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How did Hitler become the Fuhrer?
Transcript of How did Hitler become the Fuhrer?
Was the president of the Weimar Republic in Germany from 1925-1934, Hitler took over at his death. Hindenburg in some ways delayed Hitler becoming Fuhrer as he was popular so Hitler wouldn't try to overthrow him but he also helped Hitler in some ways. Hindenburg dismissed Bruning because he wanted to create economic reforms which increased Hindenburgs fear of communism, however, Bruning was probably Germany's last hope. After this, he also appointed Hitler as chancellor in January 1933. Although he disliked Hitler he gave him this role as his son persuaded him he could keep control of Hitler.
But Hitler was not controlled and these mistakes made it easier for Hitler to get more power.
The SA (brown shirts/ stormtroopers) 1921
Were Hitler's private army, their job was to disrupt opponents and protect Hitler and were key in destroying opposition in many elections. By 1934 they had 4,500,000 members. The first leader was Ernst Roehm until he was replaced by Himmler in 1925 because Roehm wanted a greater say so other members like Himmler conspired to turn Hitler against Roehm. They told Hitler that Roehm was working for the French to overthrow him. Although Hitler liked Roehm, he removed Roehm because he feared that he would get too powerful and overthrow him as well as other reasons (Roehm being homosexual and having socialist views)
This lead to the night of Long Knives to remove Roehm and other members Hitler wanted to be rid of.
Hitler Becomes Fuhrer!
The Treaty of Versailles 1919
This treaty between Germany and the allies was signed after WW1, the treaty kept Germany weak to pay for the damage done in WW1 but strong enough to not resort to communism but the German people felt they were paying for their government's mistakes and the treaty had a bad reaction. The reason it was signed was that the choice was between signing or getting invaded by the allies.
The treaty's terms were to take land off Germany and give to other countries like France and Poland, their military reduced and restricted (e.g were not allowed an air force), they had to pay reparations to other countries to pay for damage done in the war (this looked like the allies were trying to bankrupt Germany) and they had to take responsibility for causing the war and the damage caused (war guilt clause 231)
How did this help Hitler become Fuhrer?
The German people were unhappy about the treaty being signed, feeling like the allies wanted to make them bankrupt, like they were paying for their governments choices and felt like the treaty was forced upon them. Hitler said he'd get rid of this treaty meaning Germany would no longer be bankrupt and the German people would have better lives. The treaty also made Germans hate the Weimar Republic which Hitler also said he'd get rid of.
The Weimar Republic 1919-1933
This was the federal republic formed after the Kaiser abdicated and lasted until Hitler became fuhrer. It was meant to make Germany more stable and consisted of a president, chancellor and a Reichstag, who are voted in. Despite being made to make Germany stable, a major weakness was Article 48 and proportional representation. It also made mistakes which lead to hyper inflation and making the republic very unpopular.
Proportional representation was instead of MPs, the number of seats a part got was proportional to votes, there was never a majority so no laws got passed.
Article 48 allowed the president to make laws without the Reichstag and Hitler would eventually use this.
How did this help Hitler become Fuhrer?
Despite the Weimar Republic sending Hitler into jail in 1923, the republic helped him eventually become the fuhrer through their weaknesses. They made many mistakes so were unpopular and it made people want a change and the nazi party were an extreme change. They also helped by having article 48 which Hitler would use when he came into some power to give him more by creating his own laws.
The Reichstag Fire 1933 (Feb)
The Reichstag building was on fire and communist Van der Lubbe was caught on the premises, after torture he confessed to setting the fire. After Hitler hears about the fire the Nazi party announce they will exterminate all German communists and tells Hindenburg that the communist party should be hung.
Although Hindenburg doesn't do this, Hitler was good at playing Hindenburg's fear of communism and Hindenburg agrees to ban the communists from elections, arrests many communist leaders and agrees Hitler should get dictatorial powers.
Overall it helps Hitler by leading to the enabling act and the communist and socialist parties being banned from elections which gives the Nazi party the majority in the march election, it also makes Hindenburg give him more power and kicks off a chain of events getting Hitler more power.
The Enabling Act 1933 (March)
This act that Hitler proposed after the Reichstag fire (and general election) which gave Hitler dictatorial powers. It meant he was dictator of Germany and had power for 4 years, he began to use this power by getting rid of trade unions.
By this point the communist and socialists were in concentration camps, out of the country or in hiding so Hitler was at an advantage in the elections but he needed the support of the catholic party so made a deal with them. The deal was for the catholic party to vote for the enabling act and the nazi government would guarantee the rights of the catholic church throughout their power.
The deal worked and the enabling act was passed and it helped Hitler by giving him dictatorial power and he was close to becoming Fuhrer.
The Night of Long Knives 1934
Took place at Hanselbauer hotel 29th June 1934 to purge the SA of Roehm and other members by Hitler and the SS (which replaced the SA) They gathered the members at the hotel and over the next 24 hours they arrested and shot them on capture. Initially, Hitler insisted Roehm should be allowed to commit suicide because he had helped Hitler so much previously but he refused so was killed by SS men. With Roehm, a claimed 61 were killed, 13 shot in resistance and 3 suicides. It was kept secret until July 13th when Hitler announced what had happened in a speech.
This helped Hitler become Fuhrer as it got rid of threats (Roehm and other SA members) and barriers to him getting power and showed he had the power to get rid of threats in this way.
The army's oath of loyalty 1934
Hitler still felt threatened despite having the enabling act and army leaders were also alarmed with the idea of the SA absorbing the army, if this happened Roehm and the SA would be more powerful than Hitler, he also wanted to be in complete power so wanted the army on his side and the army didn't want to be under Roehm's control. The deal was that Roehm and the SA to be gotten rid of in exchange for the army's loyalty to Hitler. The army agreed and the night of long knives went ahead and Hitler got an oath of loyalty from the army.
This meant he was in complete power.