The first reason I am going to outline is the treaty of Versailles. I will explain why the German people hated it so much and how it helped Hitler. The terms of the treaty of Versailles were as follows. Germany had to agree that it was responsible for starting the war. The Germans hated this because they believed that they were not the only culprits. The German army worried all the allies especially France so the treaty cut it down to a level way before pre war levels. The germens particularly hated this because their armed forces, especially their navy, were the pride and joy of the country.
The amount that the Germans resented this part of the treaty is evidenced when we see that the sunk their own fleet at Scapa Flow rather than turn the ships over to the allies. The German army was limited to 100,000 men, conscription was banned, Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles, submarines, or aircraft, the navy could only have six battleships and the Rhineland was demilitarised. The Germans also had to pay a reparations figure of i?? 6,600 million to pay for the damage it had caused.
Germany complained heartily about this and also said that they couldn’t pay the money because all the rich areas of Germany were being lost to other countries. If the terms had not being revised the reparations wouldn’t have been paid until 1984. Germany lost very much of there land and these land went to Britain France Belgium Denmark Poland and Lithuania. The loss of the land meant that there were Germans living in different countries, which is a contrast to one of Wilson’s fourteen points, which was national self-determination. To see how the Germans felt we have this quote. Today in the hall of mirrors in Versailles the disgraceful treaty is being signed. Do not forget it. The German people will, with unceasing labour, press forward to re-conquer the place amongst nations to which it is entitled. Then will come the vengeance for the shame of 1919. ” How much the German people hated the treaty is shown in these quotes. “The immediate effect of the signing of the treaty was a blaze of indignation in the German press and depression among the German people. ” “The peace treaty which Germany signed in 1919 is unfair. It must be cancelled.
The land, which it took away, must be reclaimed and France must be destroyed. ” The effects of the treaty were being forgotten in 1920. Strasemann was the chancellor and he was peace loving. In 1923 Germany fell behind with the reparations so France invaded the Ruhr coalfields in Germany. Instead of fighting the workers just stopped working so the French opened fire. America resolved this with the Dawes plan which said that America were going to lend Germany 800 million gold marks to pay the reparations. Afterwards the Americans wrote the Locarno agreement, which said that Germany would not make war on it eastern borders.
This was also known as the Locarno Honeymoon. In 1926 Germany was finally allowed into the League of Nations. 1929 was a catastrophic year. Strasemann dies and the Wall Street crash happened in this year. The Weimar republic was a fledgling democracy so it had no chance of surviving the crash. Britain had a democracy for three hundred years and struggled to survive. There were three million people unemployed in Britain and six million unemployed in Germany. When people are desperate they turn to extremists. Hitler used the treaty as a scapegoat and said that he would reverse it.
He also said that if the Weimar republic had not signed the treaty they would not be paying reparations so the people would have jobs. The suited the people because they didn’t want to blame themselves. Hitler then flew around the country spreading his message. He was able to do this because he had the backing of the rich because he said he would stand up against communism. This is what one person said about Hitler. “From the witness box Hitler condemned the November criminals, the politicians who made peace in November 1918 and the peace settlement. ” First the Nazis revived talk of the stab in the back and betrayal through the treaty of Versailles in 1919. The next reason that I am going to outline is hatred of the Weimar republic. The Weimar Republic was set up when the Kaiser abdicated to Holland and lived a life of luxury until he died. In 1919 Germany lost the First World War and because the Kaiser had abdicated they were left without a monarch which means Germany was a republic. The reason they were called the Weimar Republic instead of Berlin is because they had to meet in Weimar, as there was riots in Berlin.
The first thing the Weimar Republic does is to sign the treaty of Versailles, which alienates people and allows Hitler to turn people against them later. Rich people were manoeuvring Hitler into government against communism, because they though he could be manipulated. The idea was to have a perfect democracy so the voting system was Proportional representation. This allows coalition governments and helped Hitler to become chancellor because he never had a clear majority. The republic also passed article 48 which stated that if the chancellor felt that it was an emergency he could rule without parliament.
Hitler used this and said that Germany was on the edge of collapse and everything was an emergency. This also shows that the people had no confidence in the Republic or parliament. The Weimar republic was a fledgling democracy, which didn’t have a chance. It was coping fairly well as Germany was doing fairly well. Germany had just lost the war so it had everything against it. The Wall Street Crash crippled Germany because they had borrowed 800 million gold marks. After the Wall Street crash the Americans wanted their money back. There were 6 million people unemployed in Germany.
To see how little chance the Weimar republic had I am going to show how the Wall Street Crash affected Britain, which had had a democracy for 300 years. There were 3 million people unemployed and the government had to become National with all the parties ruling together. Extremist parties gained some support but there was never really a threat of Britain ending up like Germany. The third reason I am going to outline is the fear of communism in Germany. In 1919, just after the end of the war communism was popular in Germany because people had no money.
The communists tried to take over power but didn’t succeed but this shows how real the threat was. The communists were put down by right wing troops. After Germany started to prosper again people weren’t interested in communism as no one wants to share money when they have money. After the Wall Street Crash communism was very popular. There were only two parties that could win. The Nazis and communists had most seats. The rich and middle classes back Hitler because they do not want to lose most of their money. Hitler then decided to take things into his own hands.
He and the SA burned down the Reichstag (German Parliament) and blamed it on the communists. Hitler then told the world that the communists were violent and he was peace loving. “The middle classes supported Hitler. It was among these groups that economic security and fear of communism were most apparent. ” “Above all the Nazis were violently anti communist. It was the only party capable of visibly combating communism on the streets. Although the violence put many respected Germans off, they hated communism more. ” ” The perils of communism which could be seen coming could be halted by the Nazis. The fourth reason I am going to outline is the Munich Putsch By 1923 Munich had become a hotbed of rightwing agitation. The French invasion of the Ruhr and soaring inflation focused the anger of the German nationalists on the feeble Republic, which seemed to be leading Germany from one catastrophe to another. Hitler used this opportunity to kick the republic while it was down. In November he attempted to size power in Munich, the first stage of his ambitious plan to replace Weimar with an extremist dictatorship. The putsch was a dismal failure.
The army and the police could mot be persuaded to support the Nazis, Hitler was arrested and his party was banned. In February 1924 he was put on trial for treason. Is performance in the dock, however turned the trial into a propaganda triumph. Hitler’s defiant justification of the putsch made him a hero with the German nationalists. The judges sympathised with Hitler’s motives and he was given the minimum sentence available. By Christmas he had been freed and, two months later, he re-founded the Nazi party. Following his release from prison, Hitler took his first steps on the legal path to power. Instead of working to achieve power by armed conspiracy, we shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag. If outvoting them takes longer than out shooting them, at least the results will be guaranteed by their own constitution. Sooner or later we shall have a majority and after that we shall have Germany. At first, few people could be persuaded to vote for the Nazis. By 1930 however, people were backing him in their millions. There are also short-term reasons or trigger causes that lead to Hitler’s rise to power and these also need to be identified.
The first short term reason is the Wall Street Crash. This was a stock market collapse in New York. People kept selling their shares until they became worthless. People had borrowed money to buy their shares in the first place and when the collapse happened people and banks wanted the loans back. People who had borrowed money couldn’t pay it back because their shares were worthless. The banks were also bankrupt as people withdrew all the money they has saved. Most European countries relied on America to buy the goods they were producing and if no one is buying goods the company has no income.
The effect was worse in Germany because of the loan that they had. After the Wall Street crash America wanted their money back but Germany couldn’t pay. There was 6 million unemployed. After this the Nazis revived all the hates about the treaty of Versailles, especially reparations, and promised to undo it. This appealed to many people as it provided a scapegoat. The wall street crash acted as a catalyst for the redundancy in Germany. The Nazis weren’t a real party before the Wall Street crash as no one was listening to their mottos of war and fighting, as shown by this quote.
A wonderful ferment was working in Germany. Most Germans one met… struck you as being liberal, even pacifist. One scarcely heard of Hitler and the Nazis, apart from in jokes. Another short-term reason is Propaganda. Propaganda wasn’t very useful before the Wall Street crash as no one was paying attention to the Nazis so propaganda was also ignored. After the crash people listened to the Nazis and therefore propaganda was also receiving attention. Hitler then flew around Germany speaking at huge rallies. He also elected a minister of propaganda, Goerbles, who further promoted the Nazi message.
He was able to fly around the country because he had the backing of the rich. Terror is another part of propaganda. Terror could only really be used from the 1930s onwards. It did have some effect, but never as much as propaganda. People did vote for Hitler because they were frightened of him and his SA. Hitler would also change the message he was broadcasting if it looked like he was losing support because of the message. A different reason for Hitler’s rise to power was Political scheming. The chancellor, Von Papen couldn’t control parliament, they didn’t want him as chancellor.
Therefore he kept asking the president for article 48 to be passed to allow him to rule without parliament. Schliker advised the president to get rid of Von Papen because he didn’t have parliaments support. Schliker was then promoted to chancellor but parliament didn’t like him either, so he kept asking for article 48. The president now got rid of Schliker just as he had advised the president to do0 to Von Papen. The only alternative left was Hitler. The first thing he did when he was elected as chancellor, was to declare that Germany was on the edge of collapse and that everything was an emergency. Parliament was never called again.