All themes
Crisis in Germany
Hitler’s Party
The NSDAP’s Plans
The Nazis and Propaganda
The Hitler Youth
The Jews as Scapegoats
Hitler in Power
Printable version
The rise of Hitler and the Nazis

To many people, Adolf Hitler symbolizes the terrible crimes that were committed during the Second World War. But Adolf Hitler did not act alone.

Adolf Hitler’s political party, the NSDAP, became the largest party in Germany after the 1932 elections. Things were going badly for Germany. There was a lot of poverty and unemployment. Hitler and his followers, the Nazis, wanted to make Germany great and powerful again. They promised solutions to all of the country’s problems. According to the Nazis, it was especially the Jews’ fault that things were going so badly for Germany. If the Jews could be expelled from Germany the country’s situation would get better.

Law and order

More and more Germans decided to give the Nazi party a chance to turn things around after the economic crisis that shook the world in 1929. The crisis caused one out of every three Germans to become unemployed. People hoped that things would improve for them if Hitler became the leader of their country. He came across as a strong leader who would be forceful in his approach. The unemployed were tired of hearing the same old arguments and promises from the traditional parties. Rich industrialists and businessmen also supported the Nazis. They expected that the Nazis would bring back law and order during a time of crisis.

A dictatorship

Only one-third of voters cast their ballot for Hitler in 1932, but that was enough to make the Nazi party the largest in Germany, since more than 15 parties participated. Adolf Hitler became Reichskanzler (similar to the President) of Germany in 1933. His government soon took drastic measures to create change and banned all other political parties. Germany became a dictatorship. The Nazis wanted to have total control. They set up all kinds of Nazi associations: for police officers, teachers, lawyers, children, etc. Everyone was expected to become a member. Anyone who refused would be punished. Soon, resistance to the Nazis meant risking your life.
Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 18 July 2018
Then: 18 July 1945

Otto Frank hears that Anne and Margot have died in Bergen-Belsen.