Nazi Germany


Nazi Germany Essay, Research Paper

After World War I, or The Great War as it was known back then,

Germany was left devastated both financially and, since German

propaganda had not prepared the nation for defeat, emotionally, resulting

in a sense of injured German national pride. But because Germany was

?stabbed in the back? by its leftwing politicians, Communists, and Jews,

or more colourfully known as the ?November Criminals?, it was still

widely believed that Germany had not truly been defeated. When a new

government, the Weimar Republic, tried to establish a democratic course,

extreme political parties from both the right and the left struggled violently

for control. ?The new regime could neither handle the depressed economy

nor the rampant lawlessness and disorder.? Amongst all this confusion and

squabbling, one party and one man seemed to stand out. The man was

Adolf Hitler and the party was the German Workers? Party (DAP) later to

be called the National Socialist German Workers? Party (NSDAP) or more

widely known as the Nazi Party?s.

The German Workers? Party (DAP) was just another party

espousing a right-wing ideology, like many other similar groups of

demobilized soldiers. However this simplicity of the party would have

been the attribute which would have attracted Hitler the most. This

allowed Hitler to pour his beliefs into the party and mold it into his image.

Soon after his joining of the party, Hitler renamed it to the National

Socialist German Workers? Party (NSDAP) but even then it was merely a

gang of unemployed soldiers who?s ?spirits had been crushed and who?s

guns had rusted away.? But after Hitler?s first public presentation, in a

beer cellar, things started to change drastically. With the money from the

first presentation used to buy more advertising and print leaflets, the Nazi

Party was starting to act and look like a real party. Hitler?s beliefs of

national pride, militarism, commitment to the Volk and a racially ?pure?

Germany as well as anti-Semitism soon attracted supporters by the

hundred. Although the German Workers? Party started out as a small

right-wing organisation, with Hitler?s joining, it gained support.

The German Workers’ Party now featured Hitler as the main

attraction at its meetings. In his speeches Hitler railed against the Treaty of

Versailles and delivered anti-Semitic tirades, blaming the Jews for

Germany’s problems. At this point in time the Nazi Party?s ideals seemed

to attract members who were part of the labour sector in society or

workers. These were the men and women who worked in industrial

institution such as factories. These people were often threatened by

unstable employment and therefore pay, but Hitler offered stable

employment and pay. The Nazi Party?s policies based on anti-Semitism,

Lebensraum (Livingspace), economic and social reforms?including

nationalization of the trusts also attracted the workers. Times were

changing, however, and Hitler was ready to make the next step in

consolidation his power. Hitler?s extraordinary public speaking skills were

utilised to gather supporters for the Nazi Party.

The mid 1920s were a tense and strained period in which much

happened. The SA (Sturm-Abteilung or Stormtroopers) had been well

established and its numbers were increasing steadily. The swastika had

been introduced and was now widely used to represent the Nazi Party. The

Nazi Party, now notorious as being the direct opposite of the Communist

Party, gained the support of many fearful middle-class Germans who

knew of the ever possible threat of a Communist revolution. As

hyperinflation set in Germany, ?pockets of people were empty but people

stood by their government, admiring its defiance of the French.? But in

September of 1923, the German government made a fateful decision to

resume making payments. Bitter resentment and unrest swelled among the

people, inciting extremist political groups to action and quickly bringing

Germany to the brink of chaos. The Nazis and other similar groups now

felt the time was right to strike. The German state of Bavaria where the

Nazis were based was a hotbed of groups opposed to the democratic

government in Berlin. By now, November 1923, the Nazis, with 55,000

followers, were the biggest and best organized. With Nazi members

demanding action, Hitler knew he had to act or risk losing the leadership

of his Party. This was the Munich, or Beer Hall, Putsch. In the 1920s the

Nazi Party became confident enough to attempt a coup.

The Putsch was an utter disaster and after his release from

confinement, Hitler vowed that he would take power legitimately and not

by force. After the ban on the party was raised in 1925, Hitler sought to

consolidated the support from the working class by increasing the

anti-Semitic propaganda and further ensuring them that the Nazis would

guarantee employment. Despite the rise in support, the Nazis were in fact

losing ground in the only place it mattered – the Reichstag. After four

years of reorganization and campaigning, in the Reichstag elections of

1928 the Nazis fell to just twelve deputies. And the fact that the

Communists had four times as many seats as them did not help. The

Nazis, therefore, decided on another change in policy as they were getting

nowhere with the workers. Hitler sought support from the middles class

with his ?virulent anti-Communism? and promises to control trade

unionism and support from the farmers by promising them high prices for

their products. Hitler gained support from both the middle class and

farmers and membership doubled between 1927 and 1929. Would this

growth have continued at the same rate? Who knows. But in 1929, events

that even the Nazis didn?t have control over launched them on a course set

straight to power. Seizing power legitimately rather than forcibly was

vowed by Hitler after the disastrous attempt at a coup.

Germany wasn?t the only country affected by the Great Depression

but it certainly was hit particularly bad. This is due to the fact that

American banks recalled the loans which were keeping Germany?s

industry moving. As a consequence, the economy came to a stop and

millions of people lost their jobs. The response of the government was, of

course, to try to get Germany out of the depression. But how? One way

would be to print money and increase government expenditure. But the

members of the government were more afraid of a period of inflation than

one of unemployment. So instead they perform blunder upon blunder and

raise taxes, cut wages and reduce unemployment benefits. This caused

people to turn to other parties for answers. As usual, ?the extremist groups

were the ones with the answers.? In the election straight after the Great

Depression, the Nazis experienced a rise from 12 seats in 1928 to 107

seats in 1930. As did the Communists from 54 to 77 seats. Although the

economic depression was felt globally, Germany was one of the countries

to be hit the hardest.

There were many techniques which the Nazis used to gather support

many of which had been use previously by themselves and also by other

parties. The big question would, of course, be ?How did the Nazis do it??

In the 1930s the Nazi Party utilised all possible techniques to gather

support from all around Germany. The history of many Nazi Party

members lead back to WWI and so with them came the same obedience,

organisation and teamwork which was present in the army. Propaganda

was well organised and popular ideas and slogans were repeated over and

over. Promises to voters were made to gain their votes and unlike other

parties the Nazis were extremely flexible and watched the response of the

people and adapted quickly to satisfy them. Hitler?s extraordinary public

speaking skills incorporated with the use of technology enabled him to fly

to four or five mass rallies per day compared to Hindenburg?s one election

speech. All these techniques allowed Hitler and the Nazis to become the

largest party in the Reichstag by 1933 advancing to 230 seats or 43.9%.

And they were not going to stop at that. Various techniques were utilised

by the Nazi Party throughout the 1930s which ultimately lead them to


In conclusion, the techniques used by the National Socialist

Workers? Party widely changed between the years 1920 and 1933.

Crawling out from amongst the rubble of defeat after WWI, the Nazi party

which started out as a mere group of demobilized soldiers managed, with

the help of Adolf Hitler, to gain support from the workers in society.

Hitler?s extraordinary public speaking skills became an attraction at his

speeches and this gathered further supporters for the Nazis. After gaining

enough support, Nazi members demanded action and so Hitler together

with his supporters staged the Munich, or Beer Hall, Putsch. After failing

disastrously in completing the putsch successfully, Hitler vowed to seize

power legitimately rather than forcibly. As the Great Depression set in,

global economic activity slowed but Germany?s economy was one of

which was hardest hit. Throughout the use of manipulative technology,

organised propaganda and well organised skills as well as many other

colourful techniques the Nazi Party managed to gain the most seats in the

party?s history as well as the history of the Weimar Republic. The ways in

which Hitler and the Nazis adapted to and manipulated the vulnerable

German people allowed them to progressively gain more support more

votes and more power. Until, finally, on 30 January, 1930, Hitler was

appointed Chancellor. From here on in, Hitler was setting the rules of the



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