On 27 February 1933 the Reichstag building, which was home to the German Parliament, was burned down. The communists were blamed for the fire because a Dutch communist, called Van der Lubbe, was found in the building as it burned.
Hitler used the fire to the Nazi Party's advantage in two ways:
Both these actions helped the Nazis to win more seats in the election of 5 March 1933, increasing their share of the vote from 33 per cent to 44 per cent. This gave the Nazis and their allies, the German National People's Party (who won 8 per cent of the vote), a majority of 52 per cent in the Reichstag.
The Reichstag fire was so beneficial to the Nazis that it has been suggested they started it themselves.