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Explain How The Nazi Party Was So Effectively Able To Consolidate Power By 19 34

1163 words - 5 pages

The Nazi party was effective in its consolidation of power by various means. By 1934 the Nazi party established the apparatus of party dictatorship in Germany through strategies based on fear, threats and the restraint on individual rights as loyalty to the state was paramount. The Nazi party effectively consolidated power through the exaggeration of The Reichstag Fire’s seriousness in February 1933. The Nazi party exemplified the lingering threat of communism thereby calling upon the authority to pass the enabling act of the Weimar constitution. The Reichstag decree was thereby implemented nullifying many of the key civil liberties of German citizen’s whereby the basis of the totalitarian ...view middle of the document...

Hitler showed this when he stated “The first condition of power lies in the constant and uniform application of force”. On 22 February 1933 Hitler established an ‘auxiliary police’ drawn up from the SS and the nationalist ex-servicemen’s league. Over the next few months the SA murdered perhaps 600. Another 100,000 were placed under ‘protective custody’ and thrown into ‘concentration camps for political prisoners’, the first opening on 22 March outside Munich. The victims of this wave of violence were mainly from the left wing of politics such as trade union officials and members of the communist party. The Nazis also classified Germany’s 525,000 Jews as enemies and they too became targets for a bashing.

Hitler used the Reichstag building fire of 27 February 1933 to his advantage by effectively employing dramatic propaganda to fuel hysteria, ultimately taking advantage of the fire and using it as a means of consolidating power. As Goring surveyed the scene he declared: ‘this is the beginning of the communist upswing! Now they’ll strike out! There’s not a minute to waste!” The communists were blamed and an emergency decree ‘For the protection of people and state’- known also as the Reichstag fire decree was proclaimed on 28 February. It gave the government the power to place ‘restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and association’ to open letters in the mail and listen in on telephone calls. This decree basic freedoms of the German people were suspended and the basis of the totalitarian state had been established. This gave the Nazis enormous power to deal with political opponents.

Hitler organised the arrests of communist members of the Reichstag and to ban communist publications. However, in a clever move, he did not ban the Communist Party itself because the party itself was needed for the election campaign in order for Hitler to use the party to create fear within the German people. If the Communist Party was banned, it would in effect, make the people vote for the left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD) instead. Whether or not the fire was actually started by the communist, Hitler used the situation to his advantage to consolidate his power.

The Enabling Act of March 1933 awarded Hitler dictatorial powers through the proposal for drastic new laws enabling the Nazi cabinet to govern by decree. This act gave the government the power to enact laws...

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