THE YEAR 1933 SAW HITLER RISE IRRESSISTABLY FROM LEGAL CHANCELLOR TO LEGAL DICTATOR. HOW VALID IS THIS ASSESSMENT OF THE NATURE AND THE EXTENT OF THE NAZI CONSOLIDATION OF POWER DURING 1933? In recent years many historians have come to the conclusion that during the year of 1933 Hitler was able to move from a chancellor of Germany to its dictator. A dictator is defined as a ruler who is not bound by constitution or laws. A dictator can also be a person who behaves in a tyrannical manner. So was this the position that Hitler found himself in at the end of 1933. Was he bound by a constitution or laws and did he behave in a tyrannical manner.
Through looking and analyzing the key events of this year we will be able to answer this question. At the beginning of 1933 Hitler found himself in a very promising position. When Hitlers conservative supporters including Franz Von Papen allowed Hitler to become chancellor on the 30th January 1933 they did it because they felt they could control him. Papen himself was minister president of Prussia ultimately having control over the police as well as the civil service. He felt that by obtaining this position he would be able to stop Hitler from gaining any extra power. Papen explained within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far into a corner that hell squeak. However Hitler himself already began to get the upper hand by convincing the conservatives to allow him to hold an election.
Now in charge of government agencies this would naturally help the Nazis come to power. At this time talks about creating an authoritarian government were being held with the army. Hitler wanted Germany eradicated of Marxism and the cancer of democracy. Confidence within the nazi party at this time was high and Goebbels himself had promised once we have power we will never surrender it unless we are carried out of are offices as corpses. Control of Hitler at this time did not seem to be going to well. At the election of March 1933 Hitler felt that a new appeal to the German people would be successful for the Nazis. A coalition government was restricting him and therefore in his speeches he argued to be able to make his own policies.
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Also prior to the march election Hitler launches a mass clearance of the police force in Prussia. Again Von Papen even though being the president of Prussia weakly let Hitler have his own way. Goerring had also allowed the SA and SS to use their weapons, which led to mass terrorism on the streets. The SA could now break up opposition party meetings as they pleased; Goerring himself said; every bullet that now leaves the mouth of a police pistol is my bullet. If you call that murder, then I am the murderer, for I gave the order, and I stand by it. At this time extremely harsh measures were introduced on communist, SPD and center party forms of press and opinion. Goerring had also gained complete control of radio.
All speeches made by Hitler were now to be broadcast on all stations with added commentary. One of the main events that occurred during 1933 that enabled Hitler to consolidate his power was the reichstag fire on the 27th February. On this date a fire broke out in the reichstag building in Berlin. On inspecting the building afterwards a communist Van Der Lubbe was found inside and consequently arrested and blamed for causing it. After hearing about the events at the Reichstag building Hitler felt that this was evidence of a mass communist purge against him and his government. On that night he ordered the arrest of all communists that could have been involved with the plot.
... would be anti-Communist propaganda in response to the Reichstag fire. Before the fire, Communism was becoming increasingly popular. Hitler saw Communism as ... for getting rid of all their opposition, as the Communist party and the Socialists were the biggest and therefore most ... in order to protect the other arsonists, who would have probably been high ranking members of the communist party according ...
By the end of the night over 4000 communists as well as others had been arrested for attacking the German parliament. The day after the fire on the 28th February Hitler persuaded president Hindenberg to sign an emergency decree which would stop the communist revolution taking place. Once this was signed it effectively took away the civil rights of Germans. A person could now be arrested and imprisoned without trial. Consequences of the emergency decree included the silencing and eventual break up of the SPD and center party. Many historians however have come to the conclusion that the Reichstag fire was not a communist purge but an event planned out by the nazi party. They feel that Hitler set up the fire in order to achieve the emergency decree and use it to consolidate his hold on power.
However this mass effort before the March election actually failed to get the majority of voted that Hitler was hoping for. The nazi ended up obtaining 43.9% of the vote and therefore still being in a coalition with the nationalists. The majority that the nazi party had in government was now only 17 seats. In the Landers (federal states) there was being much trouble caused by the SS and the SA. Describing the democratically elected governments in these states as incapable of keeping order, Hitler ordered that Nazi Reich commissioners should replace them on the grounds of protecting the Weimar constitution. We must remember that it was the emergency decree after the reichstag fire that enabled Hitler to do this. By the beginning of the following year total control over these governments was achieved by dissolving the parliaments of the separate states, and by declaring their governments was to be supervised by the Reich minister of the interior.
A federal system founded in 1867 was now completely dead! One of the other major events of 1933 was the Enabling Act passed on the 23rd March. What this act did was effectively allow Hitler to pass laws without consulting the reichstag. This may seem outrageous to many people however by now much of the opposition to Hitler had been silenced for fear of imprisonment or death. Even bishops of the Catholic Church were beginning to see the necessity of an accommodation with the Nazi movement. On the day the act was passed known opposition was even prevented from entering the hall such as the KPD deputies and the SPD. Many felt that even if Hitler did not obtain the two thirds majority that he needed to get the act passed that he would use much more unpleasant methods to get it.
Rob Adolf Hitler ADOLF HITLER Rob Moffitt Mrs. Flinn CP English 10 April 16, 2000 1. Hitler? s Early Life 2. Hitler? s World War I Service 3. Free Corps 4. Weimar Republic 5. German Worker? s Party 6. Munich Putsch 7. Mein Kampf 8. Hitler? s Rise to Power 9. Hitler Launches the War 10. Hitler? s Last Days The interesting life of Adolf Hitler is not fully known to people. Adolf Hitler was born on ...
Many felt that it was therefore best to simply go along with him and possibly get a few favors if they could. Gleichschaltung is a term that describes the process by which German institutions such as the civil service and trade unions were made to follow the ideas of the nazi party. This is infact what Hitler had achieved by around May during 1933. Firstly the civil service was independent and Hitler realized that this could therefore ruin his plans for government. A law passed in April meant that the civil service could be reorganized so that it met the needs of the nazi party. All members were to be approved of for their political reliability.
Expulsion met those who could not prove this because total obedience to the government was now expected. The Aryan Clause in the act also meant that Jews could not enter the civil service as well as the courts, teaching, and government service. Further developments were also made in the justice system. 10,000 lawyers were made to publicly swear that they would strive as German jurists to follow the course of our Fuhrer to the end of all our days. In April Hitler gave himself power to remove any judge whose sentences he saw as being to soft or not loyal enough to the nazi party. Effectively this therefore meant that judges could no longer make decisions based on the law if they knew it was going against the Nazis. They were forced to convict people for crimes they had not committed. Trade unions were a big problem for Hitler. He needed control over workers because they could cause trouble and refuse to work.
To deal with the problem the SA took over making raids on suspect workers housing estates along with torturing and arresting workers, banning newspapers and seizing labour union buildings.