The rise of the Nazi regime in Germany in the early part of the 20th century was an impressive, and nearly unforeseen incident that had long-lasting implications on the rest of the Western world. While the Nazi party was extreme in their ideologies, the circumstances in which they came to power were dire; Germany had been crippled by a massive depression and was being forced to pay reparations through the “Young Plan” which required Germany to pay the Allied forces “a series of annual payments extending until 1988”(Bullock, 160). The German people were left without any leadership in a time of disparity, but naturally, a strong leader filled this vacuum. Even though the actions of the Nazi party were extreme and unjustifiable, they needed to dig their country out of the massive debt that they had incurred as a result of World War I, and the Nazi party was able to revitalize Germany’s economy, and arm the nation in the process.
Immediately following the First World War, the Allied nations met at Versailles and, except for the United States, were unwavering in their decision to demand reparations from Germany (Briggs & Clavin, 205). The Treaty of Versailles and the Young Plan put an incredible amount of stress on the already withered German economy. The initial payment to the Allied nations was “a thousand million pounds of gold”, which meant a lot more repayment was yet to come. Forcing Germany to pay reparations led to anger and frustration among the German people, who had suffered enough through World War I; no one saw
the benefit of paying an absurd amount of reparations because they simply could not pay for the cost of the war. Reparations led to a vengeful feeling among the future leaders of Germany; the Nazi party. This rising political party was bent on seeking revenge on the countries that embarrassed Germany at Versailles.
Germany was forced to accept the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, for fear of being financially ruined by the Allied forces. Neither France, Britain, or the United States were ever repaid fully from the German reparations; these countries, with the addition of Italy, were absolved of a significant amount of their debt by the United States because they simply count not afford to pay the others back (Briggs & Clavin, 206). It seems that these countries strayed from the original draft, and instead designed the Treaty of Versailles so that they would “make Germany pay”, and it did exactly that (Briggs & Clavin, 206). The purpose of the payments to these countries was, in theory, supposed to repay what they had lost as a result of a war that was agreed upon was Germany’s fault. Instead the victors exploited Germany and left the people with a frail government and no financial stability. This manipulation by the Allies left Germany a nation in which strong, radical leadership would prosper.
The rise of the Nazi party was fueled by a tremendously high unemployment rate which led to the election of Heinrich Brüning who...