Revision Diary

Hitler's Rise to Power


Early career of Hitler; founding of the Nazi Party; Mein Kampf; Munich Putsch; decline in support in the Stresemann years.

Inability of the Weimar Republic to cope with the Depression.

Growth in support for the Nazis, 1929-1933; and its reasons; elections of 1932; invitation to lead coalition government, 1933.


Make sure you have detailed factual knowledge about AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT the following issues and topics:


Hitler and the growth of the Nazi Party to 1933

1.  A summary of Hitler's early career.

2.  An account of Hitler's beliefs.

3.  The story of the Munich Putsch

4.  The story of Hitler's rise to power, 1929-33

5.  The reasons why Hitler came to power


and that you are able to explain:





Hitler and the growth of the Nazi Party to 1933


Hitler's Early Career


    After WWI, Hitler worked as a spy for the Army.  

    One of the groups he checked out was the German Workers' Party - he joined them and took over!  


    During the crisis of 1923, the Nazi Party grew quickly.

    In November 1923, Hitler attempted the Munich Putsch.   He failed and was sent to Landsberg prison.


    In prison, he planned a new strategy - to get elected to power.  

    He put Goebbels in charge of propaganda, promised businessmen he would destroy the Trade Unions and started the Hitler Youth.


    The Nazis appealed most to the middle class (farmers, small businessmen), as well as to nationalists and fascists.   They recruited poorly from the workers and intellectuals.

    During the prosperity of the late 1920s, support for the Nazis fell.



Hitler's Beliefs


(Foul Nazi Racists)

Hitler's beliefs - 'National Socialism' - can be found in his speeches, in the Nazi's Twenty-five Point Programme, and in Mein Kampf (1924).   They included:

1.   Fascism - a strong central government with Hitler as dictator.

2.   Nationalism - unite all German-speaking people in one country; destroy the Treaty of Versailles; Germany should rule the world.

3.   Racism - Jews were untermensch.



Munich Putsch


During the crisis of 1923, Hitler had been planning a revolution with the leaders of the state of Bavaria.   When they tried to call it off, he decided to go it alone.

On 8 November 1923, he marched into a meeting in a Beer Hall, and forced them at gunpoint to agree to support him.   (They went straight home and called in the army.)

Nazi stormtroopers took over the army barracks, beat up Jews and smashed up the local newspaper offices.   But when they marched into Munich next morning they were sopped by the police and defeated in a short gunfight.  

Hitler was put on trial and sent to Landsburg prison, but he turned the trial into a publicity opportunity.   In prison, he planned a new strategy - to get elected to power.  



    In leaders of Bavaria were Kahr (State Commissioner), Lossow (Army Commander) and Seisser (Chief of Police) - they planned a march of 15,000 soldiers on Berlin.

    Hitler was supported by the WWI war-hero, General Ludendorff .   

    When the Nazis marched on Munich, they were stopped by police in Residenzstrasse, 16 Nazis were killed.   



Hitler's Rise to Power


In 1929, there was an economic depression in Germany.  

Frightened and angry, many Germans turned to Hitler - the Nazis grew quickly and became the largest party.

But the depression DID NOT bring Hitler to power.   In the November 1932 elections the Nazis got fewer seats!   Hitler contemplated suicide ... but then he was saved by President Hindenburg and Chancellor Papen.

The government could not pass any laws because it did not have a majority in the Reichstag.   Hindenburg offered Hitler a deal - he could be vice-chancellor if he would support the government.   Hitler demanded to be chancellor.   Hindenburg and Papen agreed, thinking they could control him.  

So Hitler became Chancellor, and immediately set about making himself absolute ruler of Germany.



     During the depression, unemployment rose to 6 million.  

     In 1930 the government cut spending and unemployment pay (exactly the WRONG thing to do during a depression).

     The Nazis had only 12 seats in the Reichstag in 1928.   This rose to 230 in July 1932 - but fell to 196 in November 1932 .



Why Hitler Came to Power


All the following played a part.   Remember that the last two are the most important.

1.   Anger at the Treaty of Versailles.

2.   Proportional Representation weakened the Weimar government.  

3.   Money from big business.

4.   Goebbels' propaganda.

5.   Hitler's beliefs were popular.

6.   The Stormtroopers beat up opponents.

7.   Hitler was a brilliant speaker.

8.   Economic Depression.

9.   In the end, Hitler was given power by Hindenburg.


Revision Focus

This is a Paper 2 topic, so you need to have factual KNOWLEDGE IN DEPTH but also a degree of understanding which will allow you in the exam to write MULTI-CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS of the key issues.



e-books on the Hitler's Early Career and Hitler's Rise to Power, as well as a detailed account of the Munich Putsch.



Online revision sheet