History Paper 1: The Rise Of The Nazis Pt 2 (How did Hitler consolidate…
History Paper 1: The Rise Of The Nazis Pt 2
How did Hitler consolidate his power in 1933-4?
The election of March 1933
Hitler planned to hold a new election in March to try to win enough seats to gain a majority
In the election campaign the Nazis emphasised the threat to Germany from the Communists
When Hitler became Chancellor he did not have genuine power, he headed a coalition government
The Nazis won their largest ever share of the vote and with Nationalist Party support they had a majority
The Reichstag Fire (27th February 1933)
REMEMBER - This event really helped Hitler during the March 1933 election campaign, it was very convenient for the Nazis!
The Reichstag building was burned down. A Dutch Communist, van der Lubbe, was caught in the building with matches and firelighters and admitted to the crime. He was put on trial and executed
Hitler was delighted by what had happened he could use this as an excuse to target the Communists by claiming that they were planning a violent revolution and needed to be stopped!
4000 leading Communists were arrested and Hindenburg signed 'A Decree for the Protection of the People and the State' which Hitler used to ban Communist meetings and arrest more Communists
The Enabling Act (23rd March 1933)
To change the Constitution Hitler needed a two-thirds majority, so he banned the 81 Communist Reichstag deputies from taking their seats and made an agreement with the Centre Party that he wouldn't take any measures that would harm the Catholic Church
Hitler surrounded the Kroll Opera House (where the Reichstag was now meeting) with Stormtroopers to intimidate the deputies as they went to vote
Hitler wanted to make changes to the Constitution to give himself greater power!
The Reichstag passed the Enabling Act by 441 votes to 84 - this Act gave Hitler the power to make laws without the Reichstag for 4 years. He had gained great power......legally!
The establishment of the Nazi dictatorship
Hitler used his new powers to ensure there was no opposition to the Nazis - he turned Germany into a totalitarian state (a dictatorship) by : - May 1933 - Trade Unions banned so workers would not be able to join together against the Nazis, July 1933 - 'The Law against the Formation of New Parties' meant that Germany was now a one-party state, July 1933 - Concordat with the Catholic Church ensured that priests wouldn't criticise the Nazis during church services
Army Oath (2nd August 1934)
Hitler combined the roles of Chancellor and President and became Fuhrer
The army swore an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler
A few weeks after the Night of the Long Knives, Hindenburg died
The army agreed to stay out of politics and serve Hitler. In return Hitler spent lots of money on rearmament, brought back conscription and made plans to make Germany an great military power again
The Night of the Long Knives (30th Jun 1934)
Hitler now needed to deal with potential threats to his power from within the Nazi Party
Hitler ordered the SS to arrest and kill the leaders of the SA - Rohm and hundreds of Stormtroopers were executed
Hitler also used the opportunity to settle some old scores - von Schleicher, his predecessor as Chancellor, was also killed
Hitler convinced the people of Germany that Rohm and the other leaders of the SA were a genuine threat to the country. President Hindenburg thanked Hitler for saving the country from a possible revolution
The SA remained but, they were now very much subordinate to the SS
What did the Nazi Party stand for in the 1920s?
The party bought the Munich Observer newspaper - used to spread Nazi views
In 1921 Hitler became the leader of the party and founded the Stormtroopers (SA/Brownshirts) whose main role was to protect Nazi meetings and 'disrupt' those of opponents
In April 1920 the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP/Nazi Party)
In 1920 the DAP issued its 25 Point Programme - this included anti-Semitic and socialist ideas
Hitler joined the DAP in September 1919 and was soon put in charge of propaganda
The German Workers Party (DAP) was formed in January 1919; its leader was Anton Drexler