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  • Created on: 29-04-16 03:53

Reichstag Fire, 27 February 1933


  • 27 February 1933 Reichstag Building burnt down, Hitler blamed the communists for it 
  • Claimed it was proof of Communist plot against the state --> took the oppourtunity to whip up public fear against the 'supposed' Communist threat 
  • President Hindenburg was persuaded by Hitler to give emergency powers 

Hitler's use of the emergency decree

  • Decree gave Hitler wide range of powers, including curbing freedom of speech and right of assembly 
  • Allowed to arrest and incarcerate political opponents [communists ] without specific charges 

General Elections, 5 March 1933

  • Hitler aimed for full control of Germany 
  • Banned Communist party and shut down newspapers, SA were used to intimidate political opponents 
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Enabling Act, 23 March 1933

  • Position of chancellor only lasted 4 years before another election, the enabling act would 'allow him more time to deal with the nation's problems' 
  • Did not have enough elected support to have complete control of Germany --> needed to pass EA but required 2/3 vote of the Reichstag members 
  • To gain the level of votes he expelled the 81 communist members from the Reichstag & ordered SA to continue with intimidation of opposition 
  • Act was passed 441 votes to 94 


  • Now dictator of all Germany --> could pass laws for 4 years without going through the Reichstag 
  • Now able to ban all political parties, which he did in July 1933 [Germany became a one-party state] 
  • May 1933 - Trade unions abolished, leaders arrested and funds confisctated. Strikes made illegal 
  • All workers belonged to the German Labour Front 
  • Civil Service purged of all jews 
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The Night of Long Knives, June 1934


  • Senior army generals heard that Rohm was in favour of merging the SA with the army under his leadership 
  • Hitler was beginning to see Rohm as a threat as he was expressing dissapointment with the Nazi's achievements and was arguing in favour of a 'second revolution', which would have involved introducing radical policies such as nationalism, which would have upset business leaders 
    • Rohm's left wing views could offend the big buisnessmen that helped to fun the Nazis 
  • Hitler feared that Rohm's control over the 4 million SA men made him a rival 


  • 30 June 1934, Rohm and several hundered other SA leaders, along with other potential enemies such as von Schleicher were rounded up and murdered by SS men 


  • SA brought firmly under hitler's control 
  • Remaining SA was absorbed by the army and the SS 
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Army Oath, August 1934

  • President Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, shortly after that Hitler merged the positions of Chancellor and President and proclaimed himself Führer
  • Entire army swore an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler and to serve him --> Hitler promised to invest on remarmament and to bring back conscription, and to make Germany great again 
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