What was Hitler’s power limited by, even after he became chancellor in January 1933?
- The Weimer constitution still controlled what the chancellor could do.
- Hindenberg retained all powers of the President.
- Hitler’s cabinet had 12 members - but only two of them were NSDAP members (Wilhelm Frick and Hermann Goering.)
- NSDAP members numbered only about one-third of the Reichstag.
- Politicians thought they could keep Hitler under control.
What was the Reichstag fire and how did Hitler seize it as an opportunity to increase his power?
- On 27th February 1933, the Reichstag building was destroyed by a massive fire and alone Dutch communist called Van der Lubbe was arrested for starting the fire and he claimed he acted alone.
-Hitler, however, seized it as an opportunity to accuse the communist party of a conspiracy against the government and four thousand communists were arrested.
-Hitler used the situation to persuade Hindenberg into putting Germany into a state of emergency which meant
Hitler could govern by decree.
-Hitler issued the Decree for the protection of the People and the State,giving him the power to imprison poliyical oponents and ban opposition news papers.
-He persuaded Hiden berg to call an election in march 1933 to secure more nazi seats.
-He controlled german police forces so he could make sure they turned a bind eye to violent activities of SA.
-The Nazi Party managed to secure two thirds of the seats by using the emergancy powers to prevent the communist from taking up their 81 seats.
-The majority in parliament meant Hitler was now able to change the constitution.
What did the enabling act state? And how did Hitler win the vote to pass it?
-The Reich Cabinet could pass new laws
- The laws could overrule the constitution
- Hitler would propose the laws.
Which meant that Germany would no longer be a democracy.
He expected resistance so used the SA to intimidate the opposition. The vote was won by the Nazis, 444 to 94.
How did Hitler use the Enabling act to get rid of the oppsitions in the trade union to the Nazis?
Hitler was afraid communists within the trade unions could undermine the government (with strikes for example), so on 2nd May 1933 Nazis arrested many union officials.
-Hitler used his new powers to band trade unions and make strikes illegal.
Trade unions were replaced with the german labor front.
How did Hitler use the Enabling act to get rid of the opposition to the Nazis in other political parties?
In 1933 SPD and Communist Party offices and funds were taken by the Nazi’s and their newspapers were destroyed.
In July 1933, Hitler issued a degree making all political parties in Germany illegal except the NSDAP.
How did Hitler use the Enabling act to get rid of the opposition to the Nazis in local government?
Under the Weimer constitution each region of Germany had its own parliament, which ran the local government in the area, this threatened Hitler because even though he had control over the Reichstag he could not control the 18 Lander parliaments.
-By March 1933 they were closed down and they were completely abolished by January 1934 regions instead had governors appointed by him.
Why were Rhom and the SA a threat to Hitler, the German army, and the SS?
- Rohm did not like Hitler’s policies, he wanted more socialist policies to tax the rich and help the working class.
- Many of the SA were bitter because they felt undervalued and because in 1933 60% of the SA were permanently unemployed, but these soldiers were loyal to Rohm which put him in the ideal position to challenge Hitler.
- The Army only had 100,000 men and the SA had far more, the army learned that Rhom wanted to replace them with the SA.
- The leaders of the SS wanted to reduce the size of the SA and so they could increase the power and status of the SS.
What was the Night of Long Kinives?
In 1934 the leaders of the SS and the army warned Hitler that Rohm was planning to seize power.
To remove the threat of Rhom, Hitler arranged a meeting in the town of Bad Wiessee on 30 June 1934 and invited 100 SA leaders and Rohm, When they arrived they were arrested and shot, this event is known as the night of ling knives.
How did the death of Hindenberg further empower Hitler?
President Hindenburg was the only person senior to Hitler. In August 1934, he died. Hitler took over supreme power.
-He declared himself Germany’s Fuhrer and decreed that as Fuhrer he would add all the president’s powers to those he had as Chancellor.
Hitler forced an oath of allegiance from the army to him, not to Germany.
What vote confirmed Hitler as the Fuhrer, when was it and what were the results?
On 19th August 1934, the vote was held to confirm Hitler as Fuhrer, Bombarded by Nazi Propaganda, 90% of voters voted in favor. the Weimer Republic formally ended and Hitler’s Third Reich began.