Hitler's Rise to Power -- Detailed Essay
‘The main reason Hitler was appointed German Chancellor in January 1933 was because of the popular Nazi policies and ideas.’ How far do you agree with this stat
Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party. He was a political leader, formerly in the army, who led Germany into World War Two. Hitler was appointed because of a wide variety of factors. These factors included, his and the Nazi Party’s political ideologies, Hitler’s skills as a politician, weaknesses of the former Weimar government and the economic state of Germany. I do not necessarily think Nazi ideas and Policies were the most important, due to the multitude of other reasons. In this essay I will explore all factors that resulted in Hitler becoming the German Chancellor, on the 30th of January 1933 and assess the most important.
Nazi policies and ideas were extremely important in Hitler’s rise to power. The Nazi party used the dire state of Germany (linking with economic factors) to promise that they would ‘make Germany great again.’ This inspired many people to vote for the Nazis because they were promising hope and prosperity for the future. After a failed revolution in Munich, Hitler was imprisoned. He spent his time writing his book — Mein Kampf. The book, which translates to ‘my struggles’, contained many populist Nazi ideologies. These ideologies included Hitler’s anti-semitic nature, the premise of thousands of jobs to come, the hatred of Communism and how Germany was to be protected from it, the promise of fair wages. All these promises and premises made people hopeful. They suggested that the Nazi party was the best way to be prosperous again. The scapegoating of the Jews gave all Germany and the Nazi party a common enemy; the book, Mein Kampf told people what was to come and inspired people to vote for the Nazi party. Furthermore, Hitler and the Nazi party used movements such as the Hitler Youth to control what the young people thought and assert their authoritarian stamp; this meant that, the Nazis were everywhere and intimidating — increasing the chances of people voting for them through fear. Therefore, the Nazi party policies were important in Hitler’s rise to power, but without the dire economic state of Germany they would not have been as effective because they were built on unhappiness and how to resolve it.
Another reason why Hitler was appointed the German Chancellor was because of his political skills. Hitler was a very able public speaker. His speeches were watched by the masses and many people saw him as an intellectual and amazing speaker. This helped Hitler rise to power because many people watched him and idolised him. Secondly, Hitler was ruthless at his goal to become leader. He burnt down the parliament on the 27th of February 1933 and used it as an excuse to eliminate his political opponents; this is just one example of how ruthless Hitler was and without this determination he perhaps would not have become the Fuhrer or Chancellor. He was also very talented with propaganda and reached a lot of support through posters and advertisements; this helped him reach power because it enabled people to know his name. Therefore, Hitler’s ruthless nature as a politician and his inspiring public speaking skills contributed significantly to his rise to power.
The government before Hitler were called the Weimar government. Hitler exploited the weaknesses of the Weimar to gain political power. In his campaign he focussed on the distaste of the Weimar for signing the Treaty of Versailles. He used the dislike from the German people and intensified it, making himself the only person who could overthrow the Treaty and what the Weimar had done. This was very important to Hitler’s rise to power because it ensured he could focus on the general dislike of the current government and how he could do better. Secondly, Hitler blamed the hyper-inflation on the Weimar government and used it to his advantage. He promised more prosperity than they could offer and people believed him. The unemployment rate in Germany was twenty-five-percent. Hitler further used this to his advantage because he blamed the starvation of the people on the Weimar government and made them hated and a common-enemy. Therefore, Hitler appealed to all the people out of work and gave them the Weimar to hate for their poverty. To summarise, Hitler used the anger and poverty of the people — caused by the Weimar government — and fuelled it to support him. Without the dire state of Germany, undoubtedly in part due to the Weimar government, Hitler would not have been able to rise. But, because there was unhappiness, he provided hope and therefore grew a lot of political power, as a result of the weakness of the Weimar government.
After World War One, Germany was in a poor economic state. The Treaty of Versailles detailed how Germany had to pay back a fee of around $33 billion in today’s money. Germany was unable to pay this, so they loaned from America. However, in 1929 the Wall Street Crash happened in America; this meant that the New York Stock exchange collapsed and thousands of American jobs were lost. To cope with the Crash, the American government recalled their loans. This meant that Germany now owed the $33 Billion, plus the money they had borrowed from America. Germany did not have the money to pay this, so they printed more German Mark. This resulted in the rapid devaluation of the currency, until what had once bought a house could only buy a loaf of bread. This is called hyper-inflation. The hyper-inflation resulted in all the people’s savings becoming worthless. This made the people very angry and poor, it also resulted in a massive drop of jobs to twenty-five-percent of people in unemployment. Hitler used the anger and poor state of the German people and turned it in his favour by promising things, such as higher wages and many more jobs. This resulted with the German people seeing Hitler as the only source of hope, therefore voting for him and massively aiding his rise to power.
To conclude, I disagree with the statement because there were so many other factors that were of more importance at aiding Hitler’s rise to power. In my opinion, the main reason why Hitler was able to rise to power were the economic reasons because Hitler was able to turn the people’s anger into hope and support for him. The Nazi policies were important, but they were definitely not the most important factor in Hitler becoming Chancellor. Therefore, I disagree with the statement.