Rise to Power 1925-1933. Nazi Party gained followers due to Depression Major Rivals were: KPD Communists SPD Social Democrats Christian Center Party Youth attracted to party. Political Turmoil. Hindenburg President Political turmoil sees a succession of Chancellors
-Increase executive power and eliminate all sources of opposition – one-party regime – Hitler becomes Chancellor, the Reichstag Fire Decree, (Feb. 27, 1933) gave the Nazis power to round up opponents such as Communists and Social Democrats. The Decree created a police state and enabled the Nazis to curtail constitutional rights.
The judicial system was so drastically changed that it became a system that interpreted laws only according to the National Socialist principles.
●Jun. 30, 1934, was the Night of the Long Knives-the assassination of SA leadership by Himmler’s SS.
● One of the victims was Gen. Kurt von Schleicher, last chancellor of the Weimar Republic.
●Hitler re-established control over the NSDAP & gained the allegiance of the Army
● Omnipotent Führer—President Hindenburg died Aug. 2, 1934.
● His powers as president were transferred to Hitler. Hitler now had the powers of both president (unconstitutionally) and chancellor.
● Hitler‘s merging of the powers was a flagrant disregard for the Weimar Constitution and constitutional authority.
● With such a concentration of power, Hitler became omnipotent (virtually unlimited authority).
● Führer Principle—emphasized discipline and chain of command, all rising to Hitler, who was the top of the chain.
● Nazi Leadership in Chaos—Hitler dominated all decision-making. Those below him only acted out his commands. The difficulty lay in the fact that Hitler purposely created overlapping authority; dual appointments and conflicting agencies. This disorganization only strengthened Hitler’s powers. Who was to resolve the conflict, but Hitler himself?
Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels minister for public enlightenment and propaganda—complete control over communications media, film industry, theater and the arts.
The Party took over education and all youth groups
Hitler Youth Created Education to reflect Physical Training and Aryanization
Up until 1937, Hitler had to compromise to have the support of the army in establishing the Nazi state.
Now Hitler needed to gain control of the Army. When Hitler proposed his territorial expansion, Field Marshal von Blomberg and Colonel von Fritsch, top military leaders, voiced opposition.
Heinrich Himmler produced damaging personal information about each of the men, and the men were forced to resign in Feb. 1938. Hitler made himself commander in chief of the armed forces.