Hitler's Rise to Power
In 1919 The Weimar Republic encountered harsh economic, social and
political problems. After the new Democratic Republic signed the
armistice it put Germany not only into an economic crisis, it also
caused Ebert’s Republic to get off to an unpopular start. The new
government were branded ‘The November Criminals’ even though they
weren’t to be blamed, and were left little choice. Some people felt
the government should be based on communism, and the Spartacist
uprising in 1919 caused major political problems. In 1923 problems
became more difficult, and it was seen as a major success to maintain
political stability under these circumstances.
Also in 1919, Hitler joined the newly formed German Workers’ Party.
Using his speaking skills and effective use of propaganda, Hitler
became a crucial figurehead to the party. In 1920 Hitler helped
establish the party’s beliefs through its 25-point programme. In 1921
the party brought out its own newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter,
and established the SA, the party’s own paramilitary organisation.
This was significant, because every established political party had
its own newspaper and paramilitary group. Hitler’s speeches attracted
crowds from the Bavarian right wing, which gained more members for the
party. Without the support and influence the Nazis would have been
amongst the fringes of the radical right wing parties. The support
from the police and army leadership also helped the Nazis move to a
respectable position within right wing politics.
By 1923 the support in Bavaria helped the Nazi party to 35,000
members. Hitler, seeing the Weimar’s problems, saw this as his
opportunity to seize power and so attempted a putsch. Due to lack of
influence he could not do it alone, so he persuaded key right wing
figureheads in Bavaria to back the rising. The Bavarian state
commissioner, Gustav von Kahr, was addressing a meeting in the largest
beer-hall in Munich. Hitler took over and attempted to persuade those
present to adopt his plans for a government takeover. Hitler’s
supporters in the Bavarian government abandoned him, and the event.
Meanwhile Hitler’s troops marched into the city centre, but the police
fired on them and the attempted putsch ended in a fiasco. Hitler was
tried for treason, the outcome being his imprisonment for a five year
sentence. The Newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter, was banned along with
the party itself. Hitler only served nine months, during which he
wrote Mein Kampf, which contained Hitler’s beliefs and ideas, although
it was originally ignored. During his time in prison Hitler also
revised his strategies. He realised he could only obtain power
legally, and to do so he would have to persuade the German electorate
to vote for him. After his release Hitler reaffirmed his control...