On this day, in 1932, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party garnered 37.2% of the popular vote in the second of three elections that year.
The election campaign took place under violent circumstances, as Papen lifted the token ban on the SA, the Nazi paramilitary, which Brüning had banned during the last days of his administration. That inevitably led to clashes with the communist paramilitants.
The elections resulted in great gains by the Nazi Party; with 230 seats, it was the first time that the largest party in parliament did not go on to form a government. Neither the Nazi Party nor Hindenburg had a governing majority, and the other parties refused co-operation. Neither side had a majority on its own, and no coalition could be formed to create a governing majority. Thus, Papen’s minority government continued, leading to another election in November.
They saw a significant drop in votes for the Nazi Party and increases for the Communists and the national conservative DNVP. It was the last free and fair all-German election before the Nazi seizure of power on 30 January 1933, as the following elections of March 1933 were already accompanied by massive suppression, especially against Communist and Social Democratic politicians. The next free election was not held until August 1949 in West Germany; the next free all-German elections took place in December 1990 after reunification.
The Nazi was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945 and supported the ideology of Nazism.
The Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist, racist, and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism.
Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities and in the 1930s the party’s focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.
Pseudo-scientific racism theories were central to Nazism. The Nazis propagated the idea of a “people’s community” (Volksgemeinschaft). Their aim was to unite “racially desirable” Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race (Fremdvölkische).
The Nazis sought to improve the stock of the Germanic people through racial purity, broad social welfare programs and a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state and the “Aryan master race”.
To maintain the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and Poles along with the vast majority of other Slavs and the disabled people.
The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state organized the systematic genocidal killing of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust.
The party’s leader since 1921, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. He established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich. Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was “declared to be illegal” by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war.
Source: Wikipedia, History Channel, On This Day