Who voted for the National Socialists

1928 1933

Communist 77 14.6% 81 15.3%
Social Democrat 143 27.1% 120 22.7%
Democratic 20 3.8% 5 0.9%
Center 68 12.9% 74 14.0%
Bavarian Volk 19 3.6% 18 3.4%
Economic 23 4.4% 0 0.0%
German Volk 30 5.7% 2 0.4%
Nationalists 41 7.8% 52 9.8%
Nazi 107 20.3% 288 54.5%

What’s interesting here is that while your average college professor will insist that the Nazi’s were right-wing extremists, drawing support from the more conservative elements of German society, he doesn’t usually know that the National Socialist party drew inordinate support from women and he almost surely doesn’t know what the actual vote totals from the last elections in the Weimar Republic were.

Carroll Quigley’s judgment on ideologies is suspect, given that he wrongly places the National Socialists on the extreme right, but I have listed the vote totals from the 1928 and 1933 elections as per his ideological classifications to demonstrate something interesting. (There were also elections in 1930 and two in 1932, but including them only serves to underline the point while making it somewhat complicated for a blog post.)

But if the electorate was moving to the right, why then would two of the three parties of the left, the Democrats and Social Democrats, lose almost eight percent to the National Socialists while the left-most party increased slightly? Especially when the second-rightmost party gained, as did the Center.

The picture makes more sense if one considers the National Socialists in their rightful place, a party of the hard Left with nationalist appeal. The other parties that prospered – the Communists and the Nationalists – showed that the German voters were increasingly supportive of A) hard left ideology, and, B) German nationalism.

Thus, it seems more reasonable to conclude that the SPD, the KPD and the NASDAP parties were all left-wing parties competing for a left-leaning electorate and it was the addition of nationalism to its socialism, combined with their advantage of economic credibility over the Communists, that gave the Nazis their popular appeal