The events of November 1923 changed the way the Nazi Party thought and made them change their own political views. The trial which had Adolf Hitler, Ernst Rohem, General Erich Ludendorff, Wilhelm Frick and six others held in the Infants Officers School in Munich, was on the charge of high treason. The building was protected by armed guards and barbed wire. The court consisted of two professional judges and three laymen (two insurance men and one stationery dealer). The chief witnesses for the prosecution were the three men Hitler had let go before the Putsch.
They were Gustav Ritter von Kahr who was the general state commissioner of Bavaria, General Otto von Lossow commander of the German armed forces in Bavaria and Hans von Seisser who was the chief of Bavarian state government. The trial aroused attention throughout Germany and around the world. At least 100 reporters sat at the press table and large crowds attempted to find seating space in the court room. For the first time Hitler had an audience outside Bavaria and he took full advantage.
He said “There is no such thing as high treason against the traitors of 1918. Making it sound that they weren’t criminals it was the Weimar government that should be on trial. This was one of his best ever speeches and it was effective, newspapers that had never mentioned Hitler before devoted columns to him. The verdict was guilty for everyone but Ludendorff, but as the judges shared the Nazis anti-communist views Hitler got only 5 years in Luxury conditions which could be compared to the best hotel in Bavaria. While he was in prison he chose Alfred Rosenberg to lead the party.
He knew Rosenberg was no leader and he chose Rosenberg because if the party did well while he was in prison he might be chucked out and seen as un-important. As Hitler had hoped the party did disastrously immediately. They had decided to lose their forceful ways and enter the Reichstag as Hitler said “We shall have to hold our noses and enter the Reichstag against the opposition deputies. If outvoting them takes longer than out shooting them, at least the result is guaranteed we will take them down by their own constitution. ” Immediately after the trial the Nazi Party was banned.
However under a different name they entered and won 32 seats but seven months later they did disastrously and lost 18 seats leaving them with only 14. Also at this time inflation was ended with the introduction of the Rentenmark and the Dawes plan was introduced this was a report on reparations issued by a committee headed by Charles Dawes. This plan was designed to balance Germany’s budget and stabilize the mark. The recommendations included were a sliding scale of payments for five years, stabilization of German currency by means of foreign loan and restoration of German fiscal and economic unity.
The Germans were irritated by this plan because it called for foreign control of their finances. Hitler immediately jumped on this and attacked the government for letting Germany be in the hands of foreign nations. While in jail Hitler wrote a book called Mein Kampf, which in English meant My Struggle, this was a cross between an autobiography and an advertisement of his political ideas. It was regarded in Germany as the National Socialist bible. By 1939 it had sold 5. 2 million copies and made Hitler a millionaire.
In it Hitler described the Weimar government as “the greatest miscarriage of the 20th century,” mainly he wrote about racism and how Germans should be racially pure Aryan people but his Ideas were dismissed as crazy suggestions. When Hitler leaves prison after only 9 months of his 5 year sentence he re-founds the NSDAP, National Socialist German Workers Party and declared it would fight Marxism and Jewry, four days later Ebert the first president of Germany dies. Hindenburg elected as second president of Germany.
Hitler also unearthed a great talent who became one of his most prized assets, he was called Joseph Goebbels he was an intellectual and unsuccessful novelist. As an extremist party the Nazi’s were worried that economic stability could signal there downfall and in 1924 stability came. So Hitler changed the parties’ ideas to make them less extreme. In pre 1923 Hitler employed the S. A. to intimidate others and use violence against opponents. Hitler had realised that this was wrong. He knew that many people would not support a bunch of thugs who used violence to get them on his side.
So Hitler made adjustments to the S. A. He changed it so it was less like a group of men who liked violence, but bore a closer resemblance to a professional army. He created and elite group called the S. S. who wore black shirts, not brown. He changed the uniform to black because many people associated the brown uniform with bullying and violence. The black uniform also showed a fresh start. So Hitler and Goebbels who became chief of propaganda found out which ideas appealed to which classes. They found out that their Anti-Jew message was the most popular idea and they upped the propaganda on that subject.
Also they tried to aim more at students, veterans and professional groups like doctors or lawyers. Goebbels manipulated Propaganda very well, he modified many effective posters with clever slogans such as, “Work, freedom and bread”. He also organised mass parades and rallies so everyone in Germany would know the Nazis. He divided Germany up into regions and sent out party workers to target each region. They created a national party. This showed the people of Germany that he cared about the whole of Germany and not just one area.
He made targets for more support and loyalty. He targeted young people so that they could grow up with the experience. He targeted teachers because he knew many people would listen to teachers and they would have good experience and confidence in speaking to large groups. Hitler also began to make speeches designed to appeal to more than just the working class. He targeted people who were in difficulties after the Wall Street crash of 1929. These people were: farmers, ruined shopkeepers, small business owners, unemployed civil servants and the middle class.
It was clever thinking that Hitler targeted people whom had suffered from the Wall Street crash, as many of these people would jump at the opportunity to do something for their country because they were out of jobs. The Nazis cleverly delivered the idea that if they came to power there would be something for everyone. For example farmers were promised higher prices for their goods and shopkeepers were offered protection against big businesses. The pledges were deliberately vague though. As well as using posters he decided to use newspapers to spread the message.
He managed to do this by becoming friends with Alfred Hugenberg who was a newspaper publisher. Hugenberg was able to help Hitler do this. Spreading the news via newspapers was a very good idea because more people became aware of Hitler, which meant that more people would turn up at his meetings. The allies began to withdraw from the Ruhr which is one of the main industrial hotspots in Germany and the Locarno pact is signed as Germany tries to rebuild trust throughout Europe. Hitler appoints Goebbels Gauleiter of Berlin.
This means district leader and makes him highest ranking party official below Hitler. In 1930 Hitler assumes position of supreme SA and SS leader and in the Reichstag elections the Nazi Party win 107 seats. So Hitler made the Nazi Party enter the Reichstag and made them change their ideas to appeal more 2 the public. He also chose Goebbels to be a propaganda minister and this was one of the main reasons why they got so many more seats in the Reichstag. The trial shot him to fame and maybe this is what made him realise what a prominent figure in German he could become.