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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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…