Hitlers rise to power- early years • Born in April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria • Lazy in school, frequently beaten home • Dreamed of a career as artist, failed the entry tests to the art academy in Vienna. • Lived a bohemean life in Vienna in the beginning of the century, painted postcards, was influenced by circulating antisemitic pamphlets, but also by the leading socialdemocratic and conservative polititians. • In Vienna he also studied demagogic techniques
WWI • Ignored orders to do military service in the Habsburg Empire. • Moved to Munich to escape the Austrian authorities and the military service. • Described his arrival in Munich as ”coming home”, the Germans still controlled this town. • Joined the German army volontarly as WWI broke out. • Hitler proved to be an able soldier and received the Iron Cross- First Category, for bravery, but never reached above the rank of Lance Corporal. • Wounded twice.
Formation of NSDAP • After the war Hitler joined the small obscure party The German Workers Party (DAP) as member number 55, in October 1919. • The party adopted a party programme with 25 points and changed the name to the German National Socialist Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei – NSDAP) 1920. • 1921 Hitler outmaneuvered the old leadership and had himself elected party leader.
What was national socialism? • Conception of history – struggle; the strongest survives and has the right to exploit the weaker, history goes in one single direction (compare with communism!) • Volksgemeinschaft – ”peoples community”, collective idea, the individual is reducet to nothing (compare with communism!) • The state is almighty (compare with communism!) • Anti communism • Anti semitism – racial theories essential • Anti democracy • Glorifying of strength – militarism • Cult of personality - Führercult
The Beer Hall Putsch, Nov. 1923 • Hitler despiced democracy and believed in taking power through a violent putsch, that would start a national revolution. • At the time of the most extreme hyperinflation 1923 the situation in the country was extreme.
1923 • Popular front governments established power in several German states, for instance in Saxony, an independent separatist state was proclaimed in the Rhineland and communist revolts occured. • In Bavaria the local government, believed in cooperation with rightwing groups, and refused to follow orders from Berlin. For instance refused to forbid the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter.
1923 • Hitler decided, overconfident, that he could overthrow the Bavarian government in a planned putsch, and after that start a march on Berlin (compare with Mussolini). He declared that the governments in Munich and berlin were overthrown and that he was the new reichschancellor. • This proved to be a miscalculation, Hitler was soon captured and put in prison. • In November were the NSDAP and KPD illegalized.
Hitler in prison • After his imprisonment, Hitler landed in a deep depression and thought of suicide. • Hitler turned the trial to a propagandashow, where he accused the trial and the system.This made him recognised outside Bavaria. • He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, but his celldoor stood open and he could receive visitors whenever he wanted. In prison he started to write ”Mein Kampf”.
Reorganisation of NSDAP • Hitler deliberatly lets the party fall apart and plays out different persons agains each other, when he is imprisoned. After he has been released he starts to reorganise the party that has been allowed again early 1925. SA Sturm Abteilung is founded.
NSDAP becomes a mass-party • The Wall Street crash and the death of Stresemann offer new possibilities for Hitler and NSDAP. • Essential is the combination of violence and propaganda. The nazis were skilled in combining the crisis with the system and promise a better future, without exactly telling how.
The road to government 1930 - 33 • Hitler manages to attract key- groups in the society. • The SA grows dramatically under Röhms leadership, the organisation provides unemployed a task, food and even a small salary. 400 000 members 1932. • The SA is doing the dirty job for the party, Hitler needed the organisation before 1933, but after achieving power it created problems for him.
Propaganda • Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf how essential modern propaganda was for a successful party. The propaganda should appeal to the masses in a psychological way. In a simplistic, black and white manner the message of NSDAP was hammered into the masses. ”If people hear a lie time after time they start to believe in it”. • Joseph Goebbels became the engineer of Hitlers propaganda. Like nobody else he showed a remarkable ability in timing and performing.
Heinrich Brüning (Catholic Centre) new chancellor of a minority government 1931, starts to rule with the help of Hindenburg and Article 48. his outspoken aim is to rule without the Reichstag in order to implement heavy financial reforms. Growing unrest. • 4,4 million unemployed, Dec. 1930.
1931 • May 1931: The Austrian Credit Anstalt collapses, serious effects on German banks. • July 1931: Banks, and stock market closed in Germany. • October 1931: Formation of the Habsburger Front, cooperation of NSDAP and other nationalists to gain power. • December 1931: 5,66 million unemployed.
The intrigues 1932 • Hindenburg is re-elected as president as president in April (18,7 million votes, Hitler 13,4 million votes). • SA and SS forbidden, 13/4 • June: Franz von Papen chancellor in a ”cabinet for national concentration”. • End of reparations after Versailles. • Von Papen declares SA and SS legal, increase of street violence. • July: elections – von Papen offers Hitler the position as Vice-chancellor, Hitler refuses. • November: elections, support for NSDAP drops. General von Schleicher new chancellor, tries to win factions from NSDAP. Meeting between von Papen and Hitler
Hitler becomes chancellor • Hitler is appointed chancellor (30/1 1933) in a coalition government with von Papen as vice chancellor. Only 3 Nazis in the government. • Reichstag dissolved. • New elections in March
Reichstag fire decree • Hindenburg launches a decree that has been prepared by the Nazis. Vital civil rights are violated, the police gets power to use more violence and arrest people, harder punishment introduced. • Targets are leading communists, socialdemocraths, but also some jews. • Building of the first concentration camps in Dachau and Oranienburg start.
March elections • In spite of massive use of violence during the campaign, and the Reichstag fire decree, the NSDAP gets 43,9% of the votes, not the absolute majority that Hitler has hoped. Together with DNVP he can form a government with more than 50 % of the seats in the Reichstag.
Potsdam day 21/3 1933 • Opening of the Reichstag, Potsdam chosen as a symbolic gesture – connection between the old Prussia and the new Germany.
Enabling Act • New laws can be passed by the government (Hitler) without the approval of the Reichstag. • Laws come into operation once they have been announced by the Reichschancellor (Hitler). • The government can sign treaties and alliances with foreign powers. • KPD was already eliminated, only the SPD voted against the law.
Elimination of the trade unions 2/5 1933 • Leading leaders arrested, money confiscated. • The German Workers Front (DAF) is created, all workers should belong to this mass organisation. 1/5 is made public holiday.
June – July 1933 SPD illegalized, the conservative parties are dissolved by themselves. • 1934 Night of the Long Knives – SA leadership murdered by SS. Also refered to as the Röhm purge. • SS gets more power SA power decreases • The army (Reichswehr) had to swear an oath to Hitlers person. • Aug.1934: Hindenburg dies. No new president elected, Hitler now adopts the title Führer and Reichschancellor.