By 1933 Hitler was a step closer to his goal of having complete control of Germany. Before the March elections of that year he had been made Chancellor under President Paul von Hindenburg. This gave him the second most powerful political position in Germany.
After becoming Chancellor, Hitler and the Nazis set about consolidating their power and wiping out opposition to the Party’s control of Germany. By 1934, Hitler was in complete control as a result of these actions.
On 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was burned down. A Dutch communist was accused of starting the fire. Hitler had the Communist Party's 81 officials arrested. Using the fire as an excuse, Hitler had the Communist Party banned after the March elections.
At the March elections the Nazi party was the largest single political party. After suspending the Communists and using the SA to intimidate members of the other parties, Hitler had the two-thirds majority support in the parliament he needed to suspend the country's Constitution.
This meant Hitler now had the power to issue new laws without consulting Parliament. The Enabling Act (The Law for removing the Distress of the People and the Reich) gave Hitler the power to issue emergency decrees without the approval of President Hindenburg.
Under its leader Ernst Röhm, Hitler's storm troops, the SA, had grown powerful. The SA looked to take control of the army and members were involved in street violence.
Hitler could not afford to lose the support of the army or of businessmen, who felt threatened and were opposed to socialist reforms that the SA wanted.
On 30 June, the SS assassinated just under 100 of the SA’s leadership, including Röhm. Other opponents such as the ex-Chancellor General von Schleicher, were also murdered.
When President Hindenburg died of old age, Hitler unified the offices of President and Chancellor and became head of the German Army. He took the title of Führer (‘Leader’) and took on complete dictatorial powers.