Hitler as Chancellor didn't have full power.
Therefore he needed to hold a new
election in which the Nazis would win
sufficient seats to govern on their own.
A March 1933 election was called & the
Nazis began to persuade people to support
them, by mainly emphasising the threat to
Germany from the communists.
Hitler as Chancellor fully exploited his
advantages, by banning communist
election meetings & shutting down
Thousands of Stormtroopers
were enrolled as special
constables; who acted with
brutality towards opponents of the
Nazis (who they saw in the street).
On 27 February 1933 the Reichstag
building in Berlin was burned down & a
Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe,
was caught in the building with matches &
firelighters. he confessed to the arson &
was put on trial & executed.
Hitler was delighted as he
finally had evidence, that the
communists were trying to
seize power by violent
revolution & had to be
Hitler had 4000 leading
communist arrested &
Hindenburg to sign a
'Decree for the Protection of
People and the State'. Hitler
uses these emergency
powers to prevent the Nazis'
political opponents from
holding public meetings & to
arrest more communists.
The Reichstag fire was extremely
convenient for the Nazis . Some historians
say that it was a set up to frame communists
& for Hitler to take action against his
However the number of Nazis deputies in the
Reichstag increased. To give Hitler the majority in the
Reichstag, he banned 81 communists from taking
their seats & won the support of the Centre Party
(saying he would no harm the Catholic Church).
Germany now had a fully Nazi government!
Hitler wanted to make changes to the
German constitution to give him greater
power. To do this he needed 2/3 majority in
the Reichstag & the banning of the comms &
Centre Part support, gave him this majority.
On 23 March the Reichstag met to discuss the
passing of the Enabling Law. This would give
Hitler the power to make laws without the
Reichstag for 4 years. This would make him a
dictatpr of Germany.
To make sure he got his way, Hitler had the
whole building surrounded by Stormtroopers,
to intimidate those wanting to vote against the
measure.The Reichstag passed the law,
effectively voting itself out of existence. In the
12 next meetings, only 4 laws were passed &
the only speeches were given by Hitler.
After March 1933, Hitler used his new powers to turn Germany
into a totalitarian state- one where the state has control over all
aspects of the citizen's lives.In July, the Law against
Establishment of Parties stated that the Nazi Party was the only
political party in Germany. Democracy was dead.