The Great Depression caused by the Stock Market’s collapse in 1929 affected the American economy like no other economic crisis in its history (Samuelson, n. d. ). Being the most severe depression experienced by the industrialized Western world (Nelson, n. d. ), its effects rippled to other economies, especially to that of Germany. The German economy was notably vulnerable because it was built out of foreign capital and was dependent on foreign trade (Gavin, 1996). The Depression abruptly restructured German society and thus, led people to seek any solution to end the crisis.
Hitler proved to be the solution that Germany was looking for. Although his views were unpopular among the public, he took advantage of the hopelessness which the people felt during the Depression. Moreover, other factors that were already present in the 1920s sped his rise to popularity. Some of these were: long term bitterness among the people brought about by the Treaty of Versailles and the First World War; ineffective constitution; money for Hitler’s campaign and propaganda; the existence of propaganda and programmes; Stormtrooper attacks on other parties and on Hitler’s detractors as well as his personal atributes.
After 1929, two other influential factors aided Hitler and ensured his success politically: the Great Depression and Hitler’s recruitment by Hindenburg (Clare, 2006). Hitler’s rise to power was successful and yet avoidable. His success was largely due from external factors which he exploited using duress, brilliance and propaganda (Clare, 2006). Indeed, if the Depression had not happened; chances are, there would have been no Hitler.
Clare, John. (2006). How Was Hitler Able To Become Chancellor in January 1933? Greenfield History Site. Retrieved December 11, 2007 from http://www.johndclare.net/Weimar7.htm
Gavin, Philip. (1996). The Rise of Adolf Hitler: Great Depression Begins. History Place Site. Retrieved December 11, 2007 from http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/begins.htm
Nelson, Cary. (n. d.). About the Great Depression. Modern American Poetry Site. Retrieved December 11, 2007 from http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/depression/about.htm
Samuelson, Robert. (n. d.). Great Depression. The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty Site. Retrieved December 11, 2007 from http://econlib.org/library/Enc/GreatDepression.html