On 30th January, 1933, Hitler was selected Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg, but why did he get this prominent honour – why did Hitler become Chancellor? There are 4 primary reasons regarding why this occurred, and they are as follows: the Weimar government’s weaknesses; his own management abilities and the Nazis techniques; the Great Depression; and political manoeuvring in between von Schleicher and von Papen. It is to be revealed, however, that it actually down to the involvement of von Schleicher and von Papen that Hitler ended up being the Chancellor of Germany, when he did.
Firstly, Hitler was just able to come to power due to the failure of the previous government, the Weimar Republic. From the start, the Republic had weak points, such as its unstable financial circumstance and its bad image, generally down to the Versailles Treaty. Hitler had the ability to utilize these weak points to his benefit by telling individuals of Germany that he knew how to resolve the economic unrest, and eliminate the Versailles Treaty, which just he could do it.
The weakness of the Weimar likewise motivated the general public to choose extremists celebrations, like the Nazis, in the hope that they would be the lesser of evils.
Next, Hitler had the ability to utilize his leadership skills, and the Nazi Celebration’s methods to win over the citizens. He had a natural present for propaganda and an incredibly aggressive speech design to whip the crowd into a Nazi fuelled frenzy. He likewise believed that it was his fate to end up being the German Fuhrer, which he called the Inevitable Fact, and was based upon a social adaptation of Darwin’s Evolution Theory.
While this may appear like an absurd claim, he did in reality become the Fuhrer, so it is not as improbable as it sounds. Hitler was extremely smart, and while he was kept in mind for his failure in the Munich Putsch of 1923, it seemed to most of the public that he was now intention on accomplishing his power lawfully.
Thirdly, a reason that Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 was because of the Great Depression. Having just recovered from one major economic crisis by borrowing huge sums of money from the Americans, Weimar Germany was hit very hard by the world depression, as the loans from the USA were called in. The Great Depression was a huge blessing for Hitler, as it meant that he could “show-up” the failing Weimar government once and for all, by lying to the public and blaming the Depression on the government. All of Germany’s social classes were hit by the Depression, as it caused huge unemployment, and the largest five banks in the country to close.
In 1928, a year before the Crash, a government report was published stating that the Nazi Party had “no notable influence” on the German public, but after the Wall Street Crash, 1929, suddenly Hitler’s demands started to be accepted, and by the elections of 1930, the Nazis seats in the Reichstag had risen from 12 to 107. During these years, Hitler made many promises to the German people, including a free Volkswagen Beetle to every member of the working class, which led him to a landslide victory in the Reichstag in 1932, with 230 seats.
Finally, it could be argued that Hitler came to power due to other events, particularly political manoeuvring between von Schleicher and von Papen. However, the unstable situation was pushed even closer to the edge when Stresemann died of a sudden heart attack in the same month as the Wall Street Crash. Not only this, but in a government report at roughly the same time, it was announced that the Army was not strong enough to fight off both the Communists, a growing threat, and the Nazis, at the same time. This was a particular threat, as a fear of Communism began to develop throughout Germany, but luckily for the Nazis, Hitler was viewed as the lesser of the two evils. The political manoeuvring by von Schleicher started when he was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg on 3rd December 1932.
Von Papen saw that by early January 1933, von Schleicher was having trouble keeping a majority in the Reichstag, and seeing his chance to win back power, secretly agrees to help Hitler become Chancellor, as long as he gets a place in the Cabinet. By mid-January, von Papen’s requests to Hindenburg for Hitler to become Chancellor are refused, and within a few days, von Schleicher had to resign, due to lack of support from the Reichstag. On 30th January, 1933, persuaded by von Papen, Hindenburg finally concedes to Hitler’s demands, and he and von Papen agree to limit the amount of seats that the Nazis can get in the Reichstag, and use Hitler as a “puppet” Chancellor, hoping that some of the most extreme Nazi policies would be easily rejected, and that by instating Hitler, a civil war could be avoided. Von Papen is appointed as Hitler’s vice-Chancellor, and without knowing it, collectively, the leading German politicians started the road to World War II.
The meddling with the unstable political situation by von Schleicher and von Papen is the most important reason as top why Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, as they actually instated him, giving him the power to effectively do what he wanted with a country that were willing to do anything he wanted, taken in by all of his lies and propaganda.
Weimar and Nazi Germany – Stephen Lee
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