- February 27th 1933
- Marius van der Lubbe.
- Rule by decree.
- Police force controlled.
- Emergency powers
· The Reichstag building was destroyed by a massive fire in February 27th.
· A young Dutchman- Lubbe- was caught on the site with matches and firelighters. He was a known communist with mental health problems-schizoprenia. He claimed he had acted alone.
· He and four others were arrested but only he was found guilty in trial. He was executed.
· Hitler saw the fire as an opportunity to attack the communists.
· Nazi chief of police Herman Goering claimed that the fire was part of a communist conspiracy against the government.
- Afterwards, Hitler issued a decree giving him the power to suspend civil rights of German citizens, imprison political opponents and ban communist newspapers.
- In the electrion afterwards, Nazi seats rose to 288; Hitler had used his emergency powers to ban 81 communist seats. Now he had two-thirds majority, enough to change the constitution with support of other nationalist parties.
- Hitler used the fire to persuade Hindenburg to decree a state of emergency, giing Hitler the power to rule by decree.
- Now he controlled the police force, he could get them to turn a blind eye to SA activity. There were violent clashes during elections which resulted in 70 deaths.
- The fire was used as an excuse to arrest many members of the communist party including Ernst Thalmann, the leader of the communist party.
- He also persuaded Krupp and other industrialists to finance the Nazi campaign- 3 millions marks were donated in just one meeting.