Hitler came to power legally and within the system. He used a system that was seriously flawed



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Farah Moussa

9. Assess the validity of the following statement: "Hitler came to power legally and within the system. He used a system that was seriously flawed." (Spielvogel).

I. Introduction: Hitler was able to rise to power by attracting supporters using strong and passionate rhetoric, appealing economic policies, and the remarkable ability to connect with the German people. His methods were mostly legal, however, violence and other illicit tactics were used to aid his rise to power. This essay will evaluate the validity of the statement which claims that Hitler’s rise to power was lawful.

II. The Nazi party quickly gained popularity due to many factors:

  1. Organization of the party:

  • Every region, district, block and street of Germany was assigned to a member of the Nazi party according to a hierarchal system.

  • All children were encouraged to join the Hitler Youth, and the adults were encouraged to join the Nazi party. This meant that every German citizen was influenced by Nazism and able to closely interact with it.

  1. Extensive use of propaganda:

  • The Nazi Party was very well funded, which made them better able to advertise and advocate their cause.

  • There were frequent rallies, and posters were hung everywhere. The Nazi Party was the first political party to use the radio as a means of reaching the people.

  1. Connection to the German People: Hitler was a very powerful speaker who was able to instantly rally support.

  • Hitler seemed to want to take initiative to solve the problems that the Weimar Republic failed to resolve.

  • He used the people’s anger towards the Treaty of Versailles, the Ruhr occupation and so on to strengthen and rally support.

  • Hitler gave the Germans a sense of pride by emphasizing the important of their supposed “racial superiority”.

  • The public’s view of Hitler as a victim made him a more sympathetic character that the people could easily connect with.

III. Seizure of Power:

  1. Chancellorship: in the elections between 1929 and 1933, the Nazi Party gained plurality in the elections.

  • Hindenburg did not initially appoint Hitler as chancellor due to his dislike for Hitler.

  • Hitler plotted with Von Pappen to become chancellor and vice chancellor. Von Pappen was able to convince Hindenburg.

  • This was achieved through manipulation and the alteration of some laws, which makes Hitler’s rise to power not completely lawful.

  1. In order to enhance and maintain his power, Hitler convinced Hindenburg to issue the following decrees: 1. Shooting Decree: Gave policemen the right to shoot at anyone engaging in activities that threatened the Nazi Party.

  • Countless communists were shot. Many members of the KPD were prevented from entering the Reichstag.

2. The suppression of the media: no one could publish anything anti-Nazi.

3. Emergency Decree: After the burning of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933, Hitler pressured Hindenburg into signing. These decrees dismissed all civil liberties, and granted Hitler limitless powers.



  • Hitler’s manipulation of Hindenburg was not lawful.

  1. Violence and Intimidation: Hitler recruited the SA as his band of thugs to harm anyone who outspokenly opposed the Nazi Party. However they became less focused on violence 1926.

IV. Conclusion: Hitler’s rise to power was not due to violence and other illegal actions. He mostly used strong leadership and organizational skills, and weaknesses and loopholes in the structure and laws of the Weimar republic to achieve his political goals. However, illegal activities such as violence and manipulation did greatly assist Hitler, but they certainly did not cause his rise. Therefore, this quote is only somewhat true.


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