Hitler The Rise to Power

The German Workers\' Party

After the war Hitler stayed on in the army.

He was told to spy on the German Workers\' Party, a small right wing party that met in Munich.

The leader was Anton Dexler.

He joined the party, becoming its leader soon afterwards, and renaming it the NSDAP.

Its main ideas were hatred of Communists, Jews and the Treaty of Versailles.

They saw these ideas as nationalistic.

The Nazi Party

The Nazi Party (still under Drexler as leader) published a 25-point programme in 1920. The programme included socialist and nationalist points. It advocated:

the abolishment of the Treaty of Versailles

the union of all Germans

living space for the German people

a strong central government.

In 1923 Hitler thought the difficult times Germany was experiencing made the time ripe for the Nazi Party to attempt to overthrow the government

The Munich Putch and Mein Kampf

The Munich Putsch was led by Hitler and Ludendorff in November 1923.

The Nazi Party supporters (including the members of the SA) wanted to march on Berlin.

The army and police crushed the uprising.

Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for treason - he served only nine months.

While in prison he wrote Mein Kampf, in which he explained his ideas for a strong Germany under a dictatorship. He also wanted to break the Treaty of Versailles, get living space for the German people, and unite all German-speaking people. He explained his ideas on race, saying the Germans are Aryans, and the master race, whereas Jews, Slavs, etc, are inferior. He was in favour of militarism and a dictatorship, and against democracy and Communism.

Hitler became famous due to the failed coup.

Tha Nazi Party between 1925 and 1929

Between 1925 and 1928 Germany had become politically and economically stable, due to Stresemann\'s efforts. Hitler used propaganda and intimidation to get the German people to support the Nazi Party, making promises and using the SA and SS. Propaganda methods included mass demonstrations, mass rallies, the printed media, parades and the radio. The SA and the SS were used to intimidate the German people into voting for the Nazi Party. The Brown Shirts or Strum Abteilung (SA) were the Nazi Party\'s private army. They wore brown uniforms with swastika armbands. They were used to control and order party meetings. The Schutzstaffeln (SS) was Hitler\'s private bodyguard. They wore black uniforms with skulls on their armbands. The SS was founded because Hitler did not trust the SA. Both the SA and SS marched down city streets and impressed the people with their discipline and power. But up to 1928, despite the propaganda and intimidation, Hitler had little success, as the people felt no need to support the extremist parties

Hitler Becomes Chancellor (1933)

In 1929 a coalition led by the SDP under Hermann Muller governed the country.

In 1930 the SDP lost the elections, and the Centre Party\'s Bruning was appointed chancellor by Hindenburg.

Hindenburg declared a state of emergency due to the economic crisis.

In accordance with Article 48, Hindenburg gave Bruning the power to rule by decree.

Very soon the country was ruled by Bruning rather than by the Reichstag.

In the elections of October 1930 the Nazi Party became the second biggest party in the Reichstag.

In July 1932 Hitler lost to Hindenburg in the presidential elections.

His supporters insisted he be made chancellor. Hindenburg refused.

Von Papen was appointed chancellor, but was ousted by Schleicher.

In November 1932 the Communists gained seats, while the Nazis lost some.

The right wing government realised they needed the Nazi Party\'s support.

Hindenburg and Papen offered Hitler the post of vice-chancellor under Papen as chancellor. Hitler refused.

Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor, thinking he and Papen could control Hitler.

Hitler became chancellor on 30 January 1933 by constitutional means.

The March 1933 Elections

The Nazi Party did not have a majority in the Reichstag or in the Cabinet.

Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to call new elections for March 1933.

The Communist Party was his toughest opposition.

Joseph Goebbels was in charge of propaganda