Why Did the Nazis Experience a Breakthrough in 1930-32?

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In 1930 the number of seats held by the Nazis in the Reichstag sky rocketed. In 1928 they only had 12 seats, but 4 years later they were by far the biggest party. There were a number of reasons why this surge of popularity took place. One key reason was the state of the economy. After the Wall Street crash of October 1929, the country experienced economic collapse. Unemployment doubled as a result of this. Also, all the foreign loans were suddenly called in and the Weimar government was forced to pay vast sums of money. This meant the government was forced to cut unemployment benefits and raise taxes. This of course lost them huge amounts of popularity. One main point in the Nazi manifesto was that they would not cut benefits. (Although the Nazis did simply put out a lot of policies that they really knew weren’t realistic.) Hitler specifically promised bread, freedom and public work which won a lot of popularity with the working class in particular. It’s also true that in times of chaos people naturally vote for more extreme parties like the Nazis. Hitler also realised that one thing many German people still felt strongly about was the Treaty of Versailles. He promised that if he came to power, he would tear up the treaty and restore Germany’s dignity. Right wing people in particular still thought the government were weak in accepting the terms of the treaty and Hitler played on the popular “stab in the back” myth. This rallied up hate and distrust for the government and left wing politicians. Another reason the Nazis did so well at this time was their well funded propaganda. Goebbels was a master of propaganda. He built up fear and hatred for the communists and Jews, while depicting Hitler as a strong, bold leader saving Germany from them. Another key way the Nazis operated was their impeccable organisation. They had the unique structure of having a single person in charge of each region of Germany, as well as a strict hierarchy within the party itself....
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