Actions taken by the Nazis

It could be argued that the action taken by the Nazis after the beer hall putsch brought them to power. However, their rise to power can also be attributed to the circumstances in Germany at the time.

Appealing to all Germans

The Nazis increased their popularity by appearing to provide the solution to all of Germany’s problems. They adopted policies that could be supported by many different groups of Germans:

  • Socialists – they promised that farmers would be given their land, pensions would improve and public industries such as electricity and water would be owned by the state.
  • Nationalists – they promised that all German-speaking people would be united in one country, the Treaty of Versailles would be abandoned and there would be special laws for foreigners.
  • Racists – they promised that Jews would not be German citizens and immigration would be stopped.
  • Fascists – they promised a strong central government and control of the newspapers.
  • Businessmen, landowners, the rich and the army – they promised that remilitarisation would begin and contracts would be awarded to Germans. They also promised protection from the communists.
  • The unemployed and workers – they promised an increase in employment and wages.

The video below outlines the role of Hitler's public appeal in the Nazi rise to power.

Charismatic leadership

Hitler making a speech
Hitler was a popular speaker

  • Hitler was a popular and effective public speaker, at a time when politicians had to speak at public meetings on a regular basis.
  • He used these meetings to tell many Germans what they wanted to hear – that there was a political party which would solve all their problems.
  • He used simplistic language and short phrases to convey his message.
  • He came across as energetic and passionate - as someone who cared about the plight of the German people.

Use of propaganda

Propaganda poster aimed at women saying “German women, think of your children – Vote Hitler”
Propaganda poster “German women, think of your children – Vote Hitler”

  • Hitler put Josef Goebbels in charge of Nazi propaganda. Methods of campaigning that the Nazis used in the 1920s included radio, mass rallies, newspapers (eg. Der Sturmer), Hitler's speeches and posters.
  • The Nazis used simple slogans to introduce their ideas and to make them appeal to the ordinary people of Germany.

Organisation of the Party

  • The Nazis were present in many German cities and towns with many local offices. Nazi party members worked efficiently to spread policies through propaganda.
  • The SA (stormtroopers) appeared to be a strong organisation which could protect Germany from its enemies - both within Germany and abroad.
  • The Nazis were able to fund their campaigns through funding from ‘big business’. Many of Germany’s rich industrialists supported the Nazis and wanted to see them in power. Hugenberg, a newspaper tycoon and Thyssen, a steel manufacturer made the expensive election campaigns of the early 1930s possible.