Something which I think people don't fully appreciate is that when Hitler and the Nazis campaigned for power in Germany's last mostly-free elections, they did so on an explicitly anti-democratic platform. Hitler promised to bring unity by abolishing the other political parties. In a speech in the summer of 1932, Hitler said, "We are intolerant. I have one aim, to clear the 30 [political] parties out of Germany." (p211)
A majority of Germans by the early '30s, wanted some kind of an end to democracy, it was simply a question of what kind of non-democratic government to replace Weimar's fragmenting democracy with. Kershaw writes:
"By 1932, only the fifth or so of voters who still supported the Social Democrats, together with the few remaining liberals and some adherents of the Catholic Centre Party, wanted to retain the democratic system. Democracy was dead. As to what should replace it, opinion differed considerably. About three-quarters of Germans wanted some form of authoritarian government, but there were various possibilities. A dictatorship of the proletariat, a military dictatorship, a Hitler dictatorship were among the variants." (p213)
We talk about the importance of guarding democracy, and it is important, but the first and most basic element of that is wanting democracy in the first place.