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Flashcards in The Reichstag Fire Deck (16):

What was the Reichstag?

The German parliament


When was the Reichstag fire?

27 February 1933 (less than a month after Hitler became chancellor)


When Hitler came to power, when and why did he call for another general election?

He called a general election for 5 March 1933. He wanted to gain a majority in the Reichstag so he could pass laws and tighten his grip on power.


Why was Hitler's position weak when he initially became chancellor?

- Only 2 out of 12 of the cabinet were Nazis
- the Nazis and their allies, the Nationalist Party, did not have a majority in the Reichstag


Who was blamed for starting the Reichstag fire?

Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch communist


What happened to van der Lubbe?

He was tried, found guilty, and executed.


How did the Nazis use the Reichstag fire to their advantage?

They used it to attack the communists, claiming van der Lubbe was part of a communist conspiracy (plot) to take over the government


What did Hitler ask Hindenburg to declare? What did this mean Hitler could do?

- Hitler asked Hindenburg to declare a 'state of emergency'.
- This meant that Hitler could rule by decree (didn't need to go through the Reichstag) providing Hindenburg supported him


What was the Decree for the Protection of the People and the State?

A decree that gave Hitler the power to suspend the civil rights of German citizens. He was able to imprison political opponents and ban communist papers.


The campaign for the March election was bloody. How many people died?



How many seats did the Nazis win in the March 1933 election?

288 - not a majority


What did Hitler use his emergency powers to do?

Ban the communists from taking up their 81 seats in the Riechstag


Why was it vital that, with the support of other nationalist parties, Hitler was able to gain a two-thirds majority?

Having a two-thirds majority allowed him to change the constitution. Crucially, it allows him to pass the Enabling Act.


What was the Enabling Act?

It gave Hitler the power to make laws for four years without the consent of the Riechstag


When was the Enabling Act passed?

Late March 1933


Why was the Enabling Act significant?

It effectively marked the end of democratic rule and of the Weimar Republic