Berlin – rise of nazism

Once inflation was under control, there was a period of relative political stabilization in Germany. Elections in 1924 years showed increased support for center-right and republican parties. When Ebert died (28 February 1925) and the presidency was assumed by the former head of the imperial army, Field Marshal von Hindenburg, monarchists and conservatives were overjoyed. Gradually, however, the extreme right began to gain ground, starting with Bavaria.

National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) at first it was a conglomerate of derailed people and fanatics, whose views were a bizarre mixture of left-wing and right-wing ideologies. as the name of the party suggests. It was Hitler who amalgamated the existing reactionary theories, he based his model of the Nazi on Mussolini's Fascist and took some of the communists, in the form of red flags. propaganda and street fighting. SA hooligans were created for the latter purpose (Sturmabteilung), clad in brown shirts. As long as their victims were "reds”, the authorities were doing little or nothing, to put an end to SA's violence. Fearing street riots - and a return to the anarchy of the post-war years - was meant to incline the bourgeoisie towards Nazism, who promised drastic "solutions” Germany's ill.

The Nazis made no progress in the hardened "red” Berlin until the end 1926 year. when Hitler appointed Joseph Gobbels Gauleiter for the party organization in the city. Gobbels reorganized the SA to confront the communists and gain control of the streets of Berlin. 11 February of the following year, he rented the Pharus Hall for a Nazi demonstration in the communist-dominated suburb of Wedding. There were bloody skirmishes, which gave rise to an era of violence. Marches SA and the communist Rote Frontekampfer Bund (The Red Battle Front), which often ended in regular fights, have become a permanent part of the life of working-class suburbs. The Nazis settled in the city for good.


In the elections of the year 1928 NSDAP captured 800.000 votes and twelve seats in the Reichstag. In May 1929 In the year, there were serious riots in Berlin, when communist workers clashed with the armed police in Wedding. Thirty-three civilians died in street fights, including many passers-by. Fearing for their lives and property in the event of the communists coming to power, the rich townspeople and tycoons of finance and industry generously financed the Nazis..

In October 1929 Gustay Stresemann died in the following year, one of the few talented German politicians. A few weeks later, the New York Stock Exchange crashed. American loans have run out, and the international recession wiped out the remnants of Germany's economic stability. By the end of the year, unemployment had reached 3.000.000 and the poverty of the period just after the war returned in an even worse form. Hindenburg appointed centrist Heinrich Bruning Chancellor, who failed to pass any bills in the Reichstag and asked Hindenburg to dissolve parliament and call elections. Poverty - which was exacerbated by the government's austerity program - polarized society: street gangs fought each other, and banners with swastikas and red flags hung from neighboring tenement houses.

In the elections with 1930 year, the representation of the communists increased, and the Nazis have captured 107 seats to the Reichstag. As the newly elected Nazi deputies embraced 13 October their parliamentary seats, anti-Semitic riots took place all over the city. The parliamentary system practically ceased to function and Germany was ruled by presidential decrees. Poverty and chaos persisted, and SA uniforms became a common sight on the streets of Berlin, where Nazi militants attacked Jewish shops and factories and distributed pornographic material, hate writings like Der Sturmer. Their growing influence was strengthened, when General Schleicher of the General Staff of the Reichswehr started flirting with Hitler, imagining, that the Nazis would counterbalance the left. Despair grew in the overwhelmingly anti-Nazi population of Berlin. In the presidential election with 10 April 1932 Hindenburg won the absolute majority of the year, but Hitler did 13.500.000 votes. A month later, Hindenburg dismissed Bruning, accusing him of lacking control over the economy and disagreeing with the content of his speeches, and he appointed Franz von Papen to succeed Bruning. Surrounded by a study, which the left-wing press mocked as the "Cabinet of Barons”. von Papen announced plans for "reforms”, which boiled down to a thinly veiled attempt to restore the pre-war order. During the parliamentary elections in June, street riots reached unprecedented heights, and the Nazis gained the largest representation in the Reichstag of any political party. Despite worse results in the November elections, 1932 year, their power on the street grew - Berlin cabarets and left-wing theaters could at best dare to disguise criticism.

The conservatives helped Hitler in the last steps to gain power, who wanted to use it for their own purposes. First, General Schleicher (currently Minister of Foreign Affairs, a little less delighted with the Nazis) He plotted the removal of von Papen and personally succeeded him as Chancellor. Papen responded with a series of political intrigues. To Hindenburg he suggested, that Schleicher is not competent, to rule Germany and proposed for Chancellor of Hitler. Von Papen was counting on it, that the Nazis will strangle the left, but they will prove incapable of ruling the country. After a few months, Hitler could be sidelined and power would return to conservatives like von Papen..

Having reached an agreement with Hitler, he persuaded Hindenburg, who was suffering from senility, to appoint Hitler as Chancellor, and his vice-chancellor himself (4 January 1933). Unaware of all this, the people demanded Schleicher's departure in the streets of Berlin. Two days after his resignation, they watched in horror as Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor (30 January). Life in the city was never what it used to be, even though three-quarters of Berlin's voters voted against the Nazis in the last elections.