Revision Diary

Hitler's Consolidation of Power


Hitler's consolidation of power - Reichstag Fire; Election of March 1933; Enabling Act; Elimination of political opposition – political parties, Trade Unions. Night of the Long Knives; death of Hindenburg; Hitler becomes Fόhrer.

One party law and order – the SS and Gestapo.

Control of education, youth movements and the media; censorship and propaganda.


Make sure you have detailed factual knowledge about AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT the following issues and topics:



1.  The STORY of Hitler's consolidation of power.

2.  The reasons why Hitler had all-power in Germany


and that you are able to explain:







Hitler's Consolidation of Power    

(Rigged General Election Leads To Psychopath Nazi Fuhrer)

Revision Focus

This is a Paper 2 topic, so you need to have factual KNOWLEDGE IN DEPTH but also a degree of understanding which will allow you in the exam to write MULTI-CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS of the key issues.



e-books on Hitler's Consolidation of power and his  Apparatus of Power.




How it helped Hitler

27 Feb 1933

Reichstag Fire

•  The Reichstag set on fire.

•  A Dutch Communist, van der Lubbe, caught red-handed in the burning building.

•  Van der Lubbe sentenced to death

•  Communists claimed that the Nazis started a fire, and held a mock-trial in Paris where an SA man called Karl Ernst 'confessed' - but the evidence was made up.

•  allowed Hitler to imprison many Communist leaders, which stopped them campaigning.

•  allowed Hitler to claim the country was in danger from communism during the campaign.

•  (when the courts did not convict the Communist leaders) gave Hitler the excuse to bring in the Nazi People's Courts.

5 Mar 1933

General Election

•  44 per cent of the population voted for the Nazis, who won 288 seats in the Reichstag - NOT a majority.

•  Hitler immediately arrested the 80 Communist deputies

•  gave Hitler the majority he needed to pass the Enabling Act

23 Mar 1933

Enabling Act

•  The SA bullied all the non-Nazi deputies.

•  The Reichstag voted Hitler the right to make the laws.

•  made Hitler an absolute dictator

26 April 1933

Local govt

•  Hitler divided Germany into 42 Gaus, each run by a Nazi Gauleiter.

•  Each block of flats run by a Blockleiter.

•  Hitler sets up the Gestapo.

•  this was the mechanism of informing, control and terror over ordinary people

2 May 1933

Trade unions

•  abolished and their leaders arrested.

•  instead Hitler set up the German Labour Front

•  removed the basis of left-wing opposition from the workers

•  kept his rich businessmen backers happy

14 July 1933

Political parties

[•  June 1933: Hitler made an agreement with the Pope: he could take political power in Germany if he left the Catholic Church alone (he later ignored this) - this allowed Hitler to abolish the Catholic Centre Party without opposition.]

•  Hitler banned all political parties - only the Nazi party is allowed.

•  made Germany a one-party state

•  destroyed democracy - Germans could no longer get rid of Hitler in an election.

30 June 1934

Night of the Long Knives

•  SA leaders wanted the Nazi party to carry out its socialist agenda, and to take over the army.

•  codeword 'Hummingbird - Hitler ordered the SS to kill more than 400 SA men, including its leader Rφhm

•  destroyed Rohm (a rival) and the power of the SA (who were wanting to take over the Army).

•  gave power to the SS (Hitler's personal bodyguard)


19 Aug 1934


•  when Hindenburg died, Hitler declares himself Fuhrer (leader)

•  combined the roles of president, chancellor and head of the army.



How did Hitler Control Germany?


(Overdo The Power - You Worthless Ranting Rogue)

One-Party State

•    After July 1933 it was an offence to belong to another Party.  

•    All other parties were banned, and their leaders were put in prison.

•    Nazi Party members got the best jobs, better houses and special privileges.  

•    Many businessmen joined the Nazi Party purely to get orders.


•    The Nazis took over local government and the police.  

•    Hitler set up the Gestapo (the secret police) and the SS, and encouraged Germans to report opponents and 'grumblers'.  

•    Jews, Communists, gypsies, homosexuals, alcoholics and prostitutes were sent to concentration camps for 'crimes' as small as writing anti-Nazi graffiti, possessing a banned book, or saying that business was bad.

•    On the Night of the Long Knives (13 June 1934) Hitler used his legal power to assassinate all his opponents within the Nazi Party,


•    Continual propaganda, run by Josef Goebbels.  

•    Cult of personality - everything was organised to make Germans permanently grateful to Adolf Hitler.   Germans were made to feel part of a great and successful movement (nb Olympic Games).

•    The Nazis used the most up-to-date technology to get their message across - bands, book-burning, censorship, cinema, jazz banned, loudspeakers, marches, Mein Kampf, newsreels, newspapers, parades, posters, radio, Olympic Games, processions, rallies, speeches.

•    The Nazis made sure that every family could afford a cheap radio.


•    The Nazis sacked anti-Nazi teachers and University professors.

•    School lessons included hidden indoctrination - requiring children to calculate how much mentally disabled people cost the state, or to criticize the racial features of Jewish people.

•    German boys had to attend the Hitler Jugend (which mixed exciting activities, war-games and Nazi indoctrination).  

•    German girls went to the BDM to learn how to be good mothers, and to love Hitler.


•    Hitler banned all Trade Unions (2 May 1933) and imprisoned their leaders.  

•    Instead Hitler made them join the German Labour Front (which reduced workers' pay and took away the right to strike).  

•    The National Labour Service sent men on public works programmes.

•    To keep the workers happy, the Nazis set up the 'Strength Through Joy' (which offered good workers picnics, free trips to the cinema and a few free holidays) and 'Beauty of Work' movements.


•    Hitler signed a Concordat with the Pope, agreeing to leave the Roman Catholic Church alone if it stayed out of politics - so most Catholics were happy to accept the Nazi regime.   

•    Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses who opposed the Nazis were sent to concentration camps.  

•    Hitler started his own 'German Church', based on Viking myths.


•    The Nazi regime was based on anti-semitism.  

•    The Racial Purity Law (15 September 1935) took away German citizenship from the Jews, and forbade sex between Germans and Jews.  

•    Kristallnacht (9-10 November 1938)

•    Many Germans approved of this discrimination.