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Germany 1919-1939 The Nazi Dictatorship 1933-1939 Answers
1. Hitler did not have a majority in the Reichstag and there were only two other Nazis in the Cabinet of twelve,
meaning that he was not in a strong position. He hoped that by calling another election he would achieve a
majority in the Reichstag, meaning that he could control the parliament and be able to make the laws that would
be needed to tighten his grip on the nation.
2. The Reichstag Fire was Very importance in the Creation of a Nazi Dictatorship because:
It removed one of the Nazi's major oppositions the communists because a Dutch Communist was found on
the scene of the fire and blamed for causing it allowing Hitler to accuse the Communists of attempting to
stage a takeover. This gave him the chance to imprison their leaders and prevent them from
campaigning during the election. He eventually succeeded in banning the party.
Hitler persuaded Hindenburg that Germany was in danger and that he needed to establish `Decree for the
Protection of State and People.' This act restricted basic civil rights and allowed Nazi's to imprison the
majority of their opponents. This was the beginning of the creation of a Nazi dictatorship.
3. Following the election on March 5th The Nazis won 288 seats but no majority, however by joining with the
Nationalists Hitler received a majority and was able to pass the enabling bill in March 1933. This bill let him
govern for four years without parliament and made all other parties illegal. It was passed by:
SA intimidating members as they entered the chamber
Communist Party votes not being counted thus reducing the total and number of votes needed by the Nazis
Communist members not allowed to vote
Promises to the Catholic Centre Party which won their vote
Absentees counted as present.
4. The Nazi's removed Opposition by:
Legal Powers: Enabling act and the Decree for Protection of State and People , which allowed him to ban
Police State: The Gestapo were the secret police beyond the law. The OrdPol were the eyes and ears of
Gestapo. The Security police kept files on potential opponents. The SS ran concentration camps they were
totally loyal to Hitler and were under the leadership of Himmler. They were feared for their cruelty.
Trade Unions: On the 1st May 1933 Hitler banned the Trade Unions and the `German Labour Front' was
created which prevented the workers rebelling against the government.
Censorship: Hitler and Nazis had control over newspapers and propaganda, preventing people from
publishing anti-Nazi ideas. They used it to encourage nationalism and anti-Semitism.
Political Parties Ban: By July 14th 1933 Germany was officially a one party state Nazi's had supreme power.
Concentration Camps: Made people respect Hitler's power out of fear. Stopped people rebelling.
Courts: Hitler had supreme power over courts which meant no one had a fair trial. The law courts had to
experience Gleichschaltung which removed some judges and forced the remaining ones to become
members of the National Socialist League for the Maintenance of Law so that Nazi views were upheld in
Night of the Long Knives: Eradicated would be opponents and secured support of the army. The SA was
relegated to a minor role.
5. Hitler still had opposition he was worried about rivals within the Nazi Party. The biggest threat was Ernst Rohm
who controlled the SA and who was pushing for a social revolution. Furthermore, the SS wished to break away
from the SA and become head of the Army and Hitler saw Rohm as an opponent.
So on the 29th-30th June Hitler sent his own men to arrest Rohm and others. This is called the Night of the Long
Knives. Several hundred people were killed, including Rohm, Strasser and von Schleicher, getting rid of any
6. Following Hindenburg's death in August 1934, Hitler held a referendum to seek the approval of the German
people as to whether or not he should combine the roles of President and Chancellor to become `Fuhrer.' More
than 90% agreed with his action. He then made himself Commander-in Chief of the army. This was the
beginning of the real dictatorship.
7. Different categories of prisoners:
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Jews: Regularly rounded up but in greater numbers after Kristallnacht
Political Prisoners: Communists, members of other political parties and trade union leaders
The Work Shy: Included anyone unwilling to work as well as Gypsies, vagabonds, tramps and alcoholics.
Religious Groups: Included Catholics and Protestants who opposed the Nazi regime
Foreign Forced Labour Groups: Non-German ethnic groups who were seen as a threat to the Nazi regime
Professional Criminals: I.e. burglars and thieves.
The inmates were treated with great brutality. Few survived the experience.…read more