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How and why did Hitler come to power in Germany?

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Introduction

Laura Baker, 7232 How And Why Did Hitler Come To Power In Germany? After the First World War there was a lot of disagreement amongst the Germans, starting with the Treaty of Versailles. Following this there was hyperinflation, which made the government even more unpopular. During this time Hitler joined the German Workers Party and soon became leader. Over the next few years, Hitler worked hard to make the Nazi Party become more popular and himself more powerful. The following paragraphs show this in more detail. Following their defeat in the First World War, the Germans signed the armistice on 11th November 1914, believing that the Treaty Of Versailles would reflect the 14 point peace plan drawn up by President Wilson. However on 7th May 1919, they discovered that the treaty was not what they expected. They disliked the treaty for three main reasons. The first was that the completed treaty was much harsher than they thought it would be. Under the terms of the treaty Germany lost over 70,000 square kilometres of land and also made to give up its Empire (source 1, page 23, Brooman is a map showing the parts of Germany that had to be handed over. It is not biased). Germany was forced to reduce the size of its army and navy, and the air force was abolished. This had the effect of weakening Germany to the extent that it would not be able to fight another war. ...read more.

Middle

He mainly watched "The German Workers Party" because although it was poorly organized, he likes its ideas and he joined as member no. "55". Hitler soon became leader of the party and decided to give it a new image. He changed the name to "National Socialist German Workers Party" - abbreviated to Nazi. He also gave the party a new 25-point programme describing its aims. The party adopted a new eye-catching emblem, the swastika. Hitler gave the party more publicity by organizing meetings, putting advertisements in newspapers and putting posters on walls. The party began to grow rapidly and its membership increased from around 50 to over 50thousand in just four years! (Source B2 in assignment booklet is a secondary source that tells us what the Nazi party was like when Hitler joined). The party created an armed force called Sturmabteilung, which translates to storm troopers, and they were nicknamed brown shirts because of their uniform. The Nazi party published its own newspaper to spread its views. Hitler blamed different races for losing the war. He also talked about making Germany a "greater Germany" which only had pure Germans in it, even thought Hitler was originally Austrian. He wanted everyone who was not German to be made to leave the country. He also promised to get rid of the Treaty Of Versailles and to get back the territories lost because of the treaty. Hitler also wanted to set up a dictatorship with him as the dictator. ...read more.

Conclusion

Papen arranged a further election for November but lost some of his seats. He asked Hindenburg to govern by decree but General Schleicher said that this would cause a civil war. Von Papen was forced to resign and was replaced by Schliecher who lasted only 2 months. As Hindenburg had no other choices he had to offer the post to Hitler who became chancellor on 30th January 1933. Hitler wasn't satisfied and wanted to make his position more secure. He arranged another election hoping to increase his seats in the Reichstag. The election took place on March 5th but Hitler still didn't have a majority (source 3, page 59, Brooman shows the number is seats) so he persuaded the Nationalist party to join with the Nazi party which gave him just over half of the seats in the Reichstag. Hitler persuaded the Reichstag to pass an "Enabling Law" which gave him absolute power for 4 years. As this meant a change to Germanys constitution he needed 2/3 of the Reichstag to vote in favour. He achieved this through a threatening presence at the vote. (Source 5, page 60, Brooman was written in 1963 by a Social Democrat. He tells us about the frightening presence that the SA and SS gave). Between March and July 1933 Hitler brought the political system under Nazi control - his "Gleischaltung". By July 1933 the only party still in existence was the Nazi party. In 1934 when Hindenburg died Hitler assumed the title as president as well as chancellor. He took the new title Fuhrer. ...read more.

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