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To What Extent Does the Weakness of the Weimar Republic Explain Hitler’s Rise to Power?

  • Date Submitted: 05/16/2011 09:35 AM
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To What Extent Does the Weakness of the Weimar Republic Explain Hitler’s Rise to Power?

To What Extent Does the Weakness of the Weimar Republic Explain Hitler’s Rise to Power?
The weakness of the Weimar Republic played a tremendous part in Hitler’s rise to power. In this essay I will explore and analyse many factors, including the impact of the first world war, the constitutional weakness of the Republic, the implications of the Versailles treaty and the Kapp/Munich Putsch; along with other factors that led to Hitler’s success not so directly related to the Weimer republic, for example the Wall Street Crash, propaganda techniques adopted by the Nazis and Hitler’s charisma and personality.
The first impact is World War One. This includes the anger of the German people (predominantly right wingers) at Germany’s surrender. This is commonly known as ‘dolchsdoss’ or ‘stab-in-the-back’ by the politicians who became known as ‘November Criminals’, due to the armistice being signed in November 1918. Reasons for this public feeling were because the Germans weren’t defeated on their own soil, and most soldiers thought they were winning. The policians, in reality, had no real choice: “the politicians who assumed the power were saddled with the responsibility... signing a humiliating peace treaty” Simpson (1991).
Other problems include the poverty in Germany, this involved people going to the length of bartering for food. When the new republic was declared, Ebert was chancellor, which also immensely angered the right wingers, as Ebert was predominantly a socialist. Finally, the government at the time were completely reliant on the judiciary, army and police to keep order. The problem with this was that the majority of them were loyal to the old imperial system, as well as being right wing. They were much harsher on left wing crime; a prime example of this is Hitler serving just 10 months’ imprisonment for treason.
A significant problem with the Weimar republic was the...

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