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The Rise Of Nazis' Power Essay

2369 words - 9 pages

The Rise of Nazis' Power

By 1930, Herman Müller's Grand Coalition government, led by the SPD
and including the DDP, Centre Party (Z), DVP and BVP, with 61% of the
Reichstag's deputies in all, had been in office for two years.
Although they had succeeded in passing the Young Plan of 1929, the
coalition was divided over what action to take in response to the Wall
Street Crash and resulting depression. The Socialist SPD argued
against the cut in unemployment benefits proposed by the DVP. In
desperation Müller requested that President Hindenburg use Article 48
of the German constitution to pass his proposals, a plea that fell on
deaf ears. Müller resigned, dying a year later.

Meanwhile, German political opinion was increasingly shifting to
either extreme. Particularly in the wake of 1929's Wall Street Crash,
the view that Germany was being failed by a succession of weak
coalitions came to the fore. Unemployment had reached 3.1 million in
January 1930, causing increasing numbers of Germans struggling to
survive to look for alternatives to perceived weak government. Yet the
traditional fear of Communism among the elite and middle classes was
still prevalent, despite the decades since Russia's 1917 revolution.
The elite in particular were still hostile to those parties that had
traditionally supported Weimar democracy, the wounds of Ebert's deal
with Groening apparently still sore. As a result, the Nazis' National
Socialism was becoming increasingly popular. Yet few in 1930 would
have suspected that in just 4 years time, the NSDAP would be the only
party of the state. What was it that led to this meteoric rise to
power?

Following Müller's resignation, the Centre Party's Heinrich Brüning
was appointed Chancellor, retaining all partners from Müller's
coalition with the exception of the SPD. No doubt too aware of the
strongly negative perception of Müller's inaction, he set about an
austerity programme. Hoping to win further Reichstag support for his
government, Brüning called an election in July 1930. It in fact
resulted in further gains for extremist parties, including the NSDAP
which increased its vote to 18.3%. Despite, or perhaps as a result of
this, he was able to persuade Hindenburg to use Article 48 in support
of his strong policies. As he tried to put more and more of them
before the Reichstag, it became increasingly clear that he lacked
sufficient support to pass them, and as a result came to rely heavily
on presidential government.

Among the policies of his austerity programme were moves to further
the deflation of the German economy. He believed that creating a
leaner economy was the best way to secure its growth in the
international market. In spite of the Young Plan's renegotiations, he
said "only deflation would convince the world that Germany could not
...

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