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Hitler's Rise to Power

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Introduction

Hitler's Rise to Power Looking back at the horrendous events that occurred during the Second World War, many of the people effected or even not so effected often ask the question 'Who let a mad man like Hitler come into power?' The answer is, no one let him come into power, therefore it's probably more accurate, to say 'What enabled Hitler to come to power' To answer this question, one must study the episode from 1918-1935 closely in order to understand the mood in post war Germany that would make such a rash and ludicrous decision possible. Of the many reasons that permitted Hitler to come to power, the core reason was most probably The Economic Depression and this was due to Germanys' unexpected defeat in 1918. Like most countries in post war period, whether defeated or victorious, The economy is usually failing due to all the damage and destruction to industries and the loss of life during the war. However, Germany's economy failed considerably worse than expected. A few years after war ended, German politicians forcefully signed the Peace Treaties that had a terrible impact on Germany. By signing the Treaty, Germany had agreed to accept its terms. Germany had to loose all its colonies, disarm but most harsh of all it had to pay reparations. The reparation figure was �6600 million- an enormous amount, which the Germans thought, was very unreasonable. Nevertheless they had no choice but to pay it back to the allies. In the first year payments were on time however by 1922, Germany fell behind in payments, which caused the French to invade the Ruhr. The German governments ordered the workers to go on strike. The strike meant a great shortage in production and therefore left Germany with no goods to trade and no money to buy things with. This added to Germany's economic problems. The government thought that the solution to all of this was to print more money, and so they did, but the German people soon realised that the money was worthless and couldn't buy anything of use. ...read more.

Middle

He was very flexible in what he actually said to the Germany people and was able to tailor his message to his audience. Most importantly, he was able to appeal both to the socially downtrodden and to the high businessmen as he strongly opposed communism. He was a central rallying figure that gave various nazi groups solidity and attracted more support. Hitler also had a good sense of opportunity and timing. His skills had not only attracted a lot of people but had also impressed Hindenburg and von Papen, they saw that people liked him and therefore in 1933 they appointed him as chancellor, however their intentions weren't in Hitler's interests. During 1930 and 1932, Germany was going through a political crisis. Hindenburgs options were very limited and after all other solutions had failed, he and von Papen decided to use Hitler and his popular appeal to enhance their own power. This turned out to be a fatal, although understandable miscalculation. His decision was a surprising development because Hindenburg disliked Hitler. However he was probably pressurised into the decision by many industrialists and landowners who were concerned about the lack of effective government. They saw the possibility of using the nazis popular support to channel the political system in a more dictatorial direction. Hindenburg appointed Hitler into power, if Hindenburg hadn't made this decision, Hitler could not have become Germanys leader. The fact that Hindenburg and von Papen thought they could control Hitler is an important reason why he came to power. Under the Weimar constitution the President appointed the Chancellor and so they actually invited him to take office; anything else would have meant he would have had to seize power illegally. It did not matter that the Nazis were the largest group in the Reichstag since that had been true in the previous election and Hindenburg had still not appointed Hitler. In fact, the Nazi vote was going down in January 1933 so this was not a good reason for making him Chancellor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Automatically, being anti communist, Hitler blamed the communists by saying that it was their attempt to take over. Ironically, this led to his demand for extra emergency powers which was granted by Hindenburg. He used the these powers to arrest the communists, frighten their followers and disrupt their meetings. Although there is no evidence showing that the Nazi's started the fire, its very likely. It helped Hitler get powers which gained him access to the TV and Radio which he used to promote his campaign. At the election, the Nazi's won the largest share of votes. Hitler finally gained the majority that he needed. Immediately, he passed the enabling act meaning that he could make laws for the next four years without consulting anyone. That's it, it was too late Hitler was in power and was now dictator of Germany. No one could do anything about it because he had achieved it legally. As we can see there were many factors influencing Hitler's rise to power. Personally I don't think some are more important than others. This is because if you take one factor out, then that many other of the events leading to Hitler's rise to power would not have occurred. It is very difficult to separate out the role of one factor. All the events lead to each other event eventually leading to Hitler's dictatorship. If the Treaty of Versailles hadn't been signed, Germany wouldn't have gone into economic depression, Hitler wouldn't have gone ahead with the Munich Putsch, he wouldn't have had a trial and been famous, therefore he wouldn't have been able to show off his communication skills, Hindenburg wouldn't have appointed him and he wouldn't have been able to make the Enabling Act thus he wouldn't have been in power. If we try to remove one factor, the chain is broken and things would have been so different. I conclude bys saying that no factor has priority over another and without all of the factors linked together, there's a great chance that Hitler would have never been able to gain authority over Germany. DAVID MIMRAN HISTORY COURSEWORK 6/05/2004 ...read more.

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