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Nazi Germany Overall, legality was an important factor in Hitler's consolidation of power, if not the most important

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Introduction

ATH P26 a) Source B is the President Hindenburg's congratulation telegram to Hitler, a few days after the Night of the Long Knives. In the telegram, the SA leadership was considered 'treasonable intrigues in the bud', as SA's rival paramilitary SS leader Himmler and the German army had led the Chancellor and President to believe. The same content appeared in Source C, which is Hitler's explanatory speech to the Reichstag shortly after the event. Clearly, Rohm's revolutionary/riotic attitude and eagerness to gain power had alarmed the conservative elites, and his obsession with a 'second revolution' was not pleasing Hitler. Hitler chose to secure the support of the conservative right, and abandoned his long-time friend and loyal subordinate Rohm. In Source C, the event was presented as an act of justice and responsibility to the regime; Hitler, being the 'Supreme Judge of the people', had the most stately reasons for the purging of the 'offenders' without consulting the Constitution (which was already powerless at that time) ...read more.

Middle

This legalised and strengthened Hitler's actions against the communists (whose actions were exploited by the Nazis in this plot against them). More than 20000 people were arrested, who were then lawfully banned from voting against the Nazi on the 5 March election or the forthcoming Enabling Act on 23 March. Even though the Nazi did not gain a 2/3 majority in the election, the NSDAP still became the biggest party in the Constitution. The events that next happened were much in Hitler's favour. He successfully persuaded the nationalists and Catholics to vote for the Enabling Bill. Article 1 of the Enabling Act states that the Reich cabinet-or, Hitler-held power to enact any law. Furthermore, 'The laws enacted by the Reich cabinet may deviate from the Constitution...' (Article 2) and '...shall be prepared by the Chancellor' (Article 3). ...read more.

Conclusion

However the most significant event is the Night of the Long Knives. There was no trial, no 'resort to the regular courts of justice', as Hitler had admitted in Source C himself. In a state of 'law and order', such an unsettling and upsetting revolutionary as Rohm was not acceptable. As said in Source D, two modern Historian's view on the Night of the Long Knives, 'The traditional institution had accepted his actions. Most of the people accepted the view that as their Leader he would act only for the good of the nation', people were fooled and lead to be ignorant to the fact that what their Leader did was unlawful. Overall, legality was an important factor in Hitler's consolidation of power, if not the most important. It is indeed the only sure way to succeed, and was well used by Hitler. Thus, lawful means outweighed unlawful means in Hitler's consolidation of power during the period 1933-1934. 2nd Feb Taylor Xu ...read more.

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