The Collapse of Democracy (Growth of Nazi Power (Strong public speaker…
The Collapse of Democracy
Who Voted for the Nazis?
Unemployed - as numbers increased, so did the number of votes for the Nazis
Smaller communities - those sized between 0-5,000 people had the largest amount of Nazi supporters
Protestants - 80% of Protestants voted for the Nazis in 1930
Middle aged - 21-30 year olds made up 41% of the party and 31-40 year olds made up 26%
Growth of Nazi Power
Strong public speaker with 'pre-prepared mesages'
Many unemployed voted for the Nazis, other option to Communists
No fear of losing democracy - Bruning wasn't very popular
Cross class appeal
Popular in rural areas
Lack of opposition from other parties; no cooperation between KPD and SPD; growing fear of communism; lack of charismatic leader from other parties
Opportunities and Problems for the Communists
Ernst Thalmann = KPD leader
Many people feared communism
Never managed to gain more than 20% of the vote
Limited appeal, not cross party
Could have cooperated and gained power with the socialists, but the two parties were bitter enemies.
They appealed to the working class, who made up 50% of the population
Communists (along with the Nazis) were offering a drastic change, something lots of people were searching for.
From 1930 communist support seemed to be increasing
Communists rejected the parliamentary system
Party membership was on the increase
Chancellors of Germany
Democratically elected into power
Resigned due to internal conflict
Appointed by Schleicher.
Prominent member of the Centre party
Hindenburg dismissed him due to increasing influence of extremist parties and he lost confidence
He persuaded Hindenburg to dismiss Papen and instead make him chancellor.
Tried to divide the Nazi party, but Papen told Hitler and so they worked together against him.
Hitler becoming Chancellor
Weaknesses in the Weimar Republic;
The Republic was blamed for many problems. Presidential elections were infrequent and became corrupted.
Attitudes of the elites;
Elections were still held in 1932, however Hindenburg made decisions about those working around him.
Impact of Great Depression;
People hoped the Nazis would offer a solution to the depression. They were a party of hope.
both left and right wing groups led uprisings, and the Nazis established the SA. Hitler did not hide his support for violence.
Organisation of the Nazi party;
Due to Hitler being imprisoned, he had a chance to reconsider what tactics and methods the party used.
27th February 1933
A communist, Van der Lubbe, was arrested for supposedly starting the fire. However, it is not known for sure if he started it or if it was a set up by the Nazis.
The following day, the Decree of the Reich President on the protection of the people and the state was passed.
The enabling act allowed Hitler to pass any laws without having full support from the Reichstag.
The act had to be voted on, but Hitler and the SA manipulated all the members to ensure the vote was successful. (Eg. Communists weren't allowed in)
The Act was supposedly due to 'a state of emergency' following the fire, and was meant as a temporary solution.