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How did Hitler become Dictator in 1934?

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Introduction

How did Hitler become Dictator in 1934? By Richard Ward wattsvilleblues@hotmail.com Hitler, having been appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg in January 1933 announced himself F�hrer in August 1934 after Hindenburg's death. Hitler's ascent to the position of Dictator was a combination of luck, ruthlessness and the support of Hindenburg before his death in August 1934. There were, previous to Hindenburg's death several obstacles that prevented his ascension to total command of Germany. Firstly, Papen still had a majority in the German cabinet. His eight members to Hitler's three made it impossible for the Nazis to pass a resolution without the consent of Papen's ministers. Secondly, there was the small matter of the German army and their unchangeable loyalty to Hindenburg on two grounds. It was required by the Weimar constitution that the army be under the control of the President, and the army kept very close to this article as Hindenburg had been commander of the German army between 1916 and 1918, the last two years of the Great War. ...read more.

Middle

Hindenburg was concerned about a possible SA coup after the March 1933 election and so approved the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934. As part of Hitler's agreement with the army, he secured his ascension to power on the death of Hindenburg. Potsdam Day, manufactured brilliantly by Goebbels, was a resounding success with Hindenburg. Hitler agreed to bow his head to Hindenburg for the cameras, a picture that quite probably adorned the desk of Hindenburg for the last few months of his life as a little ego-boost. The Hindenburg problem was solved by several masterstrokes of political cunning on the part of Hitler and Goebbels. The Communist Party was destroyed by the SA and the police after the advantageously-timed Reichstag fire of January 1933. Hitler blamed the KPD and the organisation of Communists throughout Germany and Berlin was shattered. A previously formidable opposition had been smashed overnight - once again a stroke of political cunning but this time combined with a dash of luck, if the fire was ...read more.

Conclusion

Ernst R�hm's trust and reluctance to be more brutal in his advances went a way towards the success of the Night of the Long Knives. It must not be forgotten, though, that all this was made possible by Papen's commendation of Hitler to Hindenburg in 1932. It is, therefore, advisable to separate the causes into long (relative) and short term causes. In the long term, the most important cause must surely be Hindenburg's appointment of Hitler as Chancellor. Had this not happened, it is extremely questionable as to whether Hitler would ever have succeeded in getting near to power in Germany. In the short term, it seems clear that the Reichstag fire was the most prominent of the causes. Had the Reichstag fire not happened, there would have been no precedent for the destruction of the Communists, Hindenburg's ensuing support for Nazism and his following support of the Night of the Long Knives. Hitler became dictator in 1934 as a result of two main causes, Hindenburg's appointment of Hitler as Chancellor in 1933 and the Reichstag fire of 1934. ...read more.

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