Why did the Weimar republic collapse? (NAZI's strengths and successes…
Why did the Weimar republic collapse?
Weimar weaknesses and mistakes
German people had to vote for a party and not a specific politician. Each party was then given the exact amount proportional to the number of people who voted for it, as seats in the Reichstag (sort of like a parliament)
This resulted in dosens of small and tiny parties in a parliament and weak coalition governments; no party was large enough or had the majority of the votes for bills/laws to be passed
Small extremists party were also always able to have a foothold in the Reichstag and receive publicity for their causes.
; in the constitution this article allowed the president to, in ties of national security, forget what the constitution states and rule by decree; the president also did not then have to have the majority of the reichstag to support his decisions; basically allowed him to become a legal dictator.
This was not very specific about what the exact emergency was and in what exact situations this article could be applied so , as a result, it allowed Hitler to legally take power
In some occasions this emergency power didn't even help in anything; advisors of the president discouraged him from raising unemployment benefits fearing another hyperinflation crisis like the one that had hit Germany in 1923
Allowed the president to literally go against everything the government tried to ensure by being a democracy
Mistakes in decision making
Terrible mistake of appointing Hitler as chancellor in January 1933; hitler had made it clear that he hated democracy and all that it sttod for; this decision was very surprising since;
Support for the NAZI's was declining
Germany was coming out of the depression
NAZI's strengths and successes
After the munich Putsch Hitler was sent to prison for 5 years- however this gave him and the NAZI's more popularity- his trials were televise and helped him reach a larger audience (NAZI's won 65% of the popular vote in 1924) it also gave Hitler time to write and publish his book Mein Kampf which once again remodeled NAZI's tactics focusing only on;
Fuhrer principle; To be successful the party needed one powerful leader- himself.
Reichstag principle; Outright rebellion would never destroy the system; they needed to infiltrate it and get elected, then destroy the system from within.
Doing anythting to gain popularity
Increased members from 3,000 to 100,000; members were also then given special training for how to publicly speak; basically waiting for a crisis which would come in 1929
During the depression a lot of money was then invested into advertisement; posters and pamphlets depicting Hitler as Germany's last hope
Planes were used to transport Hitler around to give a lot of speeches at various regions of the country in 1932; he nearly won the election from Heidenburg
NAZI's targetted specific groups of society and with different slogans and policies to win their support- publicity mastermind was Goebbels
The wallstreet crash and worldwide depression
Government didn't know what to do and cut unemployment pay; worst thing to do in a depression (article 48 was used to ensure this would happen) and argerness and biterness were promoted
Germany was in ruins because not only did they have to cope with the reduction of orders for export items since everyone was affected by the USA taking back international loan; but they had to pay a debt to the USA which had loaned them 800 million marks in the Dawes plan
Unemployment was at absurd rates; 6 million unemployed which is about 1/3 of their work force. By 1932 40% of industrial workers were unemployed
Industrialists and big business owners were terrified of the communists taking over and loosing their fortune so they started pouring money into the NAZI party
NAZI's promised unemployed people "work, freedom and bread" with their propaganda- told the people what they wanted to hear.
In the elections of 1928 the NAZI's and the communists stood at 13% and in 1930 it rose to 31% and 52% in 1932
NAZI's also merged some of their policies to the problems faced due to the wall street crash, for instance; Hitler gave the people someone to blame for their misery caused by unemployment- the Jews whihch just gained him more popularity and more people supporting the anti-semitic ideology.