Hitler's Rise to Power

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Homework Past Question Explain how the Nazis increased their control over Germany from 1933-4. Hitler had become Chancellor of the Weimar Republic on 30th January 1933 but this was still a weak position and was under threat from the Reichstag, President Hindenburg and the army. All of them could prevent his rise to power. Each of these would have to be dealt with in turn if he was to set up a successful dictatorship. He was also under threat from other groups especially the Communist Party. After the Wall Street Crash ( October 1929) many people looked to extremist groups such as the Nazi and Communist Parties. People blamed the Social Democrats who were linked to the Weimar Republic for the economic failure and this is why popularity grew for the Nazi Party. It was essential to gain a two thirds majority in the Reichstag if Hitler hoped to pass any laws of his own. So one of the first things Hitler did after becoming Chancellor was to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a fresh election on the 5th March 1933. But disaster struck when the Reichstag building in Berlin was razed to the ground by a massive fire. The Nazis immediately blamed the blaze on the communists who denied it. The man who was accused of setting the fire was a Dutch born communist called Marinus van der Lubbe. He was beheaded. However 75 years on Van der Lubbe was pardoned and his conviction overturned. Many historians believe that the Nazis were responsible for the setting of the fire in order to discredit the left wing and exploit the fears many Germans had of communism. It also served to increase the popularity of the Nazi Party. The day after the destruction of the Reichstag by fire Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to approve the decree For The Protection Of The People And The State 28th February 1933. This allowed the government to have anyone suspected of plotting against
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