Who voted for Hitler?

I’m currently reading “The Shortest History Of Germany” by James Hawes and I’ve reached the section on the rise of Nazism in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The explosive rise in the electoral support for the Nazis was amazing – from 2.6% in 1928 to 43.9% in March 1933.

Dawes invites the reader of his book to identify what characteristic was the best indicator as to whether a German would vote for the Nazis. Was it class, gender, education, occupation? Actually it was none of those. It was simply whether the person was Catholic or Protestant with the latter, largely in the north and east, voting disproportionately for Hitler.

A central theme of Dawes’ book is that this cleavage between the west and the south on the one hand and the north and the east on the other remains a key factor in understanding modern Germany.


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