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Analyse the factors that contribute to Hitler(TM)s rise to power.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Qn: Analyse the factors that contribute to Hitler's rise to power. Essay Plan 1. The situation of Germany/Problems faced by Weimar Government a. The Weimar govt was a coalition - Cannot make decisions effectively, quickly b. Article 48 (links to point on Hitler) c. Depression of 1929-1933 2. Treaty of Versailles a. Real impact it had on economy, society, politics b. How it psychologically impacted the German people 3. The Nazi party's appeal a. Hitler's personality b. Organisation c. SA 4. Great Depression 5. Which one is more important? Look at pgs 154-155 While Hitler's ascent to power is astounding, a few reasons can be attributed to this rise. In order to tackle this problem, we need to look at the background of Weimar Germany and how it could not stand up to Hitler, with focus on the government itself and the Treaty of Versailles. The other reason we need to take into account is Hitler's party's appeal to the masses, which led to his leap to power in the democratic system. Firstly, looking at the Weimar government itself, we can tell that it already faced certain problems ever since it started. It was a coalition of governments, made up of the SPD, BVP, DDP, DNVP, USPD and the DVP. Six political parties. This firstly did not allow for efficient decision-making.

Middle

Hitler was able to effectively use this anger in his propaganda against the Weimar government, such as when he used election posters which highlighted the story of the 'stab in the back', where the German politicians betrayed the German army by signing the Treaty of Versailles. The last factor we see which led to the rise of Hitler was the strengths of the Nazi party itself. Hitler was an extremely charismatic leader who was able to grab the hearts of people who attended his speeches. He moved them and made them believe that under him, Germany would be rebuilt and the German people would have a better life. This can be proven by quoting E. A. Buller, who noted at one of Hitler's speeches that "many of them (the audience) seemed lost to the world around them and were probably unaware of what they were saying. One man... lent forward with his head in his hands, and with a sort of convulsive sob said, 'Gott sei Dank, he understands.'" Such was Hitler's power that it was not very surprising that he would be able to turn his party into the most popular one in Weimar Germany. Another factor was the tactics used by the SA (Sturm-Abteilung), intended to protect Nazi speakers. With membership as high as 500,000 by 1921, they did not hesitate to use violence to suppress any opposition to the Nazis, mostly the communists.

Conclusion

As we know, the main opposition party the SA attacked were the communists. The other groups, no doubt, saw the bloodshed and destruction occurring due to this violence and since none of the other groups had a personal army, or even if they did, most definitely not as large as the SA (which was, as already stated, 500 000 by 1921), they could not afford to compete. Article 48 was, in itself, already a dangerous article in the Weimar constitution, and all it needed was a person who wanted absolute power to abuse it. That person came in the form of Hitler. As for the Treaty of Versailles, even though it did cause much resentment and anger when it initially came out, the anger was buried as the German economy flourished in the mid 1920s. When the Great Depression came, Hitler was able to revive the issue of the Versailles Treaty and used it to attack the legitimacy of the Weimar government. In other words, he made the German populace judge the Weimar republic as the traitors who had caused so much damage and hurt to Germany. If the Nazis had not brought the issue up, it is quite likely that it would not even have been used so effectively to emotionally stir the German populace. Therefore, it can thus be seen that the most important reason for Hitler's rise to power was the appeal of the Nazi party and of Hitler to the German people.

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