal, but Hitler and his party was let off. Then there was rumour that
the NSDAP were plotting to take over the Reichstag again, but Brning
dismissed it too. The reason why he did it was, he thought that he could
get the NSDAP on his side and have a majority vote to gat rid of the
Reichstag, and then to bring back the monarchy. Brning also thought that
he could tame Hitler. Brning’s chancellorship only lasted two years before
he was forced to resign, because he could bring the unemployment to a halt.
It was very clear that the Presidential Chancellors were not going to be
very successful with a minority government.
Because of the instability, the German people were starting to lose their
faith and patients with the Government. The German people wanted huge
improvements in their country and they that nothing hah been done about it.
Many of the senior generations did not like the idea of a democratic
Government in the first place and they had not been proved wrong with all
the depressions, revolts, and crisis they had to go through.
People have lost their hope in the Reichstag so Hitler could tell them that
if he would get in to power then he would get rid of it and they would have
a dictator. Hitler carried on playing with the people’s mind and emotions
to get their support.
Hitler could see that the Government was not I good shape and it would be
very easy to manipulate them; he knew that Hindenburg and his advisers
would want him help.
Hitler’s action skills and leadership helped him a lot to get in to power
the way he planned a new image for his party and to target different areas
and classes in Germany, he was always one-step ahead of the other parties.
He was stubborn and stood his ground, he knew when he was right and when
In1924 Hitler promised that he would not start any putsch, other wise the
ban on the NSDAP would be lifted. Hitler realised, if wanted power then he
has to follow the democratic method. Even though he hated democracy, and it
would take much longer then a revolution, he knows he had no other choice;
this method was called the path of Legality. The path of Legality is not
the path that he wanted to go down but he knew that if he tried to start a
putsch again then he would be sent to prison for life, this time around.
Moreover, he could not take that risk; Hitler would make the same mistake
two times in a row. Now Hitler was beginning to see himself as a leader
too, because he had a lot of time to think through all the mistakes he has
made and to improve the party further, while he was in prison.
The Nazi party was not a small local party any more; it was going to become
a national party, so they had to have members of their party all across the
country. Hitler made network of parties, each party was in their own Gaue,
and it was led by a Gauleriter, then the Gaue was sub-divided further into
Kreis, which were lead, by Kreislriter. Germany was divided into 35 Gaue
and its boards were very clear and organised. Before, it was very difficult
to separate each region because it was so unorganised. Each of the regions
main aim were to, focus on propaganda, speeches, giving out leaflets; they
also raised funds for the party to run, nd they were supporting their
candidate standing in for election.
The Nazi members would try to get very important people in a community to
join their party, so that people who admire these people would become
members of the party too. They got a lot of member in that way.
Hitler also realised that a lot of the party are trying to attract the
working classes vote, so it would be very difficult to gain all much
support from them. So they have to look at different classes like the
mittlestand, they are usually the worst hit when anything goes wrong and
there is not that many parties for them too chose from. Therefore, the
mittlestand became one of the Nazi’s targets and potential voters. The Nazi
has also targeted the Farmers because they were going through a rough time
and they want support from the government. The party would say one thing to
the Mittlestand and another to the farmers, it did not really mater what is
said as long as the Nazi’s get in to power, they are only saying all of
this to get the votes, they have no intention of for filling any of the
polices that they have told these people.
However, the downfall of the party is, Hitler have given each region a lot
of independence. Therefore, they can do what ever they want in their region
as long as they are campaigning for the party. So different regions seemed
to have slightly different policies to another, or have diverse strategise
of campaigning to another. It also brought a lot of rivalry in to the
party, various regions started to compete with each other to get the
attention of their leader, Hitler. Hitler encourage this practice, this
could be because he believe in Darwin’s theory, the survival of the
fittest. Hitler believed that through this process he could see who is a
natural leader or the strongest leader of all the Gaue.
During this period, the Nazi’s were getting a lot of support from the
younger generation, teenagers, young voter. Their main interest was Hitler
and to have him as a leader, as well as the excitement of getting involved
in an extreme, radical party.
Hitler’s confidence of becoming the fhrer has been boosted by the support
and respect he is getting from his party members as well as supports.
Gerg Stressa, 1927, “we have the outstanding leader who holds not only
supreme power but also the love of his followers, a much stronger binding
This shows that his followers too believe that he is the “supreme” leader,
and he is the on to lead Germany to stability and power.
The only thing that he really had not changed was the SA. Hitler had to
remodel them so they would not be as threatening as they looked. Hitler had
to change them from a military look to more of a peace loving march banned.
The leader of the SA, Rhm said that he would resign if Hitler went ahead
with his plan to tone down the SA. Hitler did not care what Rhm said, so
he carried on with his plans, and Rhm was soon replaced by von Pfeffer (an
ex-Freikorps leader). Hitler did not want to lose too much of the military
style so they kept their uniforms and training but made it seem like they
were not a private army. On Sundays the SA would go out on to the streets
and marching, playing the drums and give out leaflets, it looked like a
marching band. It was illegal to have a private army so this was the
perfect way of hiding the SA.
After all those dramatic changes the Nazi’s had a very disappointing result
at the election on 1928, this could be because, the German economy at the
time was very stable and many a lot of the people were very happy with the
way every thing was going. Therefore, they did not see the point in voting
for an extreme party.
But that did not stop Hitler from trying again, it was the golden years
1924-1929, but after that many things happened, they had the great economic
depression, and people were ready to listen and vote more extreme parties.
So the NSDAP vote in creased from 18% to 37%. Then when thing were starting
to get bad for Hitler, he lost 4% in the next election, and he was running
out of money. Hitler was asked to become the Chancellor. Hitler had been
asked to be the Chancellor before but they did not give him all that he
wanted so he refused to take the place, but the Reichstag were desperate to
have a popular politician, so they soon gave in to some of his demands.
Hitler had proved himself, to the people and politicians, strong, tactical,
stubborn, and determined when needed to be. Even though his ideas seemed
outrageous to some people, but to other it was a dream to have a one-man
leader. This was because the German people had been through a lot and they
just want it to be just as it used to be before the war. Hitler seemed to
know what the people want to hear.
I believe that if one of the main event events had not have happened then I
do not believe that Hitler would have been the leader of Germany. All the
points link into each other making them equally important. In the Army
Hitler was not seen as a leader. So it was by chance and circumstance that
Hitler had become leader. And all the circumstance and skills helped him to
be the fhrer.