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Why was Hitler invited to become Chancellor?

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Introduction

Why was Hitler invited to become Chancellor? In 1932 the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution were clear to all. Due to its careful balance of power and proportional representation, no political leader was strong enough to rule. During this period Germany was effectively being run by 84 year old President Hindenburg. Policy was being set by a tiny group of rich, conservative industrialists and army leaders. The Reichstag offered very little leadership. The heart of the problem was that the Nazis were the largest party. Normally the leader of such a party would become Chancellor, but the other parties in the Reichstag would not work with Hitler. The constitution gave President Hindenburg the right to appoint Chancellor and he did not want Hitler as Chancellor. ...read more.

Middle

Hitler refused to co-operate, so Hindenburg called another election. This was a bad election for the Nazis. Apathy was settling in. In Northeim the Nazis were in financial trouble and made a public appeal for party funds. In an attempt to regain support, the SA and leading Nazis went to church en masse and got a Protestant minister to speak for them. They placed advertisements in the local papers and mobilised all sections of the party to distribute leaflets and tickets to meetings. All this activity was in vain, however - the Nazis lost 267 votes in the town. In Germany as a whole, the thuggery and intimidation by the SA had begun to lose the Nazis support. Their vote fell to 33.1% and they lost 34 seats. ...read more.

Conclusion

22 January: Von Papen asks Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor. Hindenburg refuses. 28 January: Von Schleicher finally has to admit defeat in raising support in the Reichstag. He has to resign. 30 January: Hindenburg wants von Papen back but is advised that re-appointing such an unpopular chancellor might trigger a movement against Hindenburg himself. Von Papen persuades Hindenburg that as long as the number of Nazis in the Cabinet is limited, then even with Hitler as Chancellor the most extreme Nazi policies could be resisted. He also warns that the alternative is a Nazi revolt and civil war. Hindenburg appoints Hitler as Chancellor and von Papen as Vice Chancellor. Hindenburg: Former army leader. Hated Hitler. His main advisers were rich, conservative industrialists and army leaders. Franz von Papen: Rich Catholic nobleman. A favourite of Hindenburg. Distrusted Hitler. General von Schleicher: Former army leader. The main adviser to Hindenburg. Supported von Papen to start with. Distrusted Hitler. ...read more.

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