Nazi consolidation of power
The following events saw Hitler and the Nazis strengthen their grip on power, ending in Hitler taking complete dictatorial powers and the title of Führer.
- The Nazis take control of the German police system.
5 March 1933 - General election
- The Nazis win 288 seats in the Reichstag.
- Although this does not give the Nazis a majority, it does give them enough seats to get the Enabling Act passed.
20 March 1933
- The first concentration camps are established for political prisoners.
23 March 1933 - The Enabling Act
- The SA intimidates all the remaining non-Nazi Reichstag members.
- As a result, the Reichstag votes to give Hitler the powers to make his own laws.
26 April 1933
- The Nazis reorganise and take control of local government.
- Hitler sets up the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany.
- Trade unions are abolished and their leaders arrested, which eliminates another group that opposed the Nazis.
- The German Labour Front is established in their place, which gives the Nazis control over German workers.
20 June 1933 - Concordat
- Hitler reaches an agreement with the Pope, which stated that the Catholic Church will be protected, but will stay out of political matters.
- This allows Hitler to ban the Catholic Zentrum (Centre) Party without opposition from the Catholic Church.
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.
24 April 1934 - People's courts
- Hitler sets up the courts where judges have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Nazis.
- This gives the Nazis greater power over the sentencing of political enemies and those deemed to be criminals.
30 June 1934 - 'Night of the Long Knives'
- The SA cause problems by demanding to take over the army.
- Hitler cannot afford to lose the support of the army or of businessmen, who are opposed to the socialist reforms that the SA want.
- The SS assassinate many of the SA’s leadership, including its leader Ernst Röhm. Officially just under 100 members die.
- 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 unifies the offices of President and Chancellor and became head of the German army.
- He takes the title of Führer and has complete dictatorial powers. Within hours of Hindenburg’s death, all members of the armed forces had to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler.