30 January 1933: Adolf Hitler takes power

Adolf Hitler came to power on this day in 1933 following a political gamble that went disastrously wrong.

The Great Depression hit Germany hard, with one in three German workers unemployed by early 1933. Political support drained away from the main parties, benefiting Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party (better known as the Nazi Party). In the July 1932 national election they came first, with 37% of the vote. They were unable to form a government and Hitler was defeated in the presidential election, but they had become a major political force.

Other parties were also unable to form a majority government and Germany was in political limbo. So in January 1933 former chancellor Franz von Papen persuaded president Paul von Hindenburg to form a national government with Hitler as chancellor. The idea was that von Papen would retain real power, while using Nazi support to get legislation through parliament. This proved a miscalculation that had tragic consequences for Germany and the rest of the world.

Hitler immediately insisted on calling fresh elections. In the weeks leading up to the vote on March 1933, the new government tried every means at its disposal to intimidate the other parties. It also used the burning down of the Reichstag to pass laws curtailing freedom of speech and assembly. Despite this, and the fact that many election observers were Nazis, it had to rely on the support of another far-right party to gain a majority.

But immediately after the election, Hitler set about dismantling the remaining elements of democracy. He used a mixture of diplomacy and coercion to force parliament to pass the Enabling Act, which allowed him to bypass parliament. This effectively ended the Weimar Republic.

Recommended

Car hire and the strangeness of the post-pandemic economy
UK Economy

Car hire and the strangeness of the post-pandemic economy

A global shortage of hire cars and unusually high hotel occupancy rates sum up the post-pandemic global economy in a nutshell, says Merryn Somerset We…
30 Jun 2022
Prepare your portfolio for recession
Investment strategy

Prepare your portfolio for recession

A recession is looking increasingly likely. Add in a bear market and soaring inflation, and things are going to get very complicated for investors, sa…
27 Jun 2022
Central banks are on course for recession
Global Economy

Central banks are on course for recession

The world’s central banks have found themselves behind the curve on inflation. Acting to tame it now runs the risk of sparking a recession.
23 Jun 2022
About Us
Economy

About Us

Welcome, and thank you for visiting us.
23 Jun 2022

Most Popular

UK house prices are definitely cooling off – but are they heading for a fall?
House prices

UK house prices are definitely cooling off – but are they heading for a fall?

UK house prices hit a fresh high in June, but as interest rates start to rise, the market is cooling John Stepek assesses just how much of an effect h…
30 Jun 2022
How to invest in copper, the most important metal in the world
Industrial metals

How to invest in copper, the most important metal in the world

As the world looks to electrify and try to move away from fossil fuels, copper looks set to be the biggest beneficiary. But how can you invest? Rupert…
30 Jun 2022
Don’t try to time the bottom – start buying good companies now
Investment strategy

Don’t try to time the bottom – start buying good companies now

Markets are having a rough time, so you may be tempted to wait to try to call the bottom and pick up some bargains. But that would be a mistake, says …
1 Jul 2022