Political Events External to the Nazi Party

The political measures taken by the Party must also be taken into consideration. Firstly, it is necessary to examine the political events outside the party which helped the Nazis to keep power. A political coup for the Nazis was the Reichstag fire of 1933. This destroyed the Parliamentary building and was blamed on a young, Dutch Communist named Marinus van der Lubbe. The man was of questionable sanity and was possibly framed; however the fire was an advantage for the Nazis, as it led to the imprisonment of thousands of German Communists, including leaders of the German Communist Party on grounds of conspiracy to stage a putsch. This meant that the Nazis managed to increase their share of the vote significantly. In the 1933 election, the rules were significantly bent to favour the Nazis, and the Power of the State was turned against anti-Nazi parties, as the left-wing parties were disadvantaged. Once the Nazi Party was in power, the next step in their political domination was the elimination of any remaining political opposition. The KPD and SPD, both left-wing parties, were banned, and many other parties dissolved themselves. In March 1933, the Nazi Party successfully campaigned for the Enabling Act, which would allow Hitler to govern for four years without consulting the Reichstag. However, at the time of the proposal, the SS were present, thus presenting a distinct threat to those who may vote against it. This was another step along the road to a dictatorship. As of July 1933, a law was passed which stated that the Nazi Party was the only party in the Reich. This meant that there was no other option for the people of Germany. There were no longer any other political parties to replace the Nazis, so the Nazis remained in power. To quote historian Andrew Boxer, “German democracy had been destroyed in less than six months.”

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