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HITLER: Night of the long knives

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Introduction

HITLER: Night of the long knives Hitler became chancellor in January 1933. At this stage he was not the dictator of Germany. The night of the long knives helped him to establish his dictatorship. However, there were other aspects, which helped him extend his control. As soon as Hitler was in power, new elections were called. In the middle of the Reichstag campaign, the Reichstag building went up in flames. It was this, which allowed Hitler to increase his control over Germany. On 27th February the Reichstag caught fire. When they police arrived they found Marinus van der Lubbe on the premises. He confessed to starting the Reichstag Fire. However he denies that he was part of a Communist conspiracy. Hermann Goering refuses to believe him and he orders the arrest of several leaders of the German Communist Party. ...read more.

Middle

He could pass new laws without even consulting the Reichstag. And effectively allow him to establish a dictatorship. The Nationalists were prepared to support him in this, but even then Hitler wouldn't have the two thirds of the votes needed. After he got his enabling act, the Reichstag had in effect voted itself out of existence. It had voted to introduce a Nazi dictatorship. Now that Hitler had dictorial powers, he proceeded to extend his control further. Hitler banned political parties. This law gave Hitler what he wanted - a ban on the Communists and Socialists taking part in an election campaign. The leaders from both parties were arrested and their newspapers were shut down. To 'keep the peace' and maintain law and order, the roamed the streets beating up those who openly opposed Hitler. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hitler now was trying to get support from the regular Army generals to try to rebuild Germany. On 29th of June 1934 Hitler acted. He called a meeting of SA leaders. It was during this meeting that Hitler gave the purge its name: Night of the Long Knives. Hitler claimed that 61 had been executed while 13 had been shot resisting arrest and three had committed suicide. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point in the history of Hitler's Germany. The Night of the Long Knives, in June 1934, saw the wiping out of the SA's leadership and others who had angered Hitler in the recent past in Nazi Germany. Hitler had made it clear that he was the supreme ruler of Germany who had the right to be judge and jury, and had the power to decide whether people lived or died. With elimination of potential threats to his rule, and the death of Hindenburg, Hitler was in firm control. ...read more.

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