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The two sources are extracts that address the issue of the Reichstag Fire that occurred in the night of the 27th February 1933.

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Introduction

The two sources are extracts that address the issue of the Reichstag Fire that occurred in the night of the 27th February 1933. Source A is an extract from a book "Germany 1919-45" by M. Collier and P. Pedley, it says that the Nazis gained from the Reichstag fire, and moved to make sure it benefited them as much as possible, and seems to suggest that the Nazis moves were reactions to the fire. Source B by Frank Mc Donough, an extract from "Hitler and Nazi Germany" also tells us that Hitler used the event to achieve the downfall of the communist party, but implies that premeditation was involved, as it depicts Hitler in control of the aftermaths of the event. We do not know who was responsible for the Reichstag fire even today. At this time, Hitler was Chancellor of Germany, having being appointed so on the 31st January 1933, and this appointment had calmed the storm that was brewing in the party at Hitler's refusal to accept vice-chancellor in a Von Papen government in November the previous year. So resistance to the Nazi party came from within the party itself, with Rohm, as head of the SA demanding that the SA take the place of the old Wehrmarcht. At this time, Hitler's speeches were sporadic in their anti-Semitic content; also, many people now took the Nazi party seriously, with its leader being chancellor of Germany and it being the largest party in the Reichstag. ...read more.

Middle

historian writing in a book his credibility is at stake, it also compliments my own knowledge, as Hitler indeed arrested "Communist Party leaders" and issued a state of "martial law", suspending civil liberties and thereby I deem it trustworthy. Source B suggests a calculation in Hitler's tactics, waiting till after the March elections before banning the Reichstag, as he feared the Communist voters switching to the SPD, in which the Communists racked up eleven million votes, however they were later banned. This was true when the Enabling Act of March 1933 was passed, where the Communists were banned and the SPD alone voted against it, despite pressure from the SA and SS who were present. This shows us that Hitler was calculating in his actions, and the Reichstag fire as an event could be seen as the ending of serious political resistance. The Enabling Act rendered the Reichstag obsolete as it declared that the cabinet could pass laws without a majority in the Reichstag, and the Enabling act may not have passed if the KPD were allowed to vote against it as well. Source B implies that the Nazis gained from the Communist party being banned after the elections, it just neglects the actual event at which Hitler gained autonomy from the Reichstag. However I feel I must point out the weaknesses in the sources. ...read more.

Conclusion

This information, the type of resistance offered by different institutions, is not referred to in sources A and B, but is very important as to consider Hitler as not only facing the left wing, but the right wing and even the army, etc at this time. The sources both suggest that this was the end of Communist resistance altogether, however this is not true, as later, and especially during the war groups such as the "Red Orchestra", a spy ring, gave resistance to Hitler and aid to Stalin, and that could be seen as Communist resistance in its own right, as Hitler was fighting the USSR, the Communist state. Even the SPD, with its SPORADE reports depicting life in Nazi Germany and showing the "suffering" of the people, put up a resistance to the Nazi party at a later stage than its dismantlement in 1933. Also, opposition came from youth movements, the church, with the confessional church being set up by Martin Niemoller in 1933 which rivalled the Nazi's national church. Towards the closing years of the war there was opposition from within the army, with the Beck-Goerdeler group, and the "Kreisau Circle" who consisted of wealthy land owners who resented Nazi rule and the decline in their incomes since the Nazi's coming to power met and discussed new rule and supported these army resistance groups. So resistance, it can be concluded, came from all over, regardless of social class, especially in the later year of the war when things got tough for the German people. Synoptic? ...read more.

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