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How did the Great Depression help contribute to the selection of Hitler as German Chancellor in 1933?

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After the U.S. stock market crash in October of 1929, the German economy began to suffer. The economy was largely built on American loans to pay back war reparations after World War I, and these loans were not possible after the crash. In addition, the American market for German exports also shrank. The German economy was in terrible straits, and millions of Germans were out of work.

Before the Great Depression, the Nazis, Hitler's party, were largely the refuge of marginalized World War I veterans, but during the Great Depression, the party started to expand its reach. By the 1930s, Hitler had become popular with mainstream middle-class people, who saw in Hitler a chance for them to regain economic strength and national glory. In the elections of 1924, only 3% of the population voted for the Nazis, but by 1932, the Nazis garnered 33% of the vote. In addition, the German government was falling apart. The parties in the Reichstag, the German Parliament, disagreed about how to govern. In 1933, they turned to the Nazis, and Hitler was chosen as Chancellor.

 

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