Analyse The Process By Which Hitler Transformed

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Analyse The Process By Which Hitler Transformed Himself From Legal Chancellor To Legal Dictator By 1 Essay, Research Paper `?In two months we?ll have pushed Hitler into a corner so hard that he?ll be squeaking.? This was the widely held view among the German conservatives voiced by Von Papen in 1933. He emphasised their perceived position of dominance over Hitler when they were forced to appoint him as chancellor in January 1933. However by August 1934 Hitler had complete dominance over every sector of Germany and had become a legal dictator. This essay will examine and analyse Hitler?s rise from legal chancellor to legal dictator. On January 30th 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, this however was not the position of power which it appeared to be as only four of the

fourteen members of the cabinet were Nazis. The rest was made up of conservatives like Von Papen. Hitler realised that he was weak in this situation and needed to rectify it. So he called new elections within his first twenty-four hours in power. The aim of this was to give the Nazi party a majority within the Reichstag. Hitler believed that new elections could only serve to increase the Nazi vote and increase his profile within Germany. The Nazi?s campaign for the Reichstag was bloody and contained few characteristics of a democracy. The Storm Abteilung (Stormtroopers ?SA) using violence and terror broke up socialist and Communist meetings. Hitler blamed terrorist activities of the Communists for the way in which the election campaign was undertaken. The Nazis were confident of

winning a majority in the Reichstag by using the large sums of money donated to them by leading industrialists and Goebbels? expert manipulation of the media. The Nazis? position was strengthened by a strange incident, which occurred on the night of 27th February 1933 five days before the election. The Reichstag building was set on fire by a Dutch Communist named der Lubbe. Many believed this to be a Nazi plot but it has never been proved either way. Hitler did however exploit the incident to his advantage. The next day he persuaded Hindenburg the German President to sign the ?Decree for the Protection of People and State.? This document suspended most civil and political liberties and strengthened the power of central government over that of local authorities. This meant that

the last week of the election campaign saw an increase in violence with hundreds of the Nazis? political opponents arrested. The elections were held on March 5th 1933 and the Nazis surprisingly only increased their majority from 33.1 per cent to 43.9 per cent. This meant that they still did not have a majority in the Reichstag and could only claim majority via the help of the Nationalist party. Hitler?s next step towards full control of Germany was to control the media. He decided that the best way to do this was to create a Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. This ministry was lead by Joseph Goebbels whose ?cynical understanding of mass psychology? made him a formidable figure. The aim of the ministry was to control and censor all the sources of mass media and use

them to work for the Nazis. In this way the Nazis eradicated freedom of speech on a wide scale legally. Despite Hitler?s problems with majority within the Reichstag he decided to propose the passing of an Enabling Act which would suspend parliamentary procedure and legislation for a period of four years. If this were passed the dictatorship which Hitler aimed to create would be grounded in legality. However in order to pass this decree he needed to gain the support of other parties in the Reichstag to give him two thirds of the vote. The first meeting to discuss the passing of the Enabling Act on 23rd March 1933 was an ugly affair with Communists being refused admittance and arrested and other members of the Reichstag facing badgering from the assembled masses of the SA who