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Describe the steps by which Hitler transformed himself from Chancellor to Dictator (January 1933 August 1934).

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Introduction

´╗┐Cherrina Shiu L5G1 Describe the steps by which Hitler transformed himself from Chancellor to Dictator (January 1933 ? August 1934). Which step(s) was/were the most important? Was Hitler a political genius? Although Adolf Hitler could be named as one of the most brutal politicians in history, having orchestrated the deaths and sufferings of millions of Jews, there was little evidence to incriminate him as an outlaw ? he obtained all his powers through legal means, all of his actions could be justified by the German law. Adolf Hitler was appointed as the Chancellor of the Reichstag on 30 January 1933 by the German president, Hindenburg, following the suggestion of Franz von Papen, who would later be appointed Vice Chancellor. Hitler did not seize power, he was given it. Through taking steps such as passing the Enabling Act, Hitler became the ultimate power of Germany within 18 months of Chancellorship. The first step in Hitler?s ascension to power was the Reichstag Fire on 27 February 1933. The Reichstag building was set on fire, and later burned down. A Dutch Communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was found inside the burning Reichstag building with a lighter and flammable material. ...read more.

Middle

On 20 July, he signed a Concordat with the Pope. The concordat stated that the church is to refrain from interfering in Germany?s politics and the German government would protect the Roman Catholic Church in return. Many Catholics then were happy to accept the Nazi rule as the Church did not oppose it. Protestants and Jehovah?s Witnesses, not protected by this Concordat, would be thrown into jail if they opposed the Nazi regime. By 1934, Hitler could already be considered the dictator of Germany, but there were still many factors that could potentially threaten Hitler?s power: President Hindenburg who was just as powerful as Hitler with Article 48 granting him powers to pass laws without consulting the Reichstag; The army which was independent and not loyal to Hitler; The state governments which were not dedicated to the Nazis; Internal power struggles within the Nazi Party. In 1934, Hitler would concentrate on removing potential threats to his rule. On 30 January 1934, ?Law for the Reconstruction of the State? was introduced. From March 1933 onwards, many state governments had been overthrown by the SA. The new law formally appointed commissioners to these states. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many opponents kept quiet out of fear for the SA. They were very effective in silencing Nazis? opponents and eliminating threats to Hitler?s power. Hitler himself had many personal qualities that made him a very good politician. He was a brilliant speaker and his eyes were reputed to be able to sway over people. He was a good planner and organiser. Moreover, Hitler was extremely determined: He continued with his belief throughout many obstacles that might have caused others to give up. Hitler was also a very ruthless man, he did not care who had once offered him help, and he would eliminate all threats to his powers, even if they were once friends of him. He ordered the death of Ernst Rohm, who controlled the SA, because of Rohm wanting to meddle in the affairs of the army. In conclusion, Adolf Hitler had to rely on a combination of his personal qualities and external factors to turn himself into the Fuhrer. He obtained powers through well-timed accidents (such as the Reichstag Fire), backstage intrigues (power struggle between von Papen and von Schleicher), and the existing weaknesses in the Weimar constitution (Proportional Representation and Article 48). While he was able to exploit these events to give him an advantage, he did not cause them. Therefore, I do not consider Hitler a political genius. ...read more.

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