Hitler Became Chancellor in January 1933 Because He Was Leader of the Most Popular Party in Germany.’ How Far Do You Agree with This Opinion?

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Hitler’s assumption of power on the 30th of January 1933 was seemingly due to the mass popularity of the Nazi party. However it was far off achieving the 50% majority it needed to put Hitler automatically in power. As well as popularity, backstairs intrigue and the short-sightedness of those in power enabled Hitler to become Chancellor. The weaknesses of Germany’s political leadership were fundamental to Hitler’s success. In some senses the popularity of the party only provided an opening, available for exploitation.
Undoubtedly, Nazi popularity placed pressure on government and on President Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor. Their astonishing rise in votes since 810 000 in 1928 to 13.75 million in July 1932 was extraordinary.
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Meeting with Kurt Von Schröder, Papen not only in turn helped solve the Nazi financial debts to ensure the continuation of the party, but presented an opportunity to Hitler which he otherwise would not have been offered. Papen convinced Hindenburg the Nazi support could be harnessed and that its ambitions and extremist policies contained through safety features. The President agreed to only meet with Hitler when the Vice Chancellor, Von Papen, was present. Only two cabinet ministers were included. By offering this, Von Papen made perhaps the most fatal underestimation of the 20th century. He had had the responsibility of being decisive, thorough and unfaltering when Hindenburg could not be and so his weak acceptance of Hitler’s demands – when he was perhaps not even in a position to demand – is surely a cause of Hitler’s appointment.
Debatably, this arrangement was a production of Hitler’s own political skill as opposed to, or as well as, Papen’s great failure. Hitler’s opportunism, vehement desire for power and ability to manipulate people was crucial for his success. Meeting with Von Papen in December 1932, he resolutely demanded the Chancellorship. Whereas Strasser faltered in making botched agreements with Von Schleicher for a lesser position, Hitler held out against odds. Additionally Hitler’s chameleon nature meant that he was successfully demanding with Von Papen, yet very respectful
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