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Hitler’s consolidation ofpowerChronology of events 1933-34
Hitler appointedChancellor 30 Jan• Only 3 Nazis (Hitler, Goering,Frick) in the cabinet, with Papenas Vice Chancellor.• President Hindenburg agrees todissolve the Reichstag and holdnew elections.
Reichstag buildingdestroyed by fire.• Probably committed by DutchCommunist Lubbe acting alone• Used by Nazis to showCommunist threat.
Emergency Decrees• Feb 28 Decree of the Reich Presidentfor the Protection of the Nation and theState• issued by Hindenburg using Article 48• suspended constitutional civil rights• secret police could hold peopleindefinitely in protective custody
Emergency Decrees -contd• imprisonment without trial• used to repress KPD• central government could takeover local states not keeping order• remained throughout 3rd Reich;amounted to basic law of 3rdReich
Elections March 5th 1933• Reichstag dissolved 1 Feb.• Government used control of radio,police, along with unofficial pressure,to intimidate opponents in election.• Highest ever turnout at 88.8% Nazisattracted many new voters Electionslogan “The battle against Marxism."• Nazis surprisingly only got 44% of thevote; their Nationalist allies got 8%.
March 13th -Control of media• Goebbels appointed head of newMinistry for Public Enlightenmentand Propaganda.• Rapidly took control of Radio andPress
March 24th Enabling Act("Law for Terminating theSuffering of the People andNation”)• Passed by Reichstag relocated toOpera House after fire;surrounded by SA/SS• emergency powers for 4 years• Cabinet (in effect, Hitler) couldpass decrees without thePresidents involvement
Enabling Act contd.• Enabling Act needed 213 majority asconstitutional amendment• passed by 441 vs 94 (only SPD votedagainst; KPD banned); Centresupported it after Hitler made promises• Act renewed 1938• became virtual constitution of ThirdReich
Law for Restoration ofProfessional Civil Service• administration, courts, educationpurged of "alien elements", ieJews, opponents• only 5% actually replaced• extended to all public service;thousands of Jews removed
May 1 Government grantedworkers May Day holiday• Turned international labour dayinto "Day of National Labour".• May 2. Trade union officesseized; all unions incorporatedinto new German Labour Front(DAF)
July 14th Law against theFormation of New Parties• KPD, SPD were already banned• other parties had dissolvedthemselves• now no new parties allowed,• Germany became a one party state
July 20th Concordat• Agreement between state andVatican• Church banned political activity;• Government protected religiousfreedom
Law for the Reconstructionof the State January 1934• Since March many state governments hadbeen forced out by SA violence.• Law used to allow the Reich governmentto appoint Commissioners. The situationwas now formalised by a law which– dissolved state assemblies– created new Reich Governors to control states
Night of the Long KnivesJune 1934• SS shot many SA leaders andother people seen as threat
Hitler as dictator• Hindenburg dies July 1934• Hitler amalgamated position ofChancellor and president to becomeFuhrer• Army tolerated Hitler’s action and armedforces swore Oath of allegiance to HitlerAugust 1934