What was the most important factor in Hitlers rise to power as Chancellor in January 1933?

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What was the most important factor in Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor in January 1933?

Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933 as a result of a combination of interlinked factors; some acted over a long period of time, such as the harsh impact that the Treaty of Versailles had on Germany, but others some short-term in nature, such as the economic depression of 1929. I believe that the long-term animosity and bitterness felt by the German people was caused by the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles. This laid the groundwork for Hitler’s rise to power through the events that the treaty subsequently caused; thereby indirectly proving to be the most important factor in his rise to power.

The Treaty of Versailles was a real issue in German society and many Germans disliked it. The most crippling of the terms were the war reparations as Germany was forced to pay for the damage the war had caused in France and Belgium. The cost was a massive sum of £6,600 million and in addition cost Germany 10% of its industry and 15% of its agricultural land, which made it very unlikely that Germany would ever be able to afford this immense payment. This soon resulted in inflation that sprouted hyperinflation, which made many people hate the Weimar Republic as they believed that it had absolutely no economic credibility and, overall, resulted in making the German people considerably poorer. Another damaging part of the Treaty of Versailles was the War Guilt clause that severely damaged German pride. The Germans greatly resented having the blame thrust upon them for a war that they felt they had fought in self-defence and that they did not think that they had lost.

This resulted in increased nationalistic tendencies and created an underlying bitterness to which Hitler’s viciousness and expansionism appealed, so the people gave him support. Hitler also preached the “Stab in the Back” theory which was very popular at the time and stated that the German Army did not lose World War One but in was instead betrayed by the republicans who overthrew the monarchy. Hitler portrayed the Weimar Republic as the work of the “November Criminals” who used the “Stab in the Back” to seize power while betraying the nation. Propaganda became very important to reinforce Hitler’s image and propaganda minister Goebbels’ portrayal of Weimar as a “morass of corruption, degeneracy, national humiliation and ruthless persecution of the honest national opposition” was undoubtedly popular and further increased the hatred of Weimar. This shows that the Treaty of Versailles was directly responsible not only for the rise in popularity of extremism but also for the failure of Weimar as a whole, as Weimar had to be successful enough to prevent people from voting for extremism. Hitler also managed to convince people that the Jews were to blame for their problems and that he was their last hope.
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This failure of the Weimar Republic was another factor in Hitler’s rise to power. In the peaceful years of the 1920s, the Weimar government seemed to be doing well and had many achievements, mainly due to the work of the then Chancellor, Gustav Stresemann. Stresemann introduced the Dawes plan in 1924, which spread out the payment or reparations and secured American investments which were used to build new factories and stabilised the German economy. He was also responsible for Germany joining the League of Nations in 1926 and signing the Locarno agreement in 1925 which again ensured peace ...

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