The Increasing Support of the Nazis: 1923-1936

There are several factors that account for the increasing support of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP) among the German people in the period 1923 to 1936. The main factors that account for this increasing trend are the failure of the Weimar government, the economic instability of the period, the propaganda and terror produced by the NSDAP, and Hitler’s coming to power. It is these factors that must be accounted for to understand the reasons as to why NSDAP support increased during the period 1923 to 1936.
The failure of the Weimar government was a major factor for the increasing support for the NSDAP. The Weimar Government gave the German people a new opportunity to participate in the political process. However, the Weimar Government’s failure was due to this fact. The voting system that was set up, that of proportional representation, allowed for the inclusion of many small parties in the Reichstag. This meant that no single party ever had an overall majority in the Reichstag and therefore co-operation of parties in coalition governments was needed for democracy to work in Germany. When the co-operation of the parties fell apart, when Muller and Bruning had a falling out over cuts in unemployment benefits, the slide towards dictatorship began as Bruning, and the Center party found themselves in government alone. Bruning tried to keep his government going without a majority in the Reichstag by asking the President, Paul Von Hindenburg, to use Article 48 of the Constitution. This meant laws could be issued under emergency powers rather than go through the Reichstag. Hindenburg was sympathetic with the right wing and impatient with democracy, and this meant he was willing to use Article 48 regularly, whereas the original intention was that is should be used only occasionally and in an emergency. Between 1930-1932 the Reichstag sat less frequently decreasing from 94 times in 1930 to a mere 13 times in 1932.
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