Why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933?

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Lizzi M

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Why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933?

On January 30th 1933, President Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor and Von-Papen Vice-Chancellor having previously refused him the position in August 1932 after the Nazi’s great electoral success. Hitler was to become a dictator and a discriminator, with little care for other people’s feelings or emotions so what persuaded Hindenburg to make this surprise appointment? Looking at the event in its historical context, we can see that it was a culmination of long and short-term factors and a built up of events which lead to the decision being made. Some of these factors can be traced back to many years prior to 1933, such as the Treaty of Versailles, which indirectly contributed to Hitler’s appointment whereas other events, such as the Nazi’s targeting certain groups after the Depression of 1929 had a more direct effect on the political decisions.

By 1932 it was almost impossible for the democratic system to work in Germany as the communists and the Nazis controlled the majority of seats in parliament. The result of this was that the two parties could vote together against anything that the government tried to pass – everything from trading to laws and general business could be stopped which was extremely frustrating for the government as they desperately needed to deal with the consequences of the Depression. Each party was doing this for their own reasons however, and where the communists wanted to see a complete breakdown of the system, the Nazi party wanted to prove that the country could not be run without their support. Hitler knew that this would eventually force the government to deal with the party and, in 1932 Hitler was offered the position of Vice-Chancellor under Von-Papen but he refused, demanding that he wanted only to be Chancellor.

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It is obvious from the evidence above that Hitler was, at this time, in quite a strong position and it was also clear that Hindenburg wanted him in his government but that he was very wary, as were a large majority of the elite, of the radicalism and generally vulgar nature of the Nazi movement thus being the reason why Hitler was offered the vice-Chancellorship, as a ‘taming strategy’ for the extremist Nazi party. Hindenburg had seen what Hitler could achieve, from being virtually unknown at the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles and his reaction to ...

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The spelling, grammar and punctuation were average for GCSE level. The sometimes lack of commas, or overuse of commas such that a sentence became three and a half lines (typed) long was most evident in the essay. Perhaps sentence structure in this case could be worked on to further increase the marks. There were two cases of misspelt words: ‘pubic’ instead of ‘public’ and ‘party’ instead of ‘partly’. This evidently shows the lack of checking through the work, which for coursework is absolutely essential. For GCSE level, better would be expected from a history essay for coursework.

The student links the points made into the argument well and the fluency of the essay was sound. However, at times, there was a lack of further developing the evidence in order to support the points made and consolidate the argument overall. Yet, the level of analysis was very high in this essay and it is fair to say, that for GCSE level, it would contribute to a higher mark for the essay. One flaw I would say here is that the student failed to draw out the significance of the Beer Hall Putsch. It was not necessarily the Treaty of Versailles that made Hitler known in Germany – it was more the Putsch and his subsequent time in prison where he wrote his book ‘My Struggle’. This is what shot him to ‘fame’ and gained the Nazis more awareness. In addressing the problem of a strong conclusion, it is sometimes easiest to leave the introduction and conclusion until after the main body of the essay is written. Then going back to add the introduction and conclusion will be easier and quicker as the student now knows exactly what they are arguing and can give a better overview of the question set in the introduction and conclusion because they have just written their argument out.

The student opened the essay with a strong introduction which gave an overview and background to the question asked. However, they failed to formulate a strong conclusion to finish the essay and this was disappointing. They linked their paragraphs well and the structure to the essay served the argument well. The lack of a coherent conclusion flawed the essay deeply as it left the student’s argument ‘hanging in mid-air’. This, consequently, would lower the mark awarded.