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No more than a fringe irritant on Weimar politics. How far does this description define the Nazi Party in the 1920s?

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Introduction

?No more than a fringe irritant on Weimar politics?. How far does this description define the Nazi Party in the 1920s? In 1920, the NSDAP, which had been founded by Drexler in 1919, drew up its 25-point programme and Hitler quickly became the driving force behind the party. It has been argued that the Nazi party can be described as ?no more than a fringe irritant on Weimar politics? during the 1920s based on their fluctuating electoral support, internal divides, as well as being just one amongst an array of other extremist parties during this period. However, although this is true to an extent, it is also clear that after the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the Nazi Party exploited the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic which in turn lead to electoral success. Thus, from this point on Hitler and the Nazi Party were of much more significance on Weimar politics. At the start of the 1920s, the NSDAP was a minute force, and even Hitler described at the time that the party was operating ?at a low club level form?. Under Anton Drexler?s leadership, the DAP were very much a fringe irritant contained to a beer hall, designed to air nationalist views and calls for Bavarian Independence. ...read more.

Middle

This was miniscule in comparison to the SPD who won 29.8% of the vote and the Centre Party who won 12.1% of the vote. This serves as evidence of the fact that even in 1928, the Nazi Party was not nationally successful and could therefore still be described as a ?fringe irritant?. However, although the momentum of the party may not have picked up until 1929, the failure of the Munich Putsch in 1923 did have some advantages for Hitler. He turned his trial into a great propaganda success both for himself and for the Nazi cause as he won respect from right-wing nationalists. He played on all his rhetorical skills and evoked admiration for patriotism, thus making himself a national figure for the first time. Hitler?s time in prison, which was reduced to 9 months due to bias of the judiciary, gave him time to write Mein Kampf, formulate his political ideas (although they were still unclear), as well as to accept that the party would need to take power through legal means. Thus, it can be seen that following his release from prison, Hitler worked to make sure that his Party would be in a position to exploit the political situation once circumstances changed in his favour. ...read more.

Conclusion

The increase in rural support along with the fact that Hitler joined the Anti-Young Plan helped to distance himself from the Weimar Republic as well as granting himself and his party respectability and legitimacy. In conclusion, it is undoubtedly true that by 1929 it seemed that Nazism had not taken root and there was no real sign that it could flourish in Germany. The party had few seats in the Reichstag, the Munich Putsch was a failure in terms of taking control, the ?Golden Years? decreased the support for extremist parties and the Nazi Party was very much constrained to Bavaria. However, it is also clear that the onset of the Great Depression provided the circumstances which the Nazi Party, having re-established itself and invested in modern and effective technological propaganda techniques, could exploit in their favour. Thus in 1929, as the party shifted its emphasis to target the depressed agricultural sector; its membership began to rapidly increase again. The Nazi Party may therefore have been not more than a ?fringe irritant? by 1929 but as soon as the Depression was to take effect, the party had constructed an effective party machine with a leader of tremendous political skill and charisma to take advantage of the crisis. From 1929 onwards the Nazi party went from strength to strength, and Hitler?s appointment as Chancellor in 1933 represented the collapse of Weimar politics. ...read more.

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