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Hitler's Rise to Power - Michael Pham
Transcript of Hitler's Rise to Power - Michael Pham
Hitler's Rise to Power. (By Michael Pham) "From failed artist to Fuhrer." A doomed republic?
The crisis of 1919-23 Everyday in Germany, 1919-23, the citizens were facing a life struggle. In source of the Westfalische Allggemeine Volkszeitung, 13 March 1919 a communist newspaper suggested "Our government does little to ensure the fair distribution of food.... There is food in the wndows but the workers cannot affort to buy it.... every day 800 people die of starvation. For how long will such injustice be allowed to go on?" This shows that the standard of living of Germans were considered very low and in a desperate state of disaster. This was due to the Treaty of Versailles. What exactly was it?.. The Treaty of Versailles was one the peace treaties at the end of WW1 and was the aftermath of the war between Germany and the Allied Forces.
It had several restriction on Germany and generally, stated that;
The War Guilt Clause - which layed the responsibility for the war on Germany.
German armed forces will number no more than 100,000 troops, and conscription will be abolished.
The manufacture, import, and export of weapons and poison gas is prohibited.
The Rhineland will become a demilitarized zone administered by Great Britain and France
Treaty of Versailles What did the Treaty mean to the Germans?
"A storm of protest greeted the treaty. Mass demonstrations took place against it. Places of amusement closed down. A period of national mourning began." (Pg22, Germany 1918-45 by Josh brooman) Why did the Germans hate the Treaty of Versailles?
Three main reasons;
There was a feeling it was too harsh.
The sense that the Allies had forced it on them.
They felt they had not lost the war, they believed that the socialist politics who made peace in 1919 November, betrayed Germany. In 1923, the prices rose so fast it was known as the year of hyperinflation.
Hyperinflation affected nearly everybody in Germany.
Hardest hit were the people who lived on fixed incomes.
Hyperinflation was so rapid something could lose its value within a day.
Enemies of democracy: Hitler and the Nazis
Early in 1919 Hitler was sent to Munich to keep watch on extremist political groups to watch where they were a danger to the government
He was interested in the general ideas of the German Worker's Party
Soon he was one of the party's leaders through sheer determination and alluring speeches
From this source, we can conclude that;
The Germans thought of the Treaty as the catalyst of their national disaster. They protested angrily but could not persuade the allies to change the treaty, and were also given five days to accept or else the allies would invade Germany.
It was a reluctant acceptance and was known as the "dictated peace." Under Hitler's Leadership
Hitler became leader of the Nazi party in 1921
He focused on his goal to create an ideal Germany
He organised meetings and spreaded advertisements
Changed the party's name to National Socialist German Workers' Party
Issues a 25- point programme describing its aims
Made the Swastika the Party's emblem The Swastika The Rise of the Nazi Party
The Nazi party grew rapidly, it rose from 50 in Jan 1919, 3000 in 1920, 6000 in 1921 and 50000 in 1923
It published its own newspaper to spread the Nazi views
Created an armed force of Stormtroopers(Sturmabteilung or SA) to fight its opponents.
Many people had agreed with Hitler's speeches and decided to join the Nazi party. People that joined were;
35.9% were Lower class
52.1% were Middle Class
11.9% were Upper class and aristocracy
The Munich Beer Hall Putsch
By late 1923, Hitler was one of Bavaria's best known politicians
In November he thought the Nazis were strong enough to attempt a putsch in Munich also known famously as a coup d'etat
However, the putsch failed
The leaders of the party were subsequently jailed and charged with high treason
The Nazi Party was banned indefinitely
Source: Stormtroopers at the putsch
Why did Hitler attempt a putsch?
Germany was in a crisis in 1923 because the French had occupied the Ruhr
The people of the Ruhr used passive resistance against them, leading to a mass unemployment and hyperinflation Trial, Prison and release
Hitler was put on trial
It received huge publicity and lasted 24 days
Millions of people gradually knew about the politician known as Hitler
Support for the Nazis grew
Hitler was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to 5 years of 'fortress detention'
Source: Hitler in prison with fellow Nazis in 1924 Hitler sentenced to prison;
Hitler began his sentence in 1924 in Landsberg fortress
He spent the majority of his time writing his book "Mein Kampf" which is known as 'My Struggle.'
He analysed his situation and decided to gain power using different methods.
'From now on, we must follow a new line of action... Instead of working to achieve power by an armed coup, we shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag' (Source from Kurt Ludecke, "I Knew Hitler, 1938) Shortly after, 1924, the Nazi party lost 18 seats, holding onto only 14 with 3% (907,242) of the electorate voting for Hitler's party. Hitler was released in December 1924 1925 - 1930 Background Movement towards power
From 27000 members in 1925 the Nazi party grew to 108000 members in 1929
The Stormtroopers were heading to the direction of using terror to influence the citizens of Germany
The Hitler Youth was growing through Hitler's influence
A new government...
With Germany nearing collapse, a new government was set up to overcome the crisis
The passive resistance campaign was used against the French in the Ruhr
Replaced worthless mark with Rentenmark
As a result, the French agreed to leave Ruhr and hyperinflation stopped. Loss in the election
The nazi party lost the election in 1928
Hitler tried to gain more votes in rural areas
Used Nazi Propoganda and proved to be effective 1929
Germany enters a great depression
End of democracy
Rulings instead of laws
A government of chancellors and cabinent ministers
The elections of 1930 were a disaster for German democracy for the nazis had increased their number of seats from 12 to 107. In 1929 the wall st crash occured in America, with this, there were several consequences;
America could no longer lend Germany money for their debt
The Germany economy collapses
One of the main reasons why Hitler became Chancellor
With this, Hitler promised to provide jobs stabilise the economy and bring Germany back to its former glory. Many agreed and supported Hitler's ideals. With Germany in a worser condition than before, Hitler took advantage of this desperation, he promised the Germany citizens what they wanted and needed to hear. He united a country by using people as scapegoats. He was the only one who had a solution for this great depression. A quote from a German worker who explains why he joined the nazis in the 1930's "I was unemployed for many years. I'd have made a pact with the devil to get work. Hitler came along and got me work, so I followed him".
(Source from 1985, German Worker) This shows they merely joined the Nazi Party because they had offered work rather than joining for the sake of their views. Hindenburg desipised Hitler and did not want to appoint him, however, he thought he could take advantage and manipulate him through his popularity and successes. His talents could have been used for the greater interest of the government... Hitler had other things in mind, he became Chancellor in 1933. In 1932, the electrions were held in the Reichstag and the Nazi party had received the most votes. Hitler rose to the occasion and desired the role of Chancellor. The Reichstag Fire was just before the election:
The incident occured in 1933
The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.
Van der Lubbe was supposedly the arsonist
Hitler took advantage of the situation and blamed it on a common enemy; the communists.
Der Reichstagsbrand Source D
"On the 27th of February, the Reichstag caught fire. When the police arrived they found Marinus van der Lubbe on the premises. After being tortured by th Gestapo he confessed to starting the Reichstag Fire. However he denies that he as part of a Communist conspiracy"
As Chancellor, Hitler consulted with president Hindenburg for extra powers to deal with these type of incidents and was issued the 'Law for the Protection of the People and State'. This emergency law suspended parts of the constitution and gave the Nazis an advantage in the Communist election. The Seizure of Power;
Article 114 Personal freedon is inviolable
Article 115 The home of every German is a sanctuary for him and is inviolable
Article 117 The secrecy of correspondence, as well as the secrecy of postal telegraphic and telephnic communications is inviolable
Article 118 Every German is entitled withi the limits of the general law to express his opinions by word of mouth, writing, printing, or otherwise.... There is no censorship.....
Article 123 All Germans have the right... to assemble peaceable and unarmed.
Article 124 All Germans have the rogith to form societies of associations...
Artice 153 Property is guaranteed by the constitution
Henrichppeheimer, The Constitution of the German Republic, 1923
Hitler had temporary powers to dismiss these articles. Although he had a majority in the Reichstag, Hitler was still not satisfied. With the power to make his own laws, he reorganised the German political system so that every part of it was under Nazi control. This was called 'bringing into line'. Hitler brought;
The state parliaments into line
The trade unions into line
The Social Democratic Party and COmmunist were brought into line. Source 2
In Berlin alone thousands of Social Democratic and Communist officials were dragged from their beds at night... and led away to SA barracks. There they worked over with boot and whip, beaten with steel rods and rubber truncheons until they collapsed unconscious and blood spurted under their skin.
(From a pamphlet written and distrbuted by a group of banned Communists in April 1933) By 1934, he wiped out most of his opponets but the only threats left were the Nazi party itself and the Stormtroopers. The Night of the Long Knives;
On Hitler's orders, SA leaders were arrested, taken to prison and shot on the night of 30 June 1934.
Over the following week, hundreds of other SA leaders were murdered along with dozens of other possible rivals to Hitler.
Hitler had wiped out the only real threat to his power, he was now stronger than ever. Only weeks after the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler increased his power further. President Hindenburg died and was now 'Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor'. Every soldier had sworn an oath: 'I will give unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the German nation and people...' and thus, eighteen months after becoming Chancellor, Hitler had unchallenged and was supreme dictator over Germany. The individuals responsible for the purge. The Nazi salute, obedience to Hitler The use of propoganda
The Wall street crash The Dawes Plan: Germany had to pay reparation payments with 1000 million marks each year. The Enabling Law;
This law would give Hitler power for the next four years without having to ask it for approval. He gained this power with having more than two-thirds of the Reichstag supporting his ideals. He became a dictator and Germany ceased to be a democracy. The currency in Germany was generally worthless Adolf Hitler 'From failed artist to Fuhrer.' Mein Kampf The stepping stones to success