BBC Bitesize - Higher History - Why the Nazis achieved power
Alice Clearwater

Nazi policies

> The Nazi party’s policies were deliberately vague so they might appeal to as many people as possible. People of both right and moderate-left wing politics joined because they agreed with at least one of their policies:

> an aim to abolish the "unfair punishment" of the Treaty of Versailles was popular with many Germans

> promises of better pensions and increased employment appealed to the common man and many traditional socialists

> opposition to communism led many landowners and businessmen to support the Nazis – they were seen as the only credible right-wing alternative to the left-wing parties.

> belief in the supremacy of the German race appealed to nationalists.

> paramilitary groups reminded people of the comradeship they shared as soldiers during World War One

> the promise to re-militarise Germany would bring in huge industrial contracts – bringing support from many industrialists

> Hitler's hatred of Jews struck a chord with many people - they were a convenient scapegoat for all Germany's problems


Use of propaganda

> Propaganda is information spread to promote a political cause and to persuade people of a certain point of view.

> Information about what the Nazis believed in and who they blamed for Germany’s dire situation was effectively spread by the Party’s propaganda machine. Hitler put Josef Goebbels in charge of Nazi propaganda.

> Methods of campaigning that the Nazis used in the 1920s included

> - radio
> - mass rallies
> - newspapers (eg 'Der Sturmer')
> - Hitler's speeches
> - posters

> The Nazis used simple slogans to introduce their ideas and to make them appeal to the ordinary people of Germany.

> At the same time Goebbels prevented those who opposed Nazi policies from expressing their views. This helped ensure only Nazi messages got across to the public.