Who Voted For the Nazis?
Uploaded by GlobalBarbie on Apr 06, 2002
1. Review the evidence concerning who voted for the Nazis in the elections in Germany of 1928 to 1933. Consider the different groups in society and the reasons why they may, or may not, have voted for the Nazis.
Since 1928 the Nazi leaders had deliberately directed their propaganda at rural and middle class/lower middle class audiences. This therefore made it obvious that they were very likely to vote for the Nazis. Also, it has been estimated that the party attracting new voters and persuading many people who had not previously participated in elections to support their cause won nearly half of the Nazi seats.
Hitler had a lot of support from the conservative right who had dominated Germany politically since 1929.
Hitler seemed to appeal to each class and sector within the electorate by making specific pledges to suit each group.
The middle classes made up the largest single proportion of Nazi support. It is thought that the reason for this is something to do with the Great Depression. They felt that they would not be able to cope with a second economic crisis so they moved to the more radical fringe. By middle class I mean artisans, small retailers, peasant farmers, civil servants and teachers.
The upper classes-landowners, businessmen and industrialists-saw that Hitler would protect them from trade unions and the threat of communism and socialism on the left.
The unemployed, peasants and young people supported Hitler but the party was weak in the south and in industrial cities.
2. Read the extracts below, which are taken from a variety of historians’ views. What are their answers? To what extent do they agree?
The answers, which are given by these extracts, tend to be along the same line. All of them seem to agree that the Nazis were very successful in protestant rural and middle class Germany. They also agree that it was big businesses, the young and the well off that were most likely to be in favour of the NSDAP.
However the point at which some of them disagree is to do with the workers. The question seems to remain-did the workers vote for the Nazis? On one hand it seems obvious that they didn’t because of what the Nazis offered (it was aimed at the middle classes and above), but on the other hand it was said by J. Falter in his work, “How likely were workers to vote for the NSDAP?” that...