How did the Nazis consolidate their power in 1933 and 1934?
Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933 but did not have absolutely power.
- there were only two NAzis in the cabinet of 12 and therefore nine non-Nazi cabinet members
- Hitler's coalition government did not have a majority in the Reichstag
- Hindenburg was still President
Hitler now set about getting absolute power over the next two years
Step One: The Reichstag Fire, February 1933
On 27th February, the Reichstag was set on fire. A Dutch Communist, van der Lubbe, was arrested for it. Hitler had used this in order for the public to believe that communists were disruptive
- exlpoited by the Nazis to their advantage e.g. 28th February: Hitler managed to pass 'Decree for the Protection of the People and State' which suspended most civil and political liberties (e.g. banned KPD, allowed Nazis to arrest quickly - people's courts)
- gave an excuse for the Nazis to use violence
- ensured that Nazis gained 43.9% of the vote (288 seats) in March 1933 elections (N.B. still not a majority)
Step Two: The Enabling Act, March 1933
Dismissed from parliamentary procedure and legislation and handed all powers to the Chancellor and President for 4 years
TWO THIRDS MAJORITY NEEDED (400MPs needed to vote for…