After World War I, or The Great War as it was known back then,Germany was left devastated both financially and, since Germanpropaganda had not prepared the nation for defeat, emotionally, resultingin a sense of injured German national pride. But because Germany wasstabbed in the back by its leftwing politicians, Communists, and Jews,or more colourfully known as the November Criminals, it was stillwidely believed that Germany had not truly been defeated. When a newgovernment, the Weimar Republic, tried to establish a democratic course,extreme political parties from both the right and the left struggled violentlyfor control.
The new regime could neither handle the depressed economynor the rampant lawlessness and disorder. Amongst all this confusion andsquabbling, one party and one man seemed to stand out. The man wasAdolf Hitler and the party was the German Workers Party (DAP) later tobe called the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) or morewidely known as the Nazi Partys.
The German Workers Party (DAP) was just another partyespousing a right-wing ideology, like many other similar groups ofdemobilized soldiers.
However this simplicity of the party would havebeen the attribute which would have attracted Hitler the most. Thisallowed Hitler to pour his beliefs into the party and mold it into his image.
Soon after his joining of the party, Hitler renamed it to the NationalSocialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) but even then it was merely agang of unemployed soldiers whos spirits had been crushed and whosguns had rusted away. But after Hitlers first public presentation, in abeer cellar, things started to change drastically. With the money from thefirst presentation used to buy more advertising and print leaflets, the NaziParty was starting to act and look like a real party. Hitlers beliefs ofnational pride, militarism, commitment to the Volk and a racially pureGermany as well as anti-Semitism soon attracted supporters by thehundred. Although the German Workers Party started out as a smallright-wing organisation, with Hitlers joining, it gained support.
The German Workers’ Party now featured Hitler as the mainattraction at its meetings. In his speeches Hitler railed against the Treaty ofVersailles and delivered anti-Semitic tirades, blaming the Jews forGermany’s problems. At this point in time the Nazi Partys ideals seemedto attract members who were part of the labour sector in society orworkers. These were the men and women who worked in industrialinstitution such as factories. These people were often threatened by unstable employment and therefore pay, but Hitler offered stableemployment and pay. The Nazi Partys policies based on anti-Semitism,Lebensraum (Livingspace), economic and social reformsincludingnationalization of the trusts also attracted the workers. Times werechanging, however, and Hitler was ready to make the next step inconsolidation his power. Hitlers extraordinary public speaking skills wereutilised to gather supporters for the Nazi Party.
The mid 1920s were a tense and strained period in which muchhappened. The SA (Sturm-Abteilung or Stormtroopers) had been wellestablished and its numbers were increasing steadily. The swastika hadbeen introduced and was now widely used to represent the Nazi Party. TheNazi Party, now notorious as being the direct opposite of the CommunistParty, gained the support of many fearful middle-class Germans whoknew of the ever possible threat of a Communist revolution. Ashyperinflation set in Germany, pockets of people were empty but peoplestood by their government, admiring its defiance of the French. But inSeptember of 1923, the German government made a fateful decision toresume making payments. Bitter resentment and unrest swelled among thepeople, inciting extremist political groups to action and quickly bringingGermany to the brink of chaos. The Nazis and other similar groups nowfelt the time was right to strike. The German state of Bavaria where theNazis were based was a hotbed of groups opposed to the democraticgovernment in Berlin. By now, November 1923, the Nazis, with 55,000followers, were the biggest and best organized. With Nazi membersdemanding action, Hitler knew he had to act or risk losing the leadershipof his Party. This was the Munich, or Beer Hall, Putsch. In the 1920s theNazi Party became confident enough to attempt a coup.
The Putsch was an utter disaster and after his release fromconfinement, Hitler vowed that he would take power legitimately and notby force. After the ban on the party was raised in 1925, Hitler sought toconsolidated the support from the working class by increasing theanti-Semitic propaganda and further ensuring them that the Nazis wouldguarantee employment. Despite the rise in support, the Nazis were in factlosing ground in the only place it mattered – the Reichstag. After fouryears of reorganization and campaigning, in the Reichstag elections of1928 the Nazis fell to just twelve deputies. And the fact that theCommunists had four times as many seats as them did not help. TheNazis, therefore, decided on another change in policy as they were gettingnowhere with the workers. Hitler sought support from the middles classwith his virulent anti-Communism and promises to control tradeunionism and support from the farmers by promising them high prices fortheir products. Hitler gained support from both the middle class andfarmers and membership doubled between 1927 and 1929. Would thisgrowth have continued at the same rate? Who knows. But in 1929, eventsthat even the Nazis didnt have control over launched them on a course setstraight to power. Seizing power legitimately rather than forcibly wasvowed by Hitler after the disastrous attempt at a coup.
Germany wasnt the only country affected by the Great Depressionbut it certainly was hit particularly bad. This is due to the fact thatAmerican banks recalled the loans which were keeping Germanysindustry moving. As a consequence, the economy came to a stop andmillions of people lost their jobs. The response of the government was, ofcourse, to try to get Germany out of the depression. But how? One waywould be to print money and increase government expenditure. But themembers of the government were more afraid of a period of inflation thanone of unemployment. So instead they perform blunder upon blunder andraise taxes, cut wages and reduce unemployment benefits. This causedpeople to turn to other parties for answers. As usual, the extremist groupswere the ones with the answers. In the election straight after the GreatDepression, the Nazis experienced a rise from 12 seats in 1928 to 107seats in 1930. As did the Communists from 54 to 77 seats. Although theeconomic depression was felt globally, Germany was one of the countriesto be hit the hardest.
There were many techniques which the Nazis used to gather supportmany of which had been use previously by themselves and also by otherparties. The big question would, of course, be How did the Nazis do it?In the 1930s the Nazi Party utilised all possible techniques to gathersupport from all around Germany. The history of many Nazi Partymembers lead back to WWI and so with them came the same obedience,organisation and teamwork which was present in the army. Propagandawas well organised and popular ideas and slogans were repeated over andover. Promises to voters were made to gain their votes and unlike otherparties the Nazis were extremely flexible and watched the response of thepeople and adapted quickly to satisfy them. Hitlers extraordinary publicspeaking skills incorporated with the use of technology enabled him to flyto four or five mass rallies per day compared to Hindenburgs one electionspeech. All these techniques allowed Hitler and the Nazis to become thelargest party in the Reichstag by 1933 advancing to 230 seats or 43.9%.
And they were not going to stop at that. Various techniques were utilisedby the Nazi Party throughout the 1930s which ultimately lead them tosuccess.
In conclusion, the techniques used by the National SocialistWorkers Party widely changed between the years 1920 and 1933.
Crawling out from amongst the rubble of defeat after WWI, the Nazi partywhich started out as a mere group of demobilized soldiers managed, withthe help of Adolf Hitler, to gain support from the workers in society.
Hitlers extraordinary public speaking skills became an attraction at hisspeeches and this gathered further supporters for the Nazis. After gainingenough support, Nazi members demanded action and so Hitler togetherwith his supporters staged the Munich, or Beer Hall, Putsch. After failingdisastrously in completing the putsch successfully, Hitler vowed to seizepower legitimately rather than forcibly. As the Great Depression set in,global economic activity slowed but Germanys economy was one ofwhich was hardest hit. Throughout the use of manipulative technology,organised propaganda and well organised skills as well as many othercolourful techniques the Nazi Party managed to gain the most seats in thepartys history as well as the history of the Weimar Republic. The ways inwhich Hitler and the Nazis adapted to and manipulated the vulnerableGerman people allowed them to progressively gain more support morevotes and more power. Until, finally, on 30 January, 1930, Hitler wasappointed Chancellor. From here on in, Hitler was setting the rules of thegame.
Cite this Nazi Germany After WWI
Nazi Germany After WWI. (2019, Apr 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/nazi-germany-after-wwi/