The Reichstag fire

The German Reichstag building burning with plumes of smoke rising from the building
The German Reichstag building burning

On 27 February 1933 the Reichstag caught fire.

This was where the German Government met. The communists were blamed for the fire and a Dutch communist called Van der Lubbe was found in the building.

Hitler used the fire to the Nazi Party’s advantage in two ways:

  • He banned the communists from Parliament and imprisoned many communist leaders to stop them campaigning for votes.
  • He announced that the country was in danger from the communists. This encouraged many to vote for the Nazis.

This helped the Nazis to win more seats in the election of 5 March 1933.