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

    However, another meaning could be derived: Nero, a famous Roman emperor was recorded as setting fire to Rome so he could blame the Christians and gain for support for himself and bring more hatred against the Christians. If the togas are to represent this, then the picture is suggesting that

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

    Therefore, he had to get rid of the communists. He did this by blaming van der Lubbe and his communist friends for setting the fire off. Van der Lubbe admitted that he was the only one who set the fire.

  1. Reichstag fire coursework assignments

    They also had public meetings. On 27th February the Reichstag building had been set on fire. They had found a Dutch communist in the building the police raided, van der lubbe, was arrested and charged with the fire. Hitler then preceded to uses this as evidence that the communists were plotting against his government.

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

    The former acted by going on camping trips in war time when travelling was strictly limited and singing insulting songs about Hitler and the Hitler Youth. Later as the war progressed however, we see this "alternative youth group" shielding army deserters and joining resistance groups that fought the Nazis, especially communists.

  1. History Coursework – the Reichstag Fire

    Rome wanted a large empire, it wanted to be a great world power and Hitler wished the same for Germany. The part of the picture that shows Rome burning is probably referring to the great fire of Rome in 62 AD.

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

    'suddenly' that makes it seem as if this was unexpected and he had nothing to do with it, which shows exaggeration consequently affecting the usefulness of this account. Goebbels most likely wrote this book as a piece of Propaganda, in order to show the Nazi point of view to the

  1. Why did the Nazis set fire to the Reichstag

    Hitler was also fast on acting against his opposition, the day after the Reichstag fire; truckloads of storm troopers were sent looking for their opponents throughout Germany seizing communists and socialists. Officers of the communists and SPD were wrecked and arrested.

  2. Analysis of the Sources on the Reichstag Fire.

    I reported on the results of the first interrogations of Marinus Van De Lubbe - that in my opinion he was a maniac. But with this option I had come to the wrong man; Hitler ridiculed my childish view." Q2.

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