With the introduction of the enabling act, there was no longer any role for opposing political parties in Germany. Hitler cleverly used his powers to eliminate all opposition, by banning it. The German communist party and the social democratic party had been declared illegal, with its property confiscated and its seats in the Reichstag declared invalid. What was left was the Democratic Party, whom dissolved itself on June the 28th, the German nationalist party was dismissed from cabinet a day later and in early July the German peoples party was abolished. Finally, the center party, who was a key voter in the introduction of the enabling act- also abolished itself. Now all 661 seats in the Reichstag were now held by the nazi party, becoming little more than a venue for Hitler’s political pronouncements.
Another factor which played a key role in the success of the Nazi party in the period 1933-39 was the night of long knives on the 30th of June 1934. Which was a clear indication of the destiny for those who would try and undermine the nazi party and over throw Hitler’s rule. The concern was the nazi S.A also known as the storm troopers or brown shirts. It was lead by Ernst Rohm, who wanted to combine the S.A with the army and saw himself as the ultimate commander of this force. Both the army and Hitler where against this idea. Hitler intended to abolish the office of president once Hindenburg died and take the position of commander and chief of the armed forces himself. The army was the only remaining force in Germany that could bring Hitler down, it was essential that the army move its loyalty from Hindenburg to Hitler, and not to Rohm. The night of long knives was the work of Heinrich Himmler and Herman Goring, under the instruction of Hitler. Members of the S.A where taken by surprise, arrested and accused of plotting to over throw the state. The following day the army commanding officers, including Rohm-where shot. The event was one of mercilious brutality, taking Hitler one-step closer to transforming Germany into a nazi state. “And let it be known for all time to come, that if anyone raises his hand to strike the state, then certain death is his lot”. Hitler’s speech 1934 in answer to the blood purge. In a single event, Hitler had crushed any threat of the S.A and satisfied the German army, justifying his control and power.
Hitler understood the importance of propaganda in justifying his actions and keeping public appeal high and supportive. So as soon as he came to power he approved the establishment of the ministry for public enlightenment and propaganda, to be lead by Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels was an expert at persuasion and the dynamics of superior propaganda. “The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it” Goebbels. He took control of all forms of communication: newspapers, magazines, books, public meeting and rallies, art, music, movies and radio. The aim of Ministry was to ensure no German could see or read anything that was hostile to the Nazi Party and to ensure that the views of the Nazi’s were put across in the most persuasive manner possible. The propaganda was focused on simple messages repeated frequently. Perhaps the most important tool, was radio because Hitler believed it reached the German people most directly. Advertisements and news was broadcasted hourly to encourage support and positive ideas. To ensure that all Germans had a radio to hear these broadcasts, the state produced “the peoples radio” “volksempfanger”, which was cheap, effective and affordable. The film industry was impacted through the introduction of the reich motion pictures law, to make sure all films had nazi ideologies and messages subliminally indented. The focus was more on emotion, as the creation of Hitler’s image was most appealing to middle class Germany- a man who put national good before his own interest.
Socially during the period 1933-39 significant change occurred. During the era of the Weimar republic, there had been significant changes in the social gender rights and positions of the German people. But all this was modified once the Nazis came to power. Women where, under the constitution, given equal rights to men. How ever the nazis believed that individuals in society have to find their place in order to fully find identification with their nation. For women, this was a lesser role, one of the more traditional, obedient wife and child bearering type. To encourage this, the slogan of “kinder,kirche,kuche” (children church kitchen) was introduced. Goebells said that “the mission of women, is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world”. This concept was constantly enforced with posters of healthy blonde, Aryan looking children with proud parents. Also to encourage birth rates, the nazi state made divorce and abortions illegal, and awards and finical incentives for growing families where introduced. The youth of Germany was greatly focused on, as Hitler knew that they would carry the future for the third Reich on their shoulders. The Hitler youth was formed, as well as the league of German maidens. Eventually, this became mandatory for all German children to participate in. Education was also seen as a means of control. The entire German curriculum was re-written, with anti- Semitic views incorporated, and traditional German history and values focused on. Girls did domestic courses and leant basic math and science. Boys learnt “science of the races” where the Aryan view of perfection was implemented from a young age. Fitness and physical health was also a very important aspect of education, as from a young age the boys where trained for military situations. And finally, religion suffered conflicting ideologies with the nazi’s. The result being, its basic abolishment. At first a deal was made with the catholic church and Hitler, but this concordant was breached, and restrictions where placed on catholic schools, churches, youth organizations and monasteries. Appeals to gain back power where dissolved by parliament, with the aid of the enabling act. It was clear that all aspects of human life in Germany where slowly and artfully enriched upon by the nazi party, Germany started to reveal that of a totalitarian state.
Due to its forceful and frightening brutality, the efforts made by the nazi party in converting Germany into a nazi state- where very successful. The people of Germany where vulnerable and desperate for a change in government, in the hope that new opportunities would present themselves. The depression and the chaotic state of the republic left a carcass for Hitler to devour and rule over. His efforts in dissolving parliament and gaining ultimate power where realised with the aid of the enabling act. Once this was done, he was then able to gain control over all elements of his party and exploit his power to take the lives of traitors. The justification of this came with his ingenious control over propaganda and censorship. And finally taking all aspects of human life and implementing nazi ideologies upon the German people was the final straw in gaining complete control over the nation. “unquestionably, the adulation of Hitler by millions of Germans who may otherwise have only been marginally committed to the nazi ideology or party, was a crucial political integration in the third Reich.” Ian Kershaw on the Hitler myth-1985. Therefore, socially, the Nazi Party had a huge impact on the people and changed the lives of the people during the period 1933-39 forever.
Therefore politically, economically and socially the Nazi successfully changed German society between the period 1933-39. It was due to the laws implemented such as controls put on the people, propaganda and the passing of the enabling act which made all of this possible for Hitler and the Nazi party between 1933-39.