Hitler's Rise to Power

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There is no simple answer as to why Hitler became chancellor in January 1933. There are a number of causal factors which all contributed to his rise into power (I am assuming that the phrase 'rise to power' in the title means becoming chancellor). Any of the factors, on its own, however, would not have resulted in his appointment. They are all linked in a web of causation and if any of the factors were missing, Hitler would not have been appointed chancellor. Of the factors, the Great Depression was the most important.

The Treaty of Versailles only partly helped Hitler become chancellor. On 28 June 1919, Germany signed the Treaty with the allies, losing 10% of her land. The German army was reduced to 100,000 men and Germany had to pay reparations of £6,600 million. Hitler blamed the Treaty for Germany's problems. When Germany failed to pay a reparation instalment in 1922, French and Belgian troops entered German soil and seized goods. The German government ordered passive resistance but workers needed to be paid. The government printed money and hyperinflation set in. During this crisis in Germany, caused indirectly by the Treaty, when Hitler tried to seize power he was unsupported. Therefore the Treaty of Versailles, on its own, was not a reason why Hitler rose to power. After 1929, the Great Depression acted as a catalyst, igniting the German people's anger for the Treaty of Versailles and it then became a factor in Hitler's rise to power.

Another reason why Hitler was able to rise to power was due to the failure of the Munich Putsch of November 1923. At his trial, Hitler gained enormous publicity, which made him well known. He spent only nine months in Landsberg jail where he learnt many lessons. He learnt that the only way to gain power is to stand in elections and destroy the system from within. He also realised that he did not have enough big friends and by 1932, he had won the support of the army and industrialists. Hitler also wrote Mein Kampf, which

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