• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Interpretations of the Reichstag Fire.

Extracts from this document...


7) Study the following interpretations of the Reichstag Fire. i) Van der Lubbe was a madman, and he set fire to the Reichstag all by himself, but the Nazis genuinely believed the fire was the start of a Communist uprising. ii) The Reichstag Fire was started by the Nazis to give them an excuse to take emergency powers and lock up or kill the Communists. Van der Lubbe was used by the Nazis. Which interpretation is best supported by the evidence in these sources and your knowledge of the period? Explain your answer. It's difficult to incline the balance to any of both interpretations because both of them have evidence to backup them. Source A for instance, supports the first interpretation, it suggests that Lubbe acted a lone and Diels to backup his words tells that it would be easily set the fire because the old furniture, dry wood, and heavy curtains would made the fire spread rapidly, while Lubbe could be starting fires elsewhere in the building running through the long corridors. ...read more.


Anyway, he also could be lying show the reliability here is very questionable, he could be telling that for saving himself, to revenge on him. However, it was at Hitler's birthday, so Goring could been easily drunk and say that in a joke (despite there was the possibility that the alcohol could make say what he shouldn't say). Goring in Source F describes of "ridiculous" the statement before, he could be telling the truth and said that in sense of a joke while he was drunk, which explains why he didn't remember nothing he said, so maybe the two are telling the truth - Halder could take too seriously what for Goring was a joke while he was drunk to make some fun on Hitler's birthday. However it Halder was telling the truth and Goring said that seriously its obvious that Goring would have defend himself as shown in Source F. Most likely Halder could misunderstand Goring's joke so the value of his evidence could hardly support the second statement. ...read more.


The most important thing is the weight and reliability that each source have, and all of them have reasons to not be true. For my interpretation of the sources and my knowledge it would be more likely that the Nazis took part in the fire. The first statement isn't very well supported because despite the evidence in their favour (such the fact that the fire could be spread very rapidly due to the materials inside) Van der Lubbe couldn't make such a high damage and devastation as shown in source J, it's very hard to believe that all that damage could be done a person who hardly had any time (before being caught), who didn't have any knowledge of the place, and who had a severe sight problem and so mentally ones. The curious thing that makes you think is that the fire was made just one week before the elections, very possibly the Nazis could have planned the fire as an excuse to use the emergency powers, by blaming the Communists of an uprising and so crushing the opposition in favour for their elections. Because we got to remember that Hitler's greatest fear at that time was the Communism. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. History Coursework – the Reichstag Fire

    At the time of the Reichstag fire there would have been many rumours as to whether Van der Lubbe did in fact set fire to the Reichstag building. Hitler wanted the public to believe that the allegations where true so that he could blame the Communists for the fire and gain more support for the Nazi Party.

  2. IGCSE History Coursework Assignment B - Source Analysis of the Reichstag Fire

    But then, there isn't very clear evidence up until now if van der Lubbe really was the criminal or did the Nazis use him. He could have been tortured by the Nazis so that he'd admit the blame. After all, the Nazis wanted to get rid of the communist party.

  1. Studies of Sources from the Reichstag Fire - who was responsible?

    party were helping Germany with economical and political problems, including Delmer who might have supported the British union of Fascists. This means Delmer could have been writing his report as Fascist piece of propaganda supporting the Fascist Nazi party. As there were some Fascist newspapers in Britain at the time,

  2. Modern World History Coursework - Reichstag Sourcework

    Numerous times he states his opinions as if they are actual fact, when actually they are merely based on his interpretation of minor details such as facial expression. An example of these assumptions is when Rudolf Diels claims that 'There was a wild triumphant gleam in they eyes of his

  1. GCSE History Coursework: Reichstag Fire 1) ...

    Also if you are a member of a political party, you rarely carry pamphlets about that party on your person, especially if you're going to burn down a building. This suggests to me that not only was Van der Lubbe framed in some way, but that it also makes this source less reliable.

  2. Analyse and evaluate the validity of these two interpretations of the opposition to the ...

    Many resented the fact that in 1939 it was made compulsory to join the Hitler Youth, which allowed the leaders of it to concentrate on indoctrination of the youth. The extract from source A, "the emergence of "alternative and even "oppositional cultures and groups" and lines two to three in source B refers to the "Edelweisspiraten" and the "Swing Jugend".

  1. The Reichstag Fire-Coursework B

    Therefore lots could have been made up. However, he might have kept a diary or got information off of police records. He wrote this book in later life to make himself look important and to impress his Nazis bosses. This book came to light at the time of the Nuremberg trials.

  2. Why did the Nazis set fire to the Reichstag

    And with the communist out of the way Hitler can now take control of the government and have more significant advantages in the forth coming election. And the first thing the Nazis did was to outlaw the KPD which gave them a majority without the support of the DNVP.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work