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What social and economic conditions after World War One led to the rise of the Nazis?

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Introduction

What social and economic conditions after World War One led to the rise of the Nazis? After Germany's embarrassing defeat during World War One, the German people suffered. People felt they needed a new government to put things right in their country again. The Nazis were an emerging party during this time, and due to many social (factors relating to the way in which people relate to each other and their environment) and economic (factors relating to the production, development, and management of material wealth of a country) factors, their popularity grew rapidly. The German people were hungry for change, for a new leader (Adolf Hitler, see right) who could bring back Germany's former pride. The Treaty of Versailles was one of the most important causes that led to Hitler's rise in Germany. From the German point of view the treaty was incredibly harsh and devastating for Germany. The leaders of the allies drew up this treaty to purposely take revenge and weaken Germany. ...read more.

Middle

The German people didn't want communism, which was the other option so they turned to Nazism, as it was the only alternative. People feared that, since they had established themselves from the lower or skilled working classes and they now had a small stake in the world, economic chaos brought about by Communism would drag them back down the ladder. Albert Speer, after seeing Hitler for the first time in 1931 said, "Here it seemed to me was hope.... The perils of Communism could be checked, Hitler persuaded us, and instead of hopeless unemployment, Germany could move towards economic recovery." The wall street crash had led to mass unemployment in Germany and poverty. Hitler promised people recovery from this unemployment and get back on the road to economic recovery. After hyperinflation had occurred shortly after the end of the World War One the German people wanted economic stability to be able to feel safe again and the Nazi party offered this. The Weimar republic had alienated the middle classes through hyperinflation. ...read more.

Conclusion

This helped to cause weakness in the democracy and although the Weimar Republic did have a period of recovery between 1924 and 1929 the Wall Street Crash helped to bring it down again. The republic was weak, crises in a country do happen as they did in Germany but the government has to be able to survive. If it can't survive it leaves the way open for people such as Hitler to work their way to power. People saw Hitler has a way to regain their wealth, he promised jobs and overthrow the Treaty of Versailles. The most important reason why the Weimar Government was destroyed was that the German people blamed the Weimar Government for their suffering. In conclusion, I believe that Hitler was very efficient at using the social and economic problems during that period to his advantage. I would be interested to see if Hitler would have still gained power under different, more positive conditions. In my opinion, I don't believe Hitler should be credited for being a great man, I think he just had a lucky set of circumstances! ...read more.

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