3. Describe how German democracy was failing to function effectively under Hindenburg. Give statistics
to back up your answer. In 1929, when the Wall Street Crash occurred, Germany’s government was a coalition between the Centre Party and the SPD (Social Democrats). As Germany slid into depression, and the number of unemployed reached millions, these two parties began arguing fiercely over whether or not to cut unemployment benefit. In the end the Centre Party won, and benefits were cut. The people of Germany and especially the unemployed were furious. The result was a massive rise in support for the Nazi Party. The Nazis promised to provide strong leadership and to create a job for every working man. In May 1928 the Nazi Party held only 12 seats in the Reichstag. In September 1930 they managed to win no less than 107 seats, and in July 1932 they more than doubled this to 230 seats, making them the largest party in the Reichstag.
4. Explain how the Nazis benefited from the economic and political crisis of 1929-33. Give clear facts and
figures in your answer to illustrate the level of their success. Hitler could now challenge Hindenburg for the top job of President of Germany. He asked to be appointed as Chancellor. The only problem was that Hindenburg distrusted Hitler, so he refused to let him have this important position. Instead Hindenburg appointed his friend Papen, who also distrusted Hitler. Unfortunately, Papen had no support in the Reichstag, so arguments in the government continued! Therefore, Hindenburg was soon forced to replace him with another Chancellor, Schleicher. The only problem was that Schleicher was Papen’s arch enemy, and Papen was furious! What could Hindenburg do to bring stability to the Reichstag?