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How did Hitler consolidate power? L/O – To identify the key events that helped Hitler to establish his dictatorship Reichstag Fire Enabling Act Night of.

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Presentation on theme: "How did Hitler consolidate power? L/O – To identify the key events that helped Hitler to establish his dictatorship Reichstag Fire Enabling Act Night of."— Presentation transcript:

1 How did Hitler consolidate power? L/O – To identify the key events that helped Hitler to establish his dictatorship Reichstag Fire Enabling Act Night of the Long Knives Death of HindenburgComplete control?

2 How did Hitler consolidate Power? Within 18 months, Hitler had turned himself into a dictator. He had the power to issue decrees and there was no legal way to replace him. His conservative, liberal and socialist opponents were divided, demoralised and weakened by repression. Political opponents were intimidated by both violence ‘from below’ (by the SA who murdered around 500 people in 1933) and terror ‘from above’ as the Nazis could now use the power of the government.

3 How did Hitler consolidate Power? By the end of 1933, over 100,000 potential opponents had been arrested. In addition, the elite politicians who had sought to use Hitler had been outmanoeuvred. The only potential threat came from the army, but it had committed itself to the new government.

4 How did Hitler consolidate Power? The process by which Hitler gained control of Germany was called GLEICHSCHALTUNG (co-ordination). He ensured the government had control of all aspects of society, so that there would be little opposition. The regime developed organisations that Germans had to join e.g. the German Labour Front (DAF) and Hitler Youth. This ensured the regime’s control and that the members would work to fulfil the government’s aims.

5 On 27 th February 1933, the Reichstag building was destroyed by fire. A young Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was caught on site. He confessed, was put on trial and executed. He was beheaded! Hitler declared that the fire was part of a communist conspiracy and persuaded Hindenburg to pass the ‘Reichstag Fire Decree’ giving Hitler Article 48 powers. The Reichstag Fire

6 Hitler used the Reichstag fire to convince everyone that there was a real threat of a communist revolution. Hitler used the confusion and unease that people felt to consolidate his position. 1. Emergency powers: Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to pass the ‘Law for the Protection of People and State’ on 28 th Feb. This ended freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press. 2. Election success: Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to call fresh elections for the 5 th March. He used his new powers to make life difficult for non-Nazi candidates. Hitler increased his share of the vote and thereby gave his party more power in parliament. How did the Reichstag Fire help Hitler?

7 Source A – Decree of the Reich President on the Protection of the People and the State, 28 th Feb 1933 On the basis of Article 48, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Reich, the following is decreed as a protection against communist acts of violence endangering the state: 1.Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and association… are permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed [laid down]. 2.If in any German state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the supreme authority in such as state in order to restore security… 1. On what grounds are the government’s new powers justified? 2. To what extent did the emergency decree undermine the Weimar Constitution, in spirit and fact?

8 Although the Nazis didn’t have a majority, the Nationalist Party joined forces with them. He also used emergency powers to prevent Communists from taking their seats. The 53 seats added to the Nazis’ meant Hitler now controlled over half of the total seats – the Reichstag would do as Hitler wanted. 85Others 73The Centre Party 81The Communist Party 120Social Democrats 288 The Nazi Party Number of seatsParty Who won the 1933 election? Did this mean that the Nazis now had complete power? The March 1933 Reichstag elections

9 The Reichstag Fire LO: To examine the significance of the Reichstag Fire and Enabling Act

10 The Enabling Act : This gave Hitler the right to make laws for 4 years without the consent of the Reichstag. When the Reichstag met again after the election, Hitler proposed a new law: The only thing stopping Hitler from becoming a dictator was President Hindenburg. The Enabling Act The Act was passed by 444 votes to 94.

11 Source B – Enabling Act, March 1933 Article 1 In addition to the procedure for the passage of legislation outlined in the Constitution, the Reich cabinet is also authorised to enact Laws… Article 2 The national laws enacted by the Reich cabinet may deviate from the Constitution provided they do not affect the position of the Reichstag and Reichsrat. The powers of the President remain unaffected. Article 3 The national laws enacted by the Reich cabinet shall be prepared by the Chancellor and published in the official gazette. They come into effect, unless otherwise stated, upon the day following their publication… 1. On what grounds are the government’s new powers justified? 2. To what extent did the emergency decree undermine the Weimar Constitution, in spirit and fact?

12 Why was it passed so easily?

13 Banned Trade Unions – Hitler also made strikes illegal. If communists could control the trade unions, they could use strikes to cripple Hitler’s government. Banned Political Parties – In July 1933, Hitler decreed a new law called ‘Law Against the Establishment of Parties.’ Article 1 removed all opposition to the NSDAP. Abolished Local Government – In Jan 1934, Hitler abolished the Lander parliaments and each region would be ruled by a governor appointed by him. What did Hitler do next?

14 Once Hitler was chancellor, the SA – Hitler’s private army – wanted him to take control of big businesses and to put the SA in charge of the regular army. Hitler however, did not want to lose the support of the industrialists – they had helped fund his election campaign, and he would need them in order to start rearmament. Hitler was also worried that the SA, led by the ambitious Ernst Röhm, was getting too powerful, posing a threat to his leadership. Use this information to complete the table on the next slide. Most army officers saw the SA as undisciplined thugs whom they would not take orders from. Consolidation of the Nazi Party

15 The Night of the Long Knives

16 In June 1934, Hitler ordered the SA to go on leave for the entire month. Hitler then ordered Himmler and Goering to eliminate the threat posed by the leaders of the SA. On 30 June, Himmler's SS and Goering's special police arrested and executed the leaders of the SA and other people against whom Hitler had a score to settle. Ernst Röhm was shot after refusing to commit suicide. Kurt von Schleicher, who had preceded Hitler as chancellor, was also shot. Altogether, it’s thought that as many as 400 people were killed in the Night of the Long Knives. Gregor Strasser, a Nazi member with socialist views similar to Rohm was also shot.

17 President Hindenburg died on 2 August Hitler seized the opportunity to: combine the offices of President and Chancellor and to declare himself ‘Führer’ (leader) of the new Third Reich make the whole of the army swear an oath of loyalty to him personally. A plebiscite was then held. Bombarded by Nazi propaganda, 90% of the electorate voted in favour of Hitler’s actions. Hitler’s Third Reich had begun. Consolidating the state

18 David LowDavid Low, They salute with both hands now (3rd July, 1934)

19 A cartoon by David Low


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