To what extent did Hitler come to power legally? How did Hitler came to power?

Essay by spud1317College, Undergraduate August 2002

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Hitler was appointed Chancellor on the 30th of January 1933, with only two other Nazis in the Cabinet, this was though to be enough to control him, by Van Papen and the conservatives. Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to hold new elections in March 1933, in the hope he would gain an over all majority. However in the new elections Hitler controlled Prussia through Göring (Cabinet Minister) and the other two fifths of Germany through Frick (the other Cabinet Minister). With Nazi appointed police chiefs and local government heads, the Nazis had the legal power to intimidate the electorate. By the end of February 1933 Hitler was Chancellor and in control of police and local government, all legally and not within the spirit of the constitution.

On the 27th of February 1933 a half-mad Dutch Communist called Van der Lubbe was found wondering in the ashes of the burning Reichstag. This provided the Nazis with the opportunity to persuade Hindenburg to sign an emergency decree (composed by Frick) on February the 28th, suspending civil liberties and allowing the central Government to run regional governments deemed unable to run them selves.

By the end of April, twenty five thousand people had been taken into 'protective custody' in Prussia alone. Under the decree Frick was able to 'take over' areas not already controlled by Göring. Because of the 'suicide clause' these actions were legal however they were definitely not within the democratic spirit of the constitution.

In the Reichstag elections of March 1933 the Nazis increased their control from 33.1% in December 1932 to 43.9%. This increase can be attributed to the Nazis strong stance on Communism. The Nazis were known for their hatred of Communism, the middle class voted Nazi because of that policy. Joseph Goebbels' propaganda machine was also very good...