Hitler: The people's choice. Is this a sufficient explanation of the Nazi take over in 1933?

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Hitler:  The people’s choice.  Is this a sufficient explanation of the Nazi take over in 1933?

The topic of how Hitler came to power in 1933 has been the subject of much speculation and debate.  Some believe it was that Hitler and the Nazis provided the best range of polices.  Others such s Edgar Feuchtwanger argue that it was because of the economic situation, whilst Craig would argue that it was the fault of those in government.  There is also the viewpoint from those such as Geary that it was the way in which the government (i.e. the constitution) worked that allowed the Nazis to seize power.  In order to come to a conclusion about which factor/factors played the largest role it is necessary to look at each one individually.  

The most rational factor to begin with is the Nazi party themselves.  The party’s policies appealed to a huge range of people, and can be described as what is known as a ‘catch all’ party.  They appealed to both businessmen and workers by promising to ban trade unions and end high interest rates, but at the same time claiming to fix wages and working hours.  They enticed both young and old by giving the elderly adequate insurance and pledging to give higher education to students.  Hitler himself along with the S.A and S.S appeared very glamorous, and used very affective propaganda in order to dazzle as many voters as possible.  In particular they placed great emphasis on the weaknesses of the Weimar and used slogans such as ‘bread not reparations’.  In this way it can be argued that Hitler would be the people’s natural choice.

 However it can be shown that Nazi party policies were only popular during times of despair, and in particular times of economic instability.  For example in 1928, before the Wall Street crash the NSDAP had a mere 12 seats in the Reichstag.  But by September of 1930 this had risen dramatically to 107 – nearly 20% of the over all vote. Nichols points out that without volatility “their movement was waning, a further period of frustration might have finished them off”.  This is not only a Historians point of view as Goebbels himself stated in April 1932, after the effects of the Wall St crash were wearing off, “we must shortly come to power”.  This showed that Nazis needed unrest to become popular.  From this it can be suggested that the Nazis were in-fact not what people would choose but what people felt forced towards. This is supported by the fact that the Nazis were not the only ‘extreme’ party to gain support during the times of instability.  The communists too had a dramatic rise in support, which shows that people were looking desperately for any party to solve their problems.  This suggests an element of irrational behaviour.  

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There are indeed a large amount of Historians who believe that “it is inconceivable that Hitler could ever have come to power had not the Weimar Republic been subjected to the unprecedented strain of a world economic depression” (William Carr).  It is important to note that not only did Germany face problems from the Wall Street crash but also from the crushing terms of the Treaty of Versailles and also massive hyperinflation problems.  Firstly the Wall Street Crash showed to the public that Germany had in-fact been living on “borrowed time as well as on borrowed money” (Stephen Lee). ...

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