Examine the economic, social and political conditions that allowed Hitler to rise to power.

Essay by wolflikemeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2007

download word file, 9 pages 4.7

Adolf Hitler is one of modern history's most infamous villains who shocked the international community with his inhumane conduct. Hitler and the Nazi party contributed to the death of over 5,750,000 Jewish people during what is known as the Holocaust. It is hard to imagine that a prosperous nation such as Germany would allow such a character government control. However, upon examination of Germany's economic, political and social conditions in the late 1920's and early 1930's, it is clear that the nation was desperately searching for anybody who could present a solution to her problems.

In the October of 1929, New York's Wall Street stock market went into a catastrophic crash. During the next three years, the US stock market continued to fall, with shares becoming worth 20% of the price they originally sold for. By 1933 11,000 of America's 25,000 banks failed , leading to the reduction of expenditure, demand and therefore production.

Previously, Germany had been defeated in World War One and was left with a large war debt, money which the nation did not have. She looked to America for financial assistance. The USA provided Germany with two major loans: the Dawes plan in 1924, and the Young plan in 1929. Now, however, America was herself in a state of financial emergency and needed the loans repaid, something which Germany could not afford.

Gustav Stresemann was Foreign Minister of Germany and despite his desperate effort to stabilise her economy, died without succeeding in his task. In fact, Stresemann even predicted the effect that an event such as the Great Depression would have on the country:

The economic position is only flourishing on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano. If the short-term credits are called in, a large section of our economy would collapse.