y in 1933?The reason why Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, were because ofmany reasons; long term causes like World War One, treaty of Versailles,fear of communism, the November criminals, the early nature of theconstitution1923 crisis. The economic depression 1929-1933; failure of theWeimar government; political crisis 1930-1933; role of the traditionalelites and Hitler’s action, skills and leadership. I believe that all these point are equally important because, if one ofthem had not of occurred then I do not think that another point could havetaken place, all of the points links to each other. The Germans’ were very proud people, they were proud of their country theywere proud of their army.
Their army was very important to the Germans, sowhen they lost the First World War they found it very hard to except. Thiscould be because of the masses of propaganda Germany printed out;therefore, the people were very convinced that they would win the war. Evenduring the last week of the war, Germany still printed propaganda. Some ofthe generals still had hope that they will win because they were still onFrench land when they signed the Armistead. However, others Generals andpoliticians knew there were no chance of them winning, and if they did notsign the Armistead then Germany would be taken over by the Allies. Therefore, the left wing politicians had to make a huge and very importantdecision, whether to carry on with the war and hope they would win or theywould have to sign the Armistead and come to some kind of agreement.
Thegroup of left-wing politicians who had to make this choice were, FriedrichEbert, Hermann Mller and Matthias Erzberger, they were seen as anti-patriotic because they signed the Armistead. General Hindenburg accusedthem of stabbing the nation in the back, by signing the Armistead. Theywere also called “the November criminals” because they signed the treaty ofVersailles, the German people and army would have preferred to die inbattle then to give up. Yet again, the public was not happy by the decisionof their leaders.
This was extremely useful for the anti-republic right,like General Hindenburg who always undermines the new government and itspotential abilities. The Constitution was made in Weimar because the Spartacist revolt which wastaking place in Berlin at that time. Therefore, some articles made in theconstitution were to protect the country from an extreme party revolution,especially from the communist party. Communism was spreading very quicklyand Germany did not want to a communist county, they were very more scaredthat they would become a communist country because they are next to Russia. Then there was the 1923 crisis, Germany could not pay the Alliesreparations because, they just did not have the money to give them. Therefore, France with support from the Belgian took it upon them to getthe reparations, so they invaded the heart of Germany’s industries, theRuhr.
This came as a great shock to the Germans because they were tryingtheir best to pay the reparations on time, but they just did not have themoney. In retaliation, the German government ordered the Ruhr workers to goon strike, passive resistance. This idea hit Germany’s economy reallybadly; Germany was not making anything so they did not have the goods toback up the mark, therefore the value of the mark dropped. The Governmenthad 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.
Thegovernment’s way around this problem was to produce more and more money. The more money the Government produced the less it was worth, they wereprinting money out in billions. However, they needed the money to pay thestriker. This caused the hyperinflation in 1923. Because of thehyperinflation in 1923 all the banks in Germany went bust, therefore anyonewho had their lifesaving in the bank was gone. The worst hit were themiddle class, who were saving up to buy a house or some other reason, andthe old people would affected to because they would not be able buyanything with the money they get from the Government.
All confidence in thefinancial system has been lost because of the collapse of the currency. All these long-term causes had a great impact on the German people, andthey did not want to go through that again. When Hitler and the NSDAP wantto make the Weimar Government look bad then they would remind the peoplewhat they went through, and if they want to go through that again. And ifthey carried on supporting the socialist then hat is what is going tohappen, what the German people need is a strong leader and he can give thatto them if they supported him. Many people found the thought of a one-manleadership very appealing, and then it would be as it was before the worldwar. There was a great economic depression1929-1933.
The agricultural slumphappened much before the great depression and it was world wide too. Thenthere 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 wasbecause of new machinery and equipment that big and rich countries like USAhave that cause the agricultural slump. These big farms would sell alltheir harvest for very cheap prices, so therefore it would be cheaper forpoor countries like Germany to by the product they get from abroad then tobuy them from the farmer in their country.
So the Farmers would soon becomebankrupted, because no one is buying their goods. However, some farmerswould still try to compete with the big farms. Germany was just starting to settle after the crisis in 1923, when the WallStreet crash happened. The stock exchange collapsed in America, October1929. This effect many countries in the world but it would hit Germany themost because its loans are from America.
When America was going through thedepression, it needed all the money it can get from different countries ithad loaned out to, including Germany. Germany was in no state to give backall the money it had borrowed, Germany was just recovering from its lastdepression. When Germany was forced to give back all the money that theyhad borrowed, many businesses became bankrupted because it had no money toborrow to put in the businesses. Therefore, many people were leftunemployed.
By 1932, nearly 30 % of the labour force was unemployed, thatis around 12 million people unemployed. And the Government is spending alot of money from banks to pay them the unemployed benefits. Because money is being taken away from the banks, the five biggest banks inGermany had to close because it went bankrupt. When the main banks start toclose down ten there are huge problems, it will affect nig business, allthe people who have invested in the back, people who saved money in thebank. Yet again, the German economy failed the German people; people werejust getting over the crisis in 1923 and the hyperinflation when they lostall their money again in the great depression.
The economy crashing the first time was good source for Hitler to useagainst the Weimar Government. Now that it has happened the second time,this just show and proves how incompetent the Weimar government really isand he was right about them along. Hitler would of said that, the Weimargovernment have failed them once and now the second time, the who is to saythey would not do it again. Hitler would made out that the WeimarGovernment is doing all of this on purpose because they are anti-patrioticpeople. This would help the Hitler to convince the people of Germany thatwhat they need is a strong figure like him. There were many failures from the Weimar democracy.
They had a minoritygovernment, people started to lose faith in the Government, Article 48 and25 gave the president too much power. There was a political crisis 1930-1933. 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. There was a political crisis 1930-1933, where the coalition governmentfailed to work together and to make new laws. So Hindenburg used his powerto 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 mostindividually, but they did not have enough voted to be a majorityGovernment.
Article 48 and 25 gave the president many powers; the president has morepower then the Reichstag. The presidential election takes place every 7years, and he has strong power against the Reichstag. Under Article 25, thepresident could dissolve the Reichstag in a state of emergency. He couldalso block any new laws by calling a referendum.
Under article 48, he couldsuspend the Reichstag and rule by decree in the case of a nationalemergency. The president also chooses who will become the next chancellor. In 1925 when Hindenburg ran of president, he won just but 3%. But by thenHindenburg was very old, so he depended on his advisers a lot.
His adviserstook 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 heto 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 firstPresidential Chancellor was Heinrch Brning; he was right-wing member ofthe centre party. Brning was very tolerate towards the NSDAP, even whenthey NSDAP was thought to had grouped up with the army, which was veryillegal, but Hitler and his party was let off.
Then there was rumour thatthe NSDAP were plotting to take over the Reichstag again, but Brningdismissed it too. The reason why he did it was, he thought that he couldget the NSDAP on his side and have a majority vote to gat rid of theReichstag, and then to bring back the monarchy. Brning also thought thathe could tame Hitler. Brning’s chancellorship only lasted two years beforehe 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 bevery successful with a minority government.
Because of the instability, the German people were starting to lose theirfaith and patients with the Government. The German people wanted hugeimprovements in their country and they that nothing hah been done about it. Many of the senior generations did not like the idea of a democraticGovernment in the first place and they had not been proved wrong with allthe depressions, revolts, and crisis they had to go through. People have lost their hope in the Reichstag so Hitler could tell them thatif he would get in to power then he would get rid of it and they would havea dictator. Hitler carried on playing with the people’s mind and emotionsto get their support.
Hitler could see that the Government was not I good shape and it would bevery easy to manipulate them; he knew that Hindenburg and his adviserswould want him help. Hitler’s action skills and leadership helped him a lot to get in to powerthe way he planned a new image for his party and to target different areasand 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 whenwas needed. In1924 Hitler promised that he would not start any putsch, other wise theban on the NSDAP would be lifted.
Hitler realised, if wanted power then hehas to follow the democratic method. Even though he hated democracy, and itwould 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 notthe path that he wanted to go down but he knew that if he tried to start aputsch 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 mistaketwo times in a row. Now Hitler was beginning to see himself as a leadertoo, because he had a lot of time to think through all the mistakes he hasmade 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 becomea national party, so they had to have members of their party all across thecountry. 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 intoKreis, which were lead, by Kreislriter. Germany was divided into 35 Gaueand its boards were very clear and organised. Before, it was very difficultto separate each region because it was so unorganised.
Each of the regionsmain aim were to, focus on propaganda, speeches, giving out leaflets; theyalso raised funds for the party to run, nd they were supporting theircandidate standing in for election. The Nazi members would try to get very important people in a community tojoin their party, so that people who admire these people would becomemembers 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 theworking classes vote, so it would be very difficult to gain all muchsupport from them. So they have to look at different classes like themittlestand, they are usually the worst hit when anything goes wrong andthere is not that many parties for them too chose from. Therefore, themittlestand became one of the Nazi’s targets and potential voters.
The Nazihas also targeted the Farmers because they were going through a rough timeand they want support from the government. The party would say one thing tothe Mittlestand and another to the farmers, it did not really mater what issaid as long as the Nazi’s get in to power, they are only saying all ofthis to get the votes, they have no intention of for filling any of thepolices that they have told these people. However, the downfall of the party is, Hitler have given each region a lotof independence. Therefore, they can do what ever they want in their regionas long as they are campaigning for the party.
So different regions seemedto have slightly different policies to another, or have diverse strategiseof campaigning to another. It also brought a lot of rivalry in to theparty, various regions started to compete with each other to get theattention of their leader, Hitler. Hitler encourage this practice, thiscould be because he believe in Darwin’s theory, the survival of thefittest. Hitler believed that through this process he could see who is anatural leader or the strongest leader of all the Gaue. During this period, the Nazi’s were getting a lot of support from theyounger generation, teenagers, young voter. Their main interest was Hitlerand to have him as a leader, as well as the excitement of getting involvedin an extreme, radical party.
Hitler’s confidence of becoming the fhrer has been boosted by the supportand respect he is getting from his party members as well as supports. Gerg Stressa, 1927, “we have the outstanding leader who holds not onlysupreme power but also the love of his followers, a much stronger bindingforce. “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 toremodel them so they would not be as threatening as they looked.
Hitler hadto 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 aheadwith his plan to tone down the SA. Hitler did not care what Rhm said, sohe carried on with his plans, and Rhm was soon replaced by von Pfeffer (anex-Freikorps leader). Hitler did not want to lose too much of the militarystyle so they kept their uniforms and training but made it seem like theywere not a private army.
On Sundays the SA would go out on to the streetsand marching, playing the drums and give out leaflets, it looked like amarching band. It was illegal to have a private army so this was theperfect way of hiding the SA. After all those dramatic changes the Nazi’s had a very disappointing resultat the election on 1928, this could be because, the German economy at thetime was very stable and many a lot of the people were very happy with theway every thing was going. Therefore, they did not see the point in votingfor an extreme party. But that did not stop Hitler from trying again, it was the golden years1924-1929, but after that many things happened, they had the great economicdepression, 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 startingto get bad for Hitler, he lost 4% in the next election, and he was runningout of money. Hitler was asked to become the Chancellor. Hitler had beenasked to be the Chancellor before but they did not give him all that hewanted so he refused to take the place, but the Reichstag were desperate tohave 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 seemedoutrageous to some people, but to other it was a dream to have a one-manleader. This was because the German people had been through a lot and theyjust want it to be just as it used to be before the war. Hitler seemed toknow what the people want to hear. I believe that if one of the main event events had not have happened then Ido not believe that Hitler would have been the leader of Germany. All thepoints link into each other making them equally important. In the ArmyHitler was not seen as a leader.
So it was by chance and circumstance thatHitler had become leader. And all the circumstance and skills helped him tobe the fhrer.