The failure of the economy, extreme nationalism and the fragile government of Germany in the 1920’s and 30’s could also be seen as the reason for Hitler’s success(Wepman 98). The end of W.W.I left Germany in economic debt, suffering to survive. The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for the war and required them to pay for all the reparations. With many unemployed and homeless, the country was in economic ruins(Heck 120). To try and end their suffering, the German government printed more money, which in turn caused inflation and more problems.
The hyperinflation crisis which was brought about by the government, who thought by printing more notes they were to be able to repay their debts. This only further de valued the German Mark and made living and working in Germany almost impossible. The first half of 1922 saw the US dollar equal approximately 320 marks but by September 1923 hyperinflation was exacerbated and 1 US dollar was the equivalent to 160 million marks. November 1923 saw the peak of hyperinflation with the American dollar being worth a whopping 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks. Throughout these economic waves, Germany witnessed the political instability of the collapse of two government coalitions.
There are a number of important issues which demonstrate the reasons why the Nazi Party gained support and eventual power. Hitler Joined forces with the D.N.V.P. in hope of becoming more popular in a time when Germany was at its most vunerable. Hitler had strong public speaking abilities and as Germany was in a state of unrest socially, economically and politically after their unexpected defeat in world war one, Hitler used this to his advantage in winning over the German people. He targeted the Mittelstand (Middleclass) for votes in the coming elections as due to hyperinflation they had lost their savings and were most discontented and although the Nazi’s only polled 2.6% in May 1928, Hitler had strong support from the north west (10%) and was preparing behind the scenes for when Germany was less affluent and even less stable.
1924-29 as a Golden Age for the Weimar Republic The 1920's were a time of uproar and fear for many Germans. As well as having to come to terms with the loss of the war and also the losses imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, Germans had to cope with political and economic problems such as the rebellions of the 1919and 1920 and then inflation of 1923. The inflation of 1923 had destroyed people's savings, so there was little money in Germanyitself for investment. In 1924, through the Dawes plan, Germany was lent 800million marks by the USA to invest in industry and trade. The economy began to recover.
This opportunity though gave Hitler a chance to make the Nazi party even stronger. Hitler capitalised in on the working class and he unemployed during The Great Depression, as it was these people it most affected. A lot of people also voted for the Nazis because they didn't want communists to be in power so they saw the Nazis as a way of getting rid of them. The Nazis saw their votes rise to 6,000,000 by 1933. The Nazis saw the ever-growing weakness in the Weimar Republic and they used this to their advantage in attacking their policies and ruling.
The reparations figure of £6600 million put Germany into an economic crisis causing the Depression and hyperinflation. The people were furious with the ‘diktat’, and claimed the new Weimar government were to blame for the ‘stab in the back’ which put Germany into a political crisis. People soon came to realise the Treaty as a mistake, and sympathised with Germany because of the harsh Treaty. This aided Hitler in many ways. Firstly, due to political and economic crises, extremists such as Hitler were given more of an opportunity to succeed.
Schacht’s Running of the German Economy In 1933 many problems faced Germany economically, the Nazi party’s main aims were to tackle the serious depression and sort out Germany’s rising unemployment. Germany has poor economic and social organization, Hitler wanted to sort this out so Germany’s economy was geared for War. Another problem was the need to balance deficit payments, the economy needed to recover to increase demand for consumer goods and too bring around re-armament through increased demand of raw materials. The World’s high value market was protectionist and made it hard to increase exports at the time. There was a very real danger of inflation as there was already a growing demand for more money and products.
I am going to examine why the government failed and consequently how Hitler gained power. A variety of reasons led to the failure of the Weimar Government. One of the reasons which led to its demise was the Wall Street Crash in October 1929. Although this event took place in New York, and primarily affected America, the economic depression which followed took it toll on the rest of the world, in particular Germany. After the end of the war, Germany had been punished harshly under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it had been ordered to pay reparations to France and Britain but due to the damage they had to repair to their own country could not afford to pay the huge amount, so took out a loan in the form of the Dawes Plan.
His Nazi party were becoming more and more popular. But how was this happening? I think the main cause of Hitler's popularity and growing votes was because Germany was in such a bad state of depression, and so many people were unemployed. All the political parties, including the Communists, (who Hitler later got rid of,) were making promises to the Germans. The Nazi party was just one of these many parties promising employment for the people.
This helped Hitler because many Germans resented this clause and he could use this to his advantage by protesting Germanys innocence to the masses at Nazi rallies. Another important factor is the reparations clause. This is an important factor because it stated that Germany had to pay £660 Million for the war and when Germany couldn't pay the instalments led to the French taking over the Ruhr region of Germany which in turn led the government ordering a strike. This strike meant Germany didn't have any money to pay the allies. To solve this problem the government printed more money but without the economy to support it caused massive hyperinflation and the first German depression.