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GCSE SHP Germany - Reichstag Fire
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GCSE SHP Germany - Reichstag Fire


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  • 1. Tuesday 17 th January 2006 Unit 3: Hitler’s consolidation of power.
    • Objective :
    • To analyse Hitler's problems when he came to power.
    • How the Reichstag fire helped the Nazis overcome some of their problems.
    Starter Write down 3 problems you think the Nazis faced. Write down how you think Hitler would solve his problems.
  • 2. What problems did Hitler face?
  • 3. Task 1
    • Write an agony aunt letter by Hitler moaning about his 3 major problems
    • Include Hindenburg
    • Problems within the Party (SA)
    • The Reichstag – removing opposition
    • Write a a reply letter showing how you think he could solve his problems
  • 4. How Hitler overcame these problems When Hitler came to power, his authority was limited by parliament and President Hindenburg. The SA were also getting very powerful. Hitler was determined to eliminate these obstacles. Over the next few slides you will see how he overcame each problem, and established complete political control over Germany.
  • 5. So, how did he become a dictator legally?
  • 6. Pre-election campaign
    • After becoming Chancellor Hitler insisted on new elections for 5 March.
    • Determined to win an ABSOLUTE majority
    • 4 February he got President Hindenburg to pass a decree (law) supposedly to ensure free and peaceful elections.
    • All election meetings had to be notified to police at least 48 hours in advance
    • Reality:
    • Allowed Nazi-controlled police to come and break up the meetings
    • Gave police authority to prohibit any meeting where a danger to public security was feared.
    • Goering told his police force that Sa or nationalist meeting were not to be disturbed but those of Communists must be dealt with severely.
  • 7. Goering promised his police force:
    • “ I shall cover for police officers who use firearms in the discharge of their duties, regardless of the consequences of the use of firearms”
  • 8. Consolidation of Parliament: The Reichstag Fire
  • 9. How did the Reichstag Fire help Hitler? Hitler used the Reichstag fire to convince everyone that there was a real threat of a communist revolution. Hitler used the confusion and unease that people felt to consolidate his position. 1. Emergency powers : Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to pass the ‘Law for the Protection of People and State’. This ended freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press. 2. Election success : Hitler called fresh elections. He used his new powers to make life difficult for non-Nazi candidates. Hitler increased his share of the vote and thereby gave his party more power in parliament .
  • 10. The March 1933 Reichstag elections Although the Nazis didn’t have a majority , the Nationalist Party joined forces with them. Their 53 seats added to the Nazis’ meant Hitler now controlled over half of the total seats – the Reichstag would do as Hitler wanted. Task 3: Who won the 1933 election? Did this mean that the Nazis now had complete power? 85 Others 73 The Centre Party 81 The Communist Party 120 Social Democrats 288 The Nazi Party Number of seats Party
  • 11. January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor The depression after the Wall Street Crash made many more people vote for the Nazis. In 1933 Von Papen convinced Hindenburg that Hitler should become Chancellor.
  • 12. The Reichstag Fire February 1933
  • 13. The Reichstag Fire February 1933
    • The Reichstag building burnt down.
    • A communist was found inside the building. He admitted responsibility.
    • Chancellor Hitler was able to convince people that the Communists were trying to take power by terrorism.
    • He was able to have the Communists banned from the Reichstag.
  • 14. Task 2: How did Hitler take advantage of the Reichstag fire?
    • Use information from the presentation and page 63 of the white textbook to answer this question
    • Give at least 4 points
    • Include – emergency decree
    • - Powers of the police
    • - Freedoms/liberties
    • - Communist party