Learning objective – to understand the sequence of events that led to the destruction of the Weimar Republic. I can explain the key events that led to the death of the Weimar Republic. Grade B I can explain and outline the importance of the key events that led to the death of the Weimar Republic Grade A and A* I can describe the key events that led to the death of the Weimar Republic. Grade D
Starter This word cloud is in the shape of Hitler, Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Choose three words, look out for them in the presentation and write why each word is significant in this lesson.
Hitler calls for an election for March 1933 Hitler wanted an absolute majority so he calls for an election. However, his position was extremely powerful even with just three Nazis in the Cabinet as even the non-Nazi Cabinet members shared the desire to end parliamentary democracy and left-wing influences.
How were the opposition intimidated during the run up to the election? Members of the SA beat up Socialists and Communists and hauled them off to concentration camps. Hermann Goering became Minister of the Interior for Prussia – the largest state in Germany – and was, therefore, in control of the police in that region. This power was used to make Nazi violence legal. Once such case saw 50,000 stormtroopers on the rampage in one night. Printing presses of opponents were smashed preventing the distribution of anti-Nazi propaganda. A Presidential decree was passed which demanded that all political meetings had to give 48 hours notice to the police. This allowed police, who sympathised with the Nazis time to target opposition meetings and smash them up.
What were the implications for the Reichstag Fire? Marius Van der Lubbe, a simple-minded Communist, was caught and blamed for the fire on inconclusive evidence. The Nazis used the Reichstag Fire, blaming the Communists and arguing that they were planning an uprising. Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree which suspended individual freedoms. This gave Hitler sweeping powers and allowed the police to arrest anyone suspected of opposing the government. This was in place until 1945.
The run up to the March 1933 Election In the week between the Reichstag Fire and the March 1933 Election, the Nazis launched a massive propaganda and terror campaign. This ranged from the use of the powers from the Emergency Decree to the SA watching people vote.
The March 1933 Election Despite the Nazis gaining their best ever result of 288 seats – they still did not have an overall majority. Hitler now sought for a legal revolution which would transfer all power to him.
The Enabling Act Hitler proposed the Enabling Act in the Reichstag [which now met in Potsdam]. This Act gave Hitler the power to make laws without the consent of Parliament or the President.
How did the Nazis ensure the Enabling Act was passed? The Nazis targeted the Communists and using the Emergency Decree banned them from the Reichstag. The Catholic Centre Party was subjected to extreme pressure in meetings. The heavily armed SA attending Reichstag meetings and surrounded opponents.
The Enabling Act is passed Despite brave opposition from the Social Democrats, the Enabling Act was passed by 344 to 94 votes. From this point under the Nazis, there were no debates, the Reichstag only met 12 times but only to listen to Hitler speak. Democracy – and the Weimar Republic – was dead.
How was the remaining opposition dealt with? Trade unions were closed down during a Bank Holiday with the SA occupying trade union offices. Trade Unions were replaced by the Nazis own trade union – German Labour Front. An agreement was signed with the Pope – the Concordat – both left each other alone. July 14th saw a law passed which legalised the Nazi Party as the only political party in Germany calling their regime the Third Reich.
Revisiting the Starter Which words did you pick? Why were they significant in the lesson?
Continuum task Some significance Very significant Where do the events of the first half of 1933 fit on this continuum?
Plenary – My Brain Subheading – My Brain Draw an outline of your brain. Fill your drawn brain with all the things you have learnt in this lesson. This can be in the form of key words, drawings, bullet points, lists – anything you like so long as it summarises your learning and that others can understand it.