Circumstances in Germany

Fear of communism spreading

  • Communists believed all private ownership of land and assets was theft. Germany’s rich landowners and businessmen wanted to prevent communists gaining any political influence at all.
  • The Nazis were violently opposed to communism and the SA often attacked communist groups in the beer halls and the streets. This led to many landowners and businessmen supporting the Nazis.

Effects of the Wall Street Crash

  • The economic crash in the USA in 1929 meant that the loans given to Germany under the 1924 Dawes Plan were called in.
  • The German economy could not survive and as a result businesses closed and many Germans became unemployed. This worsened the situation with a lack of demand for goods leading to more closures and job losses.

The video below describes how the depression helped Hitler come to power.

Political issues

  • In the July 1932 Election, the Nazis won more votes than any other party. Hitler was offered the position of Vice Chancellor in a coalition with von Papen and von Schleicher. He refused as he did not want to be associated with a failing Government when he had no power to act.
  • After the November 1932 election, Hitler refused the Chancellorship because President Hindenburg tried to limit his powers.
  • In January 1933, Hitler accepted the Chancellorship. This came after von Papen convinced Hindenburg that he could keep Hitler under control in his position of Vice Chancellor.

The video below looks at Hitler's rise to power.