To what extent was Hitler successful in consolidating Nationalist Socialist Power after being appointed Chancellor in 1933?
On the 30th of January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Within a year and a half Germany was a military dictatorship under his control. The speed and eventual success in Hitler’s consolidation of Nazi power is often analysed and discussed by historians.
It is often wondered how a man from a small Austrian town, born on the 20th April 1889 of parents from poor peasant backgrounds, could have such a rise to power.
After leaving education with no formal qualifications and failing as a painter in Vienna, Hitler moved to Munich and enlists into the ...view middle of the document...
Hitler’s successful campaign to consolidate Nazi power after being appointed Chancellor was an example of both exploitation of events within Germany at the time, and direct planning and action taken by Hitler to achieve his goal. It was in stark contrast to his initial attempt to seize power in 1923.
In November 1923 Hitler tried to gain power violently by instigating a revolution in Munich. This is known as the Munich Putsch. He would learn vital lessons from this failed attempt to gain power, which is shown in his actions after becoming Chancellor in 1933. He had assembled a large group of unemployed men and former soldiers known as the SA, and in alliance with two nationalist politicians, Kahr and Lossow, plotted to take over Munich. But on the 4th of October Kahr and Lossow called off the rebellion, which created an awkward situation for Hitler, as he had 3000 troops ready and eager to fight and worried about losing their support if not given one. On the 8th of November he and 600 SA soldiers interrupted a meeting that Kahr and Lossow were having at the local beer hall, he then waved a gun at them and forced them to agree to resume the rebellion. The next day, Hitler and the Nazis went into Munich on what they thought would be a triumphant march to take power, but Kahr had called in police and army reinforcements to resist the rebellion.
Sixteen Nazis were killed and Hitler was arrested two days later. He was sent to prison, the Nazi party was banned and Hitler received a ban from public speaking until 1927. It was a poorly planned and misjudged attempt to seize power, but Hitler used the attention given to him by the event to speak to a larger audience. In prison he wrote Mein Kampf, outlining his vision of a new Germany, he also reflected on the failures in the Nazi rebellion and decided on a change of tactics. He decided to seek power through more legal means.
In October 1929, the American Stock Exchange collapsed, and caused an economic depression. The government made many cuts to expenditure and unemployment in Germany had risen to 6 million. This led to a huge feeling of anger and bitterness towards the Weimar government which the Nazi party exploited. It was the perfect environment to gain popularity for their party and see their seats in The Reichstag go from 12 in 1928, to 230 in July 1932, thus becoming the largest party. This economic depression was vital in Hitler’s rise to power, as the historian William Carr argues “it is inconceivable that Hitler could ever have come to power had not the Weimar Republic been subjected to the unprecedented strain of the world economic crisis” it is the context for the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power. One vital benefit of the depression to Hitler was the turning of many workers to communism. This frightened wealthy German business owners who would go on to finance Hitler’s campaigns, seeing him as a strong alternative to communism.