Establishing a Dictatorship


Hitler Gained Power with a Political Deal

1. By April 1932, conditions had worsened. The country was desperate for a strong government.

2. President Hindenburg had to stand for re-election because his term of office had run out. He was a national hero, but Hitler decided to run against him. Despite claiming he'd win easily, Hindenburg didn't win a majority in the first election, but won 53% to Hitlers 36.8% in the 2nd ballot.

3. July 1932, Nazis won 230 seats in the elections for the Reichstag - more than the rest. Hitler demanded to be made Chancellor, but Hindenburg didn't trust Hitler and refused.

4. November 1932 election, Nazis were losing popularity and lost 34 seats.

5. Hitler stuck a deal with another politician, Franz von Papen - if Papen would persuade Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor, Hitler would make Papen Vice-Chancellor.

6. Hindenburg agreed to Papen's suggestion, thinking he could control Hitler (He hoped Hitler would be extreme once in power. Plus hoped he wouldn't be able to repair the economy meaning Hindenburg may gain popularity and power back). But Hitler used his new powers to call another election in March 1933, hoping to make the Nazis even stronger.

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  • January 1932, 6 million unemployed.
  • Hitler uses the depression to promise better things.
  • Hitler stands against Hindenburg in 1932 and loses.
  • July 1932, Nazis are largest party in the Reichstag with 230 seats.
  • The Nazis lose seats in November 1932 but are still the largest party.
  • January 1933, Hitler is finally offered chancellor.
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Dirty Tricks

Election of 1933 the Nazis took no chances:

  • Controlled new media, opposition meetings were banned.
  • Used SA to terrorise opponents.
  • Marinus Van Der Lubbe was blamed for a fire in the Reichstag building on Feb 27th 1933, he used the fire to claim communists were a threat to Germany and so anti-communist feelings arrived. Hitler was given emergency powers to deal with the threat and used them to intimidate communist voters, the powers mark the first step to making a dictatorship. He justified them by saying they were necessary to the German peoples protection. He persuaded Hindenburg to sign an Emergency Decree - the Law for the Protection of People and State. This ended all freedoms guaranteed in the constitution and gave the police total control and so Hitler could use them to further weaken the position of the Communists and so the police and SA arrested 4,000 communists and consequently eliminated much opposition.
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Dirty Tricks 2

2. Nazis won 288 seats but didn't have an overall majority. So Hitler simlply made the communist party (who had 81 seats) illegal.

3. This gave him enough support in parliament to bring in the Enabling Act, passed with threats and bargaining in March 1933. This let him govern for four years without parliament.

4. Trade unions were banned in May 1933. Then in July 1933, all political parties, besides Nazis, were banned. Germany had become a one-party state.

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