The Responsibility of Popular Support for Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933

The Responsibility of Popular Support for Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933

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The Responsibility of Popular Support for Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933

There were many reasons for Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933, we
will explore whether popular support was the main aid for Hitler to
gain the position of Chancellor. However we do know that popular
support was an obvious reason for Hitler being able to get his party
into the dominating position they held in the beginning of 1932.

In 1932, Hitler and the Nazis had a vast net of support ranging from
the lower to upper classes. The Nazis did not limit their support to
only one social or religious group, unlike the centre party. The
classes that the Nazis worked to were adapted to each group to gather
their support. This was shown through the years 1928-1932, as the
support for the Nazis grew. It went from 40 thousand members, 1.03
million votes and 12 Reichstag seats, to 800 000 members, 16.5 million
votes and 230 Reichstag seats. This showed the Nazis were the largest
single party in the Reichstag, it also shows the huge amount of
support the Nazis had and without that support Hitler would not have
been in a position to challenge for Chancellor, making popular support
a large responsibility. Hitler's support was again shown in the
general election of 1932. Hitler won against three other men,
Hindenburg and the leader of the communist party. Hitler's party was
now the largest in the Reichstag, but his support did not exceed that
of the Hindenburg. The fact that Hitler still received 6 million votes
shows it wasn't just the Nazis party that gained great support but
Hitler himself.

If popular support were the only factor for Hitler becoming
Chancellor, it would be strange if he weren't asked. However
unfortunately for Hitler, popular was not the only factor involved in
making him Chancellor. After finally being acknowledged that his party
was the largest in the Reichstag, Hitler decided he should be
recognised further and he should be made Chancellor. On this demand,
Hindenburg refused to grant him the position.

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This humiliated Hitler
but also gave the idea that despite how much support a person might
have, when there is someone higher up Hitler will not get the job. We
know Hindenburg disliked Hitler and this classifies this idea. It
shows us that he would never openly offer Hitler a high position in
his cabinet. This is one factor that reduces the extent of popular
support being responsible for Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933.

Hindenburg dislike for Hitler was so great that he had another set of
elections set up to try and reduce the Nazis vote. This plan worked
well for Hindenburg as it reduced the Nazi vote from 230 seats to 196
seats; however having said that the Nazi party still remained the
largest party in the Reichstag. One reason for the Nazi party
remaining the largest party was that they were receiving a 'protest
vote'. Many people were disappointed and annoyed with the SPD party,
so protested against them in a way which made Hitler's support not all
genuine as they voted for the Nazi party to get at the SPD party. The
reduction in support led to a great deal of friction within the Nazi
party as the drop of support could have meant a loss of control for
Hitler within his own party. As the party was now used to the success
from Hitler, these loss of votes caused major disappointment among the
party. The Nazis were now virtually bankrupt, receiving hardly any
funding from big business' or firms, yet Hitler carried on spending
money that he didn't actually have, this put him and his party under
pressure. More pressure was then put upon Hitler and his leadership
when members of his party started to split, especially the radical
members who waited to revolt and abandon the legalists among the

It was luck that Hitler managed to rise up again, the events leading
to Hitler being offered the Chancellor position again reduces the
responsibility of popular support. Von Papen, the chancellor at the
time was not, in the eyes of Von Schleicher, performing his duties and
was suspected that he was plotting to start a civil war. After Von
Papen was dismissed Von Schleicher put himself forward for the
position of Chancellor. At this point Von Papen wanted to get back at
Von Schleicher for dismissing him in the first place and so he
proceeds to tell Hindenburg that Hitler is the next best man for the
job and not Von Schleicher. Hitler was then offered the position of
Chancellor and entered Hindenburg's cabinet. Even though the Nazis
dominated the Reichstag still only three men (including Hitler) out of
twelve in the cabinet were Nazis.

All other factors were responsible for Hitler becoming Chancellor in
1933, however without the great popular support for Hitler and the
Nazi's he would of never got to being in a position to challenge for
Chancellor and he probably would have been able to get the job on
popular support alone if it wasn't for the strong dislike to Hitler
from Hindenburg. Due to this strong dislike luck amongst other things
played an important role.
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