Adolf Hitler's rise to power

Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party then known as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP (German Workers' Party). The name was changed in 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party). It was anti-Marxist and opposed to the democratic post-war government of the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of Versailles, advocating extreme nationalism and Pan-Germanism as well as virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler attained power in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month, giving expanded authority. President Paul von Hindenburg had already appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backroom intrigues. The Enabling Act  when used ruthlessly and with authority  virtually assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.

Hitler in conversation with Ernst Hanfstaengl and Hermann Göring, 21 June 1932

Hitler rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the party. Being one of its best speakers, he was made leader after he threatened to leave otherwise. He was aided in part by his willingness to use violence in advancing his political objectives and to recruit party members who were willing to do the same. The Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923 and the later release of his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) expanded Hitler's audience. In the mid-1920s, the party engaged in electoral battles in which Hitler participated as a speaker and organizer,[lower-alpha 1] as well as in street battles and violence between the Communist's Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Nazis' Sturmabteilung (SA). Through the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Nazis gathered enough electoral support to become the largest political party in the Reichstag, and Hitler's blend of political acuity, deceptiveness, and cunning converted the party's non-majority but plurality status into effective governing power in the ailing Weimar Republic of 1933.

Once in power, the Nazis created a mythology surrounding their rise to power, and they described the period that roughly corresponds to the scope of this article as either the Kampfzeit (the time of struggle) or the Kampfjahre (years of struggle).