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Did Hitler take advantage of the Reichstag Fire to consolidate his power?

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Introduction

Did Hitler take advantage of the Reichstag Fire to consolidate his power? A week before the elections in Germany (27th February 1933) the Reichstag Building was burnt down. Some people blame Hitler for the fire, others blame Van de Lubbe or the communists. Hitler wanted to gain control of the whole of Germany and have all German support. So although Hitler was chancellor, and leader of his political party, he was not yet a dictator. To achieve his goal of being a dictator, he felt the need to put a set of emergency powers in to place, taking away the basic rights and freedoms of the German public. ...read more.

Middle

This enabled him to completely wipe out all opposition to him. These emergency powers were also known as the 'Decree for the Protection of People and State'. Hitler was able arrest over 4,000 communist and anti-Nazi leaders. By Hitler blaming the communists and continually arresting many of the well-known leaders, communists were seen as scapegoats; they created the fire and burnt down the Reichstag. As many of the public had already begun to blame the communists, Hitler managed to spread hatred for them throughout the country through anti-communist propaganda. Hitler also has a secret police who dealt with people who did not conform to this new anti-communist viewpoint (the S.A). ...read more.

Conclusion

So now it seems after the Reichstag Fire, Hitler could run the country exactly how he wanted to. Some would say that without this he would not have been able to gain emergency powers or have put the Enabling Act in to place. But no one can ever predict what would've happened to Hitler's status in Germany without the Fire. I think that Hitler did use the Reichstag fire to consolidate his power in Germany at the time; it was an opportunity to gain supporters because people needed an authority figure to guide them. He was a very confident speaker and had a lot of confidence, so I feel even without the Reichstag fire, Hitler would've become a leading authoritive figure in Germany at the time. He was a determined man who fought to change the country so he may have gained support through that. ...read more.

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