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How Far did Hitler win over the Middle classes Essay

To a large extent Hitler won over the middle classes, however although Hitler had won over a larger percentage of middle class people than the workers, he did not achieve complete satisfaction from them or much loyalty since they were mostly interested in the financial benefits that the Nazi party was offering rather than the other sides such as the patriotism etc. This meant that the support the Nazis got from the middle classes was mostly passive rather than active and enthusiastic.

The main reason as to why the Nazi party won a large majority of the middle classes was due to the fact that communism was becoming increasingly popular in Germany meaning that if Germany became a communist country , the middle classes would suffer greatly as it would mean that private businesses and corporations would fall in to State hands as in Soviet Russia at the time. This would mean that they would essentially lose their business/shops /homes and become considerably worse off in financially.

The Nazi party offered protection from this threat and thus was very appealing to middle class people. Protection from Communism also included law and order which the middle classes approved since they saw the communist as even ore of a threat after the Reichstag fire and all of the anti Communism Nazi propaganda as well as the Roehm purge. Protection from the communists was however not the only reason as to why Hitler gained the support of the middle classes because he introduced other laws/schemes which were appealing to them.

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The middle classes believed that they would be economically better off with the Nazis as Jewish business competition was removed and Jewish business handed over to the German people (aryanisation). Rearmament meant that some business would gain such as the coal industry and the steel manufacturers, furthermore it created more jobs in engineering as well as increased demand for lawyers etc as they could find work with the Nazi SD. The destruction of trade unions would again mean that the middle classes would gain economically .

Despite the advantages, there were some middle class people who to some extent opposed the Nazis or did not support them, again mainly due to economic reasons. For example rearmament limited the opportunities for craftsmen and artisans, this is shown by the fact that the number of self employed fell from 15. 6% to 13. 9%. Manufacturers were limited by strict price controls thus minimizing their profit, they also had to pay higher wages to the workers/employees due to the fact that they could now find a job in rearmament.

A hairdresser said, “Hitler is ok, but that lot around him, they are nothing but rogues”. This shows the level of dissatisfaction with the Nazi party. In conclusion the middle classes were mostly won over simply due to their fear of Marxism/communism and the loss of their businesses, and although for them Nazism was not a perfect solution , they had to accept it and so were “ideologically weak”-(SPD) and essentially choice less meaning they had to support the Nazis and only supported them so as to protect their economic interests, and so “did not amount to a serious body of resistance”-(peukert).

Kershaw mentions that one man strongly complained about economic hardship, than broke off into the street to do a Hitler salute and praise the SS marching. This shows that although the Nazis slightly crippled the middle classes by installing price controls preventing businesses to pass on their costs to the consumer and despite the threat of losing contracts to other businessmen or the state stepping in to take over, (Reich works Hermann Goering ) it was better than the communism alternative and so supported the Nazis.

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