Nazi germany (“Third Reich”)
The definite political demise of the Weimar Republic began with the DepressionThe Great Depression 1929 (Black Friday) was a economic crisis and the most widespread depression of the 20th century of 1929. The Weimar coalition formed by the German People’s Party and the Social Democratic Party broke apart in 1930 as they could not agree upon the extent of social contributions. The remodeling of the parliamentary democracy into a presidential systemA presidential system is a republican system of government where a head of government is also head of state and leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch took place on the basis of the right of emergency decreesArticle 48 of the constitution of the Weimar Republic of Germany allowed the President, under certain circumstances, to take emergency measures without the prior consent of the Reichstag. Due to recession especially the National Socialist German Worker’s PartyThe National Socialist German Worker’s Party established a totalitarian regime in Germany, known as the Third Reich gained votes, thus emerging the strongest party in the elections of 1932. The party’s propaganda focused on foreign affairs and the population’s social needs1. This enabled the National Socialist German Worker’s Party to win voters in all social classes and groups. The party’s ideology can be characterised by these three pillars:
1.) Fuehrer cult
Hitler was seen as a saviour with whom the broad mass could identify. He stirred society into en ethnic community through an over-motivated national consciousness and thus promoted the Germans’ solidarity.
2.) Habitat policy
Furthermore the National Socialist German Workers’ Party aspired to extend German territory. With the so called „habitat policy in the east“new space for the Aryan race was to be created. This led to genocide and war crimes.
The population had to be convinced that the „habitat policy” of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party could be ascribed to natural circumstances. Thus Hitler’s theory of social DarwinismSocial Darwinism theorists argue that the strong should see their wealth and power increase while the weak should see their wealth and power decrease stated that only those individuals best adapted to their environment could survive. Thereby he falsely transferred Darwin’s evolutionary theory onto humans, classifying those who did not belong to the Aryan race as subhuman. Through a methodical “racial hygieneRacial hygiene were policies in Nazi Germany by which certain groups of individuals were allowed to procreate and others not” Slavic and Jewish peoples were to be eradicated, in order to gentrify the Aryan race.
The fascistic movement in Europe began in 1922 with the reign of Benito MussoliniBenito Mussolini was leader of the National Fascist Party and Prime Minister in Italy from 1922 until his ousting in 1943 in Italy. After a successful coup he seized power and installed a dictatorship. Hitler took Mussolini’s method as an example and attempted to come to power in Germany trough a coupThe Beer Hall Putsch was a failed attempt by the Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler to seize power in Munich in November 1923 in Munich in 1923. However this attempt failed and Hitler was imprisoned for the time being. Abolishing parliamentary democracy was the main aim of the fascistic ideology. Due to inflation the Weimar Republic suffered a profound recession in 1923 and experienced an economic and social crisis. During this time the right-winged parties, like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party gained support. Furthermore they aimed to bring about the downfall of those peace conditions settled in the Treaty of VersaillesThe Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty in June 1919. It forced Germany to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions, and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers as the enormous reparations were mainly responsible for the grave economic situation in Germany. The fascistic theory was therefore used to convince the population of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party2.