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Nazi Consolidation Of Power
Peaceful Factors Alongside the terror associated with the aftermath of the Reichstag Fire and the Night of the Long Knives, the Nazis used three important peaceful means to consolidate their power Compromise with and concessions to powerful elites 2. Use of policy and new laws to win support 3. Use of propaganda
Compromise with and concessions to powerful elites Army – Hitler won the support of the army with promises of rearmament, the suppression of the SA and a virtual immunity from GLEICHSLATUNG Business – Hitler appealed to the anti communist sentiment of big business. Hitler compromised radical Nazism in return for support and donations Civil Service – traditionally the employer of elite and socially conservative aristocrats – welcomed Hitler and apart from being purged of Jews, communists and socialists were also left relatively immune from GLEICHSLATUNG
New Policies and Laws The legal basis of Hitler’s dictatorship was founded on 2 decrees 1. The Decree for the Protection of the People and the State 28 Feb 1933 – in the immediate aftermath of the Reichstag Fire this decree suspended civil liberties and massively increased the power of the police and the courts. It also gave supremacy to central government over local government 2. The Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich (aka Enabling Act) 24 March 1933 – gave Hitler personal power to rule and legislate by decree by passing parliament altogether. Also the power to declare war, peace sign treaties etc without consulting Reichstag
Laws introduced to consolidate Power 1. Law for the Protection of the Retail Trade May 1933 – banned any further growth in big department stores – popular with small trades and shopkeepers 2. Law to Reduce Unemployment June 1933 – order massive labour intensive public works such as the autobahns (motorways) – also offered subsidies to private companies to increase production and ‘encouraged’ women out of the workforce 3. Reich Entailed Farm Law September 1933 – made it impossible for farms between hectares to go bust and be sold – designed to win support and protect the ‘German peasant’. Only ‘Aryans’ allowed to own land.
Use of Propaganda 13 March 1933 Hitler set up anew government department “The Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda” headed by Gobbels Radio – protection stepped up so every family could have one. April 1934 all radio stations brought under central control Papers – steps introduced to dismantle the ‘free press’ of the Weimar years. Socialist and Communist papers shut down, Nazi party buys up more and more titles and papers. October 1933 ‘Editors’ Law’ introduced – newspaper editors personally responsible and accountable to Gobbels for a paper’s contents