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Study Notes

Increasing Support for Extreme Parties In Germany in the Early 1930's

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 20 Jan 2019

Economic difficulty caused an increase in support for the Communist Party (KPD) on the left and the Nazis on the right.

Voters were attracted by bold action promised by the extreme parties.

Between May 1928 and July 1932, the Nazis increased their number of seats in the Reichstag from 12 to 230, and the Communists increased their seats from 54 to 89.

The KPD managed to increase their vote share from 10% to 15%, equivalent to one million extra votes. Success for the Communists came about for two main reasons. Firstly, the Wall Street Crash had triggered a significant increase in unemployment and unemployed. Germans found the Communist’s message promising jobs appealing. Linked to this were falling wages.

As economic crisis deepened, businesses cut wages to lower their costs. Increasing support for the Communists worried many in German society, and those who opposed the Communists (such as the upper and middle classes – including business owners) increasingly turned to the Nazis who were seen as the best chance of defeating the Communists.

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