The rise to power of the nazi party


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Nazi rise to power

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The rise to power of the nazi party

  1. 1. The Rise to Power of the Nazi party in Germany 1918-1933
  2. 2. Account for the Nazi Rise to Power in Germany until 1933. 1 - The legacy of WW1 and the impact of the Treaty of Versailles 2 – Hitler’s leadership and abilities 3 – The impact of the Depression 4 – The appeal and popularity of the Nazi Party 5 – The role of the conservative elites and the army Research these and then prioritise and/or combine main points to form a central argument.
  3. 3. 1- The Legacy of ww1 and the treaty of versailles ‘Stab in the Back’ and ‘November Criminals’ mantras fuelled anit-semitism and a sense of betrayal The signing of the Treaty enabled this to be perpetuated creating instability – Spartacist, Kapp Putsch and Communist Uprisings Germany treated differently – communist uprisings in Bavaria created a nationalist backlash giving rise to the formation of right-wing parties like German Workers Party 25 Point program reflected this reaction.
  4. 4. 2 - Hitler’s leadership and political strategy adapted to circumstances. Nature of his rise to leadership by 1920. Lessons learnt from the failed Munich Beer-hall Putsch National exposure during his trial and leniency by the judiciary ‘Mein Kampf’ Reorganisation of the party – Gaus, professional associations and leagues, Hitler Youth Presidential campaign and oratory - appeal tailored to suit audience Reaction to Von Schleicher’s attempt to split the party Refusal to accept position of Vice – Chancellor
  5. 5. 3 – The impacts of the Depression Economic crisis and the failure of the political system to deal with it effectively Rural depression, unemployment and loss of wages Peak of the Nazi vote coincides with peak of unemployment figures End of 32’ Nazi vote dropping, but still largest party in Reichstag After 1930, control of Germany largely with Hindenburg and advisors and on the streets.
  6. 6. 4 -The appeal and popularity of the Nazi Party Linked to economic, social and political circumstances Developed the mechanisms to exploit circumstances Organisation Propaganda and ideology – Hitler’s ‘Fly Over Germany’ – Fuhrer Myth Mass appeal SA and SS
  7. 7. 5 - The role of the conservative elites and the army Misjudgement Von – Papen and Von Schleicher’s strategies both failed Hindenburg’s position
  8. 8. Historiography “….Hitler came to office in 1933 as the result, not of any irresistible revolutionary or national movement …but as part of a shoddy political deal with the “Old Gang” whom he had been attacking for months past.” Alan Bullock The counter-view to this was presented by Hugh Trevor-Roper, an Oxford don who had investigated Hitler’s death for MI6. In his 1953 introduction – entitled ‘The Mind of Adolf Hitler’ – to Hitler’s Secret Conversations (i.e. an edition of Hitler’s ‘Table Talk’), Trevor-Roper presented Hitler as a man ‘convinced of his own rectitude’, who genuinely believed what he told the German people. AJP Taylor, Europe, Grandeur and Decline (1967) , . Taylor was one of the first historians to recognise the statesman in Hitler, who out-manoeuvred his political opponents (‘a man bent on success on the one side, and a group of politicians without ideas or principles on the other’).
  9. 9. William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960), Shirer was an American correspondent who worked in Hitler’s Germany, and experienced events at first hand. ‘there almost certainly would never have been a Third Reich’ without Hitler, who is an example of ‘the power of personality’ in history. Shirer’s Hitler ‘was possessed of a demonic personality, a granite will, uncanny instincts, a cold ruthlessness, a remarkable intellect [and] a soaring imagination’. more important – and continuing – debate is that between the ‘intentionalists’ and the ‘functionalists’. Functionalist historians, essentially, revolted against the intentionalist idea, explicit or implicit in many biographies, that Hitler had, in some way, created the Third Reich.
  10. 10. The respected historian Saul Freidländer is a ‘functionalist’ historian (although he suspects that some functionalists go too far in trying to remove Hitler from the picture). In his book, Nazi Germany and the Jews (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1997, ISBN 0 297 81882 1), Freidländer sees the rise of Hitler as a complex causality, but emphasises what he calls ‘redemptive antiSemitism’ – the mixture of racial and Christian anti-Semitism, mixed with Wagnerian nationalism and fear of Bolshevism, which was seeking a ‘redeemer’ to ‘save’ Germany. Similarly, the historian Daniel Goldhagen, in Hitler’s Willing Executioners (1996) claims that Nazism was the result of a unique ‘eliminationist anti-Semitism’ which developed through the 19th century, and which Germans embraced
  11. 11. Historiography The most recent account of Hitler – Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris (Penguin, 1998, ISBN 0-713-99047-3) – is a broadly functionalist biography. In his narrative, Kershaw seeks to demonstrate that Hitler was created by his environment and propelled to power by it. Kershaw asserts Weber’s definition of charismatic leadership – which claims that hero-worship develops in the needs of the worshipper, not in the character of the hero. Evans, R. The Coming of the Third Reich, 2003 – “What was it then that bound young men to the Nazi movement? Hitler’s charisma obviously played a part….yet…. The dynamism of the party had deeper roots. “As Germany plunged deeper into the depression, growing numbers of middle-class citizens began to see …in the Nazi Party a possible way out of the situation. All would depend on whether the Weimar Republic’s fragile de democratic structures held up under the strain.