Assess the reasons for Hitler being made chancellor in 1933 (30)
Hitler being made chancellor is what allowed the Nazi part to completely take over the Reichstag and eventually eliminate the concept of the chancellor altogether according to the Fuhrer principle. There are many factors which contributed to Hitler becoming chancellor through the “backstairs intrigue” and they are all inexorably linked to each other. Hitler’s own successes and qualities combined with the favourable to him economic situation in Germany in the 1930s allowed him to take advantage of the failures of the Weimar republic to promulgate his party into a very strong position where he had full support to become chancellor. In this essay, we will examine these factors and evaluate their relative importance to show that the failures of the Weimar republic was the most important factor as they allowed the Nazi party to become popular and Hitler to become chancellor.
Hitler’s personal qualities and actions led up to the point where Hindenberg was forced to make him chancellor to prevent any further unrest in the country through the “backstairs intrigue”. Hitler was a very charismatic orator who promised to restore German honour and overthrow Versailles. His use of simple, straightforward, and extremely emotive slogans allowed the general public to understand him and his views for the country. Whilst in jail in 1924 Hitler developed the Fuhrer principle establishing that Germany needed one clear leader to lead it to prosperity, this appealed to the German population as they were dissatisfied with the failing democracy and large amount of parties constantly in dispute in the Reichstag. Hitler targeted all classes in German society. He earned the support of the farmers by saying that their blood and soil was the bedrock of Germany. Many middle classes supported him because he promised to contain communism and his promise of “Work, Freedom, Bread” gave him some support within the working classes of German society. The bad choices made by the Weimar Republic allowed Hitler to succeed, this lays weight to Ian Kershaw’s argument that “Weimar Germany was a very peculiar, specific theme when people were ready to see the qualities of a national saviour in Hitler”. Indeed, the failures of the Weimar Republic and the tense atmosphere in the political sphere is what made Hitler’s personal qualities so valuable. There would not have been a “backstairs intrigue” if the government was not already under much pressure for the constant appointment of unpopular chancellors.