"The traditional stress on the petty-bourgeois base of Nazi support need not to be discarded, but instead incorporated into a broader picture. " How far do these extracts substantiate this opinion? From their formation in 1919, the NSDAP were seen as an old middle class party; included artisans, low ranking civil servant, and farmers. However, from my own knowledge, I know that the Nazi party were not monolithically middle class, and many other areas of support contributed to their success also. The Mittlestand did provide a large portion of both the members and the voters.
It was most definitely the main bank of support for the Nazi party. Every historian backs this up, some moreover than others. Each one specifies and refers to the Mittlestand as being crucial in Nazi support. Noakes states that mainly peasant farmers, craftsmen, civil servants and small retailers gave support to the NSDAP. This was mainly concentrated in towns and cities that were more administrative and commercial. I know that these people were particularly targeted in the parties early years and that Hitler would often refer to farmers in his speeches.
This support from farmers was a massive contribution at this time as 65% of the Bavarian population were farmers. Falter backs this up further by saying that the middle class was over-represented. Later in the period 1930-33, the NSDAP began to gain much more support from the "new" "middle class" like clerks and pensioners. This further enhances the importance of the Mittlestand. Professionals such as teachers and police officers also began to join. However, I also know that the Nazi party was not solely middle-class.
This is made apparent by the importance of both the lower and upper classes. Fischer states that 40% of the voters and 60% of SA membership came from workers; SA is over represented. Falter says that the workers voted NSDAP rather than KPD or SPD. This clearly shows that the working classes were crucial to Nazi support even if they were under-represented as they not only add numbers to their own support, but weaken their opposition also. The upper class and elite were also very important for the Nazis.
Peterson points out that at this stage big business and 'Junkers' weren't likely to vote for the NSDAP but did support them in other ways. Also from my own knowledge I know that in prospering areas in, for example Hamburg, the NSDAP were receiving as much as 47. 9% of the votes. The elite were also inclined to giving funding to the nazi i. e. Fritz Thyssen (Industrialist). He donated one million marks to the Nazis. The sort of upper-class people that voted for the party was large farmers, professionals and high-ranking civil servants.
Students and Intellectuals also began to follow the party after 1930. Figures such as 2. 7% of the population were upper class, whilst 9. 2% on Nazis were members of this elite group. The support for the Nazis between 1930-1933; during the depression, could suggest the reasoning behind the growing support from the Working Class. The depression after the "Wall Street Crash" of 1929, may show us how support from the lower classes became more apparent as the NSDAP promised jobs for the unemployed.
The support from the workers took a much more important role at this time, and took the stress away from the support of the petty bourgeois. Although the NSDAP were seen as a Petty Bourgeois party in the whole, it is clear that the Nazis possessed support from a much wider range. This was such to an extent that the NSDAP were the only party at this time that would be able to claim that they were a peoples' party. This meant that their support cut across the whole political spectrum and did not just concentrate on one particular group.