How did Hitler consolidate power?

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 Reichstag fire preempted the Enabling Act

The Reichstag Fire

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.

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The Second Reich
Unification of GermanyPolitical systems within the Second Reich
German Society during the Second ReichCollapse of the Second Reich

Weimar Republic

Interim GovernmentFounding of the Weimar Republic
Impact of the First World War on GermanyThe Treaty of Versailles
Weimar Constitution1919-1923: Years of Crisis?
Spartacist UprisingKapp Putsch
The Munich PutschHyperinflation in Germany, 1923
ReparationsDid the Economic Crisis of 1923 help the Nazi's?
Origins of the Nazi Party1924-1928: A Golden Era?
Gustav StresemannGerman Foreign Relations 1919-1932
Germany in the Great DepressionRise of the Nazi Party
Failings of the Weimar RepublicTotalitarian Regime
How did Hitler consolidate power?Mein Kampf
Nazi methods of controlOpposition to the Nazi Regime
Organisation of the Nazi PartyFuhrerprinzip
KristallnachtYouth and Education
Goering and the 2nd 4 Year PlanAnti-Jewish Boycott, 1933
Nazi Anti-SemitismDAF (The German Labour Front)
PropagandaEconomic Policy
Weimar GermanyOur sister site provides in depth coverage of many aspects of life in Germany at the time of the Weimar Republic
Resistance and Opposition to the Nazi RegimeA wide ranging series of articles on the different opposition and resistance movements in Nazi Germany.
Lesson plans, resources and ideas on Nazi GermanyA range of lesson plans, teaching resources and links of use in the classroom
Economy under Nazi ruleArticles, Resources and Documentation relating to the Economy under Nazi rule
The HolocaustHistory Teachers' Resources

Revision Diagrams

Was the Weimar Republic Doomed from the outset?To what extent did Germany recover under Stresemann?
The Nazi Party up to 1929How did Hitler become Chancellor of Germany?
Who gained from Nazi rule?

Revision Diagrams

Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?|To what extent did Weimar recover under Stresemann?
How did the Nazi Party develop up to 1929?How did Hitler become Chancellor?
How did Hitler become Chancellor?How did the Nazi's create a Totalitarian State?