Explain why and how, Hitler and the NSDAP began to attract some supportfrom people in Germany between 1919 and 1923. There were many reasons why Hitler got into power: the defeat in world warone, Treaty of Versailles, “stab in the back theory”, weak leadership, fearof communist/revolutions, economic impact of world war one, reparations,hyperinflations of 1923, French invasion of the Ruhr. In 1914 at the beginning of the war, the Germens were very confident thatthey were going to win the war. However, by 1917 it was very clear to thearmy’s High Command that they were not going to win the war. The army stillhad a little hope, when Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd in November1917.
Then in 1917, Germany was talking about peace with Russia, which ledto the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918). Under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Germany gained a lot of land from the east. Now they couldconcentrate on the west side of Germany. The extra men helped at first butthe Allies did not give up, and then soon started to gain land. InSeptember 1917, Germany’s army chiefs- Paul von Hindenburg, head of thehigh Commands, and Erich Ludendorff, his senior quartermaster general,realised that it was certain they would not win the war.
Hindenburg andLudendorff cared the most about the army’s reputation. They knew that ifthey lost the war, it would look bad on them, because they were the one whowere responsible of the country while Germany was at war. Therefore, theyasked the Kaiser if their power of the country could be give to civilianpoliticians. Prince Max of Baden, head of the German Red Cross and apolitical moderate, was appointed the Imperial Chancellor, in 1st October1918. However, the army were still sending out propaganda to the people,convincing them that they will win the war even when the army knows theywill not. After four long years of blood, war and propaganda, peoplestarted to believe the posted and advertisements.
Therefore, when theWeimar Government signed the Armistice in 1918, the German people did notunderstand why they had given up. They felt that that the new Governmenthave signed them away to the Allies. They felt as if the Weimar Governmenthas stabbed them in the back. Some people did not believe that they havebeen defeated because they German’s were still in French territory whenthey were asked to stop fighting. Then in June 1919, the German’s were forced to sign the Treaty ofVersailles. NO one liked the Treaty of Versailles because it was so unfair;the German’s were given total blamed for starting the war (the war guiltclause).
They had to pay 66000 million in reparations. All of Germany’sterritories and colonies were taken away then shared out amongst theAllies. Germany’s proud army was reduced to 100,000 men, Conscription wasbanned-the soldiers had to join the army voluntarily, Germany was notallowed any armed vehicles, submarines or aircrafts, the navy was onlyallowed to build six-battle ship, the Rhineland became a demilitarisedzone. This means that no German troops were allowed into that area; theRhineland was important because it was the land separating France andGermany.
Then they were not allowed to join the League of Nations when itopened, which the German people found very insulting. It was very hard to have a stable government because, at times there couldbe up to four or five different parties in the coalition government, thismade it very hard to run a government. All the different parties would havedifferent ideas and they would not be able to agree on anything. The moreparties there are in a coalition government the harder it is to solveproblems, and the shorter time the government would run the country, beforeit collapses and another government is elected. In about 5 years, theycould of when through around 5 to 7 different governments.
This just showswho unstable the country is. This concept must be very hard for the moremature German citizens, because they were used to having strong leadershipall their lives and now they have been through into a very unbalancedleadership. The German economic was in bad shape before the war, the Kaiser thoughtthat Germany was going to win the war for sure, so he took out 100’s ofthousands of marks from international banks. Thinking that he was going towin the war, he thought he could pay off all the dept when he gets thespoils of the war. So even before the war started Germany’s economy was inbad shape.
When the Treaty of Versailles said that Germany had to pay theAllies 66000 million, the German economy was in more strain then ever. They could pay the reparations and the international loans as well, afterthe war Germany’s dept seemed to spiral out of control. When the German has started to lack behind on their payments, France andBelgium got very impatient and took over the industrial heart of Germany,Ruhr. The German army was in no state to fight the French or the Belgiumarmy. Because the French went into the main industrial area of Germany, theGerman government told the worker to go on a passive resistance, and stopworking for the French. The German industrial, heart stopped beating,nothing was being produced.
The French soldiers tried to force the workersbut that did work. Therefore, the French brought some of their men up andmade them work, but they did not get as much produces produced. The Germangovernment was supporting the strike in the Ruhr, so they had to pay allthe people who are on strike therefore they printed more money to pay them. Germany did not have the properties to support their money, so theircurrency started to lose its value.
Because the value is decreasing, thegovernment had to print more money to pay the people, then more money theyprint the les the currency is worth, this went in a vicious circle. Thissituation was called hyperinflation. The hyperinflation scared the Allies a lot, because they scared, thatGermany might catch the communist disease. They know that communist isattracted to poor and run down countries like Germany. The Allies knowsthat Russia would have a strong influence on Germany if they do not dosomething fast. The Allies could see how there were so many revolts goingto in Germany.
This was not a good sign either; they can see that theGerman government is under attack from its own people because their livingconditions or they way that they are living is not satisfactory. These events are why helped Hitler and his party to got into power. How did these events affect the support of Hitler and his party?There are many reasons for that too: More and more people were joining theNSDAP, lots of money from the right wing elites were give to Hitler’sparty, connection with the army, and support from the trial of the Munichputsch. Germany has gone through a lot of pressures and rough spots, after theFirst World War.
In addition, the people were desperate to get theircountry in order. Germany has been a strong and prosperous county beforethe war, now that there is poverty and disorder, people are finding it hardto live with chaos. When the situation in their country gets too much forthem, they believe that they would prefer to have a dictatorship, wherethey have a good leadership, then democracy, where there is no stability. When Germany was going through its hardest times, more and more people weresupporting more extreme political parties. That was one reason why Hitler’s party increased in support from the Germanpeople.
The other reason is that, Hitler had the best oratorical skills. Hejoined the DAP, at first there was not that many people there to listen tohim. However, when he got started more and more people came to listen tohis speech. His speeches especially moved the younger generations, whosupported his racist and aggressive behaviour. The NSDAP was a right wing party, but they did care bout the Kaiser andbutting him back on the throne, apart from that they had the similar ideasas the rest of the right wing parties.
Hitler used to hold speeches at theright wing elites dinner parties, so Hitler had a strong relationship withthe right wing elites. The NSDAP appealed the right wing elites, so theywere ready to give the NSDAP a lot of fund money to run the party. Thismoney helped the party to run and function properly. The army are members of the of the right wing elites, because Hitler hasused to be in the army he had a few connections with the army.
Hitler usedhis oratorical skill to persuade them to help him and his party. Hitlerknew if he had the support of the army then he has a lot of power tothrough around. If the army supported him then he has the power to takeover the Weimar government. The right wing elites also had a private armycalled the Freikorps; they are ex-soldiers who have been kicked out of thearmy, because the Treaty of Versailles said there should only be 100,000men in the army. These men are fighting with a passion because they lovefighting and they love their army, but they have been chucked out of thearmy not because of their lack of skills. With the help from both theFreikorps and the army, Hitler ahs a strong defence.
That is why Hitler encourages and pressed on with the Munich putsch,because he thought that he has all the support he needs and nothing canstop him and his party. He also thought that he would have a lot of supportfrom the public because, there was the passive strike at the Ruhr and nowG. Stresemann is the Chancellor he ordered them to stop the strike and goback to work. Hitler found this very of fencing, because he is believesthat Stresemann is supporting the Treaty of Versailles that is why he wastelling the striker to go back to work. He thought that all the people feltthe same way; he forgot that Stresemann actions helped the people and theeconomy, and Stresemann too hated the Treaty of Versailles.
When the peoplesaw the difference that Stresemann was making to the country, some peoplestarted to stop supporting the extreme parties and stick to the parties inbetween. However, Hitler did still have the support of a general, GeneralLudendorff, and the Nazi storm troopers. When Hitler was caught fortreason, some people thought he was going to serve a life sentence for hiscrime, but he did not. He used the publicity at the trial to improve hisoratorical skills; he gave a speech about he was no criminal because hewant the best for his country and that he did not mean not harm. If he dida crime and that would be, he loved his country too much and would bewilling to do anything to protect it from foreigners. He gained a lot ofpublicity because all the press was there to see that man who was so closeto taking over the government.
All the papers would have every single wordthat he said at the trial, in it. This helped him to spread his opinionsand ideas. ThishowHitlerattractedsupportfrompeopleinGermany.