Source A discusses the reasons why Hitler was asked to be Chancellor in 1933
By 1933, the Nazis had gained more support in Germany than anyone could ever imagine. The economic problems that stemmed from the Wall St Crash in 1929 had all but destroyed the credibility of the Weimar Government and led to people seeking help from extremist parties. The Nazis cleverly honed in on this and used it to their advantage. Despite this support, Hitler’s success was mainly down to Hindenburg, Von Papen and Von Schleicher foolishly thinking they could use Hitler and have power themselves. When Von Papen and Von Schleicher had failed to form a democratic Government, Hitler was the only person who could possibly take the Chancellorship and rule democratically
How fully does Source A explain the reasons why Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933?
Sources B and C are about the Night of the Long Knives.
Hitler’s courage in taking firm action has made him a hero in the eyes of many Germans. He has won approval and sympathy for the steps he took. People think his action is proof that he wants order and decency in Germany. Reports from different parts of the country are all agreed that people are expressing satisfaction that Hitler has acted against the serious threat posed by Rohm and the SA to Germany and her people.
On the morning of 30 June 1934, Rohm and other SA leaders were arrested and eventually shot. Hitler’s personal popularity soared as a result of the Night of the Long Knives. Most Germans disliked the corruption of the SA and welcomed the strong action against it. President Hindenburg’s telegram to Hitler read: “By your determined action and brave leadership, you have saved the German nation from serious danger.”
Source D is taken from the memoirs of a German citizen who was in University when the Nazis came to power.
I remember waking up to the news Hitler’s Stormtroopers has massacred 400 people. Later on, Hitler would claim that these were people who planned to overthrow him and he called them traitors. This didn’t matter to me though. I was shocked and frightened at what I had heard. Politics had never been a violent issue as far as I was concerned. Then when Hindenburg died it was essentially the final nail in the coffin of democracy. Hitler became ‘De Fuhrer’ and there was nobody left to control him or keep him in line.
Evaluate the usefulness of Source D as evidence of why the Nazis’ power increased after 1933. (6 marks)
The very existence of the Gestapo struck fear into the hearts of Germans. Stories circulated involving Gestapo agents appearing at houses in the night and the occupants been gone by the morning, never to be seen again. The Gestapo agents themselves were the most important reason behind this fear. Ordinary German people did not know the extent of the web of informants the Gestapo had at their disposal, therefore they did not necessarily fear the prospect of being given up by their friends.
The Gestapo’s real power lay in their seemingly infinite amount of informants. German citizens started to realise that anything they said could be interpreted as opposition and they became extremely careful about what they said out of fear of a colleague or even family member reporting them to the authorities. The Gestapo were also known for their ruthlessness and mysterious night visits. Many people were taken from their homes in the night. The next morning, neighbours knew they had been taken by the secret police and they may never see them
Compare the views of Sources E and F about the use of fear and intimidation in Nazi Germany.