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Using your own knowledge and the sources, how do you think the Nazis consolidated their power in Germany during the years 1933-34?

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Introduction

Using your own knowledge and the sources, how do you think the Nazis consolidated their power in Germany during the years 1933-34? When Hitler became chancellor in January 1933, he was far from achieving the amount of power that he ultimately gained during the course of the Nazi regime. There were various obstacles to overcome in order to gain total power and to fully consolidate the rise of the Nazis. Thus, the Nazis came to power in 1933 through various factors ranging from their use of violence to the use of propaganda in gaining support, as well as the ability to exploit opponents and their weaknesses, particularly the previous Weimar government. Despite these tactics, it is evident that the Nazis legally came to power as seen with the elections held in March 1933 to secure the people's votes, as well as the Enabling Act, which legally declared and allowed Hitler to exercise dictatorial powers. Firstly, it can be seen that the role of terror contributed greatly to the Nazis consolidation of power 1933-34. Opponents needed to be eliminated in order to access full control, and this elimination was necessary in order to secure Hitler's power. This was most evident with the mass purging of the SA and its leader Ernst Rohm during the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934. As source D states 'If disaster were to be prevented at all, action must be taken with lightening speed. ...read more.

Middle

seeking to turn them into committed members of the Volksgemeinschaft in the Nazis aim to Nazify everything (gleichscaltung). This is evident within source C. Source C is a speech made by Hitler on his becoming chancellor, called 'Appeal to the German people'. This was an attempt to grasp the support of the public by offering to them what they wanted. The speech is carefully written in order to suggest that they are the people's party wanting to create a volk community. Thus, he aims to appeal to all social classes in order to secure more votes. This leads to the NSDAP becoming a mass movement rather than a specific social class targeted party such as the SPD and KPD which were notably known for attracting workers, or even the Z party which was the Catholic party in Germany. Rather, Hitler suggests that 'The National Government will therefore regard it as its first and supreme task to restore the German people unity of mind and will'. In addition, the source shows Hitler's contempt with the Weimar government and how he exploited its weakness by offering something new, hopeful and promising to the citizens. 'Over 14 years have passed since that unhappy day when the German people forgot the highest value of our past, of the Reich'.... 'In 14 years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was a turning point as this was the abolition of an alternative source of power and influence that would threaten the establishment of a one-party state. Another example is seen once again with the Oath to the Fuhrer expressed in Source G by the army, with their complete dedication to Hitler and the party. Furthermore, the Concordat agreement signed between the state and the Vatican on 20 July 1933 is an example of Hitler removing a major threat to his overall power. The agreement was to make sure the Church would not interfere in political activity, and that the NSDAP would not interfere with religious activity. Although the contract was signed, it was evident that Hitler would not abide to it, and thus by securing the church's silence through the concordat, he was able to achieve consolidation by not having interference from the church. Overall, it can be seen that it was due to a range of key factors that led to the Nazi consolidation of power in 1933-34. In September 1934 Hitler declared at the Nuremberg Rally (Source H) that 'in the next thousand years there will be no other revolution in Germany'. This statement shows that the Nazis are in control and aim to be for the next thousand years, i.e. the Thousand Year Reich. This shows that the events from January 1933 with Hitler becoming chancellor to August 1934 whereby he becomes Reich Chancellor and Fuhrer, all contributed to the Nazi consolidation of power in Germany 1933-34. ...read more.

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