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There are many factors that led to Hindenburgs decision to appoint Hitler chancellor in

1933. As the German government, economy, and social structure continued to change, the
National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazis, gained in popularity. Adolf Hitler never
gained enough votes to be elected, but the amount of support they received led to Hitlers
appointment. Had the Nazi party never gained in popularity, Hindenburg would not have felt the
need to appoint Hitler. Although there were many factors that contributed to his appointment, the
use of campaigning was the most influential because it reached the largest volume of people. The
Nazi party used many modern campaign techniques, mass meetings, emotional speeches,
advertisements, and propaganda. For this reason, I think the effectiveness of Nazi campaign
strategies, including their use of propaganda, is the most important factor that led to Hitler being
appointed chancellor by Hindenburg in 1933.
The Nazis were innovators that used modern and tactical campaign techniques. They
traveled by car, train, and airplane and would cover huge parts of Germany in short periods of
time in an attempt to reach as many voters as possible. Hitler Over Germany was the name
attached to one of Hitlers campaign tours, which covered 50 cities in 15 days (Spielvogel, pp.
60). The Nazi campaigning continued both during and between elections and was so vigorous
that they started to receive more votes and gain in popularity. The Nazis also used a technique
called saturation advertising. They would schedule 70-200 rallies in the space of one to two
weeks in one district (Spielvogel, pp. 60). This strategy was used when they hoped to get major
electoral breakthrough in a particular area and the campaigns usually used Hitler as the featured
speaker (Spielvogel, pp. 60).
Mass meetings were another great way for the Nazi party to create support for a
movement (Spielvogel, pp. 59). When people came to the meetings, they got a sense of
community and became convinced that the messages of the Nazi party were truthful and would
help Germany (Spielvogel, pp. 59). These mass meetings were carefully organized and
sometimes included marching bands, flags, and shouts of heil to produce emotion and a sense of
unity among the crowd (Spielvogel, pp. 61). Allowing people to gather as a group and hear the
messages that the Nazi party was trying to get across drew people to the Nazi party and
individuals began to support it.
The speeches that Hitler delivered during these mass meetings were extremely emotional
as well. It was said in State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda that Hitler,
standing on a table to be seen, delivered an emotional speech that roused the crowd (Luckert and
Bachrach, pp. 29). A Hamburg schoolteacher said, When the speech was over, there was
roaring enthusiasm and applause. Hitler saluted, gave his thanks, the Horst Wessel song sounded
out across the courseThen he went.How many look up to him with touching faith as their
helper, their saviour, their deliverer from unbearable distress (Spielvogel, pp. 61). This primary
source shows how his speeches left an impression and how the emotion he used was a very
effective way to persuade people to vote for the Nazi party. Hitler paid close attention to detail
and the way things were presented (Luckert and Bachrach, pp. 29). Hitler believed that unlike a
newspaper, a film, or even a radio address, a speaker appearing before an audience could form a
direct and personal contact with the listeners (Luckert and Bachrach, pp. 32). This caused
people to be drawn in and intrigued by the messages that Hitler delivered and people got excited
about the Nazi party.
The Nazis also used campaign posters and ads to gain the attention of the German
population. These were often targeted at certain groups (Spielvogel, pp. 61). For example, one
Nazi campaign poster directed to the working class shows a Nazi destroying the stock exchange,
which is labeled International High Finance (Spielvogel, pp. 61). Another example is of a
poster that had the title Work and Bread, which showed an arm with a Nazi armband on it. On
this picture, the hand offered tools to the outstretched hands of the unemployed (Spielvogel, pp.
61). Many of the posters and ads were targeting a specific group, like the working class, middle
class, or the unemployed. Hitler also encouraged party leaders to take out advertisements in local
newspapers and distribute leaflets to promote meetings and encourage their attendance (Luckert
and Bachrach, pp. 26). The newspaper Vlkischer Beobachter was purchased by Hitler and it
announced meetings and other news to people that didnt make it to meetings (Luckert and
Bachrach, pp. 31).
One of the most important campaign techniques used by the Nazis was propaganda.
According to Spielvogel, propaganda has to be addressed to the masses and not the intellectuals
(Spielvogel, pp. 59). Propaganda wasnt about educating the people, but more about calling their
attention to certain facts. Propaganda had to focus on constant repetition of a few basic ideas,
eventually establishing these ideas as truths in the minds of the masses (Spielvogel, pp. 59).
Hitler realized that he had to use propaganda in order to sell his ideas to his targeted audiences.
Local organizers were told how and where to target certain audiences, from workers to middle
class professionals (Spielvogel, pp. 59). One example of this strategic use of propaganda was
that Hitler realized that not all Germans would respond the same way to anti-Jewish messages, so
he would choose to include or leave out anti-Semitic messages depending on the audience
(Luckert and Bachrach, pp. 42).
The Nazi party also kept their plans broad and amorphous so that they could tailor their
message appropriately (Luckert and Bachrach, pp. 42). In rural areas, party activists would use
slogans, generalities, and oversimplifications, and would avoid making any firm commitments
to agricultural policies so as not to be held to any concrete promises (Luckert and Bachrach, pp.
45). Because of these one-sided messages, the Nazis received votes from a large variety of social
groups (Geary, pp. 2). Although the Nazi party initially targeted urban workers, they got great
electoral success in rural areas (Geary, pp. 1). People of many different social groups started to
vote Nazi after its promises of a better future for Germany.
I think the use of campaign strategies and the use of propaganda was the most influential
factor of Hitler being appointed chancellor because this method reached the most people.
Although other factors like the Versailles treaty or the Great Depression influenced many
Germans, the strategic and modern campaign techniques are what finally caused people of
different social groups to vote differently, for the Nazi party. Many other factors played a part,
but they were only used as pawns in the propaganda of the Nazi party. Hitler used these events,
like the Great Depression, to his advantage when campaigning. He used them to undermine his
opponents and convince people that things would improve if they voted Nazi. Although these
events were significant, I dont think they would have been as big of factors if Hitlers
campaigning hadnt brought them to the attention of many German citizens.
Through the use of many modern campaign techniques, mass meetings, emotional
speeches, advertisements, and propaganda, the Nazi party gained significant popularity with
various social groups and individuals. By using such vigorous campaigning techniques under the
direction of Adolf Hitler, the party was able to substantially increase the votes they received in
the 1932 election with 37% of the vote (Spielvogel, pp. 65). Although still not enough for Hitler
to become president, Hitlers new popularity caused Hindenburg to eventually appoint him as
chancellor, hoping to box him in by conservatives (Spielvogel, pp. 68). If the Nazis hadnt used
such innovative campaign techniques, Hitlers popularity wouldnt have grown so quickly and
Hindenburg would not have willingly appointed Hitler as chancellor in 1933. I strongly believe
that the most influential factor leading to this event was the effectiveness of Nazi campaign
strategies, including their use of propaganda.

Works Cited

Bachrach, S., & Luckert, S. (2009). State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Geary, D. (1998). Who Voted for the Nazis? History Today, 48(10).

Spielvogel, J. J., & Redles, D. (2010). Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History (6
ed.). Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.