The Rise of Hitler(part-3)

In the following year, the parliamentary (Reichstag) elections were held and the Nazi party garnered 143 seats (Kolb 86). The popularity if the party had increased due to the effects of the economic disasters that Weimar had experienced. In the next elections held in July 1932, the Nazi party gained more seats increasing the total to 230 seats; this catapulted it to be the biggest party in the Reichstag. Later in the year, Hitler riding on the popularity of the Nazi party faced Hindenburg in the presidential elections   garnering 13.4 million votes against Hindenburg’s 19.36 million while the Communist party’s Thalman, got 3.7 million votes (Kolb 92). Hindenburg appointed the centre party-supported Franz von Papen as the Chancellor of Germany. In September 1932, the Reichstag overpoweringly moved a motion of no confidence in his leadership with 513 votes against 32 (Kolb 95). This forced Hindenburg to call for elections in November 1932 in an attempt to secure more support in the parliament. However, the centre party loss more seats in the Reichstag, a fact that clearly demonstrated that von Papen had little support in Reichstag.

After the declaration of the November election results, Hitler demanded to be appointed the chancellor but Hindenburg declined. Instead he selected von Schleicher chancellor. Von Schleicher appointment as the Chancellor lasted less than two months owing to lack of support in the Reichstag. Hindenburg dismissed von Schleicher and on January 30th, 1933, he appointed Hitler as the Chancellor owing to his party popularity and support in Reichstag. The plan was that von Papen, who was the vice-chancellor, would control Hitler because of his experience in leading the country that Hitler lacked. Nevertheless, Hitler came to rise into the world’s most remembered dictator.

After securing supreme power, Hitler utilized propaganda and his distinguished oratory skills to boost public support of his Nazi party. He influenced the Germany citizens to believe that he was their liberator from the economic hardships of the great Depression, communism, the oppressive terms of Versailles treaty, and other minorities they considered undesirable.The propaganda was synchronized and skillful and he utilized it as a crucial tool for influencing the public opinion, accomplishment of various policies and strategies in the conquest of battles and the mass execution orchestrated against non-Aryan races in the Holocaust (Balfour 121). The propaganda was successful because it was well strategized; there was official promulgation of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, which executed the propaganda through the media such as radios, posters, films, newspapers, comics, speakers and magazines (Balfour 149-150). The widespread success of propaganda was attributed to the fact that the Nazi propagandists capitalized on the anti-Semitism and resentment which was widespread among the German citizens. The propaganda was chiefly used in Holocaust which saw the state-planned execution of Jews, disabled people, Slavs, Romanis, homosexuals, soviet prisoners of war, political and religious rivals such as Jehovah witness. It is estimated that between eleven to seventeen million people including approximately six million Jews were executed (Balfour 234).

Liberal rights that allowed the propagation of German culture contributed significantly to Hitler’s rise to power. Despite suppression by the French and Napoleonic wars being attributed as the antecedent of Hitler’s rise, the liberal constitution that allowed the individuals to propagate their culture was a critical catalyst. Through such propagation, the German culture became popular throughout the country, thus individuals could entertain the perspectives of such a culture being superior. With such an entrenched perspective, and by employing mechanisms such as propaganda, Hitler found a basis through which his principles of the other races being inferior being accepted by many Germans with minimal resistance.

Works Cited

Balfour, Michael. Propaganda in War 1939-1945: Organizations, Policies and Publics in Britain and Germany. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979. Print.

Burleigh, Michael. Racism as social policy: The Nazi ‘euthanasia’ programme, 1939-1945. Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies. London: Routledge, 1991. Pp 453-473. Web. 15 April 2011.

David, Roberts. Comment: Fascism, Single-Party Dictatorships, and the Search for a Comparative Framework. Journal of Contemporary European History. pp 455-461. 2002. Web. 15 April 2011.

Fritzsche, Peter. Germans into Nazis. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998. Print.

Kershaw, Ian. The Nazi dictatorship: Problems and Persectives of Interpretation. New York: E. Arnold. Print

Kolb, Eberhard. The Weimar Republic. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.

Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. New York: Praeger publishers, 1973.Print.

 

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