Hitlers Germany 1929-1939

Summarisation of the Key Topic: How did Hitler change Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship and then reinforce this?

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: matilda
  • Created on: 07-06-11 13:00
Preview of Hitlers Germany 1929-1939

First 513 words of the document:

Hitler's Germany 19291939
How did Hitler change Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship, 19331934,
and then reinforce this?
The Reichstag Fire
Once he was Chancellor, Hitler took steps to completely take over Germany.
One of these was to gain a majority in the Reichstag and to do this he called
another election. During the election campaign, the Reichstag burned to the
ground and communist van der Lubbe was arrested for the crime. The Nazis
exploited this situation for their own gain. Hitler said this was the start of a
communist take over and demanded special, emergency powers to deal with the
situation and was granted them by President Hindenburg. The Nazis used these
powers to break up meetings of their opponents arrest Communists and
intimidate voters.
As the fire was such an important event in the Nazi's rise to power, there has
been much speculation over who really started the fire. The possible
explanations for the fire are:
Van der Lubbe acted alone
Van der Lubbe acted on behalf of the Communists
The SA started the fire, hoping to blame the communists and gain support
for the Nazis
The election of March 1933
In the election of March 1933, Hitler and the Nazis gained a majority and could
now pass laws legally. Hitler managed this by gaining support of the Nationalists,
who wanted to see Germany become great again. He then gained the support of
the Centre Party by promising to protect the Catholic church in Germany. To
ensure success, Hitler used his emergency powers to ban the communists from
the Reichstag and surrounded it with heavily armed SA members.
The Enabling Act
Hitler still didn't have enough support to have complete control of Germany. An
Enabling Act would give him the right to pass laws for the next four years without
having to obtain the support of the Reichstag. However, as it was a change in
constitution, Hitler needed twothirds in favour (rather than the usual half), he had
just over half. Hitler ordered the SA to continue intimidating the opposition and
the 81 communist members of the Reichstag were expelled. In an atmosphere
heavy with threat and violence, the Enabling Act was passed 441 votes to 94.
Hitler was given the power to rule for four years without consulting the Reichstag.
The Elimination of Political Opposition
The Communist Party had been banned and the Centre Party had decided to
cooperate with the Nazi's rather than be treated like Communists, in return they
kept control of Catholic Schools. Using the powers of the Enabling Act, he
outlawed any other parties and Germany became a one party state, Germany
now had a dictatorship.
With all opposing parties gone, Hitler turned on the trade unions. On 2 May 1933,
Nazi's broke into trade union offices all over the country and arrested thousands

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Hitler's Germany 19291939
of trade union officials. Unions were banned and workers became part of the
German Labour Front.
On 30 June 1934, on the Night of the Long Knives, the SA was disbanded. Once
he gained power, Hitler's priority was to rid himself of possible rivals. Rohm, the
leader of the SA had played a huge part in helping Hitler achieve power. But the
army saw the SA as a rival, the army would not support Hutler unless the SA
disbanded.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Hitler's Germany 19291939
unionists, churchmen and any critisisers of the Nazis were sent to these camps,
and very few emerged alive. The camps were run by the SS unit, the Death
Head.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »