The Nazi Electoral Breakthrough 1928-32 Flashcards Preview

History - Germany 1918-45 > The Nazi Electoral Breakthrough 1928-32 > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Nazi Electoral Breakthrough 1928-32 Deck (15):

1928 nazi election performance

Nazis won 0.8 million votes and 12 seats


1930 nazi election performance

Nazis won 6.4 million votes and 107 seats


1932 (March-April) nazi election performance

Presidential election: hitler won 11.3 million votes in round 1 and 13.4 million votes in round 2


1932 (July) maxi election performance

1932 (July): nazis won 13.8 million votes and 230 seats


1932 (November) nazi election results

Nazis won 11.7 million votes and 196 seats


1933 (March) nazi election performance

Nazis won 17.3 million votes and 288 seats
*this election took place after considerable nazi intimidation and the banning of the German communist party


Key characteristics of the Weimar party system

multi party system:
-5-6 major political parties in Weimar Germany capable of winning 10% + of the vote in national elections.
-However no party had capability to gain 50% + of the vote ( a majority) meaning single party governments in the Weimar era
- dependance on coalitions
-1919-1930 16 separate governments in Germany

Sectional parties:
- represented interests of particular sections of the community
- parties attracted little or no support from outside their community
- no real 'national' parties in the WR willing to appeal to everyone and breach class/religious boundaries


Who voted nazi?

-Catholics were less likely to vote nazi than Protestants were
-support for the nazis was strong among middle and upper class voters
-Nazis attracted a large following in the small towns and rural areas of Protestant Northern Germany
-The nazis had fewer supporters among the working class than they did among the middle classes, but by 1932 they had won. Over a significant minority of the working class
-Gender does not appear to have been a factor in determining whether someone voted nazi or not: mean and women. Voted for and against the nazis roughly equally
-Debated whether age was a factor in whether you voted nazi, some insist younger people were strongly attracted to the nazis but others insist otherwise


Why did people vote nazi generally?

Wall Street crash:
-Germany's economy was heavily dependant on US loans. Money recalled following the crash so Germany was hit harder than any other European country
-Foreign investors withdrew money
-Unemployment from 1.5 million in 1929 to 3 million in 1930, 6 million in 1932
- Those who kept jobs hit by wages and prices falling as result of deflation


Why did the middle class vote nazi?

-angered at the WR and turned to the nazis in crisis who were untainted by the failures of the republic
-Impressed by Hitler's charisma
-small businesses believed that the nazis would protect them from ruin (anti communist and anti capitalist, businesses normally stuck between the two would be saved)
-fear of communism: KPD vote increased from 3 million to 5 million between 1928-32. Paramilitary 'red front fighter's league' were visible in Germany. Prospect of communist takeover was very real. Nazi strength/brutality, anti communistic ideas and paramilitary force seemed adequate to take them on, attracted middle class


Why did the working class vote nazi?

- some German workers were conservatives and nationalists, may have been attracted by prospect of national revival
- nazi promise to provide 'work and bread' following high prices and unemployment of 6 million by 1932.
- promise of stability: self employed, outside social communities* of the. KPD/SPD, badly hit by economic slump - they wanted order.
**those working class who lived under KPD/SPD did not abandon them to vote nazi, attachment to their sub culture. Attachment of Catholics to centre party may be explained this way


nazi propaganda

-economic slump allowed nazis to become mainstream political party but votes still had to be won over
-nazis exploited the depression, and the depressed feelings that came with it
- more leaflets, posters and rallies than any other party. Use of film
- Josef Goebbels was head of propaganda from 1930 onwards


Josef Goebbels

-Life: 1897-1945
-born into lower middle class catholic family
- excelled in school, doctorate in literature from prestigious university in Germany
- initially a follower of Strasser, then hitler after 1926 Bamberg conference
-Gauleiter of Berlin from 1926
-Made minister of propaganda and national enlightenment in 1933 ( but nazi propaganda minister from 1930)
-target of gossip in male dominated world of nazi politics (intellectual and minor physical disability) which spurred him to be among the most brutal of the nazi officials


What propaganda methods did the nazis use?

-Hitler's charisma: fantastic public speaker, hypnotised many followers with his passionate expression
-targeting different groups in society and forming a tailor made approach to appeal to each of them. German historian Bernd Weisbrod: the nazis 'spoke in many different rounded and promised almost anything to anybody'
- example: farmers had low farm prices, debt as farmers preferred to borrow than leave the land, and the feeling that the WR politicians were indifferent to their suffering response nazis promised tariffs to protect farmers against international competition, to deal with Jewish financiers (apparently the cause of the debt problems) and to give the farmers an honoured place in the national community
-message spread by agricultural apparatus, special unit
- promised to create national community, to create harmony for the classes/groups - sets them aside from other parties who seek only to further the interests of their sub culture


how spectacular was the nazi electoral breakthrough?

-fantastic electoral campaigns
- brilliant use of propaganda
Less spectacular:
- insecurity/fear/decline in trust in a democratic government
-nazis never got close to a majority win/single party government in election
-nazi support was 'a mile wide but an inch deep', dependant on conditions of despair, and any upturn in economy would cripple nazi support