The following factors explain the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazism in Germany;
The negative effects of World War I on Germany led to the rise of Adolf Hitler to power. The war left Germany economically weakened which created misery, confusion and general turmoil in the country and this gave birth to the Nazi party. The climax of World War I was the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, which among other things forced Germany to accept the war guilt clause, to lose all her colonies, her military and naval strength and some of her cherished territories in Europe. This hurt the nationalistic feelings of many patriotic Germans who became discontented and vowed to overthrow the Weimar Republic that accepted these humiliating terms. The Nazi party and Hitler himself exploited these grievances to win support from the masses which enabled him to come to power.
The weaknesses of the Weimar Republic led to the rise of Hitler to power. This was the republican government that was set up in Germany in 1919 following the resignation of Kaiser William II in 1918 and his subsequent escape to Holland. The government was characterized which undermined its credibility. For example, right from the start, the republic was unpopular because it accepted the harsh and unpopular Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919. This was quickly exploited by Adolf Hitler to turn the Germans against the republic as he blamed it for having accepted a harsh treaty whose terms had greatly affected Germany. Adolf Hitler therefore promised to rebuild a strong Germany without such humiliations which undermined the Weimar Republic, thus facilitating his rise to power.
The Weimar Republic also failed to restore Alsace and Lorraine to Germany which created discontent among the Germans who therefore decided to support Adolf Hitler. Germany had got these provinces which were rich in coal and iron from France through war. However, they were restored to France at the end of World War I. Adolf Hitler therefore criticized the Weimar Republic for this because their exploitation would have helped her to develop her industries especially the disastrous World War I. This also made Hitler popular in Germany.
Besides, the Weimar Republic failed to control the problem of inflation which affected Germany by 1923. Germany had lost most of her industries during World War I and this created scarcity of goods in the country. The German economy was further weakened by the French invasion of the Ruhr industrial region in January 1923. As a result, the prices of goods rose up. The government printed a new paper money which was put in circulation so as to stabilize the currency but the problem of inflation continued. Hitler exploited this to criticize the Weimar Republic as weak and therefore he got a lot of support which enabled him to rise to power.
The republic also had weak leaders who failed to stop violence in Germany since 1920. As a result, law and order broke down throughout the country, hence making it possible for the opposition groups such as the Nazi party to succeed. By 1933, President Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler a Chancellor, hoping that he would use him both to stop the violence and also to maintain the Weimar Republic in power. Instead, Hitler exploited such weakness to capture power in Germany.
The fear or threat of Communism led to the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany. Nazism was opposed to communism as an economic system which advocated for the state control of businesses and giving much power to the workers. This fear therefore forced the industrialists and other wealthy Germans to support Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party to come to power so as to protect their private property or wealth.
The Economic Depression of 1929–1935 created conditions that favoured the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Between 1929 and 1935, the world was experiencing a devastating economic down turn, known as the Great Economic Depression. The negative effects of this Great Economic Depression like massive unemployment and poverty due the collapse of banks and industries created misery or suffering which increased the popularity of the Nazi party as Hitler blamed the Weimar Republic for all the suffering that the Germans were going through. As a result, many angry Germans supported Hitler and the Nazi party to come to power hoping that they would solve the problems caused by the depression.
The role of the Nazi Storm Troopers or the Brown shirts enabled Hitler to rise to power. This was a Nazi terrorist squad or group organized by Hitler’s supporters like Ernest Roehm. They promoted violence in the country and intimidated the enemies of the Nazi ideology such as the Jews and communists. This weakened the Weimar Republic and forced the Germans to support Adolf Hitler and his activities. Indeed, their presence in the 1932 parliamentary elections intimidated the voters who ended up voting for the Nazi representatives, giving them 107 seats. It was also their threats to President Hindenburg that forced him to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933.
The lack of experience in parliamentary democracy undermined the Weimar Republic, thus enabling Adolf Hitler to rise to power. Traditionally, the Germans loved dictatorship and therefore were used to the authoritarian governments of the kings and the power of the kings was rarely questioned since it was hereditary. Some Germans therefore considered democracy which was being cherished by the Weimar Republic as a weak form of government not fit for the German nation. As a result, they supported the autocratic Hitler to come to power.
The influence of the Nazi propaganda facilitated the rise of Hitler to power. The Nazi party carried out an extensive propaganda campaign using all the means at their disposal. In their campaigns, they accused the Jews for being non-German, corrupt as well as traitors who betrayed Germany in World War I. They also denounced the communists for being revolutionary and the Versailles Peace Treaty for humiliating Germany. The propaganda was carried out through newspapers and public rallies. With such campaign landing into the ears of people who were already discontented, the Nazi party under Hitler gained a lot of support from the German population which enabled it to come to power.
Hitler’s writings facilitated his rise to power. This was because they were in line with the interests of the German people. For example, while in prison in 1923, he wrote a book, “Mein Kampf” – meaning “My Struggle” which became the Nazi Bible. In this book, Hitler promised to address the problems that Germany faced after World War I as well as to create a great German empire covering Europe and Russia. Through his writings, Hitler provided hope to the German population that was for long in a state of despair or misery. This therefore made him popular him popular among the Germans.
The popularity of the Nazi Ideology also facilitated the rise of Hitler to power. The Nazi had the “Twenty-five point Programme” that advocated for German nationalism, elimination of the Jews, territorial expansion by Germany, improving the conditions of the poor and the lower middle class among others. This attracted mass support to the Nazi party which enabled Hitler to come to power by 1933.
Hitler’s special personality and oratory power assisted him to rise to power. Hitler was gifted with language and oratory skills which captured the attention of very many Germans especially the discontented people. Through such skills, he convinced the members of the National Socialist German Workers’ party to appoint him as their leader in 1920 which was a stepping stone for his rise to power. In addition, as a good mobiliser, Hitler mobilised the masses through public rallies and propaganda campaigns which earned him a lot of fame and support that led to his appointment as the Chancellor of Germany in 1933.
The support of the army enabled Adolf Hitler to rise to power. The Nazi Party under Hitler won admiration from the army men and World War I veterans because it advocated for the revival of the German glory in Europe. These army men therefore supported Adolf Hitler to come to power in Germany by 1933 so as to create a strong Germany once again.
The weakness of his opponents enabled Hitler to come to power in Germany. All the anti-Nazi groups like the communists and Jews were weak and even failed to unite against the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler. As a result, there was lack of effective opposition against Adolf Hitler which paved way for its rise to power in Germany.
The support from the press in Germany enabled Adolf Hitler rise to power. The news papers, magazines and other publications extensively covered Adolf Hitler’s political rallies which made him popular among the ordinary Germans. This therefore increased Adolf Hitler’s popularity in Germany which helped him to come to power by 1933.
Hitler’s negative attitude towards the Jews was responsible for his rise to power in Germany. Adolf Hitler hated the Jews so much and therefore he accused them of many crimes like betraying the German people in World War I as well the economic problems in Germany by then. This won Adolf Hitler mass support in Germany especially from the rich middle class and nationalists which enabled him to come to power by 1933.
The weakness of the League of Nations led to the rise of Hitler to power. The League of Nations which was economically and militarily weak failed to defend the democratic Weimar Republic against its enemies like Adolf Hitler due to its military and economic weakness. Such weakness was eventually exploited by Adolf Hitler to overthrow the Weimar by 1934.
The rise Benito Mussolini in Italy in 1922 was also responsible for the rise of Hitler in Germany. The success of Benito Mussolini in overthrowing the liberal Italian government under King Victor Emmanuel III in 1922 greatly inspired his comrade Adolf Hitler to also overthrow the democratic Weimar Republic in Germany. This therefore facilitated his rise to power by 1933.
The death of President Hindenburg in 1934 directly brought Adolf Hitler to power in Germany. He became the President of the Weimar Republic in 1925 following the death of President Friedrich Ebert and his was the last leader of the Republic. Earlier in January 1933, he had appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany so as to satisfy his political ambitions. When he died in August 1934, Adolf Hitler took over the two offices, thus officially coming to power.
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933 but President Hindenburg remained the Head of State. When President Hindenburg died in August 1934, Adolf Hitler took over the two offices. He then ruled Germany from 1934 up to 1945 when Germany was defeated by the Allied Powers during World War II.