Nazi Rise

The rise of the Nazi party to power was certainly not inevitable, but was a combination of luck and manipulation of legal procedures. Although, once seated in their position of authority, Hitler and the Nazi party were able to successfully consolidate power by 1934 as a result of Hitler’s strong leadership and most importantly the party’s utter ruthlessness and effective use of propaganda. However it was the political manoeuvring of the conservative elite who underestimated Hitler which incited the rise of the Nazi party to power.
The political and economic failures of the Democratic republic played directly into the hands of the Nazi party, and ultimately became one of the most effective forms of Nazi propaganda. From the outset, the Weimar Republic became perpetually associated with defeat and the Diktat of the Treaty of Versailles and the ‘Dolchstosslegende’, blaming the Jews, Socialists and Pacifists for betraying the Nation. As Carr notes, the Stab in the Back myth led to the “denigrating of prominent republican politicians and of pouring abuse on democratic traditions”. This vilification of the Weimar government as the November Criminals continued into the 1930’s when Hitler himself referred to the Government as the November Criminals in his election speeches and allowed the Nazi Party to capitalize on the Nation’s poor economic position resulting from the Great Depression to develop their power. The economic instability further exacerbated the political instability due to the dramatic tripling of unemployment rates between 1929 and 1932. As Shirer argues, ‘Hitler could thrive on evil times, when the masses were unemployed, hungry and desperate’. Moreover, the Depression certainly acted in favour of the Nazi party as politics became polarised and the masses became receptive to extremes, such as the Nazis who promised to return Germany to its ‘glory days’ and as Taylor argues, was the ‘wind in Hitler’s sails’ as support...