Narrator: By 1932, the majority of Germans, in voting for Communists and Nazis, were voting for parties openly committed to overthrowing German democracy. Democracy had arrived in Germany at the end of World War I



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Chapter 17 – Section 3

Hitler and Nazi Germany



Narrator: By 1932, the majority of Germans, in voting for Communists and Nazis, were voting for parties openly committed to overthrowing German democracy. Democracy had arrived in Germany at the end of World War I, now the majority of Germans wanted to be rid of it. In his election speeches, Hitler made no secret of the fact that a vote for the Nazis was a vote for dictatorship.

Adolph Hitler: Captioned Our opponents accuse us National Socialists and me in particular, of being intolerant and quarrelsome. They say that we don’t want to work with other parties. They say the National Socialists are not German at all, because they refuse to work with other political parties. So is it typically German to have thirty parties? I have to admit one thing, these gentlemen are quite right. We are intolerant. I have given myself one goal, to sweep these thirty political parties out of Germany. They mistake us for one of them. We have on aim, and we will follow it fanatically and ruthlessly to the grave.

Narrator: As a result of the elections of July 1932 the Nazis became the biggest party in Germany, with 37 percent of the vote. Now only one man stood between Hitler and the chancellorship. President Hindenburg, the man Hitler had challenged for the presidency and lost. Hindenburg met Hitler on August the 13th, 1932, Hitler demanded to be chancellor, Hindenburg refused and his state secretary recorded the reasons why.

Male Speaker: He could not bring himself to give government power to a single party which did not represent the majority of the electorate and which further more was intolerant, lacking in discipline, and frequently even appeared violent.

Narrator: But then different pressure groups began to lobby President Hindenburg. A group of businessmen including the former president of the Reich Banks wrote to Hindenburg arguing that Hitler must get the chancellorship for the good of Germany.

Male Speaker: Captioned You have to consider Germany’s general situation between 1930 and 1933. Am unemployed man either joined the Communists or he became a Storm Trooper. And so business believed it was better if these people became Storm Troopers because there was discipline and order and at the beginning- you really have to say this today-at the beginning you couldn’t tell whether National Socialism was something good with a few bad side effects, or something evil with a few good side effects. You just couldn’t tell.

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