How was Hitler helped into power?
Although it is true to say that Hitler gained power through the ‘back-door’, it is unfair to argue that Hitler had got into power purely by luck or chance.Certainly the situation in Germany made the atmosphere right for a Nazi takeover, however certain events must be recognised as being a direct result of Hitler’s perseverance and strengths as a leader.Perhaps most importantly for the Nazi party- if not conventional – was the appeal of the party’s agenda.
Not only was the party’s agenda masterminded by Hitler, it was he who projected the party’s ideologies to the people efficiently, and powerfully to the public.
Not only was this from his oratorical dexterity, but also from his brilliant propaganda methods. Hitler’s dexterous methods of propaganda clearly won public support. How Hitler manipulated Horst Wessel’s death is on instance, in which Hitler blamed the KPD party for his murder, whereas his death was due to other motives. Not only does this instance shows Hitler’s deftness, but also gives us an indication as to whom Hitler targeted in his propaganda. However, it seems although Hitler used propaganda to good effect, much of his support would not have been gained but for the circumstances in which Germany were in.
Anti-Semitism, horrific as it may seem, was in fact staunchly supported, particularly within the Bavarian region of Germany. Much of this hatred became more widespread, especially amongst middle classes. This was largely due to the fact that the majority of the instigators of urbanisation happened to be Jews. However, Hitler’s nationalist theory and brilliant propaganda skills made the spread of Anti-Semitism easier and faster. In fact, much of the ideologies of the time that were widespread, such as anti-communism, nationalism, volkenmeingeschaft etc. orresponded to Nazi ideology.
Hitler, with his brilliant leadership skills, was able to get such views across via propaganda and his great oratory skills. Consequently, due to the fact that many agreed with much of his ideologies, Hitler was imminently going to gain support. One instance is the very important group, the liturgy, which had Lutheran roots and thus very connected to Germany, supported the Nazis primarily because of their Nationalistic philosophies. Furthermore, the strength of the Nazi Party was its ideologies appealed to many sections of German society.
Although the working class on the whole remained loyal to the socialist party, the socialist element of the Nazis 25-points (which amounted to little more than vague promises of land reform and attack on profiteering), did win some working class support. Instances such as these clearly gave Hitler some sort of power base to which he could gain leadership from. Hitler also appeared to be a factor in gaining a persona in which the Nazi party could easily get support from the party.
This could only be gained through conventional means (i. . through elections), as oppose to their putschist tactics and by having a strong fuhrer to which the public could relate. Hitler offered both of these to the party, (A “Hitler cult” developed by his justification that there was a need for strong leadership to save the party from the so-called Jewish-socialist conspiracy) the ramifications of which were very pleasing for the National Socialists. By 1929, the Nazis were the second largest party in Germany. The biggest factor into Hitler gaining power was the Weimar republics collapse.
This was largely due to the fact that more economic problems within the Weimar constitution led to Chancellors such as Von Papen and Schleicher over-using Article 48 in the Reichstag. This imminently led to the demise of the Weimar as a democracy. However, this is not to say that the collapse of the Weimar on its own led to the Nazi party takeover. In fact, at the time of the near collapse of the Weimar, the Nazi party was the largest party in the Reichstag. Coupled with the fact that Von Papen was eager to return to the Reichstag, Hitler was able to become Chancellor.
Nonetheless, this did not indicate a complete takeover, although it did become the start of one. Another factor into the demise of the Weimar and thus Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor was the underestimation of Hitler as a manipulator. In essence, Papen especially was foolish to believe that he could control Hitler. In conclusion, it is just to say that Hitler’s ‘help’ was a little more than help. In fact, it was a combination of both Hitler’s qualities as a leader and propagandist and events within Germany that allowed Hitler’s ominous rise to power.