The Wall Street Crash of 1929 gave Hitler the step up that he needed to get into power although it may not have been the only reason. I am going to discuss reasons why Hitler came to power and whether the Wall Street Crash was the most important one.
After the Wall Street Crash, many countries were affected; Germany was one of these countries. Loans from America were quickly withdrawn and this left Germany in a state of shock since Germany’s industry depended on the USA to support it and to get back on track after World War 1. This then leads into a spiral of depression. German firms go bankrupt; this then leads to the rise in unemployment. This makes civilians live in poverty and they have less money to spend on goods and the demand of goods drop. This spiral will keep going until something or someone puts an end to it.
The poverty and unemployment caused German civilians to be frustrated with the government. More and more people were turning to extremist parties like the Communists and the Nazis because these parties promised change and this is what appealed to the German people.
Although the Wall Street crash played an essential part in Hitler’s rise to power, there were other factors that helped this. Hitler seized the opportunity with both hands, he appealed to every class in society. The Upper class were always attracted to right wing parties because they didn’t believe in high taxes and they liked a strong military and other traditional values.
The middle class were drawn to the Nazis because they seemed like the only party that could destroy communism since that was one of their main goals. The middle class were terrified of communism because the communists believed in the same wages for everyone and every single thing to be run by the government. This would appeal to the working class but obviously not to the middle and upper classes. Communism also seemed very close to Germany because it had just happened in Russia, which is extremely near to Germany.
Hitler used the fact that people were unemployed and starving to boost his own success, he offered the unemployed jobs in the S.A. This was highly successful because the uniforms gave the unemployed a sense of belonging and it made them feel as if they had a purpose. He also offered food; this attracted the working class, which normally would have more likely to vote Communist.
The Nazis use propaganda such as posters and promises saying that they will get Germany back on track. Hitler was the centre of all this, he was the figurehead of the Nazis. They promote the idea that Hitler is some sort of knight in shining armour and he will save Germany. Hitler also gained support by making speeches that inspired the German people; he was an extremely persuasive and impressive public speaker.
Another reason for Hitler gaining in popularity is that the force of the opposition that the Nazis faced was very weak. The Social Democrats lacked support from the German civilians because they didn’t trust any party who had lead them to the great depression after the Wall Street Crash. The Communists were feared by the middle and the upper classes and only really got support from the working class people.
When the Nazis get the most seats in parliament President Hidenburg refuses to appoint Hitler as chancellor and appoints Papen, head of the Catholic Centre Party instead. However later on, Schleicher persuaded Hindenburg to replace Papen with himself, as Papen did not have the support of the Reichstag. Schleicher also failed to achieve support from the Reichstag. Then Papen wanted revenge and thought that he could use Hitler to gain power for himself. They made a deal where Hitler would be chancellor with Papen as his vice. Hidenburg then agreed to their plan because he and Papen thought they could control Hitler. They made sure that only 3 out of 12 people in the government were Nazis. It didn’t take long for Hitler to abolish their plan and turn Weimar Republic into a dictated country.
In conclusion, I think that the Wall Street Crash played a key part in Hitler’s rise to power but it wasn’t the only one, the fact that the opposition was extremely weak was also an essential part. In my opinion, the civilian of Germany only gave Hitler the support he needed because they were desperate and had to put their faith in someone who was likely to lead them to a better quality of living.