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The rise of the Nazi Party and its consolidation of power


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How did the Nazis consolidate their power during 1933-1934?


Hitler as Chancellor

30 January - Hindenburg appoints Hitler as Chancellor but:

  • only three out of 10 ministers were members of the Nazi party
  • the Nazis had less than half the seats in the Reichstag
  • Hindenburg could dismiss Hitler at any time.

The Significance of the Reichstag Fire

Marinus van der Lubbe

Marinus van der Lubbe

4 February - Every party and every public meeting banned from criticizing the Nazi Government.

27 February - The Reichstag Fire. Marinus van der Lubbe arrested. The Nazis blame the Communists – according to the Nazis, the fire was a Communist plot to destroy the government. Hindenburg announces additional powers – The Law for the Protection of the People and the State.

28 February - Suspension of all civil rights and personal freedom. Political prisoners can be held in custody indefinitely, without a hearing. By April, 25,000 political prisoners in Prussia alone.

The March election

5 March - The Nazi Party wins 43.9 per cent of the vote, which equates to 288 seats in the Reichstag. Hitler forms a coalition with the National Party (8 per cent). The Communist party wins 81 seats.

5-9 March - The Nazis gain power in the Lander province.

20 March - Himmler establishes the first concentration camp, in Dachau.

The Enabling Act

23 March - The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act. Hitler had to persuade at least 91 members to vote in favour of the act.

As a result, 444 members voted, which was just over two-thirds of members. Only 94 voted against him. What does this show? Not everyone supported the Nazis. 'Gleichschaltung' means bringing into line.

Removal of civil rights

31 March - Every provincial parliament is shut down. They are reorganised to have the same constitution as the Reichstag – the Nazis are therefore in control.

7 April - Managers appointed for each province - they are all members of the Nazi party. They are given the right to appoint and dismiss officers.


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