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The new Government still couldn't govern properly, and in November
1932, new elections were called. This is how Hitler became master of
There were many factors that contributed to Hitler becoming Chancellor
in 1933. They come under three main headings; Nazi strength,
opposition weaknesses and other factors.
Nazi strength and popularity was one of the main factors.
The Nazis became extremely popular with several groups due to their
policies. Popular policies included dictatorship, as many Germans
believed that bringing back one man rule would solve all their
problems; employment ideas (many Germans were unemployed at the time),
including labourers needed for road building and soldiers for armies.
This would, in turn, help to get German trade moving again.
Supporters of the Nazi party included the military, who resented the
end of the war and the small army Germany was allowed after it;
business people, who feared the growth of communism; Germans, who
thought the government was weak and had betrayed the people in the
peace process and the Versailles treaty; farmers, because food prices
were low and people who disliked the Jews. All this Nazi support meant
more votes for Hitler as Chancellor.
Hitler himself provided the backbone to the party with his confidence
and public speaking skills. In his inspiring speeches he told the
public what they wanted to hear; solutions to problems, scape goats
and promises of a brighter future.
The Nazis controlled the news media with propaganda, making it very
easy to manipulate the public. Josef Goebbels took charge of
propaganda in the party, and campaigns regarded issues such as Jews
foreigners and the November criminals, all of which the German public
could empathise with.
Opposition parties were treated violently, meetings were banned and
they used the SA to terrorise opponents.
The Nazis criticised the Weimar system of government. They felt that
democratic government was failing and that the old system of
government, including the Kaiser, should be brought back into power.
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By April 1932, conditions in Germany had reached breaking point. Over
5 million people were unemployed, poverty and hunger had swept the
nation and the country was in desperate need of a strong Government.
The Weimar Government failed to deal with the depression and solve
Germany's problems as a result, the economy got worse. This left the
German people with no confidence in this 'ineffective' government and
so they looked to extremist groups like the Communists and the Nazis.
The other political parties failed to cooperate with each other. This
was good news for the Nazis as it divided the remaining voters,
meaning that although Hitler could not win the election through having
the majority of the vote, he could win through default.
People living in Germany in 1933 were looking for a party to provide
stability and a return to a good standard of living. They felt that
democracy was weak and dictatorship was strong. The Nazis could
provide this tower of strength needed to get Germany back on its feet.
Other factors contributing to the rise of Hitler included the lack of
political support for the largest party (Weimar republic) therefore
the party found it difficult to pass legislation.
Hindenburg couldn't find a Chancellor who had support in the
Reichstag. To combat this problem, he appointed the inexperienced
'Franz Von Papen'. However, Von Papen couldn't govern so there were
new elections held in June 1932. As a result of these, the Nazis won
230 seats to become the biggest party, but did not have a majority in
the Reichstag. Consequently Hitler then demanded to be Chancellor.
Hindenburg refused as he didn't trust Hitler and instead reappointed
Von Papen. Hitler was then offered the 'Vice-Chancellor's job instead,
on the advice of Von Papen but again he refused and waited for the
next set of elections. In January 1933, Hitler was finally offered
'Chancellorship', Hindenburg and Von Papen foolishly believed that
together they could control Hitler.
The depression was another dominating factor that led to Hitler
becoming Chancellor. It brought hatred to the Government from the
German public and forced them to look towards extreme left and right
The Treaty of Versailles provided a convenient scape goat for the
Nazis and as a result was blamed, by Hitler, for all of Germany's
The terrible memories of the problems of 1923 were still fresh in many
people's minds. The people of Germany feared that this poverty and
public humiliation could strike again.
To conclude I would state that in my opinion, the strong organisation
of the Nazis is what made them dangerous but I believe it is a
combination of the living conditions in Germany at the time and the
need for a change that made Hitler's rise possible.