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Hitler: The people's choice. Is this a sufficient explanation of the Nazi take over in 1933?

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Hitler: The people's choice. Is this a sufficient explanation of the Nazi take over in 1933? The topic of how Hitler came to power in 1933 has been the subject of much speculation and debate. Some believe it was that Hitler and the Nazis provided the best range of polices. Others such s Edgar Feuchtwanger argue that it was because of the economic situation, whilst Craig would argue that it was the fault of those in government. There is also the viewpoint from those such as Geary that it was the way in which the government (i.e. the constitution) worked that allowed the Nazis to seize power. In order to come to a conclusion about which factor/factors played the largest role it is necessary to look at each one individually. The most rational factor to begin with is the Nazi party themselves. The party's policies appealed to a huge range of people, and can be described as what is known as a 'catch all' party. They appealed to both businessmen and workers by promising to ban trade unions and end high interest rates, but at the same time claiming to fix wages and working hours. They enticed both young and old by giving the elderly adequate insurance and pledging to give higher education to students. Hitler himself along with the S.A and S.S appeared very glamorous, and used very affective propaganda in order to dazzle as many voters as possible. ...read more.


Nicholls believes "the treaty disillusioned moderate men who might otherwise have supported their new Republic". On signing the so-called 'stab-in-the-back' treaty many immediately assumed that this new democracy was not to be trusted and therefore the population were made anxious to return to their old imperialistic ways. It can be claimed that "timely revision of the peace treaties would have saved the Weimar Republic and saved the peace". However everyone does not support this view, as figures such as Hillgruber believe that "the time when the Republic was most vulnerable to the Treaty of Versailles (1919-1923) was precisely the time it survived". In answer to this statement it can be suggested that this was not a time when it survived, merely a time where its deeply engraved flaws were effectively covered up. The hyperinflation is also claimed to have "confirmed a deep seated dislike of democracy which was thereafter economic distress" (Fulbrook). From looking at the economic situation in Germany it is plausible to say that Hitler really had no role in his coming to power, he was merely there at the right time as people had already been disillusioned by the chaotic economic situation. His appointment was not one by choice; the public were forced into a more extreme answer by their frenzied surroundings. It is also important to note that Hitler could not have been appointed Chancellor without Hindenburg allowing it. ...read more.


However this appears a very na�ve viewpoint. With no experience of Democracy and with such powerful and influential people intent on it failing, such a modern and complicated system was hardly practical. It can be disputed that Hitler was not really the people's choice but that PR exaggerated his support and allowed him a foothold in the Reichstag. Added to this were the ruinous effects of article 48. A key example of its use was during Brunings government where by he used it to force through his rejected budget proposals. Historians such as Arthur Rosenburg have described this event as "the beginning of the end of German democracy". Not only did this cause people to lose faith in democracy, but it also showed the Nazi's how easily a democratic system could be turned into an authoritarian one. This case has also shown how the way was made open for Hitler to come into power, and that it was again not the peoples choice more that Hitler was a lesser of two evils. Whilst it cannot be denied that Hitler did receive a large percentage of the vote, it is still not necessarily true that this means he was the people's choice. The public were forced into more extreme solutions by terrible economic situations, and a mix of weak politicians along with a weak system. People were not necessarily looking for Hitler himself, merely an alternative to what they had. The mistrust of the public and the way in which the political system worked was what allowed Hitler to seize power. ...read more.

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