Ship of Fools Historical Context

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The Germany that the travelers in Ship of Fools were bound for was a nation on the brink of accepting the rule of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party. In September 1930, a year before the Vera arrives, six and a half million Germans had voted for the Nazi Party. This was an increase from 810,000 two years earlier.

The increasing strength of the Nazis was a consequence of Germany's desperate economic straits. In 1931, there were five million unemployed, the middle classes were facing financial ruin, and the unpopular government was unable to find a way out of the morass.

In March, 1932, Hitler won over eleven million votes—30 percent of the total—in the presidential election, denying President Hindenberg an absolute majority. In a second election, Hitler in- creased his vote by two million. In July, 1932, the Nazis became the largest party in the Reichstag, the German...

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This section contains 519 words
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Buy the Ship of Fools Study Guide
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Ship of Fools from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.