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Indeed, the perception that the rise of the NSDAP is accountable to the "failure" of the Weimar government is valid in explaining the phenomenon. Essentially, the "failures" of the Weimar government occurred due to the difficult circumstances

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Word Count: (1647) The perception that the NSDAP "did not win power", but rather the Weimar government had failed is valid to an extent. Indeed, the weaknesses of the Weimar Government were a crucial factor in accounting for the rise of the NSDAP. Due to its birth from post-war defeat, the legitimacy of the Republic was consistently compromised throughout the era, which as a result facilitated the rise to power of the NSDAP. However, it is insufficient to account for its rise solely by the notion that "the Weimar Government had failed", as it disregards the exploitation of democracy by the NSDAP. The NSDAP pro-actively campaigned, infiltrated German society and successfully generated mass appeal. Furthermore, the NSDAP utilized the constitution of Weimar democracy, namely the electoral system which comprised proportional representation. Therefore, the chaotic circumstances of the Weimar era- especially during the Depression- and the compromised legitimacy of the government provided a climate of grievances that the NSDAP capitalized upon. The government's inaction in reforming the entrenched nationalistic sentiments of the traditional army, judiciary and civil service affected the legitimacy of Weimar. Despite the Ebert-Groener pact, the army's agenda was independent of the government and its actions during the Kapp Putsch reflected this autonomy. Furthermore, the Republic's inactivity to "ensure that civil servants...were committed to the democratic political order" (Evans, 2003, pg 99), rendered it reluctant to defend the Republic in times of crisis. ...read more.


knowledge of an imminent world economic collapse- dictated the actions of the government which resulted in the exacerbation of its unpopularity and illegitimacy. The NSDAP capitalized upon the political and social upheaval caused by the Depression. This is demonstrated by the election results of July 1932, where the Nazis dramatically increased its influence to becoming the largest party within the Reichstag. The election of 1930, after Bruning had dissolved the Reichstag, was taken advantage of by the NSDAP and became an opportunity for which it catapulted itself to the second largest party in the Reichstag. This demonstrates the rise of the NSDAP as a result of the fragility of democracy. The voters for the NSDAP were those disenchanted by the Republic and affected by the depression, such as farmers who were forced to live on working-class incomes, the educated middle class who were threatened by communism as a result of the depression and finally the massive unemployment crisis rendered many of the lower middle-class into the arms of the NSDAP. This demonstrates the circumstances of economic upheaval and the resentful mentality of the German people as a means which undermined the Democracy and its legitimacy, which in turn assisted the rise of the NSDAP to power. The disaffection for the fragile democracy provided a context which the NSDAP exploited to broaden its influence and obtain widespread support. ...read more.


Indeed, the perception that the rise of the NSDAP is accountable to the "failure" of the Weimar government is valid in explaining the phenomenon. Essentially, the "failures" of the Weimar government occurred due to the difficult circumstances of the Weimar era, which undermined the Republic and simultaneously established a context of social discontent which was capitalized upon by the NSDAP. However, the notion that the NSDAP "did not win power" fails to consider the enormously successful efforts of the NSDAP to exploit the weaknesses of Weimar, and through such establish its legitimacy and respectability and thus, generate more appeal than any other Nationalist right-wing parties. BIBILIOGRAPHY Nicholls, A.J; (1979) Weimar and the Rise of Hitler, (Making of the Twentieth century series) MacMillan Education LTD, UK McCallum A; (1992) Germany 1918-1945: Democracy to Dictatorship, Heinemann, Australia Evans, R.J; (2003) The Coming of the Third Reich, Penguin Books, UK Newton, D.J; (1990) Germany 1918-1919; From Days of Hope to Years of Horror, Shakespeare Head Press, Australia Bookbinder, P; (1996) Weimar Germany; The Republic of the Reasonable, Manchester University Press, USA Hiden J.W; (1974) The Weimar Republic (Seminal Studies in History Series), Longman Group, 1974 Lee, S; (1989) Nazi Germany, Heinemann Educational, UK Heiber, H (Translated by W.E. Yuill); 1993, The Weimar Republic, Blaxwell Publishers, UK Schoenbaum, D; (1966) Hitler's Social Revolution; Class and Status in Nazi German, 1933-1939, Doubleday, USA Fulbrook, M; (1992) The Divided Nation; 1918-1990, Oxford University Press, UK Peukert, D; (1993) The Weimar Republic, Hill & Wang, USA ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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