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The Nazi Party grew to over 130,000 members between 1924-1928. The unbelievable rise to prominence of Adolf Hitler in the Nazi party was the primary reason for the party’s success. Hitler, while jailed for attempting to overthrow the government, wrote his manifesto Mein Kampf. In his book, he blamed two groups for Germany’s troubles: the Jews and the Marxists. In all of his speeches during this period, he railed against Jews and Marxists. Hitler was a very gifted orator. His speeches were said to have an almost hypnotic quality. Watching Hitler speak during this period was like attending a rock concert for many Germans.
There were two specific groups that Hitler targeted for membership and support. University students were drawn to his radical message, but Hitler was truly interested in the middle class. The middle class had the most to lose if a Marxist revolution were to occur in Germany. This part of society also could relate to Hitler’s accusation that Jews controlled the large corporations and made it difficult for Germany’s economy to recover.
The Nazi Party held dozens of rallies during the 1920’s that displayed the paramilitary prowess of the party. The rallies attracted thousands of new recruits. Despite the organizational supremacy of the Nazi Party’s propaganda wing, the most important reason Hitler was successful during this period was the Great Depression. Germany’s unemployment and inflation had caused Germans to suffer greatly during the 1920’s. This led many to look to radicalism as a solution to their problems.
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