Chapter

War of Words: The Spectre of Civil War, 1931–2

Bernhard Fulda

in Press and Politics in the Weimar Republic

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547784
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547784.003.0007
 War of Words: The Spectre of Civil War, 1931–2

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The final years of the Weimar Republic were dominated by two factors: the economic crisis with its surge in mass unemployment; and the development of the Nazi party into a mass movement. How did politicians respond to the challenges of a media democracy? This chapter studies the intensive news coverage of political violence, and examines the increasingly authoritarian nature of government press management. But even at this point, the Nazi press was unsuccessful in attracting a wider readership. So why did voters choose to support the Nazis? This book demonstrates that the economic crisis as such was insufficient in mobilizing voters to vote for the NSDAP. Rather, press presentation of increasing Communist violence and the perceived threat of civil war, together with the media image of an indecisive government, turned the Nazis into an attractive choice for voters desperate for decisive action.

Keywords: political violence; NSDAP; press management; civil war

Chapter.  15980 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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