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How and why was Hitler able to consolidate his position by 1934?

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Introduction

How and why was Hitler able to consolidate his position by 1934? From 1933 to 1934 the Nazis consolidated power using a mixture of violent and legal methods. There were many factors which enabled Hitler to establish his desired role as Fuhrer, which the new Nazi state revolved around. Three major factors were the new laws passed, the Night of the Long Knives, and the death of President Hindenburg. These in turn led Hitler to successfully consolidate his position not only within the Nazi party, but also Germany itself. For Hitler to consolidate his position Goebbels set about creating the cult image of Hitler as a national hero who was uniting National Socialism with the forces of old Germany. Goebbels arranged a ceremony at Potsdam Garrison Church, in the presence of president Hindenburg, the crown price, son of the exiled Kaiser and many of the army's leading generals, with the aim of reassuring people that Hitler could be trusted. Before the new Reichstag met, a dedicatory service was to be held in the Garrison Church, the new regime was to be pledged to 'the spirit of Potsdam' and Hindenburg and Hitler were to shake hands over the tomb of Frederick the Great. ...read more.

Middle

The regime developed organisations that the Germans had to join, for example German Labour Front and Hitler Youth. This ensured the regimes control and that the members would work to fulfil the government's objectives. The Nazi state tried to get control over the media and all cultural activities. They exercised this through direct ownership of some forms, by controlling those working in the media by directing the media what to produce and by prosecuting non-conformist activities. Intimidation and violence were vital ingredients in Hitler's methods to achieve and maintain power. Three pieces of evidence support this. Firstly, there was a boycott of Jewish on April the 1st. Uniformed SA leaders posted themselves at entrances to Jewish businesses and displayed placards to passers-by which warned them against buying from Jews. This ban, which Hindenburg insisted should only run for a day, was not extended because of public indifference, hostile foreign reaction and the danger to the economy. Secondly, there was the abolition of trade unions which was a similar response taken by the of Nazi thugs six weeks before the leadership officially occupied trade union offices and absorbed them into the German Labour Front. Thirdly, reports came in from many towns of incidents in which storm troopers had attacked anyone speaking a foreign language or having dark skin. ...read more.

Conclusion

He had triumphed over both the Left and Right. Upon the peaceful death of President Hindenburg on 2nd August, Hitler was able to abolish the position of President, assuming all powers for himself as Fuhrer of the German state. On the initiative of the Minister of defence, Field Marshal Werner von Bloomberg, all officers of the army were called on to take a personal oath of loyalty to the Fuhrer. This made opposition to him far less likely and was of critical importance in securing the dictatorship. On 19th August 1934 a plebiscite was held. The German people were asked to show whether they approved of Hitler becoming Fuhrer. The result was a victory for Nazi propaganda: 43,06 million Germans voted and of this figure 89,93 per cent voted 'yes' in favour of Hitler. This was a crucial moment for the regime which was now more secure. To conclude, the main reason that Hitler was able to consolidate his position by 1934 was mainly due to 'Night of the Long Knives'. Ian Kershaw refers to it as 'Propaganda coup par excellence' in other words a wonderful exercise in propaganda. This night on the 30th of June 1934 provided Hitler with the chance to get rid of any opposition which could, in any way, harm his position. By eliminating the SA and other opponents he was able to effectively develop his dictatorship. Harpreet Sekhon ...read more.

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