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The Twelve-Year Reich, part 1-Establishing the dictatorship


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This six part series traces the Nazi dictatorship from 1933-1945. Part 1 traces events from 30 January 1933 through the remilitarization of the Rhineland, March, 1936

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The Twelve-Year Reich, part 1-Establishing the dictatorship

  1. 1. The 12-Year Reich Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 Session I Establishing the Dictatorship 1933-1936
  2. 2. It began with a torchlight procession 30 January 1933
  3. 3. Hitler is Reich Chancellor! And what a cabinet!!!! One such as we did not dare to dream of in July. Hitler, Hugenberg, Seldte, Papen!!! .... What an achievement by Hindenburg! Luise Sollmitz, Hamburg schoolteacher
  4. 4. It ended with all Berlin in ruins 8 May 1945
  5. 5. Never in history has such ruination-- physical and moral--been associated with the name of one man....Hitler’s name justifiably stands for all time as the chief instigator of the most profound collapse of civilization in modern times. Ian Kershaw, Hitler; 1936-1945 Nemesis, p. 841
  6. 6. Sir Ian Kershaw describes Hitler’s career as following the course of the ancient Greek tragic hero: Hubris (overweening pride) leading to Nemesis (destruction). What was true for Hitler was also true for the people who accepted him; some joyously, some grudgingly.
  7. 7. The Legend the seizure of power, the Machtergreifung “undoubting belief” “fanatical will to victory”
  8. 8. true, Hitler clung to his “all or nothing” strategy with “undoubting belief” but it was the hubris of the conservatives who believed they could “use” him which led to Hitler’s government
  9. 9. Once in, the next steps... consolidating the dictatorship within a year and a half Hitler gathered all power into his own hands
  10. 10. The Means
  11. 11. The Means pseudo-legal measures terror manipulation willing cooperation
  12. 12. Gleichshaltung -- coordination part manipulation, part willing cooperation, this process occurred with stunning speed the rush to join the party led to cynical jokes local organizations from garden clubs to singing societies pledged their loyalty to the new leader opportunism mingled with genuine idealism
  13. 13. The Milestones
  14. 14. The Milestones the Reichstag fire, 28 Feb 33 the last “free” election, 5 Mar 33 taming labor, 1-2 May 33 subordinating state governments, summer 33 emasculating the SA, 30 Jun 34 Hindenburg’s death, 2 Aug 34
  15. 15. The timetable, 1933 1 month--civil liberties extinguished 2 months--”most active political opponents...imprisoned or fleeing and the Reichstag surrendered its powers” 4 months--”once powerful [labor] unions dissolved” < 6 months--”all opposition parties suppressed or gone into voluntary liquidation” -- Kershaw, p. 435
  16. 16. Civil liberties extinguished the Reichstag fire provides an excuse this emergency decree suspends civil liberties on the eve of the last “semi-free” election on 5 March the Nazis win 44% of the seats
  17. 17. Reichstag surrenders its powers Hitler brought a measure giving himself dictatorial powers on 23 March despite an heroic speech by SPD leader, Otto Wels, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, 441-94
  18. 18. Once powerful unions dissolved a Nazi Mayday celebration replaces the one organized by the unions the very next day the SA take over the union offices now workers are “represented” by the Nazi German Labor Front (DAF)
  19. 19. Bücherverbrennung -- Book Burning on 10 May on the Berlin Odeonsplatz and at many German universities some 20,000 books were burned
  20. 20. Opposition parties suppressed this headline from 23 June announces the outlawing of the SPD the Social Democrats were the oldest and greatest of Germany’s parties too “Marxist” for the Nazis their criticism from abroad provided the justification
  21. 21. The timetable -- 1934 January-- Länder (state governments) abolished 30 June-- “Night of the Long Knives” the SA decapitated and dozens of other “enemies” murdered 2 August-- President Hindenburg dies, the office is left unfilled and the army swears allegiance to Hitler
  22. 22. “Coordination” of the states
  23. 23. “Coordination” of the states by summer of ’33 all the Länder (states) had Nazi appointed governors to “coordinate” them in January 1934 they were abolished as political entities Germany ceased to have a federal constitution
  24. 24. SA terror beginning on 30 Jan 33, the SA began “settling scores” they were used as auxillary police and KZ guards, here at Oranienburg, outside Berlin
  25. 25. SA as “People’s Army” the regular army was limited to 100,000 the rival SA grew to 4.3 million Hitler was pressured to choose
  26. 26. Taming the SA by June Hitler felt forced to move against his “Old Fighters”, chief among them Ernst Röhm, here he arrested and executed hundreds without trial the event became known as the “Night of the Long Knives”
  27. 27. The major beneficiary: the SS originally, 1928, a small section (280 men) within the SA Himmler conspired against his boss, Röhm his reward was to become head of the new “Praetorian Guard” he and Heydrich come to control all police power
  28. 28. Hindenburg’s death, end of the presidency
  29. 29. Hindenburg’s death, end of the presidency 2 August 1934, the aged president dies Hitler announces that there will be no replacement he becomes Führer and Reichschancellor
  30. 30. Triumph of the Will the emasculated SA is given center stage at the annual Party Day the army is jealous Leni Riefenstahl makes her famous film
  31. 31. Greatest propaganda film? often hailed as such Riefenstahl was famous from the “mountain films” she pioneered as a female director
  32. 32. Working towards the Führer the administration of Germany developed haphazardly Hitler’s work style was “dilletantish” he encouraged rivalries party and state organs duplicated efforts
  33. 33. Nazionalsozialistische Betriebszellenorganizatsion founded in 1928 as the party wing for organizing and converting workers it was tarnished by its connection to the Strasser brothers, the left wing of the party after 1933 the NSBO lost lapel pin out to the DAF & Ley In the future we will create an aristocracy of labor-- Adolf Hitler
  34. 34. Nazionalsozialistische Betriebszellenorganizatsion founded in 1928 as the party wing for organizing and converting workers it was tarnished by its connection to the Strasser brothers, the left wing of the party after 1933 the NSBO lost lapel pin out to the DAF & Ley In the future we will create an aristocracy of labor-- Adolf Hitler
  35. 35. Arbeit -- Labor party govt Robert Ley Franz Seldte German Labor Front Labor Minister (DAF)
  36. 36. RAD und Organisation Todt Fritz Todt
  37. 37. RAD reviewed by Hitler, Nürnberg Parteitag
  38. 38. Polizei -- Police party govt Heinrich Himmler SS Sicherheitsdienst shoulder patch Franz Gürtner Gestapo ID card Justice Minister
  39. 39. The dualism of party and state was never resolved -- and was not resolvable. Hitler himself welcomed the overlaps in competence and lack of clarity....he undermined all attempts at ‘Reich reform’ by Frick, aimed at producing a more rational authoritarian state structure. Kershaw, Hubris, p. 539
  40. 40. Innenpolitik -- Domestic Politics
  41. 41. Encirclement--note the small soldier and the 100,000. The French have 500,000. The Swedes 300,000. Even the Poles have 250,000
  42. 42. Die Judenfrage -- the Jewish Question
  43. 43. Der Geschäftsboykott -- business boycott
  44. 44. Der Geschäftsboykott -- business boycott Deutsche! Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden! Germans! Protect yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews! Note the shift, “We’re not attacking them, we’re just defending ourselves.” Still, there was international criticism, organized of course, by “The Jews”
  45. 45. Ariernachweis -- proof of Aryan descent
  46. 46. Both German military and economic weakness and the intense foreign reaction to the first anti-Semitic measures influenced Hitler to focus on domestic policy
  47. 47. Innenpolitik -- Domestic Politics examples of the techniques of coercion “the stick”
  48. 48. SA as police auxiliaries after 30.i.33 they ran amok beating up their street gang opponents basements served as makeshift prisons for torture and murders these “excesses” led to, “the night of the long knives”
  49. 49. Gestapo--pre-Nazi roots all 19th century European states developed “political” police to combat the crime of revolution the German distinction was between Sicherheits (SIPO) and Polizei Kriminal (KRIPO)
  50. 50. 30,000 Betreungsleute “trustworthy people” = reliable informants the initial wave of informants overwhelmed the police ability to follow up. By April, 1933 a temporary halt was called German bureaucratic efficiency led to the “Betreungsleute” system of “official squealers” intended consequencees, fear and self-censorship unintended consequence, Die deutsche Blick, the German glance
  51. 51. Both uniformed and plainclothes SD discovered, and Gestapo “dealt with” enemies of the state
  52. 52. Innenpolitik-- “the carrot”
  53. 53. Public works --the Nazi WPA the Autobahn housing projects the 1936 Olympics
  54. 54. “Hitler’s” Autobahn Begun under Weimar cabinets, he soon took credit for it
  55. 55. Multipurpose economic stimulus the greatest employment, 120,000 occurred in 1936 the highway system was a boost to auto production, auto service industry, and tourism it was also a defense asset
  56. 56. Urban renewal, “Germania” this photo shows the East-West Axis in Berlin, 1939 Hitler and Speer created major rebuilding programs for many of the Reich’s cities the war ended these plans
  57. 57. Nazi public housing Weimar was internationally known for its excellent public housing as the depression deepened the housing gap increased from 100,000 to 900,000 by 1932. the Nazis addressed the problem, adding 300,000/year during peacetime quality was sacrificed to meet the pressure of urbanization as industry continued to “drain” rural labor
  58. 58. Olympia,1936 Weimar Germany had garnered both winter and summer games in 1932 after initial, post-Hitler, misgivings, the International Olympic Committee stayed “on board” in addition to the prestige, the games brought economic benefits
  59. 59. A massive construction project Architect Werner March (1894-1976)
  60. 60. Hitler opens the Games, 1.viii.36 Goebbels directs a massive propaganda blitz
  61. 61. Riefenstahl’s documentary her pioneering work was widely hailed it took 18 months to edit the footage it was screened in two parts: “Peoples Festival” and “Festival of Beauty”
  62. 62. Interest in this work continues innovative techniques for close-up action shots are still studied the nude and semi- nude sequences certainly didn’t hurt box office
  63. 63. Nazi ambiguity about the body and sexuality the monthly magazine, “Spirit and Beauty” here illustrated “eurythmy” in the nudist mode popularized before 1933 Streicher’s Stürmer with his beautiful Aryan maidens being ravished by evil Jews was definite pornography
  64. 64. sculpture in the new Reichskanzelei this central office building of the regime displays the garish taste of the Führer
  65. 65. Kraft durch Freude-- Strength through Joy KdF, a suborganization of the DAF, built a village for visitors to the games It also sponsored subsidized trips as rewards for workers Ley called it “the real accomplishment of what Marx only promised”
  66. 66. KdF touring holidays 1937 brochure describing all the touring vacations for the Gau Hesse- Nassau
  67. 67. The promised KdF-Wagen A promise betrayed better known to us as the Peoples Car, or... originally proposed by Hitler to Ferdy Porsche in 1932 prototypes in 1938 production converted to military vehicles
  68. 68. A promise made good VE 301 Volksempfänger “VE 301” (Peoples Receiver) was developed to sell for 76 RM when most radios were costing 200-400 RM in 1938 an even smaller model for 35 RM was made its nickname “Goebbels’ Lip” (Goebbels’ Schnauze)
  69. 69. All Germany hears the Führer with the Peoplesreceiver
  70. 70. And for the really poor “Here you can hear the Führer speech”
  71. 71. Volksgemeinschaft YOU ARE NOTHING YOUR VOLK IS EVERYTHING!
  72. 72. The Act of Community serves the building up thereof
  73. 73. A mighty unity A millionfold Yes!
  74. 74. Each must help doing his part in the Four Year Plan Recycle Order Old Materials
  75. 75. The political Leader admonishes you of the duty to think of the One pot program
  76. 76. The One Pot custom is so none Sacrifice for a hungry racial commrade need hunger
  77. 77. Against hunger and cold A badge given to donors for fidelity and Volkish Community
  78. 78. Winter Help Campaign A Volk helps itself!
  79. 79. I collect for the WHW
  80. 80. BDM in the service of the Winter Help Program of the German Volk 1934/35 Each (girl) will have on Sunday 4.November the flower of the WHW You also must Contribute!
  81. 81. THE F¨üHRER’S AND THE VOLK’S CARE The defense of Mother and Child!
  82. 82. Jugend Youth--Himmler addresses BDM junior leaders
  83. 83. Banner from the DHM collection
  84. 84. (to) the Führer--the youth
  85. 85. Trau keinem fuchs auf gruener Heid und keinem Jud bei seinem Eid! Trust no fox on the green hedge and no Jew by his oath! Children’s picture book
  86. 86. Youth serves the Führer
  87. 87. Baldur von Schirach HJ leader “the Pied Piper of Hamelin”
  88. 88. You too
  89. 89. Germany’s Youth must (to)the Worldyouth an Example of Bravery and Efficiency be!
  90. 90. Older BDMs in Glaube und Schönheit
  91. 91. German Maiden Your vocation: Leader in the Reichs Labor Service
  92. 92. Mother, Your sons are the future of the Nation! Meeting of the NSF (Natl Socialist Womanhood) 10.ii.1934
  93. 93. Der Deutsche/Hitler Grüß began in the early ‘20s copied from Italian fascists, who copied it from the Romans photo--Feb 1933
  94. 94. A not too subtle suggestion Volksgenosse, trittst Du ein Volkish comrade, make it happen soll dein Gruss,”Heil Hitler” sein! that your greeting be “Hail Hitler!”
  95. 95. The Führer Cult SS Mann protects Hitler from workers eager to shake his hand, 1935
  96. 96. Judenfrage -- The Jewish Question 1933-1936
  97. 97. Business boycott, 1.iv.33 As described earlier, the foreign outcry against this effort organized by Gauleiter Streicher led Hitler to call it off
  98. 98. Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service 7.iv.33 six days after the uproar over the boycott this hastily drafted law tried to regularize job discrimination already begun the famous “Aryan paragraph” led to the dismissal of Jews as well as political enemies from the civil service ironically, there was no definition of “Jew” later that month three further laws continued the trend: against admission of Jews to the legal profession excluding Jewish doctors from the national health system limiting the number of Jewish schoolchildren permitted in schools
  99. 99. “Individual Actions” 4 HJs and an SA Mann “Jews are unwelcome in Behringersdorf” Daniel Beard wouldn’t count this as their good deed for the day!
  100. 100. Die Nürnberger Gesetze The Nuremberg Law, 1935 announced by Hitler at the annual September Party Day it followed a renewed wave of violence and attempted to define the degree of acceptable “action” There had been widespread criticism of the “lawlessness” it focused on banning intermarriage and outlawing sexual relations between Jews and “Aryans” now the legal definition had to be slapped together
  101. 101. Die Blutschutzgesetz (Law for the defense of [Aryan] blood) this required distinguishing by ancestry “Full Jews” “Half Jews” “Quarter Jews” and so on but all sorts of special problems arose, Christian converts, Jews with distinguished military service &c. Goebbels had earlier told Fritz Lang “We decide who is a Jew”
  102. 102. Rassenscha nde (race shame, i.e., interracial sexual a poster by Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer
  103. 103. Public shaming of an interracial couple I am the greatest swine and sleep only As a Jew, I only take with Jews German girls up to my room
  104. 104. The Nuremberg Law a chart to clarify the muddle lt to rt, German, 2nd degree Mischlinge (mixed), 1st deg. mixed, 3/4 Jew, VollJude
  105. 105. School poster for race education Nordic, Fälische (Westphalian), and Western (Rhinelanders) races
  106. 106. BDM at workshop for teachers’ aides She’s being taught how to conduct a class in racial “science”
  107. 107. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  108. 108. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  109. 109. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  110. 110. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  111. 111. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  112. 112. Nazi “scientific racist” texts
  113. 113. Ausenpolitik -- Diplomacy 1933-1936
  114. 114. Ceneral Commission of the Geneva Disarmament Conference, 1932-37
  115. 115. German Delegates Germany had been admitted to the League after the Locarno Treaty, 1925
  116. 116. Geneva World Disarmament Conference, 1932-37
  117. 117. Geneva World Disarmament Conference, 1932-37 even the Weimar delegates had insisted on German parity or universal disarmament France became even more determined on Versailles limits after Hitler took office this pamphlet (right) explains Germany’s decision to leave
  118. 118. Plebiscite on leaving the League of Nations Hitler begins his series of plebiscites with this one, 12 Nov 1933 over 95% of the votes were, “Ja” (favorable) Goebbels’ campaign “button” from the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) collection
  119. 119. this poster emphasizes how much Polish military strength exceded German Hitler sought to break the French “Cordon Sanitaire” Foreign Minister v. Neurath responded to feelers from Poland, April 1933
  120. 120. Wer braucht Sicherheit im Osten?Who needs security in this poster emphasizes how much Polish military strength exceded German Hitler sought to break the French “Cordon Sanitaire” Foreign Minister v. Neurath responded to feelers from Poland, April 1933
  121. 121. Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact 26 January 1934
  122. 122. Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact 26 January 1934
  123. 123. The Armaments of Germany’s Neighbors this turntable device listed the number of soldiers, ships, aircraft, tanks, &c. the injustice of Germany’s unilateral disarmament was a constant refrain
  124. 124. Wir Wollen Wieder Waffen! We will rearm! (literally, we wish again Hitler, and even more his national-conservative allies, planned from the beginning to overturn the Versailles limits even the Weimar governments had secretly violated them and, seriously overestimating the courage of his enemies, Hitler believed he too had to keep his steps secret until he felt strong enough to openly defy the “Versailles Diktat”
  125. 125. Germany ends the Versailles humiliation, 1935 the Versailles Treaty had plebiscite campaign badge placed the Saarland under the League of Nations for 15 years its resources were given to France the half million voters now must choose to become German, French, or keep the status quo A UNITED VOLK BREAKS ITS CHAINS
  126. 126. Plebiscite campaign poster as the plebiscite day approached Goebbels unleashes a massive barrage of propaganda still the region was Catholic and working class, the two groups least enthusiastic about Nazism
  127. 127. Plebiscite campaign poster as the plebiscite day approached Goebbels unleashes a massive barrage of propaganda still the region was Catholic and working class, the two groups least enthusiastic about Nazism We died for you! And you?
  128. 128. Plebiscite campaign pin
  129. 129. Plebiscite campaign pin German the Saar on 13 January 91% of the Saar’s electorate freely chose dictatorship Hitler “milked his triumph” “made dove-like noises” ...”no further territorial demands to make of ever so! France”
  130. 130. Welcome Dear Brother to the we once again Homeland see you home Homecoming of the 1 March 1935
  131. 131. Two open challenges raise the stakes of German rearmament 10 March 1935- Göring announces the creation of the Luftwaffe-- massive foreign protest 16 March- military draft reinstituted (call-up papers pictured, rt)
  132. 132. Two open challenges raise the stakes of German rearmament 10 March 1935- Göring announces the creation of the Luftwaffe-- massive foreign protest 16 March- military draft reinstituted (call-up papers pictured, rt)
  133. 133. Versailles limits on the German Navy
  134. 134. Versailles limits on the German Navy no submarines, naval aviation, or battleships 6 heavy cruisers (< 10,000 tons displacement) 6 light cruisers (< 6,000 tons) 12 destroyers (< 800 tons) 12 torpedo boats
  135. 135. British disillusionment with the Versailles Treaty
  136. 136. British disillusionment with the Versailles Treaty beginning with J.M. Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1919 historians cast doubt on Art. 231, “war guilt” clause British opinion distanced from French over strict enforcement, especially during the Ruhr crisis, 1923 not so much appeasement as differing approaches as to how best avoid war German complaints over “unilateral disarmament” were viewed as legitimate by many in Britain
  137. 137. The Hankey Report August, 1933-visit October, 1933-report Gen’l Sir Maurice Hankey, Royal Marines First Baron Hankey (1877-1963)
  138. 138. Hankley’s report concluded with the words: “Are we still dealing with the Hitler of Mein Kampf , lulling his opponents to sleep with fair words to gain time to arm his people, and looking always to the day when he can throw off the mask and attack Poland? Or is it a new Hitler, who discovered the burden of responsible office, and wants to extricate himself, like many an earlier tyrant, from the commitments of his irresponsible days? That is the riddle that has to be solved”
  139. 139. Hitler’s views on Britain: enemy of the Reich, or fellow “Aryan” power?
  140. 140. Hitler’s views on Britain: enemy of the Reich, or fellow “Aryan” power? strongly influenced by Br opposition to Fr occupation of the Ruhr, 1923; Hitler revised his initial view of Br as inevitable enemy In Mein Kampf and sequel Zweites Buch, he strongly criticized the pre-1914 Ger govt for its naval and colonial challenge to the Br empire Br friendship could be won by renouncing such global ambitions and seeking an anti-Fr, anti-Soviet alliance Br would agree to Lebensraum in Eastern Europe in return for a”sea pact” where Ger renounced any challenge to the Royal Navy
  141. 141. Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 in 1933 Nazis began to build U- boats in 1934 Battle Cruisers and Pocket Battleships were planned First Lord Chatfield believed that a treaty limiting Germany to 35% of Adm Raeder the RN was the best hope for maintaining Br naval supremacy in March,1935 Hitler negotiates with Sir John Simon in Berlin Adm Chatfield Ribbentrop concludes the talks in London, June, 1935
  142. 142. Battle Cruiser Scharnhorst, 1936 Along with her twin, Geneisenau, these were the first violations of the Versailles limit of 10,000 tons
  143. 143. Ordered: 25.i.34 Laid down: Launched: 3.x.36 Commissioned: 7.i.39 Sunk in the Battle of North Cape: 26.xii.43
  144. 144. Results of the AGNA
  145. 145. Results of the AGNA Hitler called June 18th the happiest day of his life, believed it marked the beginning of an Anglo-German alliance Britain believed it marked the first step towards a treaty limiting Germany’s ability to wage aerial warfare which they feared even more than naval competition France felt betrayed, believed Britain had no right to endorse abrogating Part V of the Versailles Treaty Stalin concluded he had to draw closer to France
  146. 146. Remilitarization of the Rhineland Hitler’s hubris reaches its logical outcome, March, 1936
  147. 147. ... Hitler’s next big gamble : to destroy what was left of the Versailles and Locarno treaties by reoccupying the demilitarized Rhineland. Kershaw, vol i, p. 581
  148. 148. 2nd Italian-Ethiopian War Oct 1935-May 1936
  149. 149. Hitler counts on Britain and France being unable to make a common policy Abyssinian crisis
  150. 150. Emperor Haile Selassie “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.” at the League of Nations, 30 June 1936
  151. 151. Stalin shifts the Party Line
  152. 152. Stalin shifts the Party Line Louis Barthou, French Foreign Minister (d. 1934) pursues a Franco-Soviet treaty after the Polish- German pact After German military buildup of Mar 35, push increases pact concluded 2 May 1935. Now, the ratification struggle begins
  153. 153. Pierre Laval
  154. 154. General Election of 3 May 1936 French politics
  155. 155. Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance Article I In the event that France or the U.S.S.R. are subjected to the threat or the danger of aggression on the part of a European state, the U.S.S.R. and France engage themselves reciprocally to proceed to an immediate mutual consultation on measures to take in order to observe the provisions of Article 10 of the League of Nations Pact. Article II In the event that, in the circumstances described in Article 15, paragraph 7, of the League of Nations Pact, France or the U.S.S.R. may be, in spite of the genuinely pacific intentions of the two countries, and subject of unprovoked aggression on the part of a European state, the U.S.S.R. and France will immediately lend each other reciprocal aid and assistance. Article III Taking into consideration the fact that, according to Article 16 of the League of Nations Pact, every member of the League that resorts to war contrary to the engagements assumed in Articles 12, 13 or 15 of the Pact is ipso facto considered as having committed an act of war against all the other members of the League, France and the U.S.S.R. engage themselves reciprocally, [should either of them be the object of unprovoked aggression], to lend immediate aid and assistance in activating the application of Article 16 of the Pact.
  156. 156. Mass adulation bolsters the Führer cult and Hitler’s self confidence 20 Feb 1936- Hitler walks to his car he had just addressed an SA rally the rally commemorated the third anniversary of his chancellorship
  157. 157. Wieder deutsche Truppen am Rhein- German troops in the Rhineland again “Hitler’s global peace stroke, German troops again on the Rhine” Mussolini’s Abyssinian adventure brought him into Hitler’s hands the Franco-Soviet pact provided the “justification”
  158. 158. Troops cross the Rhine at Köln 7 March 1936 After three years, I believe that, with the present day, the struggle for German equal rights can be regarded as closed
  159. 159. Hubris -- that overweening arrogance which courts disaster -- was inevitable. The point where nemesis takes over had been reached by 1936. Kershaw, vol. i, p. 591
  160. 160. “ I go with the confidence of a sleepwalker along the path laid out for me by Providence.” Hitler, in Munich, 14 March 1936 Ibid. Few at this point had the foresight to realize that the path laid out by Providence led into the abyss. Kershaw, Ibid.