To What Extent Did the Collapse Of the Weimar Republic Lead To The Rise Of Hitler and The Nazi Party? During the process of choosing a topic, I had many ideas that I wanted to research. I thought about exploring areas in Art and English but I constantly kept having thoughts about history. I love to learn about our history and I was attracted to choosing a topic that had to do with Hitler’s Germany. History is one of my most favorite subjects in school. I always look forward to becoming more educated in areas that have to do with our world’s past.
For many years I have briefly learned about The Holocaust, Nazi Germany and Hitler, but I wanted to learn more. Choosing Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party was a common theme that I have always longed to do. Even though I have no family that actually experienced life in Nazi Germany, I have met people who told me amazing stories about their knowledge of Germany during the early twentieth century. Writing a paper on this subject matter will not only be very interesting but at the same time enjoyable to study.
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Adolf Hitler’s rise to power resulted from various factors, one of the most important being the poor leadership in Germany and the economical and political conditions. His ability to influence the media and the entire country of Germany and further taking over Germany’s poor leadership was a result of the collapse of the Weimar Republic. During the early 1920s, Germany was struggling with both economic and political instability. After Germany was destroyed in the Great War, they were forced to sign The Treaty of Versailles. This was the Peace Settlement between the Allies and Germany at the end of the First World War.
The Treaty of Versailles’ hateful terms and unreasonable damages to the German society resulted in undesired economic circumstances. When the Germans heard about the Treaty of Versailles, they felt it was unfair. They had not been allowed to take part in any of the talks and they had just been told to sign. The Weimar Republic was held accountable for many of the damage done during the war. “The treaty had clauses that resulted in areas of land being taken from Germany”. (7) Several maps printed will clearly show that Germany suffered large territorial losses. “The provinces of
Alsace and Lorraine returned to France; parts of Schleswig were ceded to Denmark; to the east, new countries were created to roughly match the ethnic balance of the area and finally, ‘The Polish Corridor’ was created which gave the Poles a broad strip of land that connected it to the sea – and consequently separated Eastern Prussia from the rest of Germany. “(7) Germany did not only loose territories all across Europe. All of Germany’s colonies that were overseas were taken over by the Allies. “In total, Germany lost over one million square miles of land (28,000 of which had previously formed part of European Germany) and 6 million subjects. (7) But not only did Germany loose great amounts of land, they also were held liable for the cost of the. Germany was forced to make payments, called reparations, which would be paid monthly and would total around 6,600 million. (7) In addition, Germany had lost some of their most precious sources of Raw materials as their colonies, and other lands were taken away. These factors would make it harder for Germany’s economy to cope. Limits were also placed on German arms and military strength. The terms of the treaty were humiliating to most Germans.
Since Germany was blamed for just about all the war damage, this brought forward feelings of fear, anger and insecurity towards the Weimar Republic. Hitler built on these feelings and offered the secure and promising alternative of the extremist Nazi party. Although there were many factors that contributed to the rise of Hitler and the collapse of the Weimar republic, Hitler’s ability to build upon people’s frustration with the treaty of Versailles was the primary reason for Hitler’s rise to power. The Treaty of Versailles, signed by the Weimar Republic at the close of WW1, introduced an economic mess and caused a large amount of hardship.
The idea of choosing an extremist group promising better alternatives became a noticeable option to many Germans. The government under Ebert lacked fundamental social and economical reforms. These devastating results of the depression left Germany fearful to what was going to happen next. The terms of the hated treaty angered and frustrated people. Hitler acted upon peoples doubts of recovery and proposed a new way of living. Hitler decided to seize power constitutionally rather than by force of arms. Using demagogic speech-making, Hitler spoke to audiences, calling for the German people to esist the oppression of Jews and Communists, and to create a new empire which would rule the world for 1,000 years. The Nazis gradually work out an electoral strategy to win northern farmers and white collar voters in small towns, which produced an electoral victory in September 1930. They won their support primarily from the lower middle class and the peasantry. “These voters were strongly nationalistic in their political views and feared that the depression would deprive them of their standard of living. In religion, most of the Nazis’ supporters were Protestants.
German Catholics remained firm in their support of the Catholic Center Party. “(3) Rejecting a chance to form a cabinet, the Nazis joined the Communists in violence and disorder between 1931 and 1933. In 1932, Hitler ran for President and won 30% of the vote, forcing the eventual victor, Paul von Hindenburg, into a runoff election. After a bigger victory in July 1932 (44%), Hitler lost the presidential election to WWI veteran Paul von Hindenburg in April. Hitler decided to enter a partnership government as chancellor in January 1933. Upon the death of Hindenburg in August 1934, Hitler was the consensus successor.
With an improving economy, Hitler claimed credit and strengthen his position as a dictator. (2) There were many other different factors that contributed to Hitler’s rise to power. Long-term bitterness amongst Germans formed a large population of supporters because Hitler’s cruelty and expansionism was seen as a need to rebuild Germany. Weaknesses in the Constitution made the government very unstable. The Weimar Constitution could not obtain a government that was strong enough to meet the needs of everyone. Because of sole power given to the president in Article 48 of the constitution, there were numerous adjustments in the government daily.
The system of proportional voting led to 28 parties. Political disorder caused many to lose faith in the new democratic system. Hitler and his new party seemed like the right choice for everyone at this time. Many of the German states had too much of their own power and constantly ignored the government. The government did not even have full control over its own army. Many government officials and citizens of Germany demanded change and wanted to completely wipe out the government. During the crisis of 1929 to 1933, there was no one with the ability to fight to stop Hitler.
Germany also faced many various money problems. Wealthy business men supported Hitler with their money to run his propaganda and election campaigns. The Nazi propaganda influenced the Germans to believe that the Jews were to blame and that Hitler was their last hope. Hitler was seen as a figure that was needed to help restore the natural beauty of Germany. He used various scandalous ideas to help advertise himself and win the election. Hitler used the idea of programme, where he promised the German people different things to make himself seem like a more valuable leader.
Programme appeals to everybody in some way or another. Some of his main points of his programme were to abolish the Treaty of Versailles, expel anyone who was not a “true” German, turn Germany into an anti-Jew country, take over large industries, give out generous old age pension, and have a strong central government. Hitler possessed many excellent personal traits that help him gain popularity amongst German people. He was a luminous speaker, with eyes that had a peculiar power over people. He was a good organiser and politician.
Hitler was an ambitious man, who thought God had called upon him to become the dictator of Germany. This kept him going when people began to lose hope and give up on him. His self-confidence persuaded people to believe in him. After 1929, on the other hand, short-term factors brought Hitler to power. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 made the US unable to pay back its loans to Germany, leading to the collapse of the German economy. The Number of unemployed grew and people starved on the streets. Unemployment rose to twenty five percent, and a little less than fifty percent of school children were starving.
The annual meat consumption fell from fifty two kilograms to twenty six kilograms per person. In general, the German standard of living decreased dramatically. The number of unemployed in1928 was two million and rapidly increases to six million in 1932. Under the terms of the treaty, Germany had to pay reimbursement for all civilian damages caused by the war. In the crisis, people wanted someone to blame, and looked to extreme solutions ??? Hitler offered them both, and Nazi success in the elections grew Germans turned to Nazism because they were desperate.
The number of Nazi seats in the Reichstag rose from 12 in 1928 to 230 in July 1932. Before Hitler won control of Germany, he wrote volume one of Mein Kampf which was published in 1925. This was one of the books that help Hitler with the gaining of his followers. This book was written with many details about Hitler’s radical ideas of German nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Bolshevism. Linked with Social Darwinism, Hitler’s book became the ideological base for the Nazi Party’s racist beliefs and murderous practices. In Mein Kampf, Hitler divides humans into many different categories based on physical appearance.
He established higher and lower orders, and different types of humans all based on their looks and beliefs. At the top of the social charts, according to Hitler, are the German men that have fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Hitler refers to these type of ideal people as an Aryan. He states that the Aryan is the supreme form of the human race in Germany. Since Hitler seemed like key to help with all the problems in Germany, everyone believed his extreme ideas and followed them. And so if this “supreme form of human” was stated to be true by Hitler, then there must be others less supreme then the ideal human.
These less supreme men gained a name as the Untermenschen, or racially inferior. Hitler gave this racially inferior position to Jews and the Slavic peoples, notably the Czechs, Poles, and Russians. In Mein Kampf, Hitler states: “… it [Nazi philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe. (23) Hitler’s radical ideas and believes were followed by many Germans because they thought there was nothing else to do. Once he grabbed the attention of the public’s eye, he easily informed them of his ideas of the superior and inferior races. With all the different factors that contributed to Hitler’s rise to power, many people would defend different aspects. Whether it was the Ineffective Constitution, The Wall Street Crash of 1929, Long-term bitterness amongst Germans, Nazi propaganda or the persuasive Mein Kampf, there were various factors that allegedly led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party.
WEBSITES USED. Cite later; (page 3/4) http://www. johndclare. net/Weimar7. htm http://www. johndclare. net/Weimar6. htm (1)(2)(3)http://www2. dsu. nodak. edu/users/dmeier/Holocaust/hitler. html http://www. johndclare. net/Weimar3. htm#Ineffective http://www. johndclare. net/Weimar_revision. htm (7) http://www. schoolshistory. org. uk/ASLevel_History/week4_versailles. htm (23) http://www. historyplace. com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/kampf. htm Book Stackelberg, Roderick. Hitler’s Germany. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.