Being in year 10 and challenged to complete an A level essay, could anyone give me some advice as to room for improvement? Thanks
The success of the Nazi Party during the years 1929 – 1932 was due to the economic and political problems which Germany experienced at this time. To what extent do you agree with this interpretation?
It is undeniable that economic and political troubles within Germany during 1929 – 1932 aided the success of the Nazi Party. Most notably, external financial crises plunged the Nation into a state of economic depression, highlighting the faults of the current Governmental system and leaving society susceptible to extremist political take-over. However, the predicaments present within the Nation at the time exploited by the Nazi party were not the sole factor for their growth; mere propaganda and the strength of the party itself enabled success to manifest, with many of their policies resonating substantially amongst the public.
Despite preceding economic successes achieved by Stresemann throughout the 1920’s, the financial state of Germany plummeted after the Wall Street Crash in 1929. America, who had financially supported the nation through loans set out by the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, suffered a significant monetary depression after the stock market crashed, forcing them to not only suspend loans to Germany in order to aid their economic recovery, but to additionally recall funds. The nation, despite its rapid growth throughout the decade, was not equipped for such a retraction of cash, and its temporary economic stability was compromised, made worse with a rapid decrease in international trade. The Great Depression within America had a significant impact on trade, and with the US – the largest purchaser of German industrial exports - unable to purchase the nation’s goods, further funds could not be produced. With no income generated from the production of industrial exports, fewer wares were required for distribution; 1932 would see German industrial production at 58 per cent of its 1928 levels, with the effect of this decline spiralling unemployment. In response to the mass redundancy, the Government increased taxes to help support the idle through the benefits system, in a move unpopular with a financially struggling society. By 1932, 6 million were out of work, and despite the increase of taxes intended to relieve the pressure of the unemployed, the benefit was cut; abysmal poverty was rife in Germany.
Such an economic depression had profound impacts on the Weimar Republic and public opinions towards it. Although Stresemann’s responses to the nation’s economic ruin leading up to 1928 restored confidence in Germany’s government, the mishandling of economic problems by the Republic shattered it once more. With the government having increased taxes to fund the dire economic situation within the country, many blamed the Weimar Republic for their over-dependence on the American loans, and were dissatisfied with the response made by the government. Subsequently, national support for the Republic decreased considerably, while the widespread frustration exploited by the extremist Nazi Party earned them considerable backing. Their radical ideology resonated amongst a disillusioned society, which, cumulated with weak political parties around them, propelled them to success. July 1930 marked a period by which Chancellor Brüning was forced to rule by decree (via Article 48), passing disliked cuts to government expenditure, wages and unemployment pay after the Reichstag refused to comply. This further developed an extensive resentment towards the government, with many looking for extremist groups to take power within the Reichstag in the hopes of restoring the country to one of unity and strength. Yet, the just structure of the Reichstag made it impossible for any one party to command a majority, and coalitions were unattainable. Despite the higher majority held by moderate parties together than the NDASP, an inability to coexist gave the Nazis an opportunity to gain momentum. Such a conflicted Political scene – as noted by historian Irene Guenther; “Germany appeared to be on the brink of civil war. The young Weimar Republic was wracked by armed street fighting waged mainly between Communists and Nazis.” –, was manipulated by the Nazis, whose SA would attack rival groups, both preventing opposition towards the party and inspiring a fear culture.
Yet, the economic and political exploitation undertaken by the Nazi party was not the sole contribution to their success; their use of Political propaganda – as well as their political position in itself - considerably aided their rise to power. Much of what the NDASP stood for was previously popular amongst a German society: prominent notions of anti-Semitism were rife in many countries ahead of the First World War, but were strengthened after Germany’s loss, with the Jewish community painted as a scapegoat for the failure. The Nazi Party worked to appeal to everyone, constructing an ideology that could transform German society through volksgemeinschaft. Such a message was only conveyed to the German citizens through Goebbels’s strong propaganda campaign, composed of speeches executed by a stronger orator, posters, radio broadcast, marches, banners, and flags.