Who Started The Reichstag Fire?

Essay by locknloadHigh School, 11th grade October 2003

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On the 27 of febuary 1927, the German parlement (Reichstag) burned down, this essay is to help people decide

for themselves who did it as historians cannot decide who did it for us.

One account says that Goering and Goebbels, with the approval of Hitler, looking to smash the Communist Party, set

fire to the building. A small group of S.A men, led by Karl Ernst ( Leader of the Berlin S.A. ) entered through a

passage linking to Goering's palace. They scattered chemicals in order to burn down the building. After they left, a

young Dutchman, ( Van der Lubbe) who had previously been seized for arson by the S.A, and had been hand picked

for the plan, entered the building, and began to start fires at strategic points around the building. He was to be used as

a scapegoat. The fire soon engulfed the building.

The background to this is as follows :- Hitler had secured the chancellorship after the elections of November 1932,

but his Nazi Party had not won an overall majority.

He therefore obtained Cabinet consent to fix new elections for

March 5, 1933. Meanwhile, his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, is supposed to have devised the scheme

whereby 10 agents led by Karl Ernst were to gain access to the Reichstag through a tunnel leading from the official

residence of Hermann Goring, Reichstag president and Hitler's chief minister, who was then to conduct an official

investigation, which would fix responsibility for the fire on the Communists. The supposed arsonist was a Dutchman,

Marinus van der Lubbe, whom some have claimed was brought to the scene of the crime by Nazi agents. Others have

contended that there was no proof of Nazi complicity in the crime, but that Hitler merely capitalized on van...