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History - The Election of Hitler in Germany
The election of Hitler in Germany On the evening of January 30th, 1933 was the newly appointed German Chancellor Adolf Hitler watching a torchlight parade of 25,000 Nazi troops march through the streets of Berlin. While he was watching the cheers of German citizen as the troops marched by, somebody heard Hitler say, “No power on Earth will get me out of here alive" New York Times 3/2008. Having this promise on his lips a lot of evil was done by hands of this famous leader. But how was Hitler, one of the most ruthless dictator of the 20th century, able to come to power in a democratic Germany 75 years ago?

Fertile ground 

One of the important elements was the fertile ground in the post-war Germany which was caused by the fallowing factors. Germany was in desparete shape after WW1. The harsh conditions imposed by France, Great Britian and, eventually, United States in 1919, Treaty of Versailles, made Germany humilitated and impoverished. Debilitating reparation payments to the victors made the economy exacerbate. More than that, the American Great Depression in 1929-1933, caused the stock markets to crush, banks to fail and factories to close. The paucity of economic background for ordinay people, in a way, caused that the Hitler‘s radical nationalist ideology gained support and ceased success. 

National Socialists 

The party of Nazis (short for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) was formend short after the war in 1920, at that time called German Worker’s party. It did not take them very long to consolidate themselves and organize a putsch in 1923. However, it ended up as a complete failure with the exception to the fact that it prepared a platform for Hitler to put forward his ideas. During the upcoming years, the party greatly englarged up to the number of 100, 000 members, which helped them to make their voice heard. In the year 1928, the party had 12 seats in the Reichstag (Parliament building in Berlin as well as the parliament itself) and within four years it became the largest party in parliament. Having such a strong background, Hitler had the perfect platform for presenting his radical ideology. 

The election of Hitler 

Based on the problems within the country, the party focused its campaign on promising better times for the citizens. They were not ashamed of excluding Jews from the society and blaming them for the crisis. They promised to stop paying reparation payments and bring more job opportunities to Germany, more then that, they presented a strong nationalist idea uniting numbers of Germans together. In the presidential election the strategen was proved worthy. Adolf Hitler received 37%, which presented 13 million votes. The then President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, was aware of the fact that Nazis had enough power to paralyze Germany democratic government and in January 30th he appointed Hitler Chancellor, the head of coalition government. Hindenburg was hoping to satisfy Nazis and maintain the government behind the scenes however, his intention caused that the most ruthless dictator of 20th century came to power. Within 18 months, Hitler took over the the country by destroying Weimar constitution, enabling himself to rule without consulting Reichstag, making the law against formation of new parties and creating “monopoly“ for his party. In 1934, when Paul von Hindenburg died, Hitler became a new president and called himself the Fuhrer, absolute leader. As an excellent speaker he proved himself worthy to ignite the nationalist ideology in his fellow citizens and to make them fallow him, as the only dictator. Being aware of the cruelty that followed, Hitler finally kept his word when he said, “No power on Earth will get me out of here alive“. His death signified the end of one dictator leaving a big question behind. Is there still some room for another “Fuhrer“ to come? If yes, is there any way how to prevent it?


Michal Staňák
CS Lewis Bilingual High School


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