EXPLAINING HITLERíS ELECTORAL SUCCESS AS History: Unit 1 Ė Seeds of Evil
Consider the status of the following statements. Are they accurate or inaccurate? Where inaccurate, give reasons and evidence on which you base your decision. Sometimes a statement may be accurate but of only limited value. For example, it may over-simplify matters or conceal as much as it reveals. Where this is the case, explain how you would qualify or amend the statement.



o The rising tide of electoral support for the Nazis made it difficult for Hindenburg to defy public opinion and resist appointing Hitler as Chancellor.



I think this statement is quite accurate. It would have been very hard for Hindenburg to just ignore the fact that Adolf Hitler was the leader of the most popular party in Germany. It would have also been in the mind of Hindenburg that the NAZIS had never had the majority in the Reichstag. All the other major parties in Germany had been given a chance, the SPD had been the leading party throughout, and during their reign there had been many different chancellors of many different parties, who had tried and failed to deliver.


It was not just a simple fact of choosing someone to be chancellor. At this time there was a very bad crisis, the great depression. After chancellor Mueller was forced to resign, a wave of chancellors came. Hindenburg was very old and relied a lot upon his advisers to help him make his decisions. At the time when the NAZIS were at their peak, people who were relatively unknown were brought in as chancellor, notably Von Papen. Hitler was of course a very well known and popular man. Hindenburg could not hide this fact and would have been tempted to give him a chance. But he did not give him the chance when Hitlerís support was at its peak, he decided to give him the chancellor under what seemed to be his terms, not Hitlerís as he had previously demanded. This is because he had arguments against Hitler, for example although Hitler claimed he lead the largest party in Germany, they were in decline.









o It is alarming to think that so many Germans between 1930 and 1932 decided to give their vote to a party committed to another world war and the genocide of the Jewish people.



I do not think this statement is completely accurate. The people did not directly know this is what the NAZIS intended to do, as they did not go around campaigning the fact that if they were elected they would start a world war, eliminate communism and rid of the Jewish society. They were not secret about the fact they did not like the communists, but campaigned to those who did not want to see a communist revolution, the land owners and upper class of Germany. They did not say to people they were going to exterminate all the Jews although Hitler made it known he despised them. Instead the NAZIS campaigned to those who had problems in society, notably peasants, the young, the old, white collar workers and small business owners. They specifically broke Germany up in to categories and promised each group what they wanted, or at least something which would convince them to vote for them, for example they promised the peasants foreclosure on their land so they would not lose it, and respect for their work. The public were voting for benefits they would receive from doing so, or if they werenít voting for this reason, it was because they were disillusion by other parties.









o Growing support for the Nazis had more to do with the personal popularity of Hitler than with enthusiasm for National Socialist ideology. The typical Nazi voter was not a Nazi.



I do not totally agree with this article. Although Hitlerís main asset was his ability to public speak and persuade people, he could not have done this for millions of voters. ďThe parties success in getting its message across to the electorate may have been less due to both Hitler and the national propaganda machine than is often imagined, for, despite Hitlerís hectic speech activities, there were, after all, limits to the numbers of those he could reach directly.Ē Says Jeremy