The Nazification of Germany

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President Paul von Hindenburg travels in a car with Hitler, the newly appointed Chancellor of Germany on 20 January 1933
© 2012 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This section of The Holocaust Explained will help you learn and understand how the Hitler and the Nazis managed to develop a series of policies and measures that enabled them to consolidate power over Germany. By reading further you will learn how the lives of millions of people in Germany were changed forever.

Franz von Papen and a group of right wing nationalists, proposed making Hitler Chancellor, with himself as Vice-Chancellor. Only two other Nazis would be allowed government posts, with the remaining jobs going to the moderate parties. Fear of communism helped this plan.

President Hindenburg was persuaded that Hitler with his popular appeal could be kept under control. Ironically the Nazis lost votes in the November 1932 elections. However, on the 30 January 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Von Papen boasted that: “in two months, we will have pushed Hitler into a corner so that he squeaks”. However, just 24 hours after taking office, Hitler called for new elections to be held on 5 March 1933.