"ASSESS THE VIEW THAT THE GREAT DEPRESSION WAS PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NAZIS TO 1934"
BY DANIEL MARTIN
The Great Depression was the catalyst for the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party up to 1934. After the Great Depression took effect and Germany that they had entered a state of poverty, people begun to turn to extremist parties, such as the Nazi Paty. Hler realised this and took full advantage of it, ensuring the people of Germany that if he was to be elected he would give them what they want. There were a multitude of other causes such as the Reichstag fire, the Armys oath to Hitler, and the Nazis clever use of propaganda all played monumental roles in Hitler's and the Nazi Party's rise to power in 1934.
Although there were a number of instrumental factors that all contributed to the rising of Hitler and his Nazi Party, the Great Depression acted as the final catalyst to Hitler being elected as Chancellor and later becoming Furher of Germany. On the 29th October 1929, 'black thursday', the American Wall Street crashed and sent economies world wide into chaos, especially that of Germany. The German economy was particularly vulnerable since it was dependent on foreign exports, trade and capital, mainly from America. The German Mark became almost worthless, and unemployment throughout Germany went into the millions, this came so unexpectedly as Germany had only been recently experiencing prosperous times during the early to mid 1920's due to huge support from America and other countries in the form of trade, but by late 1920's, there was little need for Germanys exports from other countries. Large industries throughout Germany were forced to close down, this making it near impossible for German families to buy food and sent Germany into poverty, with families starving and anger bruing throughout the nation. The newly founded Weimar Government, headed by Chancellor Bruening failed to respond effectively in this time of crisis, opting to raise taxes, rather than choosing to spend more money to try and stimulate the poor German economy as he feared inflation and budget deficits more than unemployment. The betrayal the German people had felt after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, and the goverment leading them into economc instability, the German people wanted a change, deciding to vote for more extremist parties such as the Nazi Party, who had already begun to promise to deliver what they wanted and to bring Germany out of this economic crisis. Hitler saw this oportunity as his time to strike and grabbed it with both hands, he quotes 'Never in my life have I been so well disposed and inwardly contented as in these days. For hard reality has opened the eyes of millions of Germans". Hitler and his Nazi party were able to undermine economic foundations of the Weimar governments stability, and the Great Depression created the conditions under which the Hitler was able to destroy the Republic and gain the support of Germany. Thus, the Great Depression laid the foundations for the Nazi Party who aimed there policies and beliefs toward lower and middle class Germans who were left with little confidence in the current government, this giving the Nazi party a push start in taking control over Germany.
Although the Great Depression set the scene and mind-set of the German public in order for Hitler and his Nazi's to rise to power, there were various other significant contributing factors such as the Reichstag fire that played huge roles in their rise. Fear is a great motivator. Hitler used fear through the form of the Reichstag fire, and manipulated the minds of the German public to a tee on February 27, 1933. Although Hitler orchastrated the Reichstag fire, through his clever manipulation of the German public and 'innocent' personality, he was able to swing the minds of the German people and falsely portray the fire as part of a communist movement trying to overthrow the...