Looking at the appointment of Hitler and what demographics his party was able to reach to be elected into power.
Why Would Anyone Vote for Hitler?
To make a long and complex story short the election that voted Hitler’s party into the Reichstag majority, had similar patterns to democratic voting that exists today. The people saw the failures of one political party and decided that the opposite party would be a better way to run the country. It was his party that was able to win the election, Hitler was just able to be placed in a position of power in the party.
The ideas and policies had been popular in the low economic parts of the country and with those that were in the middle and working classes. The party directly spoke to the people and made promises to fix the specific things that troubled citizens the most. The mostly young and protestant demographics were the big draw for the part as they were experiencing the repercussion of the war and were actively living through a depression.1 While Adolf Hitler was a fundamental party of the party’s propaganda machine, his speeches did not provide a huge flood of support. It is safe to say that the aftermath of the election was devastating and drastic, but the election process was not unordinary in any form or fashion.2
Hitler saw that to make Germany the strong nation that it once had been that Germany needed to be one party, his party. Hitler would dissolve the Reichstag and no free democratic elections would take place in Germany until 1945.
Support for the National Socialist German Workers Party came from the working class and the underprivileged who felt slighted by the government after the end of the First World War. This support in the middle class is divided across many different demographics. Some of the biggest gaps in voting percentage were seen in religious groups, gender, and age.3
The NSDAP in any demographic struggled to increase member rate or gain support with members for the Catholic faith. when looking at this religious divide in gender, voting records show that women who were Catholic and whose husbands were Catholic were not as easily swayed to the Nazi vote when compared to women who were Protestant or whose husbands were Protestant. Catholic voters were the least likely to vote for the NSDAP with very little change in percentage points while protestant voters were more likely to accept the ideas of the NSDAP.
Women were a very important demographic for the NSDAP to win Reichstag seats in the 1928 and 1932 elections. After all, women made up the most eligible voters in Germany and were now able to use the power of their vote. While the NSDAP and the ideas of Nazism gained the vote of many women it was not a clean sweep of the vote. Voting records show that women who were Catholic and whose husbands were Catholic were not as easily swayed to the Nazi vote when compared to women who were Protestant or whose husbands were Protestant. The NSDAP recognized the new support they were getting in the polls, and they actively campaigned with promises in policy that directly affected women until the fall of the Weimar Republic after the Nazi takeover of government.4
Many of the young new members were working-class citizens that lived in villages and towns that had less than 20,000 people in them. While the NSDAP was seen as a party just for the working class, there was not an overwhelming majority of young workers. Young members were members of the middle class and the old middle class, but they were not hard laborers or workers. So, you did have to be a working-class citizen to align with the party. The NSDAP took hold of the youth because they were growing up in a tumultuous time and they wanted to make a change. The NSDAP promised to bring that change to them.5
People at the time saw Hitler as an undeniable persona within the party and that he was motivating different demographics for the party that other parties could not. However, Hitler was not responsible for the prominence of the National Socialist German Workers Party and its rise to power. Hitler instead was able to climb the ranks in a party that was already very popular with the German people and he was able to capitalize on the strength of the party. He was able to be placed into his Chancellorship because others in the party and on the same side of the political spectrum wanted him to be put there. Hitler did not get voted in by the German people directly, however, he was received well by the public for his speaking ability and plans for a better Germany.
Hitler would assume complete power in Germany after the 1933 election and history is a witness to the horrors that would follow.