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Why was Hitler able to become Chancellor in

1933?
The appointment of Hitler as Chancellor is a critical event in the lead
up to WW2. From this position of power Hitler was able to turn
Germany into a single party state. It was by a combination of factors
that Hitler was able to capitalize on the feelings of insecurity and
longing for a strong state and economic prosperity, such as the
exhibition an image of order, stability and strong leadership in
combination with effective demagoguery that went in contrast to
the chaotic developments of Weimar Germany during the
Depression. As people lost faith in democracy, many saw him as the
only answer.
It can be contended that Weimar Germany was a weak ruling body
and this was only emphasized with the Wall Street Crash. Firstly, its
policies never truly appealed to the society as a whole. At best the
Reichshwers toleration of the regime was lukewarm. The appeal to
the education system and civil service was even less: German
geography text books still promoted the idea of Germany having
enemies on all sides and school still texts did not present the truth
behind Germanys defeat in 1918. Conveniently these nationalistic
views were in accordance with those of the Nazis. Furthermore, the
Reichstag was inherently inefficient by nature of its structure.
Proportional representation meant large coalitions had to be formed.
Evidence of the problems caused by those broad and diverse
coalitions is that when centre right parties in the government led by
Muller called for reductions in public spending and unemployment
benefits (essential for balancing the budget), the SPD stood firmly in
opposition. This finally led to the forced resignation of chancellor
Muller. The inefficacy and slow bureaucracy had an impact on the
public and strengthened their longing back to the economic
expansion and stability under Bismarck.

It is strongly evident that the Depression was a significant factor in


Hitlers rise as it created the conditions for ordinary citizens to view
the Nazi party as a rational solution. With at least 6 million
unemployed by 1932 and a weighty cut in salaries, there was fertile
ground for a popular shift to extremist parties. Their popularity had
grown proportionally with the rise in unemployment; by 1932, 57%
of the voters had voted for the anti-Weimar parties, with a relative
majority of the votes belonging to the Nazis. It can be argued that
this came down mainly to the Nazis image of being focused on order
and discipline, which contrasted with the contemporary image of an
unstable Weimar Germany. The latters instability was only affirmed
by the chaos in the Reichstag during the Depression. This was
illustrated through Hindenburgs dissolving of the Reichstag in 1930
because of an issue on the agreement of the budget This
subsequently led to the forced resignation of chancellor Mller
because parliamentary governance became impossible. This
contributed to the image of the Weimar republic not being able to
cope with the economic problems, leaving much of the nation even
more insecure.It is probable that it was Hitlers and his partys
image of order, stability and strong leadership that attracted
attention. Hitler himself added to this appeal by capturing the
crowds with his demagoguery. Much of the time he left aside reason
and logic in his arguments, rather focusing on appealing to the
emotions of the crowd through the passion he exerted. Many have
described the feeling of unity amid Hitlers speeches during
carefully orchestrated mass rallies. Some describe a supernatural
hold Hitler had with the reference of magnetism, others seemed to
be entranced by the immaculate order. This evocation of unity and
order was also tapping into the existent longing of the traditional
Reich and forgetting the humiliation caused by Versailles. This
came under the idea of nationalism that the Nazi Ideology
presented, clearly illustrated by the reference to National in NSDAP.
However, this acronym also contains the word socialism. This made
reference to Nazis desire to appeal to the society as a whole, crosscutting all classes, and not specifically the conceptual socialism, the
Nazis did however interest many of the masses through their
promised solutions to the socioeconomic hardship that leaned on
actual socialism. For instance, Point 3 in the 25 points of National
Socialism We demand landto feed our people. Over and
above that, Hitler was highly anti-Marxist, and by many he was
seen as the only true opposition against the growth of communism,
Historian Richard Overy noted that the Nazis were...the only party
visibly combating the threat of communism on the streets.
Although these were acts aimed to materialize his idealistic view of
Germany, there is ample evidence that he was more of a pragmatic
opportunist who was willing to put his long-term goals on ice if it
meant the acquisition of power. After the beer hall putsch of 1923,
Hitler changed tactic and opted for legal steps to gain power and
this meant his party had to temporarily conform itself to the

democratic system and it did. This had the implication of making the
Nazi option a legitimate one. Nonetheless, Hitler himself remained
aloof by not entering the Reichstag himself, emphasizing his
disassociation with the ever more unpopular Weimar. Hitler
appealed to what the masses felt and he gained their attention.
Hindenburg for one disliked what Hitler promoted, yet he saw no
other alternative as Chancellor. It can be reasoned that it was
because Hitler was able to convey a sense of order, which most of
the forerunning chancellors failed to do, and nobody else seemed to
exhibit. For example, after Mullers forced resignation, Chancellor
Brunings (center party) economic policies of reducing government
spending and increasing taxes, contributed to the rise in
unemployment. Appropriately he was coined as the Hunger
Chancellor because of the suffering he caused. Papen also
displayed this ineffective rule. The army expressed their
dissatisfaction in Papen through their vote of no confidence. The
subsequent inter-institutional appointment of General Schleicher
whos job it was to gain the support of the Nazis or to break them
apart only achieved Hitlers embitterment. These consecutive
failures possibly led Hindenburg into a situation of desperation, and
ended up in a situation much of the populous had to endure, no
politician seemed to be as convincing as Hitler.

The appointment of Hitler as chancellor was an integral cause of


WW2, but to understand this event and more importantly the causes
of the Second World War one has to put emphasis on the factors
that made his rise to power possible. The Weimar Republic was
weak, its policies never truly appealed to the society as a whole and
its bureaucratic structure was slow and inefficient. It only became
more chaotic and ineffective with the Depression. It was Hitlers well
orchestrated image of order, stability and strong leadership that put
him in contrast to the chaotic and unstable nature of the Weimar
Republic. This eventually appealed to Hindenburg as well, against all
odds, as his forerunning chancellors all seemed to be ineffective.
The momentum of his appointment and Chancellor and rise to
power was also made possible because of Hitlers pragmatic
opportunistic decision to take legal steps in his acquisition of power
and becoming a legitimate chancellor by the constitution. Only to
destroy all the institutions of democracy immediately after he got
there.