How far would you agree that it was political intrigue rather than the economic situation that enabled Hitler to come to power in Germany in January 1933?

The fortune of Nazi party was closely linked to the economic condition. The more unstable the economy, the more seats Nazis won. In 1932, when unemployment was over 6 million, Nazi Party won 230 seats out of 608 (the most in that elections). But due to the lack of absolute majority, Hitler failed to become Chancellor. In fact, in following elections of November 1932, Nazi party lost some grounds, from 230 seats it felled to 196 due to some recovery in economic conditions. Even though the support for Nazi Party was fading away, a small circle of right-wing politicians with the support of Reichswehr decided to bring Hitler into the coalition government. Franz von Papen and General Kurt von Schleicher were instrumental in making this arrangement. The reasons were:

  • They were afraid that Nazis might try to seize power through Putsch.
  • The taste of power may dilute some extremist tendencies present in Nazi Party.
  • The Nationalist who forwarded support to Nazis were themselves not believed in democracy. Their main objective was to restore the monarchy and return to the type of government that existed under Bismarck. Also, they hated communist like Nazi Party.

After some negotiations, it was agreed that Hitler would become the Chancellor and Papen, the vice-chancellor. Thus we can see that instead of economic situation it was the political arrangement that made Hitler the chancellor of Germany.

Question for UPSC Mains:
How far would you agree that it was political intrigue rather than the economic situation that enabled Hitler to come to power in Germany in January 1933?

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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