Key Events in Nazi Consolidation of Power

The events, historical context and aftermath of the key event in Hitler's consolidation of power 

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Nazi Germany ­ Summary (Consolidation: key events)
NAZI GERMANY: CONSOLIDATION OF POWER ­ KEY EVENTS
(Jan. 1933 ­ Aug. 1934)
The Reichstag Fire
Date: 27th February 1933
Context
- Very soon before 5th March elections: midst of election campaigns and propaganda.
- Political Unrest: within a few weeks of becoming chancellor ­ Nazis increased
anti-Communist activities (Police breaking up meetings & restricting publications. Street
violence between Nazis and KPD).
Events of the Fire
- Late evening when Hitler and Nazi hierarchy were dining with Goerring in Reichstag
building.
- Marinus van der Lubbe arrested on scene in incriminating circumstances (with
matches, confused and excited)
- Admitted to all and said he acted alone for his own reasons (this is widely believed).
- Van der Lubbe was member of Communist Youth Group outside Germany ­ had never
been a member of KPD.
Hitler's Immediate Reaction
- Confused ­ almost hysterical.
- He immediately blamed KPD ­ saying it was the start of a `Communist Revolution'
- Saw the use the fire had for propaganda ­ `a godsend'
Nazi Exploitation of Reichstag Fire
- Lead to a huge amount of Anti-Communist propaganda (Nazis created the image that
they were going to restore law and order to Germany and protect from the Communist
threat).
- Justified, to public, Anti-Communist violence
- Hitler created law `Protection of Nation and the State' ­ this suspended civil rights,
gave Police the right to hold suspects indefinitely.
- Led to arrest of 4,000+ Communists and Trade Unionists
- Placed in first Concentration Camps (Dachau) ­ `Political Correction Camps'
The Elections

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Nazi Germany ­ Summary (Consolidation: key events)
Date: 5th March 1933
Context
- Communist leaders in prison ­ Following Reichstag Fire
- Nazi Party have huge control/influence over press (especially radio)
- The final democratic election of Weimer Constitution ­ highest turnout 88%
- The Nazis needed a two thirds majority to make constitutional changes
Results
- Nazis: 43.9%
- Social Democrats: Second largest party
- KPD: Retained larger vote than expected
Coalition with..…read more

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Nazi Germany ­ Summary (Consolidation: key events)
- Hitler (and his government) could pass laws without consulting Reichstag (END of
democracy in Germany)
- Establishment of a dictatorship in Germany
The Night of the Long Knives
Date: 30th June 1934
The Blood Purge The Purge of the SA
Context
- SA becoming more restless and pushing for a `second revolution'
- SA elite were becoming more powerful and are threatening Hitler's rule.…read more

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Nazi Germany ­ Summary (Consolidation: key events)
- After Hindenburg's death ­ without the SA ­ the army swore an oath of loyalty to Hitler
himself…read more

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