Was the Reichstag fire the main reason why Hitler was able to establish a dictatorship in Germany by 1934?

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Was the Reichstag fire the main reason why Hitler was able to establish a dictatorship in Germany be 1934?


Hitler was appointed Chancellor on 30th January 1933. He was part of a democracy and had to work with President Hindenburg, who still had the majority of the power; Hindenburg had the power to change the Chancellor. In just 18 months Hitler managed to go from Chancellor to Furhrer. He managed this by creating several factors, which would help in his favour to win votes and popularity. He had by this time removed any potential threats to his position, even from within the Nazi party.

One factor which helped Hitler come to power was the Reichstag fire, it meant that the Law for the Protection of People and State could be passed. A Communist named Van der Lubbe was found on site the night of the fire; this gave Hitler the excuse to exploit his fears and hatreds towards the Communists. Hindenburg ruling by decree; this also undermines the authority of the Reichstag. Hindenburg was convinced by Hitler that the fire was a Communist conspiracy, so he passed The Law for the Protection of People and State. This law suspended human rights and in particular the right to trial before imprisonment, this was fundamental in allowing Hitler to punish any opponents to the Nazi party. Subsequently the Communists were banned from taking their 81 seats in the Reichstag; therefore there was less opposition for the Nazis.

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The General election results of 1933 were also an important factor in Hitler’s road to a dictatorship. The Nazis gained 288 seats; the Communists gained 81 seats but were banned from taking them. This meant that the Nazis had a two thirds majority and allowed them to change the constitution if they wished.  The Enabling Act, passed in 1933 changed the constitution; it gave Hitler power to rule by decree for four years. It only passed through the Reichstag because the Communists had been banned from their seats and the fact that the SA intimidated members of the Reichstag during ...

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