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Why was the Nazi Party weak in the 1920s?

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Introduction

Polly Jackman, 12SAM Why was the Nazi Party weak in the 1920s? During the years 1924 to 1928 Germany enjoyed a period of relative economic prosperity and political and social stability. Stresemann and Schachts work at rebuilding the economy with the Rentenmark had had good effect, and the Dawes Plan allowed the annual repayments to be reduced. Prices were stable and relatively low which meant that German society was stable, because of this there seemed to be no room for extremist political views and people tended to vote more toward centre parties such as the SPD. At this time the Nazi Party had been officially dissolved, and without Hitler (who was in prison for his part in the Munich Putsch) as head begun to break up into warring factions. Several former Nazis had made alliances with other right-wing Parties who contested the 1924 election, ten of whom got into the Reichstag, making Hitler fume at their betrayal. When Hitler was released from prison Germany was much more stable than it had been when he had been sentenced which meant that there was considerably less scope for extremist views to cause upheaval, even when presented by a gifted speaker like Hitler. ...read more.

Middle

The reorganisation of the entire Nazi Party by Hitler allowed him to re-emerge as the 'Fuhrer', admired and aspired to by all other Nazis. When the restructuring of the SA is added to this the Nazi Party became a well-run political party based on a nation-wide structure. Members of the SA were given clearly defined responsibilities, primarily protecting Nazi speakers at meeting, but also spreading Nazi propaganda and organising demonstrations against the Communists and Jews, but their behaviour was more restrained than previously to limit the possibility of them causing the Party to be banned again. The Storm Troopers had a core of young men at their centre, most united in their hatred of Communism, commitment to Hitler, love of excitement and violence and desire for a purpose in life. Half the SA were working class, mostly unemployed, so the free soup, uniform and occasional hostel accommodation that the Nazis provided helped to encourage membership. In 1926 the Hitler Youth was formed to rival other longer established German youth organisations. Groups were also established for professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Loudspeakers, slide shows, films, planes, mass rallies, marches in uniform and drill were all used. Music, lighting and the display of enthusiasm created hyped support for the Party. During the 1924 May and December elections the Nazi Party got no seats, although some Nazis were elected as part of the Volkisch-Nationaler Block. During these elections Hitler was in imprisoned, and the poor election results were probably because of Rosenberg's poor leadership and the Party rifts. The 1928 election showed increased support for the Party, with the Nazis gaining 12 seats. Although the 12 seats of the May 1928 election was nothing compared to the Social Democrats majority of 153 seats it definitely showed that the Party's new tactics and propaganda was working, that the foundations for future success had been laid. If the Wall Street crash had not occurred in October 1929 it is difficult to make judgement over whether the Nazis would still have gained power in a stable environment. However, it was fortuitous for Hitler that the crash did occur because society was ready for any answer to its problems. The extremist views, the answers to questions and blame the Nazis laid on the Weimar Republic was just the solution wanted by the Germans, and allowed Hitler to gain power. ...read more.

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