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Outline the successes and failures of the President and Chancellors (1930-32). Compare this with the prospects offered by the Nazis. To what extent did the government's lack of achievement lead to the Nazis' rise to power?

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Introduction

December 2002 Alfie Stroud 12Go Outline the successes and failures of the President and Chancellors (1930-32). Compare this with the prospects offered by the Nazis. To what extent did the government's lack of achievement lead to the Nazis' rise to power? By 1930, Herman M�ller's Grand Coalition government, led by the SPD and including the DDP, Centre Party (Z), DVP and BVP, with 61% of the Reichstag's deputies in all, had been in office for two years. Although they had succeeded in passing the Young Plan of 1929, the coalition was divided over what action to take in response to the Wall Street Crash and resulting depression. The Socialist SPD argued against the cut in unemployment benefits proposed by the DVP. In desperation M�ller requested that President Hindenburg use Article 48 of the German constitution to pass his proposals, a plea that fell on deaf ears. M�ller resigned, dying a year later. Meanwhile, German political opinion was increasingly shifting to either extreme. Particularly in the wake of 1929's Wall Street Crash, the view that Germany was being failed by a succession of weak coalitions came to the fore. ...read more.

Middle

A first election was held in July 1932, in which the Nazis and Communists between them gained half the seats in the Reichstag. Hitler subsequently demanded to be made Chancellor, but Hindenburg held a strong dislike for him and refused. The new Reichstag almost immediately voted no confidence in Papen, causing it to be dissolved in September 1932, sparking an election in November in which the Nazis lost 2 million votes, but the KPD made only gains. The situation looked desperate. Industrialists wanted Hitler appointed Chancellor, but Hindenburg considered that option unworkable. Papen hoped to form an authoritarian military government without the Reichstag, and option far too extreme for the President. Schleicher meanwhile, who had developed widespread support from both Trade Unions on the left, and the NSDAP on the right, eventually persuaded Hindenburg to appoint him Chancellor. Papen had seemed to have failed dramatically, and though his adoption of Br�ning's public works programme had seen unemployment just begin to fall, he had lost too much support to continue. Schleicher was appointed in December 1932, and saw his best option as 'taming' the NSDAP to bring at least one extreme and all its supporters on-side. ...read more.

Conclusion

M�ller, for all his good intentions, was seen as too weak to rule, the infighting of his coalition losing him support. Br�ning's economic policies were a catastrophe for ordinary Germans, and it is little surprise that despite his progress in the international arena the public were put-off him by their worsening lot. Their support for extremists grew, although Br�ning was eventually overthrown only by Hindenburg. Papen was from the outset a laughing stock. He restored the SA in an almost suicidal conciliation to his opponents, and consistently undermined what remained of the democratic process in Germany. He was soon replaced by Schleicher, who failed to make the most of his potential for a widespread support base, and was brought down by past enemies. Four successive Chancellors, and the actions of a President apparently far too easily influenced by those around him - the German elite and landowners in their opposition to land reform, and particularly his son Oskar and General von Schleicher - dug Weimar democracy and the German people with it into a pit so deep that the majority seem to have felt that only Hitler's Nazis could pull them from it. ...read more.

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