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"Do you agree with the view that the Nazis were able to consolidate their hold on power so easily in the period Jan-March 1933 simply because of the use of terror and intimidation?"

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Introduction

Lauren Stevens "Do you agree with the view that the Nazis were able to consolidate their hold on power so easily in the period Jan-March 1933 simply because of the use of terror and intimidation?" The Nazis could not have risked using simply terror and intimidation to consolidate their hold on power once Hitler was elected. They had operated with the tactic of the "legal revolution" for the previous ten years and this was what had brought them to government. Reverting back to their original putschist tactics that had failed before would have been a disastrous move now they had obtained some power. In fact being seen to be a revolutionary party would not only have been unsuccessful but would also have caused major damage to their reputation. ...read more.

Middle

He tried to do this by persuading Hindenburg to call fresh elections within 24 hours of him becoming Chancellor. Before the election happened in March 1933 the Reichstag Fire broke out which was blamed on the Communists. Hitler was then able to convince Hindenburg of a Communist plot to overthrow the state and is issued an emergency degree under Article 48 which allowed the police to hold people indefinitely in "protective custody". The result of the election was that the Nazi share of the vote increased from 33.1% to 43.9%, winning them 288 seats but this was still short of the two-thirds majority they needed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The SS and SA had also been know for trying to intimidate socialist members in the Reichstag, considering they were the only party that voted against the Enabling Act. On the outside the Nazis seemed a respectable enough party because they had to be. The Nazis were only members of a coalition government when they came into power, they were restricted in what they were able to do and did not have complete power. They appeared to be legal to advance their position while using some violence in the background. They even preferred to talk about a "takeover of power" rather than a "seizure of power", to avoid any violent connotations. ...read more.

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