How did Hitler consolidate power and keep control between 1933- 1939?

Essay by k8_07College, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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Like most the countries in Europe in the beginning of the 1930s, Germany was suffering from the consequences of the Great Depression. In this period of economic and political difficulty, Germany had become susceptible to extreme parties who offered any solution to their continuing problems. Consequently, through luck and perseverance, Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 with the promise of making Germany self sufficient and providing relief from the pains of the Depression. Between the period of 1933-1939 Hitler adopted a policy of consolidating his power in order to achieve complete control over Germany. It can be suggested that the Nazis had to use both force as well as to make concessions in order to consolidate their power.

Due to Hitler's unsteady rise to power, opposition still posed a threat even though he was Chancellor. It is debated whether the Nazis started the Reichstag fire in order to use it as a political weapon but either way it was successfully used to their advantage showing the Communist threat.

After the fire, Hitler declared a state of emergency and persuaded Hindenburg to allow him to use part of Article 48, which stripped people of their civil rights and allowed the police to make arrests without warrant. Arresting around 4,000 communists, Hitler was therefore seen as a man of action, which is what people were looking for to pull Germany from the Depression.

Hitler's consolidation of power furthered by March of 1933 with the Enabling Act being passed. In order for Hitler to have achieved this Act to have been passed it shows the diminishing ability for opposition to take a stand against him. The Communists could not vote against the bill for fear of being arrested. The Socialist party would vote against it and so Hitler needed to convince the Catholic Centre...