Nazi Germany 1933-39


Reichstag Fire (27th Feb 1933)

  • Dutch communist Van der Lubbe was found on the sight with matches and fire-lighters.  He confessed to starting the fire and insisted he had acted alone.  He was executed (1934).  
  •  As he was a communist, the Nazis used it to their advantage: Hitler used it to increase his own power. 4000 Communists were arrested and he made Hindenberg pass a decree giving police the rights to search homes and imprison anyone they arrested without trial.  
  • 1933 Election
  • Hitler called an election 6 days after the fire and despite being the largest party winning 288 seats, he did not get 2/3 of the seats. 

The Enabling Act (to pass laws without the Reichstag)

  • Hitler needed a majority in Reichstag to pass the Act: Hitler had the majority he needed with 444 votes against 94. Until 1945, the Reichstag only met 12 more times only to listen to Hitler speak.  The Weimar


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