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From Failed Artist to Fuhrer

The rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party from 1919 - 1934

Andrew Lau

on 23 July 2010

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Transcript of From Failed Artist to Fuhrer

From Failed Artist to Fuhrer The rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party 1919 [pg 22]

After Germany's defeat in WWI, they were blamed for starting it. The Allies severely punish them by signing the Treaty of Versailles

In short, the Treaty affected them by:
taking away land and giving it away to neigbouring countries
reduced the size of their army
Germany forced to pay for reparations

Many Germans disliked the Treaty, because:
it was seen as too harsh [pg 24, source 2]
it was forced upon them [page 24, source 3]
they believed they could have won the war if it wasn't for the socialist politicians
[pg 24, source 4]
The Rise of Hitler [pg36]

Hitler was sent to Munich to keep watch on political extremist groups to find out whether they were a threat to the government.
He liked the ideas of the German Workers Party and decided to join
He rose to become one of its leaders through his emotional and captivating speeches Hitler as Leader

Hitler became the official leader of the Nazi Party in 1921. As leader, he did a whole range of things, he:
Encouraged national pride, militarism and a 'racially pure' Germany
Condemned Jews and exploited anti-semitic feelings that had been around in Europe for centuries
Renamed it the National Socialist German Workers' Party or the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (Nazi for short)
Made the swastika its emblem
Created the Stormtroopers
Issued a 25 point programme describing their aims http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/25points.htm

Growth of the Nazi Party [pg 36]

The Nazi Party, with Hitler at the head rapidly increased in numbers from 6 000 members in 1921 to 50 000+ members in 1923.
They published their own newspapers to spread their views
Held public meetings in beer halls where large audiences could listen in comfort [pg 36, source 6]
Hitler could effectively put across his views through his speeches 1923 [pg 38]

Germans introduce the 'passive resistance campaign' against the French and the Belgians following the Treaty of Versailles. This led to hyperinflation and unemployment.

A while later, the government decides to end the campaign and the French agree to leave. The end of the campaign also led to the end of hyperinflation. Who Joined?

People ranging from lower classes to upper middle classes and aristocracies supported Hitler's views and joined
Lower - 35.9%
Middle - 52.1%
Upper middle and aristocracy - 11.9%

[The Nazi Party: a social profile of members and leaders, 1919-1945, 1983,by Michael H. Kater] The French Leaving the Ruhr [pg 39]

This was bad for extremists such as the Nazis
People began losing interest in the Nazi Party
Many Germans are against the government's decision and form patriotic bands
Hitler merges all these bands and forms a 'German Fighting Union
Forces Bavarian Leader, Ritter von Kahr to comply by pointing a gun at his head during a public meeting
General Ludendorff - a well known war hero, announces that he too supports Hitler

The Munich Beer Hall Putsch [pg 38 - 40]

Hitler, believing he had enough power to perform an armed overthrow of authorities, decides to perform a putsch in Munich. The outcomes were:
The putsch failed miserably
It's leaders were jailed and charged with high treason
The Nazi Party is banned


... Hitler uses his trial in the Courtroom as a publicity stunt and rants for hours against the Weimar Government.
This went on for 24 days, making headline news in every newspaper each day
this meant that everyone could read everything Hitler said in his defence
He was seen as courageous
His fame spread even further throughout Germany and support for the Nazis grew
Hitler's Jail Sentence [pg 40]

The Judges sympathized with Hitler and sentenced him to only 5 years of prison - with eligibility to early parole
Other leaders were given light sentences too
Hitler began his sentence on 1 April 1924
He was released from prison after one year 1925 [pg 40]

While in prison, Hitler wrote 'Mein Kampf' (My Struggle). This book became the base of the Nazi Party's beliefs and practices
Refounding the Nazi Party

In prison, Hitler thought of ways to rise to power once again. He now had a new outlook to this -
‘Instead of working to achieve power by an armed coup, we shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag’. [I Knew Hitler, Kurt Ludecke]

After leaving prison, Hitler was allowed to refound the Nazi Party. [pg 41, source 5] Paul von Hindenburg is elected president
and Germany stablises The Nazi Party Enters Politics

Hitler maneuvered through Nazi Party politics and emerged as the sole leader
The Führerprinzip, or leader principle, established Hitler as the only person to whom members swore loyalty to till death
His strategy was to develop a highly structured party that was capable of competing in future elections

1925 - 1929

From 27 000 members in 1925, they grew to 108 000 members in 1929.
The SA were the 'street brawlers' who used terror to influence people
The SS were a branch within the SA with special duties
The Hitler Youth, the Student League and the Pupil League were open to young Germans
The National Socialist Women's League allowed the involvement of women

Due to a bitter loss in the 1928 election,
the Nazi Party target the rural areas and
small towns. They fuled anti-seminist
views and used propaganda to win them
over. This proved effective with many
people joining - mainly young men of
lower-middle classes. 1929

Germany enters a deep economic depression
Unemployment doubles (1:3) by 1932
The 'Great Coalition Government' collapses
Hindenburg creates a new government made up of a chancellor and cabinet ministers
They rule by decrees instead of law

This was the beginning of the end of Democracy

Nazi Party spends huge amounts of money on propaganda: posters, pamphlets, 8 Newspaper companies, mass rallies and public meetings
Elections take place for a new Reichstag
Nazis increase their seats from 12 to 107
Success for the Nazis (obtained huge support)

[I Knew Hitler – Kurt Ludecke 1938]
Heinrich Bruning was the first man to be elected Chancellor
Franz von Papen takes his place in September 1930 elections
The Nazi Party capture 18.3% of votes to make it the 2nd largest party in the Reichstag 1932

In 1932, Hindenburg's term of presidency was nearing an end - it was time for new elections.
The Nazis double their last amount of votes
They become the largest party
Hitler demands the position of Chancellor following Papens resignation
He is refused this because the Nazis seemed too violent to be given power

General Schleicher is given the role
He lasts only 2months before being deemed incompetent How Hitler Gained Support

Hitler used various ways to gain support:
Using the SA to raid rival's rallies
Hosting concerts, sports days and church parades
Using the SA to attack Communists at a Communist Election Meeting

[a berlin Newspaper, Vossische Zeitung, 18 July 1932]

Hitler is Victorious

With 2 Chancellors gone in only 8mths, Hindenburg is forced to give the leader of the largest party the title of Chancellor - Hitler on the 30th of January 1933 The Reichstag Fire [pg 58]

On the 27th of February 1933, the Reichstag building went up in flames. [pg 58, source 1]
Hitler immediately claimed it was the beginning of a Communist plot.
Hindenburg issued a Decree for the Protection of People and State, which granted Nazis power to deal with the so-called emergency
The Stormtroopers arrested 4000 communists, shut down their newspapers and broke up their meetings
The Enabling Law [pg 59]

This law would give Hitler the power to make laws without the Reichstag's approval
This would make him a dictator
He needed at least two-thirds of the Reichstags approval

On the 24th of March, the voting took place in the Opera House in Berlin
The Results

444 voted in favour
94 voted against

Hitler had become a dictator and Germany ceased to be a democacy
Bringing Germany into Line - 1933 [pg 62]

On the 31st of March, Hitler uses his power to close down the State Parliaments
On the 7th of April, Nazi State Governors are appointed for each State
On the 2nd of May, Nazis break into trade union offices and arrest thousands of officials
Unions were merged into a 'German Working Front' with a Nazi at the head

By July, the only remaining party were the Nazis. On the 14th of July, Hitler issues a law stating that the Nazi Party is the only allowed party and forbade the creation of any other party. [pg 63] Hitler's Last Threat [pg 66]

By 1934, most of Hitler's rivals had been wiped out. The last remaining threat were his own Stormtroopers.
Ernst Rohm - the leader of the Stormtroopers wanted a merge of the SA and the army with him as their leader
Hitler and the Army Generals were against this as they would both lose power The Night of the Long Knives

On the 30th of June 1934, Rohm along with other SA leaders, were taken to prison and shot. This was also known as the 'blood purge'.
Hitler gained the support of the Army Generals and was stronger than ever Hitler Becomes Fuhrer [pg 68]

On the 2nd of August 1934, President Hindenburg dies. Hitler combined the offices of Reich Chancellor and President, declaring himself Führer and Reich Chancellor, also known as the Reichsführer (Leader of the Reich).
Hitler - On Top

After gaining the title of Fuhrer, every soldier swore an oath:
‘I will give unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the German Nation and people.’ [pg 68]

In doing so, the only people who could oppose him - soldiers with guns, had sworn total obedience to him. Hitler now had total power, destroyed democracy and was the strongest man in Germany
Hitler and the SA The Munich Putsch
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