Germany History: Nazism

It is in this atmosphere that the National Socialist Party of Germany made progress, which from a non-relevant right-wing formation with 12 deputies in the 1928 elections, it secured 107 in those of 1930. Hitler was the agitator, A. Rosenberg the ideologue with the myth of the Aryan race. Its propaganda touched all the reasons for dissatisfaction, both economic and political: to many voters the Nazi program seemed to offer together the solution of national and social problems with the appeal of the national community to repudiate the class struggle. Thus in the elections of July 1932 the Nazis obtained 230 seats out of 609; by joining the Communists they could bring down any government, and this was now held by virtue of the president’s emergency powers Hindenburg, confirmed in office that year against Hitler’s candidacy. The propensities to an authoritarian constitutional reform of the bourgeois parties, mouthpieces of big industry and agrarian property, helped Hitler to reach the chancellorship, with the conviction of being able to control him in a national coalition government (January 30, 1933). Not even in the elections of March 1933 did the Nazi Party obtain a majority and for this reason it persisted in violence. These were quickly combined with the provisions of the central government and those of the Länder to submit parties and organizations to the ideology that had become a state, eliminating them or transforming them into instruments of power. The Länder they lost all autonomy in the substantial centralization; the trade unions of both the workers and the entrepreneurs were merged into a domesticated “labor front”. The parties were dissolved or dissolved; the press was brought under control, as were youth organizations, welfare organizations, culture and schools. Control penetrated into the Churches themselves: into the Evangelical Church through a party of German-Christians, into the Catholic Church through clauses, indeed contested, of the concordat concluded in July 1933 with the Holy See. In 1934 Hitler, as Führer (duce), purged the party of riotous leftist elements, also to ingratiate himself with the armed forces.

Became head of the Reichswehr, in that same year, on the death of Marshal Hindenburg, the Führer also assumed the position of head of state, having the constitutional innovation legalized with a plebiscite (August 1934). Internally, the new regime relieved the country from the crisis with credits to industry and agriculture and large public works; but these measures, coordinated in four-year plans, were designed in an autarkic way and aimed at increasing the country’s military power. In foreign policy, the declared intent was the reconquest of “German freedom and equality” against the provisions of Versailles. Already in 1933 Germany withdrew from the disarmament conference and from the League of Nations itself; in 1935, annexed the Saar with 91% of the votes, compulsory military service was re-established.German revisionism in 1935 had the upper hand on the “Stresa front” and was strengthened by the alliance with Italian fascism, engaging with it in the Spanish civil war (1936-39) and with Japanese militarism in Asia, under the banner of an Anticomintern pact, but in reality of claimed “living spaces”. Together with the war apparatus, the ideological-administrative one was organized, committed to ensuring the purity of the race by eliminating every non-Aryan element from teaching and cultural life, excluding Jews from any profession as foreigners. The doctrine of race as the foundation of state and society was confirmed with practical applications of the sterilization of those affected by hereditary diseases, the suppression of the incurable, the houses of racial genetics and the like. The stages of the revision of the Treaty of Versailles followed one another with the reminder of the need for a Greater Germany that would welcome all Germans. In 1938 there was the annexation of Austria following external pressure and internal intrigues; in the same year to one Munich conference, inspired by détente, the Third Reich obtained the Czechoslovakian territory of the Sudeten Germans (September), but at the same time it provoked a crisis of confidence in the guarantees of the Western states and mistrust towards them of the Soviet Union. In March 1939 the whole of Czechoslovakia was reduced within the framework of the Reich as a Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia; in the same month Memel, in Lithuania, was also occupied by the Germans.

Germany Nazism