Presentation on theme: "EUROPE IN 1925. THE “NATIONAL REVOLUTION” OF 1933 January 30, 1933: Hindenburg appoints the Hitler-Papen Cabinet and dissolves the Reichstag February."— Presentation transcript:
THE “NATIONAL REVOLUTION” OF 1933 January 30, 1933: Hindenburg appoints the Hitler-Papen Cabinet and dissolves the Reichstag February 27, 1933: Reichstag fire serves Hitler as pretext to ban the KPD March 5, 1933: Nazis win 44% of the vote & DNVP, 8%. March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act May-June 1933: The suppression of the trade unions and creation of a one-party state June 1934: The “Blood Purge” eliminates Ernst Röhm, Gregor Strasser, Schleicher, & Papen’s chief speechwriter August 1934: Hitler appoints himself President as well as Chancellor when Hindenburg dies.
Anti-Brüning rally of the “Harzburg Front” (October 1931): The leaders of the Stahlhelm, Reichslandbund, and DNVP all told Hindenburg that they could work with Hitler
But Hitler despised them and would not even appear on the same podium at Harzburg
HITLER’S STRATEGY IN 1931/32 (see Otto Wagener, Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant, ed. Henry A. Turner) Hitler felt certain that the Weimar Republic and democratic parties were doomed. His great fear was that “the reactionaries” would close ranks against him and found a military dictatorship. Nazi leaders must therefore engage in personal outreach to army generals, captains of industry, and bourgeois politicians, while assuring the voters that Nazis were nothing like the reactionaries. Against the advice of Gregor Strasser, Hitler insists on an “all-or-nothing” strategy. Hitler clings to that strategy even after the Nazi vote declines in November 1932, Strasser defects, and debts mount up.
After General Schleicher replaced the bumbling Franz von Papen as Chancellor in December 1932, von Papen sought revenge by opening talks with Hitler in January 1933.
The “Cabinet of National Renewal,” appointed on January 30, 1933: Only 3 of 11 ministers are Nazi, but Papen allows Hitler to control the Prussian police & hold elections
Papen supported the choice of General Werner von Blomberg as minister of defense, because Blomberg was an enemy of Schleicher. But Blomberg’s wife was a secret Nazi, and Blomberg brought all his fellow generals to meet with Hitler on February 2.
“In our deepest need, Hindenburg chose Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor. You too should vote for List #1” “The Reich will never be destroyed – if you remain united and faithful”
Hitler as the heir to Frederick the Great and Bismarck (postcard from 1933)
Berliners watch the Reichstag burn, 27 February 1933
Hindenburg’s speech: “The place where we are assembled today summons us to look back on old Prussia, which became great through fear of God, dutiful work, never failing courage, and devoted love of the fatherland, and which united the German tribes on this basis. May the old spirit of this place inspire today’s generation, may it free us from selfishness and partisan quarrels, may it bring us together in a national revival and spiritual renewal for the sake of a united, free, proud Germany!”
Prince August Wilhelm von Hohenzollern (in SA uniform) converses with SS leaders on the church steps
Worship service by the Berlin garrison of the Reichswehr
Hitler and his cabinet attend Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg at the Berlin State Opera
Stormtroopers mustered at the entrance to the Reichstag’s provisional quarters (the Kroll Opera House), 23 March 1933
Hitler demands an Enabling Act, which passed on March 23 by a vote of 441:94 (with only the SPD opposed)
“Germans! Defend Yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!” (the boycott of 1 April 1933)
The occupation of the Berlin headquarters of the Free (Socialist) Trade Unions, May 2, 1933
“Now as then, we remain comrades: The German Labor Front” (1933/34): There were no more social classes, the government declared, just unity between “workers of the head” and “workers of the hand.”
“A Clean Sweep” (Cartoon by Josef Plank, 1933/34) Untitled (the Einstein Tower in Potsdam was designed by Erich Mendelsohn in 1919)
“German Students March Against the Ungerman Spirit:” A book burning on 10 May 1933
Reichstag delegates hail their Leader, 30 January 1934
The Army swears loyalty to Hitler after the death of Hindenburg (August 2, 1934)
German judges hail Hitler (new textbooks declared that “the will of the Führer is the highest law”)
INSTITUTIONS OF THE “THIRD REICH” The NSDAP becomes the ONLY party in June 1933; membership is frozen at 2.5 million in December, including 20% of civil servants and 30% of teachers. All workers must join the “German Labor Front.” Hitler appoints Reich Commissars for the 12 provinces of Prussia and 8 non-Prussian states, and the 40 Nazi Gauleiter scramble for these 20 plum jobs. Gleichschaltung (coordination): All social organizations are merged with the Nazi Party or dissolved. Hitler becomes Reich President as well as Chancellor after the death of Hindenburg in August 1934. A secret police emerges through fusion of the Prussian Secret State Police (Gestapo) with the SS Security Service. “Concentration camps” emerge for extra-judicial detention (taken over by the SS in 1934).
“The Leader as Friend of the Animals” (postcard, 1934)
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), chapter 5: “It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness…. In this respect the Jewish people, scattered everywhere, have rendered most useful services to the civilizations of the countries that have been their hosts; but unfortunately all the massacres of the Jews in the Middle Ages did not suffice to make that period more peaceful and secure for their Christian fellows…. Neither was it an unaccountable chance that the dream of a Germanic world-dominion called for anti- Semitism as its complement; and it is intelligible that the attempt to establish a new, communist civilization in Russia should find its psychological support in the persecution of the bourgeois. One only wonders, with concern, what the Soviets will do after they have wiped out their bourgeois.”