Reasons the nazis kept power crushing of opposition


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Reasons the nazis kept power crushing of opposition

  1. 1. Coalition government Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933 and was head of a coalition government, meaning he had to work with others. Hitler persuaded the President to call an election for March so he could win greater control.
  2. 2. Reichstag fire One week before the election the Reichstag burned down. The fire was blamed on Communists. Hitler said it was the start of a revolution. Doubts remain about who started the fire.
  3. 3. Reichstag Fire decree After the fire, Hitler persuaded the German President to sign the ‘Decree for the protection of the people and the state’. This gave the government the power to arrest anyone who opposed them (remained in force until 1945). Left-wing newspaper announcing its closure
  4. 4. SS and SA become the police The SA and the SS were the Nazis’ two security groups, famed for violence. After the Reichstag fire, Hitler made them an official auxiliary police force.
  5. 5. March 1933 elections Hitler wanted to change the German constitution to give him more power. He needed two-thirds support for the Reichstag to do so. In the elections, the Nazis gained 43.9% of the vote.
  6. 6. The Enabling Act The Enabling Act meant Hitler could pass laws with the Reichstag's agreement. On the day of the vote (when he needed 2/3 support), Hitler had 26 SPD members arrested, meaning the Enabling Act passed.
  7. 7. Political control After the Enabling Act was passed, Hitler banned the left- wing SPD. Other political parties then disbanded. Hitler passed a law in July 1933 making the Nazis the only legal political party.
  8. 8. Employment controls Trade unions were banned in Germany. Trade union leaders were sent to concentration camps. Anti-Nazis and Jews were forced to resign from their jobs. Large numbers of teachers and doctors were Nazi Party members.
  9. 9. Legal controls Anti-Nazi judges were removed from their posts and replaced with Nazi sympathisers. Laws were introduced allowing the Nazis even more control of their opponents.
  10. 10. Night of the Long Knives Although dominant in Germany and the Nazi Party, Hitler worried some Nazis were not loyal enough to him. On 30 June 1934, leaders of the SA were killed or arrested by members of the SS.
  11. 11. Arguments for influence These actions proved the phrase ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer’. Hitler now controlled all key aspects of society. The lack of any organised groups meant that only individuals could try to resist Nazi rule.
  12. 12. Arguments against influence Even without these new controls, Hitler had the support of large numbers of Germans (44% of voters). Public backed Nazi foreign and economic policies.
  13. 13. Religious controls The Nazis worried that the German churches could oppose many of their plans. They tried to control Protestant churches by setting up the Reich Church to teach a Nazi interpretation of the Bible.
  14. 14. Religious controls The Nazis reached a concordat (agreement) with the Catholic Church that they would stay out of politics. In return the Catholic Church would be allowed to keep control of its schools and youth groups.
  15. 15. Arguments for influence The Nazis feared that attacking the churches would lose them support. By reaching peaceful agreements they kept the support of many religious Germans.
  16. 16. Arguments against influence The Nazis failed to fully control the churches. Many Catholic priests spoke out against the Nazis. The Protestant Confessional Church was set up to oppose Nazi control of religion.