Hitler's consolidation of power (The Night of the Long Knives (Ernst…
Hitler's consolidation of power
There was only two other Nazis in the cabinet of twevle
Hitler's coalition government did not have a majority in the Reichstag. So it would be difficult to introduce any dramatic legislation
He was the leader of Germany's largest party
Therefore political realism forced the conservatives to work with him
The Nazi party had now gained access to the resources of the state
The Reichstag fire
On the 27 February the Reichstag building was set on fire and a young Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was arrested
On the 28th February, Hindenburg signed, the 'Decree for the Protection of People and State'
This was justified due to the threat posed by the communist
The Enabling Law, March 1933
This law transferred all powers of the government over to the Chancellor (Hitler)
Gleichschaltung = 'Bringing into line' or 'co-ordination'
The Regional States (Lander)
Secondly, a law of 7 April 1933 created Reich governors (Reichstatthalter), who more often than not were the local party Gauleiter with full powers.
Finally, in January 1934 regional state parliaments were abolished. The governments of all the states were subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior in Berlin central government
First, a law of 31 March 1933 dissolved regional parliaments (Landtage) and reformed them with acceptable majorities, allowing the Nazis to dominate them.
The Trade Unions
The Nazi declared 1 May a national holiday which gave the impression to the trade unions that they could cooperate
The next day the SA and SS occupied Trade union premises and union funds were confiscated and many of the leaders were sent to the early concentration camps
By 1933 the German Labour movement had been decisively broken
The communist were outlawed since the Reichstag fire
After the destruction of the Trade Unions the assets of Social Democrats were seized and where officially banned on 22 June
Most of the major remaining parties willing agreed to dissolve themselves in late June 1933
The Catholic Centre Party followed on the 5 July 1933
The Night of the Long Knives
Significance of the purge
The threat of a second revolution had been dismantled
The incident marked the emergence of the SS the party's elite force of terror
The German army swore an oath of loyalty to Hitler on the 1st of July
He wanted to merge the SA with the army to make a people's militia - of which he would be the commander
By 1931 he had turned the SA into a powerful fighting force
A homosexual and a heavy drinker
Leader of the SA, which consisted of 3 million committed Nazis
This ensured the German army would be loyal to Hitler and showed that even Nazi supporters were not safe if Hitler doubted their absolute loyalty.
In 30 June 1934, in the 'night of the long knives', Ernst Rohm, leader of Hitler's storm troops was killed, along with 400 of his men.