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

The Reichstag Fire

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Reichstag Fire 1) Marinus Van der Lubbe's oral evidence at his trial is that he acted alone in starting the fire. That he was guilty there is little doubt. Not only did Rudolph Diels, the head of the Prussian political police, see him at the scene (after being arrested by Reichstag officials) but also Van der Lubbe proudly claimed responsibility for starting the fire at the trial. Rudolph Diels interviewed Van der Lubbe in the police headquarters on the evening of the fire. He formed the opinion that Van der Lubbe acted alone. Diels has stated that Van der Lubbe gave a series of confused stories. He also reported that Van der Lubbe was a madman. However, research into Van der Lubbe's background shows that he had a history of taking responsibility for things he had not done. While working for the Tielmann factory a strike broke out. Van der Lubbe claimed to the management to be the ringleader and offered to accept any punishment provided no one else was victimised even though he was far to inexperienced to have been seriously involved. ...read more.

Middle

Van der Lubbe confesses to Diel that he started other smaller fires in Berlin. Details provided by Van der Lubbe suggested that other communists helped him start those other fires and therefore following on from that Diel assumed that the there must have been assistance to Van Der Lubbe at the Rieichstag. There is no oral evidence from Van Der Lubbe at the trial that this was the case. 2) On the 27th February the Reichstag is empty as it had been in recess since December. At around 20:30 one of the caretakers checks the building and finds nothing unusual. At 20:50 a postman is passing the entrance to the session chamber and notices nothing unusual. At 21:05 a student sees a man carrying a burning brand on the first floor. By 21:14 the fire alarm is received by the local firestation and the firemen are in the building by 21:24 but fires are breaking out everywhere. At 21:27 there is a huge explosion and the great chamber is enveloped by flames. ...read more.

Conclusion

The cartoon shows Hindenburg handing over emergency powers and total dictatorship to Hitler by advising him to take advantage of the political situation. In contrast the cover of the book shows Van der Lubbe as part of an armed uprising. The cartoon in the British magazine is satire. This contrasts with the propaganda portrayed on the book cover. The Red Peril and the German book cover both agree that Hitler will be able to take total control of Germany because of the Reichstag fire. .................. 4) The Nazis wanted to blame the communists for the fire for political reasons. By blaming the communists for the fire the Reich president was able to pass a Decree for the Protection of People and State. The consequence of this was that the government were able to arrest leading communists and to ban them from the election campaign. The book was published in order try and convince people that the Nazis did not start the Reichstag fire. Another reason for publishing the book was to convince people to vote for the Nazis in the forthcoming election. The book, blaming the communists for starting the fire, gave Hitler the excuse for calling for new general elections in Germany ...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) ...

    When there was an emergency in Rome, the emperor and his leading followers had dictatorial powers, much as Hitler did in Germany. If the togas are a reference to that, then this point is neither for nor against the Nazis.

  2. The Reichstag Fire

    Van der Lubbe was caught at the scene of the fire wielding matches and firelighters and he admitted to starting the fire but it was

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

    Sources F and H can help to prove that Source E is reliable even though they are unreliable themselves. The evidence from General Franz Halder in his trial backs up the view of Rauschning as it states that 'Goering broke into the conversation and shouted: The only one who really

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

    Therefore, if van der Lubbe admitted the blame, the Nazis could use that as an excuse to ban the party. Also, Nazis feared the rise of the communist. The USSR was beginning to expand to the west and east to spread their communist ideas during 1930s.

  1. Modern World History Coursework - Reichstag Sourcework

    pale young face' and that 'He panted as if he had completed a tremendous task'. Neither of these quotes can be backed up, nor do either corroborate with other knowledge available. Much of his report continues in the same fashion, with much opinion and guesswork that show a very biased viewpoint on his behalf.

  2. History Coursework – the Reichstag Fire

    For example, the fact Goering and Hitler arrived so quickly on the scene may have aroused suspicion. Also, Rudolf Diels says that after he had collected his thoughts, he declared, "This is a mad house". It may have been unwise to release this particular statement at the time especially as

  1. Reichstag fire coursework assignments

    They used technology to redouble their propaganda; Goebbels takes on planes to fly Hitler all over Germany in order to speak to four or five massive rallies per day. Radio broadcasts, millions of election posters, rallies, parades and marches carried the Nazi message into every town and home in Germany.

  2. Who was responsible for the Reichstag fire?

    after the fire and the trial of Van der Lubbe, which would mean that is a second-hand source: is less reliable. Rudolf Diels was the Head of the Prussian political police, which could mean he was a pro-Nazi and someone who took orders from Nazis Leaders like Goering and Hitler: "Goering sent orders that I was to go to them".

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