Nazis in Power: Popularity among the German People

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Nazis in Power

Hitler’s Nazi party enjoyed widespread popularity among the German people between 1933 and 1939 as a result of their domestic policies. Through the economy, the biggest factor in support of reducing mass unemployment, they introduced the KDF, Strength through Joy this allowed Germans to enjoy paid holidays and concerts. They also helped reinforce law and order, ensuring there were no street battles in Nazi Germany. Germans appreciated this as it was fresh and strict following the previous weak Weimar Government. The Nazis had youth policies which were appealing to the parents and children as they encouraged the likes of camping and sports. These factors were the main reasons that the Nazis had great popularity as they related to many German citizens. However, there were also serious concerns of coercion being used to enforce German peoples’ acceptance. They brought around the totalitarian state which was to Nazify the country; this meant that everyone was mainly completely controlled by the Nazis. Also, Anti-Semitism focused on the races and religions that Nazis did not believe as pure. The Jews were targeted and eventually stripped of their German citizenship. In addition, women were also discriminated against as the Nazis felt that they should have a lesser role than men, and if they had any disability or disorder they should not be allowed to have children. Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state in which all means of protest or dissent were blocked. However, despite this, the Nazis enjoyed great popularity throughout Germany, as they had associated with so many Germans and seemed extremely similar to the thoughts of the citizens. However, although many accepted the Nazi ways, many more were afraid to speak out at Nazi excesses, so there was coercion used as the party were very threatening and had many policies which would destroy anyone who did not follow the Nazi rules.

The Nazi party received a great deal of support for the economic policies which set out to do things Weimar could not. When the Nazis were in power they managed to put people back to work and the unemployment figures fell rapidly from 26% in 1933 to below 1% in 1939. These figures were impressive and German people supported the Nazis for being able to lower unemployment. The German labour front forced people into jobs and created new jobs by forcing people like Jews and woman, who were not included in unemployment figures, out of their jobs. Hitler also gained popularity by giving people an incentive to work. The KDF, strength through joy organization offered people rewards such as paid holidays, holiday camps and the people’s car if they were loyal workers. This had huge support and although people were now working longer hours for less money they didn’t mind as they were getting things they never would have has the chance to have before such as the Volkswagen car. This shows that people did appreciate Hitler’s economic policies as he gave incentives and dropped unemployment figures.

Due to the Weimar government, law and order had pretty much broken down and riots had started and the Reichstag fire had happened. Hitler made this a first priority and stopped it in order to restore law and order. In order to ensure law and order, Hitler created the apparatus of a police state. The SS was the state’s internal security service and its purpose was to root out all opposition, real or imaginary. They wore threatening black uniforms and people were frightened of the SS. The Gestapo was the secret police and acted on suspicion in order to take out any anti-socials. These police made many German people nervous and this lost some support of the Nazis as people missed their freedom and did not like being controlled. However it still did gain some support as people disliked the breakdown of law and order in Weimar and so were prepared to accept the totalitarian state that concentrated on removing undesirables who most Germans...
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