Establishing a Dictatorship Germany 1933-34

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					Establishing a Dictatorship:
    Germany 1933-34
                  Timeline of events
30th January
                              14th July 1933,
1933, Hitler                                           30th June 1934,
             24th March       law passed
becomes                                                Night of the Long      August 1934, the
             1933,            against the
Chancellor                                             knives, opposition     Army swears an
             Enabling Act     formation of
                                                       to Hitler within the   oath of loyalty to
             passed legal     new parties, Nazi
                                                       Nazi Party             Hitler as Fuhrer.
             basis for        party only one
             dictatorship     allowed

         5th March                      November,                   2nd August
         1933, election                 1933, new                   1934,
         gives Nazi led                 elections                   Hindenburg
         coalition a                    held, Nazis   January 1934, dies.
         majority         2th May
                                        win 95.2%     regional
                          1933, Trade                                     August 1934, Hitler
  27th February                                       Parliaments
                          Unions                                          combines the posts
  1933,                                               abolished,
                          Banned                                          of Chancellor and
  Reichstag fire                                      centralised
                                                      control of          President into the
                                                      Germany             position of Fuhrer.
      Abolition of Trade Unions
• The Enabling Act made the Nazis secure in power, Hitler
  now wanted all Germans to think in line with Nazi
  beliefs, he called this policy Gleichschaltung.
• Every aspect of life would now be closely controlled by
  the Nazis.
• In order to control economic life on the 2nd of May 1933
  the Nazis banned all trade unions.
• Arguing that now the Nazis, a people’s
  party, were in control these organisations
  were unnecessary.
• Trade union leaders who opposed this
  were arrested and became some of the
  first inhabitants of the new concentration
  camps that had been set up.
              Nazi Labour Front
• In place of trade unions the Nazi
  Labour Front was created.
• This was meant to represent workers
  and also employers’ interests, it set
  wages and issued work-books that
  were records of employment.
• It was impossible to get work without
  a work-book.
• Strikes were outlawed and anyone
  who opposed these measures would
  have their work-book removed or
  worse be placed in one of the new
  concentration camps.
   Removing regional opposition
• Germany as a country was only created in 1871, before this it had
  been a series of smaller states such as Prussia or Bavaria.
• As a result Germany had always had a series of regional
  governments (called Länder) each with its own parliament that
  were relatively autonomous from the national government based
  in Berlin.
• Under the Weimar Republic these governments had caused
  problems for the national government by refusing to accept its
• Hitler was unwilling to accept this kind of opposition.
• He appointed Reich governors to run these Länder and abolished
  their parliaments.
• Power in Germany was centralised like it had never been since its
  creation in 1871.
   Removing opposition within the
• This was done on what is known as the
  Night of the Long Knives.
• It was the killing of Hitler’s political and
  military rivals within the SA.
• In his first few months in power Hitler
  had begun to see the SA as an
  increasingly dangerous threat.
• This was largely down to two things,
  one a difference of ideology and two a
  need to reassure and win the support of
  the Army.
Removing opposition within the
        • Many members of the SA were
          working class men who hoped that
          Hitler would introduce reforms to help
          the workers.
        • Hitler however was more interested in
          winning the support of Germany’s rich
          industrialists, this caused some
          members of the SA to think he was not
          representing them.
        • The leader of the SA, Röhm, in
          particular distrusted Hitler’s close ties
          with these industrialists and was
          pushing for better conditions for
          workers and Hitler feared a socialist
   Removing opposition within the
• Adding to this tension was the desire
  of Hitler’s personal bodyguard, the SS
  led by Heinrich Himmler, to break
  away from the SA.
• Additionally Goering wanted to be
  leader of the Army and saw a
  opponent in Röhm.
• Finally the leaders of the Army hated
  the SA and saw it as a threat. They
  especially didn’t like Röhm, as he had
  made no secret of his desire to merge
  the army with the SA with him as
   The Night of the Long Knives
          and its effects
• In June 1934 Hitler received word that the SA were
  plotting to overthrow him.
• On June 30th he took action, Röhm and other leading
  SA members were arrested and shot without trial.
  Hitler also eliminated other perceived threats like
  General von Schleicher.
• This night is seen as significant as it cemented
  Hitler’s rule in Germany and made it clear how
  threats would be dealt with, with murder and fear.
• The SA’s role was reduced and the army leadership
  and leading industrialist reassured Hitler was on their
Winning the support of the army
        • Having reassured the army
          leadership by his elimination of the
          socialist elements of his party on the
          Night of the Long Knives, Hitler now
          sought their support in his bid to
          replace Hindenburg as President.
        • When Hindenburg died in August,
          Hitler had the army swear an oath of
          loyalty to him in his new role of
        • Having secured the support of the
          army and eliminated or intimidated
          all opponents Hitler was now able to
          create a Nazi dictatorship.

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