The Rise of Germany to a Fascist State

Janelle Draper

During the 1920's and early 1930's Germany was unstable socially economically and politically. The governments were more often in a state of disarray than not, the populace was disillusioned and scared, and the Great Wall Street stock market crash of 1923 saw the economy crumble before the population's eyes. These unfavourable factors combined to create a nation of precarious stature, a country which was looking for a savior. This came in the form of fascism, an ideology in which the individual is dominated by an all-powerful state under the control of one supreme leader. The hand to lead the people of Germany out of all the problems and deceptions of these terrible times was Adolf Hitler, fascist dominator. These difficulties gave Hitler and the Nazi party the opportunity to employ their propaganda skills to capture this disenchanted nation and win their hearts, but more importantly, to manipulate their minds.

By the mid 1920's Adolf Hitler was the undisputed leader of the Nazi Party. Much of Hitler's success as a politician during his pilgrimage to higher power in Germany was due to his powerful and dominating personality. A master orator, not only was Hitler a charismatic speaker, but his public speaking was so passionate and dynamic that the crowds would be driven wild with enthusiasm of the ideas he preached. Hitler's devoted oratory often made vague promises while avoiding the details, by using simple catch phrases, repeated over and over. Hitler's dominance and authoritarian nature was a much-needed change for the people of Germany, following the indecisive and so often unsuccessful muddlings of the Weimar government and its predecessors.

The Spartacist rising of 1919 was an early political factor that encouraged the initial success of Hitler during the rise of fascism in Germany during the 1920's. January 5th 1919 saw an unprepared and badly staged Spartacist putsch, where the communist's led by 'Red Rosa' Luxemburg, captured the headquarters of the governments newspapers and the telegraph bureau. The Spartacist rising was easily crushed by the Freikorps. By January 15th the Spartacists were defeated completely, with one hundred (100) Spartacists having been killed, compared to only thirteen (13 ) Freikorps. Most importantly, Rosa Luxemburg and fellow Spartacist Communist leader Karl Liebknecht were murdered, stripping the communists of their leaders. Not only did the failed and fruitless rising influence people further from the communists, due to such unreliable politics, but the loss of both leaders suppressed the communist movement such that they didn't recover. Both factors saw some support move from the communist party to the Nazi's and Hitler. Ultimately the murders resulted in one less party to oppose the Nazis.

On the 28th June 1919 two government members of Germany went to the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, to sign a document which was to become known to the German people as the "Shameful Dikat of Versailles". The Germans named the Treaty of Versailles so for three main reasons. They felt it was too harsh, that it was a forceful 'dictated' peace, and most importantly, they felt they had not lost the war, and so did not deserve such severe punishment. For a nation of such strong pride and self-regard, the treaty resulted in tormented years of blame. The main parties affected being the Weimar Republic and the Socialist Politicians whom signed the dishonorable treaty.


The Weimar government, established in 1919, was in difficulty from the onset. Its final acceptance of the treaty earned it unwelcome criticism from ordinary Germans who were of the opinion it should never have been signed. The famous 'stab-in-the-back' legend began to circulate, which denied that the army had never been defeated in W.W.1, but had been betrayed by traitors such as the pacifists, gypsies, Jews, Communists and corrupt politicians. Middle class voters soon became disillusioned by the Weimar government, and turned their voting habits around towards Hitler's Nazi Party at the expense of the National Party, the People's Party and the Democrats. The blame cast upon the Weimar Government, also known as the "November Criminals" focused disfavor towards the new constitution, thereby allowing increased support of Hitler and the Nazi Party. Popularity for the Nazi party and the 'super man' Hitler swelled allowing them the opportunity to encourage the marginalization of the Jews, gypsies and other minority groups. Evidently, this began to influence the German people towards the fascist way