Life in Nazi Germany

  • Created by: iamme
  • Created on: 03-06-16 22:45

Paper 1 : Development of dictatorship : Germany , 1918-1945

Life in Nazi Germany

  • Setting up the Nazi dictatorship through the Reichstag Fire, Enabling Act, Night of the Long Knives, the police state, censorship and propaganda.

Reichstag Fire

  • 27 February 1933
  • The Reichstag burned down.
  • Dutch communist "Van Der Lubbe" was caught with matches and flammables.
  • Hitler manipulated the Reichstag Fire to eliminate his opponents, the Communists.
  • The SA rounded up 4000 communists that night.
  • The next day, Hitler gained the power to have police put Communists in indefinite custody without charge and suspended rights.
  • Hitler used Article 48 to suppress the Communists and other opponents.

March Elections

  • 5 March 1933
  • Nazis only secured 288 seats and the communists secured 81 seats.
  • Nazis only secured 44% of the votes, which was not the majority.
  • Hitler arrested all 81 communist deputies and murdered 70 of them. 
  • Hitler then used the decree to ban Communists from taking up seats.
  • Thus, renders Hitler having the majority of the vote as he eliminated his opponents.
  • Goering quotes the elections to be a "masterpiece of propaganda".

Enabling Act

  • 24 March 1933
  • This helped Hitler centralise and consolidate power and enabled Hitler to avoid the majority by bypassing the Reichstag to pass laws.
  • Hitler did not have the majority of German support, therefore, passing the Enabling Act solves the issue.
  • He needed 75% of the votes in the Reichstag beforehand to pass the law of the Enabling Act.
  • He basically needed the majority to pass the law of not having the majority to pass laws.
  • SA went threatening and beating up politicians to agree to the change in Weimar Constitution.
  • Effectively, the Enabling Act gave Hitler dictatorial powers as he is allowed to pass any law at any time.

Local Government 

  • 26 April 1933
  • The Nazi took over local government and the police.
  • The Nazis started to replace anti-Nazi teachers and University professors to indoctrinate youth in schools to be loyal Nazis.
  • Hitler set up the Gestapo (secret police) and encouraged Germans to report on anyone who did not fit with the Nazi criteria.
  • As a result, tens of thousands of gypsies, homosexuals, Jews, prostitutes, Communists, Protestants were arrested.

Trade Unions Banned

  • 2 May 1933
  • Trade Union offices were closed down.
  • Money was confiscated
  • Leaders were put to prison.
  • Replacement for the Trade Unions was called German Labour Front which reduced workers' pay and took away striking rights.
  • This made the working class unable to retaliate.
  • The abolishment of the Trade Union helped the Nazi eliminate opposition as the working class supported the Communists.

Political Parties Banned

  • 14 July 1933
  • The law against Formation of parties declared the Nazi Party the only political party in Germany.
  • All other parties were banned and their leaders were put to prison.
  • Germany became a one party state.

Kristallnacht (night of the broken glass)

  • 9 and 10th November 1938.
  • A polish Jew shot a German in the German embassy in Paris as he was angry about the way Jews were treated


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