Was the Great Depression to Blame for the Success of the Nazi Party?

10 October 2016

This was great for the Nazi’s, because put simply, when people are happy and rich they do not turn to extremist parties, however when they are unemployed and poor, they do. There is a graph that shows the direct correlation between unemployed rates and Nazi party supporters. As more people became unemployed, the Nazi’s got more votes. Between 1928 and 1930, Nazi votes had increased from 800,000 to 6,409,000, which links with the fact that also between these years, unemployment went from about 1 Million to about 3 Million people.

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Also, the Nazi’s supported Anti-Jewish views, this appealed to people more during unemployment because a lot of Jewish people had jobs that Germans believed should be given to them. Secondly, the great depression also caused massive poverty and economic problems. USA stopped giving money to Germany and suddenly wanted all debts paid back; Germany couldn’t afford this, doubt the reparations in the Versailles treaty.

By 1931, Germany’s biggest bank collapsed, which made paying back debts even more difficult, and thus a combination of these factors led to another hyperinflation. This led to lack of support and eventually the collapse of the Weimar Republic, making the Nazi’s more popular as they promised a strong Germany with strong leadership as there was in the “Good days under the Kaiser. ” However, despite all this evidence for the great depression being the blame for the rise of the Nazi’s, there were also a range of other factors.

Firstly, you have to consider that while the great depression was good for the Nazi party, it was equally as good for all other communist party’s, therefore you have to look at why the Nazi’s were more successful than their opposition communists. Many people in Germany were actually scared of communism, for example the middle and higher class would lose everything if communism came into power, and therefore they were very nationalist and sometimes even gave big donations to the Nazi party.

Also, this means powerful people such as judges often supported the Nazi’s, so for example many Nazi party rebels received lower sentences than other parties, which gives people the feeling of worth and power, therefore ultimately increasing the support for the Nazi’s As well as the above reason, there was also another vital, yet coincidental reason that enabled Nazi’s to have more success. In October 1929, Stresemann died. There was no conspiracy about Hitler having him killed, It was just a coincidence, but one that helped Hitler a lot.

When the great depression hit, many believed that Stresemann could have done something about it. For example given support to the Weimer Republic, therefore helping them to keep power and preventing the rise of the Nazi Party, however despite this, we will never know whether he could of helped or not. Although, he spent 6 years helping Germany to recover, and won a Nobel peace prize for his effort, therefore there is good evidence to support that had he of not died, he could of helped the Weimar republic put off the threat of a Nazi Germany.

To conclude, because of the obvious correlation between unemployment, and the amount of support for the Nazi party, despite the fact that the great depression was not the only reason for the success of the Nazi’s, I believe it is clear that it was the most important. Therefore it is because of this that I believe if there was no Wall Street crash and worldwide depression; the Nazi party would not have been anywhere near as successful. Liam Bacon 11B

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