The Consolidation of Power By: Clarissa & SuYoung IB History HL Bandung International School
Hitler is appointedChancellor by Hindenburg30 January 1933
Strengths & Weaknesses of Nazi in ‗33• By far the largest party in Reichstag (Jan 1933)• Nazi support was vital• Hitler was Chancellor, Frick was Interior Minister in Reich, Goering was Interior Minister of Prussia• Did not possess an overall majority• Still only numbered three out of twelve• Any member of party could be sacked by the President at any point – Their survival was by no means guaranteed at this stage
Internal Minister ofPrussia: Goering Internal Minister in the Reich: Frick Chancellor Hitler
Hitler‘s Aim• Wished to destroy the democratic system• Speech in electoral success of 1930,• His first speech as Chancellor was careful – Tone down about anti-Semitism and aggressive foreign policy – Focus on importance of family and evils of communism
The Election Campaign• Hitler succeeded to persuade Hindenburg – New elections, suspend meetings, ban newspaper• Five-week election campaign – Deaths, destruction of Communist Party, propaganda and intimidation• Goebbels made use of radio – All Hitler‘s speeches to be broadcasted by all stations• Goering took control of Prussian police – Insisting they serve Nazi interests, if not, sacked – Extra men (mainly SA) 50,000 – To intimidate political opponents “Every bullet that now leaves the mouth of a pistol is my bullet. If you call that murder, then I am the murderer, for I gave the order, and I stand by it.”
The Reichstag • February 27thFire • Marinus van der Lubbe • Nazi immediately claimed that the suspect is a communist • Goering was also suspected – Claimed to say “the only one who really knows the Reichstag is I, for I set fire to it.” – But he denied it, said that it was nonsense for “the Reichstag was known to every representative in the Reichstag.”
The Reichstag Fire• In the end, we still do not know who did it.• Significance – The way Nazis exploited it to their advantage • 4000 communists were arrested • Hitler alarmed Hindenburg for emergency decree – The Decree of the Protection of People and State – Government could arrest people without trials—legally – And it seemed just fine for the President• Many believed that Nazi did it themselves
“Much has been written (about the Reichstag fire) and more will bebefore the full truth is known—if it ever is. Van der Lubbe waspersonally involved, but what his motives were, who promptedhim, whether he acted alone, is sill disputed. Contemporary opinionwas in no doubt whatever. It was known that an undergroundpassage connected Goering‟s office with the Reichstag itself. It waswidely believed that the leader of the Berlin SA, Karl Ernst, had leda fire-party through his passage to assist van der Lubbe in his work.Within hours, the wags of Berlin had devised a riddle: „Why did vander Lubbe take his shirt off?‟ „Because‟ was the answer, „it was abrown one‟. It was also of interest that at a later date, Karl Ernstand all those allegedly implicated in the fire were executed by Nazifiring-squads…”—Adapted from Knaves, Fools and Heroes, 1974, the memoirs of SirJohn Wheeler-Bennett, a British diplomat, who witnessed the firehimself!
March 1933 Propaganda“In the deepest needHindenburg chose Adolf Hitlerfor Reich Chancellor. You tooshould vote for List 1.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/posters/hindhit.jpg
The March Election• 5 March• Gov control over radio, police, unofficial pressure to intimidate the opponents• Nazi was once more failed to win majority (44%)• Hitler claimed it was a great victory• Jews were attacked• Hitler replaced the legal government with Reich Commissioners• Day of Potsdam: celebration of the new Reichstag
The Enabling Act• ―Law for Terminating the Suffering of the People and the Nation‖• Gave the Cabinet emergency power for four years• Hitler could pass decrees without the President‘s involvement – Killed Weimar Constitution – Hitler dictator
The Reichstag voted itself out— 441 votes to 94, why?– Communists and socialists • KPD and socialists refused admission into Reichstag, only SPD voted against– Nazi deal with the Center Party • Hitler promised to Catholic Church in return for the support of the Center– Intimidation by the SA • The place where the vote took place was surrounded by SA and SS– Limiting provisions • Clause stating that it would become invalid after 4 years—encouraged some deputies to vote
Trade Unions• 2nd May 1933- Members of the SA & SS to power• Abolished all existing trade unions
• Nazis: German Labour Front (DAF) - Led by Robert Ley - Membership = compulsory - No workers‘ rights : wages / working conditions
Political Parties• Reichstag fire -> banning communism• Only oppose of Hitler: SPD : BUT voted for Hitler‘s foreign policy statement to survive• 22nd June 1933) SPD = ‗party hostile to the nation and state‘ - > Outlawed
• Other parties: dissolved eventually• July 1933) Decree was passed – Germany is a ONE PARTY STATE
State Government• After Jan 1933• Nazis- infiltrate state governments : Power to issue laws without parliaments‘(Landtage) agreement• Appointed Nazi Reichstatthalter (Reich governors) = very POWERFUL
• Jan 1934 : Landtage were abolished• State governments = subordinate to the Reich government in Berlin
Civil Service• Hitler : Dependent on efficient & well – established bureaucracy : Civil servants retained their posts• Membership of the Nazi party : Not compulsory until 1939
• BUT law for the ‗Restoration of the Professional Civil Service‘ (April 1933)• : Dismissed people with doubtful political obedience & racial purity• : Jews = victims• 12.5 % of Prussian civil service = dismissed on political / racial grounds
LITTLE DISCUSSION?Two Groups that survived fromNazi‘s takeover?
BibliographyHite, John. Weimar & Nazi Germany. London: John Murray (Publishers), Ltd., 2000.Kitson, Alison. Germany: 1858-1990 Hope, Terror, and Revival. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.YouTube. Reichstag Fire. 28 September 2011 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c7Wi8ILGcM&feature= related>.—. The Rise of Evil - The Reichstag Fire. 28 September 2011 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfQiy0_6BIo>.
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