Hitler Never Won a Free Election

Source: Eric Weitz, Tablet Magazine, July 18

…The highest vote the Nazis received in a free election came six months before the seizure of power. In July 1932, the Nazis won 37 percent of the electorate. That represented a significant proportion of German voters, to be sure, but it was far from a majority.

In a parliamentary system, as Germany was, 37 percent doesn’t get you to power. In the next election in November 1932, their tally declined to 33 percent. In autumn 1932, it would have been reasonable to think that the Nazi wave had crested and that Hitler and the Nazi Party were on the decline. In fact, Hitler and his supporters feared as much. In the end, the conservative elite saved the Nazis from the political wilderness.

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2 responses to “Hitler Never Won a Free Election

  1. I think Eric is suggesting a sinister parallel to our situation in the US (post-election), and I think he has a point. But it’s also likely that Trump’s disdain for our election will make it unlikely for him to succeed. Americans are not Germans, who in 1933 were not exactly used to the idea of democracy.

    • Sorry, you think I am far more clever than I am. I drafted this posting weeks ago. No, I don’t think Trump can become president through a back door and, while a large chunk of the population in the Weimar years did not accept democracy, the majority did. Had it not been for the Depression, it would have worked as well as it does now.