Hitler began his race for power at a crucial time in German history. The First World War had come to an end and Germany was experiencing its first democratic government, the Weimar Republic. Inflation was a great problem and the population on the whole felt discouraged and cheated. It took Hitler 10 years of campaigning to reach the status of Chancellor during which time he enforced his extremist views and ideas. He played on the emotional side of the German nation. Lifting their low morals and rebuilding their sense of Nationalism.
One of Hitlers greatest advantages was his exceptional speaking talents and as a member of the German Workers Party he was able to attract large audiences to his speeches. In 1920 he had clearly emerged as leader and renamed the party the National Socialist Workers' Party (the Nazi Party). Along with his new position as leader of the party he brought with him a 25-point program designed to raise support from all classes of German society. The program was extreme and included abolishing the Treaty of Versailles, unifying Germany, creating a better life for the middle class, and abolishing Jews from the country. The Nazi Party, was however a disorganised group and although the numbers of the organisation grew to 55,000 it still remained relatively small. The meetings of the Nazi Party often became violent affairs as the Brownshirts ( a private army formed by Ernst Rhoem) would beat up people opposing their views. The citizens of Germany in no way saw these kinds of actions as radical and completely unjust as they would be seen today. This was due to the fact that at the time there was much political violence in the streets of Germany, particularly between the Frei Corp and the Communists. To the citizens of Germany the Weimar Republic was dull, cautious and unable to maintain proper order within the city. The Nazi's took action, were strong, decisive and cared greatly for a restoration of German Nationalism. Many Germans could not accept the freedoms the Weimar Republic had given them, especially the older Germans, they did not understand the need for democracy and wished to return to a dictatorship.
Another point that made Hitler popular among the Germans was his ability to make them feel important. He made them feel proud, he made them feel superior to other races. He had always held a hatred for the Jews, some believe this developed when he was not accepted into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and some Jewish people were granted entry. After which he was forced to live on the streets. He blamed the Jews for his lack of success and also for taking away German jobs on a whole. He managed to convince the German society that the Jews were an inferior, greedy and rich race that was bringing the nation down. He also insisted that the Germans were part of a superior Aryan race (German, Nordic, tall, blonde). He believed this was a pure race and did not want Aryans to intermarry with other races. He also believed in a Greater Germany, this being the unification of all German people. This would mean expanding German territory. He saw this as 'Social Darwinism' or 'survival of the fittest' he would take what other countries could not protect and he wished to take land from the Slav people in the east. But these were all extreme ideas and it would take a lot for the German people to go along with them. So Hitler had his proposals constantly drilled into the minds of the citizens. He also controlled what they heard, learned and said. He made huge changes to what was taught in schools as he believed that the schools and Nazis youth groups would produce the next wave of brave, young Aryans. Hitler also had control of the media and he dictated what would and would not be released to the public.
Germany's unstable economy also aided the Nazi party greatly in their attempts at rising to power. The German economy was constantly fluctuating and when times were bad the citizens would vote for the Nazi's. So when the Dawes Plan came into action Nazi support dropped dramatically, however, after the Wall Street Crash it rose higher than it had ever been. And then in July 1932, when German was suffering from mass unemployment, the Nazi party won 230 seats becoming the largest parliamentary party. When times were bad the S.A (brownshirts) offered unemployed young people the chance to get a respectable job and get back on their feet. Hitler also believed that the only way Germany would ever be able to have national unity, prosperity and full employment was to flush out the people causing these problems. Germany needed to blame someone for its misfortune and the most obvious people to accuse were the Communists, Jesuits, Freemasons, November Criminals and the Jews. Had the Treaty of Versailles not been signed Germany would surely have been massacred, however many of the citizens were unaware of the situation and believed Germany could have won the war, when the treaty was signed they felt they had been stabbed in the back by their own politicians. Hitler gained much support from blaming these people because the sense of Nationalism in Germany has always been high.
When Hitler became Chancellor he banned all the political parties, became an absolute dictator, removed all Jews and suspected 'enemies of the state' and controlled the education system and media. So through violence, luck, deception, and some clever tactics Hitler was able to get the support of the German people.