Why was Hitler able to Dominate Germany by 1934?
World War one had left Germany in an unstable state. Large amounts of the state budget had been spent on war pensions, one of the factors contributing to Germany being virtually bankrupt. The war had deepened divisions in the German society, many workers were bitter because of restrictions placed on their wages. Germany could not start to recover and gain power again because it had reparations to pay due to the treaty of Versailles. The Weimar republic was under pressure, it had just survived some serious crises. From the left and right came putsches, assassinations and anti-government propaganda. The economy was weak and was damaged by inflation. The USA brought stability and recovery to Germany by giving them a loan in an agreement called the Dawes Plan. The state of the country improved to some extent, support for extreme parties fell. However between 1929 and 1934 the Weimar Republic began to fail. The Wall Street crash caused great depression in Germany. Germany was at a low and the people of Germany wanted a leader to make them great again. The Nazi party believed in two different concepts, they were nationalist yet they believed in a fair society and equality. This allowed virtually everyone in Germany to agree with some aspect of the Nazi party. The Nazi policies were direct and general. They relied on generalised slogans. The Nazi's talked about uniting the German people behind one leader. They went back to traditional values though they were never clear about their policies making it very hard for people to find weakness with the party and its policies. If they were criticised for a policy they would be most likely to drop it. The Nazi posters and leaflets were to be found everywhere, this resulted in the swastika- the symbol on the Nazi flag- becoming the best-known political symbol in Germany. Their rallies were impressive with energy and enthusiasm. The Nazi party was organised along military lines. The SA (Sturm-Abteilung) known as the storm troopers or brown shirts was set up. The SS (Schutz-Staffel) - the protection squad' for Hitler and Nazi leaders- and SA gave an impression of discipline and order. The Nazis also organised soup kitchens and provided shelter in hotels for the unemployed. The Nazi's offered the German people culprits to blame for all of Germany's troubles an example of this are the allies and the Jews. Hitler believed that only true' Germans should be allowed to live in Germany, Jews in particular to be excluded. He believed that Jews were the cause of all the problems in Germany. He once said in a speech "And whose fault is it? It's all . . . the fault . . . of the Jews!" Many people believed that these scapegoats were to blame for all their problems because they had no one else to blame and they needed something to be the cause so they could solve the problem. The 25 points- taken from the Nazi party programme-were very attractive to those most vulnerable to the depression; the unemployed, the elderly and the middle classes. Hitler gave very passionate, strong speeches, which contributed to his great leadership skills. Hitler had energy and commitment that attracted people to the party and gave the party a very high profile. Hitler had a personality that could convince people that his views were right. Hitler was the undisputed leader of the party. He had a powerful, dominating personality. He was intelligent and decisive. He was a small man yet he had a very powerful presence. When giving a speech he would come late and then stand silent for several minutes. He would start gradually and build up into a furious finish driving the audience wild with enthusiasm. He would practice every thing about his speeches all the way down to his hand gestures, resulting in him being a very charismatic public speaker. The Nazis knew what the German people didn't like, whatever the German people didn't like the Nazis would also express their dislike...
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