As we have learnt in the previous posts, that Germany was in trouble after the World War-I. This trouble increased when the Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. So, these crisis in Germany of early 20th century proved to be a reason for the political, social, economic upheaval in Germany.
Reasons for the Rise of Nazism
Rise of Nazism: Terms of Treaty of Versailles
Germans considered treaty of Versailles as the humiliation of German race. Germany was facing a burden of World War-I compensation. The year 1929, which ended with the Great Economic Depression increased the problems of the Germany. So, Germans failed to pay the instalments of war reparation money.
As they failed to repay war reparations, France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr region of Germany. Ruhr region was a coal producing region. So, it consequently led to the breakdown of German industries. In this scenario, German workers went on the strike for an indefinite period.
This ended the supply of fuel and labourers to German industries and slowing led to closing down of German industries. This created unemployment in Germany. The Economic Depression also led to the hyperinflation in the Germany in which Germany devaluated its currency.
Rise of Nazism: Political Crisis
After 1918, Germany adopted a forced democratic system under the Weimar Republic. Initially, Kaiser was the head of the German States. So, democracy was a new system for German people. They were not used to of this. Democracy develops gradually, one can not force it.
But after the World War-I democracy was imposed on the people. Soon, this newly imposed system became tension for the people of the Germany.
The infant Weimer Republic, which was born in 1918, was facing the acute crisis in Germany. There were attempts to overthrow infant government by various sections of the Germany. They were communists, National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI party) etc.
In 1920, Dr Kapp attempted to overthrew the Weimar Republic. Kapp received support from one of Germany’s foremost military officers – General Erich Ludendorff. Soon, after three years in 1923, Ludendorff attempted to overthrew the Weimar Republic. This time Ludendorff attempted with the help of his disciple Adolf Hitler.
Rise of Nazism: Social Causes
The political and economic crisis prepared the ground for the social crisis in Germany. The unemployment was rising speedily. There was a lack of law and order because of the political crisis. So, a wave of nationalism spread all over the Germany.
The Germans always considered themselves as a superior race, so the terms and conditions of Treaty of Versailles seemed very humiliating for them. So, the waves of Pan-Nationalism, Anti-Marxist, Anti-Semitic and Anti- Democracy were rising like tsunamis in the Germany.
The biggest social trouble was anti-semitic movement. Actually, it was the tension between Germans and Jews. German accused Jews of being responsible for the defeat of Germany in World War-I.
Rise of Nazism: Emergence of Adolf Hitler
In 1919, Adolf Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI party). Initially, Nazi Party failed to perform in the first general election. But after the Economic Depression of 1929, Germany was witnessing economic and political crisis. In this scenario, none of the parties got the complete majority in the in the general election of 1931.
The economic and political crisis led to the breakdown of the German industries. German Capitalists were in tension and the ground for the communists was thriving in Germany. So, when the German capitalists were in trouble Hitler, by siding with the capitalists stood up against the communists.
In the general election of 1931, Nazi party had got a good number of seats, just a few short of the complete majority. The capitalists of Germany supported Adolf Hitler. So, he strengthened his position in the Germany. Soon, In 1933 the head of Weimar Republic Hindenburg accepted Hitler as Chancellor of the Germany. Hindenburg died in 1934.
Taking advantage of the situation Hitler forcefully occupied the office of head of Weimar Republic. So, Hitler became the Chancellor cum President of the Germany.
From here started the Era of Adolf Hitler in Germany. We will discuss this in next coming post.
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