When the Reichstag burned down, Dutch communist Van der Lubbe was to blame. He was
caught red-handed with matches and fire lighting materials inside the Reichstag. Hitler used
this as an excuse to be given emergency power. He then proceeded to get rid of communist
opponents and gain control of the state.
Above: A picture of the Reichstag burning
Right: Dutch Communist Van Der lubbe sits in trial after
burning down reichstag.
Above: This is the “Decree of the Reich president for the
protection of the people and state” which gave Hitler total power
in the event of an emergency.
Hitler wanted majority in the Reichstag so he held a general election where the Nazis got 44% of
the vote. He wasn’t able to gain the majority of seats so he arrested 81 communist deputies
giving him the majority. Having the majority meant that the Nazis could pass any law they wanted
while making it look like a democracy.
Above: A ballot for the Reichstag election in
the Hesse-Darmstadt electoral district (the
Nazis are at the top)
Above: President Hindenburg coming out of one of the
many polling stations in Germany.
Above: Communist leaders after being arrested to give the Nazis the majority.
Enabling Act march 23 1933
The Reichstag voted to give Hitler the power to make his own laws. No one had a chance to oppose because of
the presence by the Stormtroopers who stopped opposition deputies going in and beat up anyone who dared
to speak up. This act made Hitler the dictator of Germany along with the power to to anything he wanted
Above: hitler in the Kroll opera house promoting the
passage of the enabling act.
Above: the front and backside of the enabling act that had
the signatures which included president hindenburg.
Above: an image of hitler wearing his traditional ss outfit
while delivering the enabling act in the kroll opera house.
Above: Front page of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung
reading “Enabling Act adopted with 441 votes against
the 94 votes of the Social Democrats….”
After the Nazis took over the government and police, Hitler enforced the Gestapo (secret police) that made
sure that there was no oppositions to Hitler and the Nazis. This secret police force put fear in the citizens heart
showing them what would happen if they were to oppose. Tens of thousands of Jews, Communists, and any
other kind of person that Hitler thought wasn’t pure German or anyone who did so called “crimes” were sent in
to concentration camps.
Left: Gestapo headquarters in Berlin, Germany
Above: Rows of dead bodies fill the yard of Lager
Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp.
Right: Gestapo search innocent person to
see if they’re carrying any weapon
Above: Gestapo and the Security Police occupy and search the
Berlin Headquarters of the German Communists.
Law against the Formation of parties –
July 14 1933
This law abolished any opposition party and made the Nazi party the only party in Germany.
Leaders from other parties were arrested and thrown in jail. Hitler was now the face of Germany.
Above: A group of leading socialists arrive at the Kislau
camp including local democratic party leader Ludwig
Above: An all Nazi Reichstag saluting their Fuhrer.
Night of the long knives – june 30 1934
The SA helped Hitler come to power in Germany by acting like his thugs, defending meetings and taking out opposition. On June
30th, Hitler turned on them by killing more than 400 SA men. He had heard about the SA leader Ernst Rohm planning on a socialist
revolution and about taking over the army. Hitler couldn’t have someone like this leading his force so he took out the opposition.
Above: the leaders of the Nazi party who planned the purge
(Hitler, Goring, Goebbels and Hess)
Above: Hitler and Rohm
Above: Cartoon showing SA men with their hands
up “saluting” with an angry Hitler holding a
Above: A German newspaper justifying the
purge with headlines like “The German
People Saved from Serious Danger,”
Hitler becomes fuhrer – august 19 1934
After President Hindenburg died, Hitler took over his position as President and leader of the army. Because of
the problems with loyalty from the previous SA, all soldiers had to swear an oath to die for Hitler. Hitler
referred himself as “Fuhrer”.
Above: President Hindenburg dead.
Above: German soldiers swearing the Hitler Oath in front of
the Nazi flag.
Above: A rally of people coming together to
support their new Fuhrer.
Above: “We are taking the fate of the
nation in our hands! Hitler becomes Reich
Hitler wanted Germany to be economically self-sufficient. He didn’t want to have to rely on foreign
imports to keep Germany running. Autarky would allow Germany to wage war because if Germany was
being supplied from Russia, Great Britain and France, if they went to war, Germany would lose whatever
imports that were being supplied.
Above: Germany developed synthetic rubber or “Buna” which
helped make tires among other things.
Above: Hjalmar Schacht (right) was Reich
Minister of Economics and under his
leadership, foreign trade came under
almost complete state control.
“I consider it necessary that now, with iron
determination, a 100 per cent selfsufficiency should be attained in all those
spheres where it is feasible, and that not
only should the national requirements in
these most important raw materials be
made independent of other countries but
that we should also thus save the foreign
exchange which in peacetime we require for
our imports of foodstuffs.”
Adolf Hitler confidential Memo on Autarky
To address the unemployment issue in Germany, Hitler created construction of public works. All of the
programs were administered by the National Labour Service. This service was established to handle
unemployment, militarize the workforce, and indoctrinate Germans with Nazi ideologies.
Above: Young workers draining moors and heathlands to create
Above: The RAD’s flag.
Above: Young workers draining
moors and heathlands to create
Above: An RAD (Reich Labour Service) squad
Hitler also addressed unemployment by reintroducing conscription and the
development of an air force. Doing this was against the terms of the Treaty of
Versailles but Hitler didn’t seem to care. Conscription and an air force was also
preparation to a war.
Above: A tank demonstration at a Harvest festival
shortly after Germany’s rearmament.
Above: A Nazi regimental parade ground early on in
Above: A squadron of Hienkel 111’s (Germany’s main
Above: Poster for the “Luftwaffe” (German
air force) which was formed in 1935.
Left: Squadron of German fighter planes.
German Labour Front
Hitler banned all trade unions; he closed all offices, confiscated money, and arrested leaders of trade
unions. To replace this, the German Labour Front was formed. This was the only union allowed in the
Reich. They set out wages, made compulsory deductions made for income tax and created the Strength
through Joy Program which was to give workers holidays and more leisure activities. The image of
Germans on holidays and enjoying themselves was great for Nazi propaganda.
Above: flag for the DAF (German Labour
Above: Robert Ley, leader of the
German Labour Front.
Above: Volkswagens like this were
given as a part of the Strength
through Joy program.
Above: Propaganda poster
promoting Strength through Joy
Above: Propaganda poster
supporting the German
Hitler established youth organizations to instill Nazi ideas. He took the German youth at a young
age and repeatedly injected the image of Hitler as a father to them which gave them extreme
loyalty towards their Fuhrer. Boys were put in the Hitler Youth that focused on physical
conditioning and girls were put into Bund Deutsher Madel that taught them how to be a good
Above: Hitler Youth being taught the usage of
Above: Hitler at a camp with Karl Gruber, the Founder of the Hitler
Above: Hitler Youth being taught Racial Politics in school.
Above: Young female BDM towards start of youth
Above: Propaganda poster that
says “ Build Youth Hostels and
Above: BDM group working on their fitness by going
for a run.
Hitler signed a Concordat with the Pope, agreeing to leave the Roman Catholic Church alone if it
stayed out of politics. The Pope making a deal with the the Nazi’s showed that if the church
accepted the ways of Hitler, then what they were doing was ok so most Catholics were happy to
accept the Nazi regime. Other religious groups such as Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses were
sent to concentration camps if they opposed the Nazis.
Above: Signing of the Reich Concordat (July 20,1933)
Above: Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli
“His Holiness Pope Pius XI and the President of the German
Reich, moved by the common desire to consolidate and
promote the friendly relations existing between the Holy See
and the German Reich, and wishing to regulate lastingly, in a
manner satisfying to both parties, the relations between the
Catholic Church and the State for the entire territory of the
German Reich, have decided to conclude a solemn agreement
supplementing the concordats concluded with individual
German States and also ensuring for the remaining states a
fundamentally uniform treatment of the questions to which it
First statement in the “Concordat between the
Holy See and the German Reich” document.
Hitler surrounded and immersed Germans to continuous propaganda which developed Hitler’s
cult of personality. He assigned Joseph Goebbels Minister of Popular Entertainment and
Propaganda to lead the way for propaganda. He gained control of newspapers, radio stations, and
even production companies so he could put in Nazi ideas and Hitler. One of their biggest
successes was during the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Germany where they showed nothing
negative regarding Germany except for when the USA’s Jesse Owens won four gold medals and
Hitler wouldn’t shake his hand because he was black.
Above: Hitler head Souvenirs from the
“Reich Party Rally for Freedom”
Above: Swastika flag flying during
the 1936 Olympics.
Above and Below: Two postcards, (top) swastika like
the rising sun above the Reichstag and (below)
Hitler kissing a little girl.
Above: Swastika placed on anything and everything
like this baby carriage.
Above: A German street flooded with Nazi flags.
Above: One of the many massive rally’s promoting Nazis
November 9-12, 1938
Right when Hitler came to power, he immediately isolated and discriminated the Jewish
community; Hitler never liked the Jews. When a German diplomat was assassinated by a Jew, the
Nazis brutally inflicted a night of terror on the Jews, destroying Jewish shops, homes and
synagogues and arrested and sent 30 000 to concentration camps.
Above: Jews being taken from homes and sent to
Above: Ernst vom Rath
Above and Below: Morning after “Kristallnacht”
Above: A burnt, and destroyed synagogue.
Nuremburg laws 1935-1939
Between 1935-1939, the Nazis introduced a number of anti-Semitic laws that discriminated and
denied Jews rights. Laws such as the Re-Establishment of the Career Civil Service excluded Jews
from Government jobs or “No Jew can be a Reich Citizen…” and even laws that made it so Jews
couldn’t get any health care (legal examinations, pharmaceutical examinations). These are only a
few laws that were set to cripple all Jews.
Above: President of the District Court in Tilsit, East Prussia, sent this
notice giving the news that a Jewish lawyer was being taken off the
list of licensed lawyers.
Above: A park bench reading “For Aryans
Above: Jewish business’ were boycotted because
Hitler believed they were wrecking the economy.
Above: Jews had to partake in public
humiliation like scrubbing streets.
Reichstag Fire Decree:
Night of the long knives:
Hitler becomes Fuhrer:
German Labour Front::