Why was Hitler appointed Chancellor in 1933?

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Why was Hitler appointed Chancellor in 1933?

In the general election of May 1928 the Nazi party received 2.8% of the vote and gained

12 seats, two seats less than they had previously obtained in 1924. This showed a ‘continuing

decline of the radical right’ (K.D Bracher). However, by June 1932, just four years later, the Nazis

gained 230 seats, and had 37% of the popular support. This popular support eventually secured

Hitler the position Chancellor of Germany on the 30th January 1933. The reasons for Hitler’s

growth of support and then being appointed Chancellor shall now be considered.

Prior to 1929, the Nazis developed a sector within their party that dealt only with

propaganda and, therefore, developing increasing levels of popular support. This organisation

was called P01 and was led by Josef Göbells who ran it with the primary principle:

Throw enough mud at a wall and some will stick.”

P01 coordinated Nazi propaganda so that there were specific campaigns on certain themes one

month, and then specific campaigns on other themes the following month. Göbells made sure

that the Nazis campaigned on no more than two issues simultaneously. This meant that the

public were continually hearing the same ideas in many different demonstrations within a small

time period. For example, Hitler and Göbells would give a speech on an issue such as the Treaty

of Versailles and in the same week, the main stories in the Nazi newspapers (Völkisder

Beabechter and Der Stürmer) would also be on the issue of the Treaty of Versailles. This use of

media manipulation combined with poster campaigns (the most famous caption on which being

‘Germany Awake’, which is a good slogan to rouse nationalistic feelings and support for Hitler)

were very important elements used by the nazi propaganda machine to gain popular support. P01

even set up special schools that trained Nazi supporters to make speeches that were on par with

the excellence of Hitler’s, thus meaning that more people would be exposed to rousing speeches

and more people would give their support to the Nazis as a result. Therefore, this continual

bombardment of concordant ideas meant that the German citizens were all very well educated

and aware of Nazi party ideology. Although in 1924-29 German people saw the party as a radical

joke, they were all aware of them, and the propaganda machine was lying in wait ready to take

advantage of any crisis that might arise. Due to the fact they had fully set up an efficient

propaganda organisation, when the economic crisis of 1929 occurred, the Nazis capitalised

immediately on it and did not have to waste any time in setting it up but instead could just reap

the benefits. In this way P01 was important in Hitler gaining the position of Chancellor in 1930

because it had increased his support. A leader of a party within a coalition government is not

appointed Chancellor without large support from the general public and hence gaining support

was an essential element in Hitler’s rise to power. Therefore, the development of P01 before

1929 was a vital ingredient to Hitler becoming Chancellor.

        The SA, a militant organisation within the Nazi Party, was formed pre-1923 and it often

held demonstrations and marches through the streets of Germany. It symbolised strength and

power at a time when Germany was at its lowest and helped the Nazi party to gain the image of

the most anti-communist party in existence. This image of being anti-communist was vital for the

party’s growth of support after 1929. This is demonstrated with the emergence of Brüning’s

budget. After Brüning had his budget passed in 1930 the socialist voter’s felt betrayed as the

budget contained clauses that led to an upto 30% reduction in the income of German people.

Therefore, they started looking for alternatives and their natural inclination was to transfer their

socialist support to the extremists on the left, the conservatives. The middle and upper class were

worried about the increasing threat from communists getting into power because communist rule

would mean a severe threat to their wealth, property and security. The middle and upper class

naturally vote the nationalist party, the DNVP, because Nationalists are associated with being a

better party for the more wealthy people in society. Therefore, when they saw the communists

had a chance to get into power, they voted the extreme right, the Nazi party, and this was largely

due to the fact that pre-1929 the Nazi party had gained the image of the most anti-communist

party in Germany. Therefore, the Nazi part greatly increased their voting support in 1930 because

of the associations they had developed pre-1929 because of the SA organisation. This means that

pre-1929 developments were very important in Hitler becoming Chancellor because they helped

the Nazis to gain support and support is necessary for a leader to gain power.

        Party organisations that were less notorious such as the professional leagues and the

Hitler Jugend, were also set up prior to 1929. The Nazi party gave a home to individual

professions and aimed to specifically attract support from respected, influential people in jobs

that meant large amounts of contact with the public. The NS Lehrerbund (league of teachers),

NS Artezbund (league of doctors) and NS leechtwarherbund (league of judges) all gave homes

and advice to the individual professions, and once they were Nazi party members, they were told

to spread the Nazi word. The citizens of Germany were very likely to listen to people within their

communities who held positions of respect and influence. The doctors, teachers and judges were

all regarded as intelligent and therefore if they casually praised the Nazi party to their clients,

pupils or patients, the citizens would begin to form the opinion that the Nazis were a good

political party, especially combined with their propaganda they were being exposed to. The Hitler

Jugend also gave an image of vigour and youthful dynamism to the party, and people were

attracted to its new ideas and vitality. These developments by the party prior to 1929 became

useful afterwards when crisis hit Germany. The Nazi party were in a position because of these

organisations to influence the voting behaviour of the ordinary people when they were looking

for alternative leadership in Germany in the wake of the Weimar inadequacy. In this way,

developments before 1929 helped to gain them support afterwards and therefore, these

developments were very important in Hitler being made Chancellor as they helped to gain

support and no one is made Chancellor without support

        In 1929, Stresseman introduced the Young Plan which was an alteration of the Dawes

plan. Hitler joined with the DNVP in a public campaign against it, in order to undermine the

Join now!

Weimer Republic. At once Hitler became a National figure again, and although he did not gain

much support from his campaign, the controversial ideas that he was putting forth put him in the

public eye. Hitler was also able to use the finances and organisations of Alfred Hugenberg’s

Nationalists to gain recognition; for example, Hugenberg had a monopoly on billboards and also

shares in film making companies. This meant that Hitler could use billboards and the cinema to

help P01 broadcast his speeches and the Nazi ideas. The Young ...

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