Created by Andrew Burke almost 2 years ago
Once Hitler became chancellor he took a number of measures to complete a Nazi takeover of Germany. He called another election in March 1933 to attempt to get an overall Nazi majority in the Reichstag Hitler used similar tactics to previous elections, but now with controlling the media he could shut down opposition newspapers He had control of the streets, as SA went around beating up opposition that interrupted Nazi rallies Then, on 27 February, the Reichstag building was set on fire Hitler blamed the communists and claimed it was the beginning of a communist revolt He demanded emergency powers to deal with the situation Hindenburg granted Hitler these powers - these powers were utilised to arrest communists, break up meetings and frighten voters Many historians suggest that the Nazis may have started the fire themselves
In the March 1933 election, the Nazis won their largest-ever share of votes. With the support of the Nationalist Party, Hitler finally got an overall majority. He immediately banned the Communist Party Using both the SA and SS, he intimidated the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act This gave Hitler the right to make laws without consultation The Catholic Centre Party decided to cooperate with the Nazis, rather than receiving treatment like the Communist Party The Enabling Act made Hitler a dictator; Hindenburg could do nothing Hitler continued to consolidate his power over the next year
Within a year of the election, most opponents of the Nazis had either fled Germany or been taken to concentration camps run by the SS. Other political parties had been banned, but Hitler was not fully secure. Leading officers of the army were particularly suspicious of Hitler's SA and its leader Ernst Röhm. Hitler was also suspicious of Röhm - his control over 4 million SA men meant he was a potential rival. Therefore, Hitler acted ruthlessly to this threat. 29-30 June - squads of the SS broke into the homes of Röhm and other SA leaders and arrested them Hitler accused Röhm of plotting to overthrow him Röhm and around 400 others were executed that weekend This purge became known as the Night of the Long Knives Hindenburg thanked Hitler for his initiative here The SA from here remained as a Nazi paramilitary organisation The Army Oath: Soon after the Night of the Long Knives, Hindenburg died and Hitler took over as supreme leader (Führer) of Germany. On 2 August, 1934, the entire German army swore an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler.