Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 was primarily due to their use of violence and terror. How far do you agree with this opinion?

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‘Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 was primarily due to their use of violence and terror.’ How far do you agree with this opinion?

Upon Hitler’s appointment of Chancellor in January 1933, he faced series of issues that would need to be tackled in order to allow the Nazis to consolidate their power and secure a strong position within Germany. After all, there were only two other Nazis in the cabinet of twelve and so attempting to maintain their power was extremely vital. However, it is evident across their methods that violence and terror were indeed prominent strategic components in achieving the final power necessary, primarily shown through the somewhat ‘dictatorial’ behaviour of the SA and their brutality that advanced the rise of Nazism. Despite this, violence and terror were not solely responsible for their consolidation of power, Hitler’s intelligent decision to call for an election in March, the somewhat “lucky” outcome of the Reichstag fire and the Enabling Act are all contributing factors and therefore challenge this opinion extensively.

One aspect to the political style of Nazism was the systematic encouragement and the use of violence. Regardless of the fact that Weimar politics implemented the use of violence from the start, Nazism brought violence to a new height and enforced an unprecedented affair of persecution and intimidation. Due to an increase in unemployment, the SA were able to thrive in popularity and therefore inflict acts of terror within Germany. They consolidated power using violence through the method of attacking the opposition, notably the communists, thus eradicating strong opposition, simultaneously weakening other groups within Germany whilst strengthening their own. During the campaign of July 1932, battles between communists and Nazis resulted in the death of 10 people and a week later a further 19 due to a Nazi march through a working-class suburb of Hamburg. Leading Nazis only encouraged this however, as they believed that for the expansion of Nazism to occur, control of the streets was the first step to be taken. Violence was also used in perhaps more formal occasions such as the Reichstag election of March 1933, showing that terror was a method used in a series of situations and wasn’t to be a limited method used by the Nazis.  The method of terror being effective is also shown in the way that on the 5th March, an election had a high turnout of 88 per cent, suggesting that the violent actions of the SA and the corruption of officials frightened people into voting, gaining more votes for the Nazis and therefore contributing to their consolidation of power. Clearly the Nazis were far from being a “peaceful” group, rather using brutal methods appealed to them more and ultimately allowed them to consolidate power in 1933 through the destruction and weakening of both the communists and regular citizens of Germany. Despite this, there were many other reasons as to why the Nazis were able to consolidate their power that didn’t involve violence or terror, thus challenging this as being the most prominent reason.

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One event that the Nazis were able to use to their advantage was the Reichstag fire that occurred in February 1933; it allowed them to strengthen their position and therefore advance their consolidation of power. On the 27th of February, it was reported that van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist, was responsible for setting the Reichstag building on fire. Although at the time some believed the Nazis purposely started the fire to support the claims of a communist coup, the Reichstag Fire was significant in the way that it ultimately resulted in the Nazis exploting it to their advantage. ...

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