The Weimar Republic established at the end of the First World War in 1018 was flawed from the outset, and this was a major reason why Hitler was able to gain power in 1933, along with the worldwide economic depression after Wall Street crashed, and a political deal set up by the “Old Gang”.
Initially, the Weimar government was unstable because the constitution introduced a system of Reichstag elections based on Proportional Representation, in which the per cent of votes cast for a particular political party was equal to the number of seats they gained in the Reichstag. The concept of this is completely democratic but it was weak as it allowed extremist parties such as the Communists and the Nazis into parliament. This prevented larger parties such as the Social Democratic Party and Centre Party from gaining a majority, meaning that between 1919 and 1933 there were 21 coalition governments. These were usually weak in the face of a crisis, which would be exposed later following the Wall Street crash, and encourage the German public to believe in change.
Article 48 was also included in the constitution with democratic intentions but could be abused in an undemocratic way. It gave the President the powers in an emergency to issue presidential decrees which did not have to be approved by the Reichstag. After 1930, Hindenburg could appoint whoever he wanted to as Chancellor and this enabled Hitler to become Chancellor in 1933.
Political extremism was growing and there were a number of right wing traditional institutions including the German Army, Civil Service, Judiciary and Education System which dominated behind the scenes. Amongst right-wing groups there were the Nazis, who faced little opposition because the SDP and German Communist Party (KPD) could not work together, and the KPD were even forbidden to do so by Russian Communists, resulting in a left-wing inability to combine and stop the Communists. Therefore the...