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Weimar and Nazi Germany

The Weimar Constitution

The impact of the Treaty of Versailles

1919 -1923: years of crisis?

The Munich Putsch

The Origins of the Nazi Party

1924 - 1929: A Golden era?

Gustav Stresemann

German Foreign Policy 1919 to 1933

Germany in the Depression

The Rise of the Nazi party

From Chancellor to Fuhrer

The failures of Weimar

Creating a totalitarian state

Nazi methods of control

Opposition to the Nazi's

Propaganda

The Economy under the Nazi's

Nazi Foreign Policy

Education in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust

 

 

How did Hitler consolidate power?

Hitler wasted no time in consolidating his position as Chancellor. Nazi control of the Reichstag and it's institutions was a neccesity to enable his plans. this section looks at the methods employed by Hitler in his consolidation of power.

Once the Nazi Party had taken power, or rather gained control of the Reichstag, Hitler made moves to gain control of the institutions that ran Germany on a day to Day basis. This was achieved in a number of ways.

Following his election as Chancellor, Hitler was in a position where he was the nominal leader of the Weimar republic but he did not have the majority necessary to implement his political program. To do as he wanted he required such a majority, indeed he needed the opposition to be silenced. A fire in the Reichstag buildings provided him with the ideal opportunity to take the initiative. (the fire being almost certainly started to facilitate the following actions).

The fire was publicly blamed upon the Communists. 4000 communist party members were consequently arrested and sent to concentration camps around Germany. In a stroke Hitler had annihilated the most potent threat to his leadership. This was followed, very quickly, by the Enabling Act. This measure allowed Hitler the right to rule without consultation of the Reichstag or the president. It was in effect a decree of a state of emergency. The result was the banning of all opposition parties, censorship of broadcasts and publications and a rapid replacement of Government officials who were deemed to be unsympathetic towards Nazi policy.

Such swift actions left the Nazi Party with little political opposition, certainly no legalised opposition. Hitler now had a one party state and control of most means of communication: the nazi propaganda machine could begin it's work. Even so Hitler was not entirely certain of his position. The party itself was not united behind his vision of National Socialism. On the Night of the Long Knives this situation was rectified. Hitler asserted that Rohm, the leader of the SA, had plotted to overthrow him. 400 members of the organisation were rounded up and killed. This brutal action secured the loyalty of the Armed forces, who had previously been wary of the SA's influence. Hitler was now in control of both his party and the Government. The death of President Hindenburg leaving no possibility of his authority being challenged from within Germany.


In this unit:

Essential Revision

Key Issues:

  1. How far did Germany recover under Stresemann?
  2. How did the Nazi party develop, upto 1929?
  3. How did Hitler become Chancellor?
  4. Howdid Hitler create a dictatorship?
  5. What were the main features of Totalitarian rule?
  6. What were the benefits of Nazi rule?

Full Germany revision section

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SchoolsHistory.org.uk highly recommends these sites:

gcsehistory.org.uk - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils.
Schoolhistory.co.uk - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links.
ActiveHistory.co.uk - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils.
Thinkinghistory.co.uk - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson
JohnDClare.net - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students
Historyboxes.com - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts
Schoolshistory.com - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way!
Medicinethroughtime.co.uk - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course
Crimeandpunishmentthroughtime.co.uk - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit

Wallarms.com Militaria - a range of interesting pieces of militaria is available via tihs site
The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Oakworth - great historical public house with loads of great beer and a lovely atmosphere