Hitler's Rise to Chancellorship

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade April 2006

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"The [Nazi party] should not become a constable of public opinion, but must dominate it. It must not become a servant of the masses, but their master!"- Adolf Hitler. This was the view from a man who under other circumstances, would have made a brief appearance in the annals of history and then be forgotten forever. Instead, he became the dictator of an entire nation, and then became the sole reason for the deaths of at least 6 million innocents. As the head of the Nationalist Socialist German Worker's Party, Hitler was an ambitious man whose sole purpose was to become head of Germany. However, at the peak of his support, he only had 44% of support in the Reichstag--never even a majority. In fact, the year before he took chancellorship, the Nazi Party was experiencing a dramatic fall in the number of seats in the Reichstag. The eternal question remains; how did Hitler come to power if his party never even had majority support? Hitler's appointment to chancellorship on January 30th of 1933 was the culmination of a series of events that led Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor--the effects of the economic depression, his appeal to the people and to the Reichstag, the growing power he was wielding through terror, and the miscalculation and ineffective plotting of others.

The Great Depression because of the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 had a terrible effect on Weimar Germany--because of the horrible conditions, Hitler's support gained momentum, making him a viable contender in the eyes of those that mattered. The German economy collapsed after the US withdrew its loans from the banks of Weimar Germany, and soon, unemployment was rampant. In 1928, before the Depression, unemployment levels were at 2 million people, or 8 percent of the population. However, only...