The Reichstag Fire

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  • The Reichstag Fire
    • 27th February 1933 it was reported that the Reichstag was on fire.
    • The police found a Dutch communist called Marianus van der Lubbe.
      • He confessed to starting the fire and was arrested.
    • Hitler and Goering arrived at the Reichstag and were told what had happened.
    • They said this was evidence for the communists plotting against the government.
      • Goering called out his Prussian police and 4000 communist leader were arrested.
    • The next day Hitler went to Hindenburg and made him use Article 48 to pass an Emergency Decree.
    • This allowed police to search houses, confiscate property and detain people without trial.
    • The Nazis organised the first concentration camps to put all the prisoners in.
    • From 28th February to 5th March 1933, hundreds of people were arrested and taken away.
    • When the 5th March election took place, every polling station was guarded by uniformed Nazis.
      • They stood next to every voter and watched them cross their ballot slips.
    • The Nazis won 288 seats but still did not have the majority.
    • Hitler formed a coalition with the DNVP, but did not want to share power with them.


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