Nazi consolidation of power

The following events saw Hitler and the Nazis strengthen their grip on power, ending in Hitler becoming Fuhrer (leader) of Germany.

20 March 1933

  • The first concentration camps are established for political prisoners.

23 March 1933 - The Enabling Act

  • Hitler was given the power to make his own laws.

26 April 1933

  • Hitler sets up the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany.

2 May 1933

  • Trade unions are banned.

14 July 1933

  • All political parties, except the Nazi Party, are banned.
  • This destroys democracy by removing the need for elections, creating a one-party state.

30 June 1934 - 'Night of the Long Knives'

  • The SA demand to take the place of the German army.
  • Hitler cannot afford to lose the support of the army.
  • The SS assassinate many of the SA’s leadership. Officially just under 100 members die, including its leader Ernst Röhm.
  • This wipes out opposition to Hitler within the Nazi Party. It also gives more power to the SS.

19 August 1934 - The Führer

  • President Hindenburg dies of old age.
  • Hitler joins the titles of President and Chancellor and became head of the German army.
  • He takes the title of Führer and has complete dictatorial powers.