Creating the Totalitarian State: Germany 1933-1934


Hitler is Appointed Reich Chancellor

30 January 1933

Adolf Hitler is appointed Reich Chancellor with Franz von Papen as Vice-Chancellor.

The Reichstag Fire

27 February 1933

Hitler transformed the devastation of the Reichstag fire into a major turning point for the Nazi movement.

The Decree for the Protection of People and State

28 February 1933

This decree suspended the basic rights of the German people in the constitution and established the basis for the totalitarian state.

Reichstag Elections

5 March 1933

In this election the Nazis increased their representation in the Reichstag winning 43.9% of the vote.

The Day of Potsdam

21 March 1933

The day of Potsdam was held as a demonstration of the unity between the Old prussian elite and the Nazi movement.

The Enabling Act

23 March 1933

This law gave the government the power to issue new laws regardless of the Reichstag.

Trade Unions Abolished

2 May 1933

The German trade union movement was abolished after Hitler saw that they were exercising more power over the workers than he could. The German Labour Front (DAF) was established in its place.

Law against the Establishment of New Parties

14 July 1933

This Law meant that the Nazi party was the only legal political party in Germany.

Reichstag Elections

12 November 1933

Since the Nazi party was now the only legal party this was hardly an election. However, Hitler used it as an opportunity to prove the popular appeal of the ne regime.

Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich

30 January 1934

This law abolished the independence of the state governments, converting Germany into a highly centralised state.

Reichscrat Abolished

14 February 1934

The political institution which gives German states representation and influence at the federal level in Germany is dissolved.

Himmler appointed head of Gestapo

20 April 1934

Heinrich Himmler is appointed the head of the secret state police or Gestapo.

The Night of the Long Knives

30 June 1934

Adolf Hitler orders the removal of Nazi Leaders. He assassinates hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future.

The Death of President von Hindenburg

2 August 1934

President von Hindenburg died at the age of 87. Hitler abolished the position of president, combining the offices of president and chancellor.