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Before World War II, Nazi Germany’s culture and society were completely different. In September 1932, members of the Nazi Reichstag, elected Herman Goering Before World War II, Nazi Germany’s culture and society were completely different. In September 1932, the Nazi members of the Reichstag, Elected Herman Goering as President of the Reichstag with support from the Center Party. The most critical year of the new regime was from the summer of 1933 to the summer of 1934. This was the most critical due to Germany slipping into isolation. Even Mussolini kept his distance from Hitler. He Viewed Italy’s role more as a balancing element alongside Western powers than as Hitler’s Ally. Slowly but surely, Hitler was starting what he wanted, for Germany to be the sole leading power. Only used allies and treaties for his benefit to gain more power.

As President of the Reichstag, Goering managed to prevent the Chancellor from presenting an order to dissolve the Reichstag. There was also a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor and his government which led to the forced resignation of the new government. This allowed the Nazis to retain enough influence to feel confident that Papen would not be able to restructure the government. With Papen being unable to form a new government, he decided to resign from his position on November 17th, 1932. Despite Papen’s resignation, Hindenburg still refused to appoint Hitler as chancellor due to his fear that Hitler would turn the government into a dictatorship. Instead, he tried re-installing Papen as chancellor. However, Papen was unable to gain enough support from his cabinet which led to what many did not want. On January 30th, 1933, President Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in a coalition government and Papen as Vice-Chancellor. This showed that many were aware of Hitler’s intentions and feared the outcome of his intentions. They wanted to keep the good people in power for as long as they could.

On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag was destroyed by fire. Many believe that the fire was planned by the Nazis, Goebbels, and Goering. Not only was Marinus van der Lubbe made a scapegoat for the fire, but Hitler was also given an excuse to have all of the Communist deputies of the Reichstag arrested. He even managed to get the Nazi government powers to enter anyone that they thought was a threat to the nation from President Hindenburg. This order also allowed the Nazi government to suppress the free speech of political opponents. Despite having all of the ammunition that one may need to be successful, the Nazis only managed to achieve 44 percent of the votes in the elections of March 5, 1933. This left Hitler short of an overall majority vote and far off of the two-thirds majority needed to change any part of the German Constitution. For now, Hitler was still kept semi-under control, but not for long. It is only a matter of time until he devises another plan of how to achieve his goal of coming into power.

On March 23rd, 1933, the Enabling Act was put in place. This act allowed the powers of legislation to be transferred from the Reichstag to Hitler’s cabinet for four years. This act was passed with the support of the Center and Nationalist parties as well as the suppression of all Communist deputies and several Social Democrats. This act’s passing allowed something that Hindenburg tried to prevent from happening. It allowed dictatorial powers to be given legally to Hitler. This, in turn, led to Hitler making many changes. One change he made occurred on July 14th, 1933, when Hitler proclaimed a law granting the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. This also meant that any non-Nazi organizations, including political parties and trade unions, that existed in Germany, were no longer able to exist, they had to disband. With making the Nazi Party the only political party in Germany, it was not long before the individual German states were stripped of their powers and had Nazi officials put in as governors for their state. This helped Hitler keep an eye on all of Germany and make sure that his laws applied all over, not just where he was.

In August, Göring, minister-president of Prussia since April 1933, disbanded the Auxillary Police and gradually closed down the “unauthorized” concentration camps and torture cellars of the SA. There was also a secret political police called the Gestapo, which had been removed from the authority of the internal administration. The Gestapo was headed by Heinrich Himmler who was the SS leader and a subordinate to the chief of staff of the SA. Many wanted to see a further change in the power structure of Germany by taking control of the big businesses as well as making the SA the main army of Germany. However, Hitler did not agree with this. He wanted to keep the economy running effectively and did not think the SA was a military force. Hitler needed the support of the army to be Hindenburg’s successor, he proposed that he would suppress the SA and expand the army and navy if they would in return support him. The chiefs kept their end of the deal by supporting Hitler, who in return ordered the SA to go on leave for the entire month. Unfortunately, Hitler did not think of all of the potential issues that could arise from having a lack of enforcement for the Nazis.

During the time that the SA was ordered to be on leave, the Nazi thugs grew rowdy and got out of hand to where President Hindenburg wanted to declare a state of martial law. This threatened Hitler with recourse if something was not done to fix the situation at hand. This along with many other things occurring, led Hitler to order Himmler and Goering to take action against the leaders of the SA. Special police were ordered to arrest and execute the leaders of the SA including Ernst Roehm and many others.

On August 2nd, 1934, President Hindenburg died. It was already agreed upon that the offices of the President and Chancellor would be combined. Before he died, Hindenburg expressed that he wished for the monarchy to be restored. Hitler, unfortunately, did not agree, which led to him suppressing these wishes and not publishing the President’s will. He also took advantage of having the support of the army and had the whole armed forces swear an oath of loyalty to him. There was then a plebiscite held which had the public decide on whether they approved of all of the changes made which ended with 90% of voters approving. This in turn led to Hitler becoming “Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor” instead of President. Hitler finally got what he wanted, to be President or “Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, what more could he want right? Well, there are a bunch of changes that are about to be enforced in Germany as Hitler carried out his ideas.

During the beginning of Hitler’s rule, there were a bunch of changes. One was censorship which was extreme and was applied to everything like press, films, radio, books, and event art. Another change was that the centralized “Labour Front” replaced trade unions even though they did not function like the trade unions. Literature written by Jewish, other non-Aryans, or authors opposed to the Nazis were destroyed by the regime. There were often book burnings by German students who burnt books that did not align with Nazi ideology. Churches were persecuted and the Gestapo often arrested ministers that preached non-Nazi doctrine. The Jewish population was ostracized from society and were no longer considered to be German citizens and did not have any legal rights due to the Nuremberg Laws of September 1935. This meant that Jews were denied things that many loved doing, they were no longer able to hold public office, farm, or teach, and were eventually barred from practicing law and medicine. It didn’t stop at this, they were soon even denied entry to shops.

While all of this was going on, Hitler was secretly gearing up for war. He had appointed Dr. Hjalmar Schacht to secretly increase armaments production. Before too long, Goering took over Schacht’s duties of preparing the war economy. Under Goering, the Four-Year Plan was instituted which just basically said that Germany would be self-sufficient in four years. This plan made life in Germany tough due to the strict control of imports, materials prices, wages, etc. Workers were also paid very low wages and were restricted from moving between jobs. For those who depended on their work to live, Hitler was making it nearly impossible to survive.

Due to his rising popularity, Hitler had a lot of power and was a hard individual to challenge. This led him to often do what he wanted, without fear of consequences. One example is that he ordered the army to go from the maximum amount of 100,000 that they were allowed under the Versailles Treaty, to 300,000 men by October 1934. But he didn’t stop there, he also ordered Admiral Raeder to begin the construction of large warships that did not abide by the size restrictions in the treaty. As if that was not pushing the limits enough, Hitler tasked Goering with training Air Force pilots and designing military aircraft. You would think that this would cause a reaction from those in the treaty, but it did not. The little, if even any reaction at all, just encouraged Hitler. He then decided to move further by challenging the treaty.

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From the results, he noticed so far, Hitler decided to push the treaty a little more by sending a small force of German troops across the Rhine bridges into the demilitarized areas towards Aachen, Trier, and Saarbruecken. The treaty strictly prohibited Germany from having armed forces between the Rhine River and France or Belgium. However, due to the strong French army force near the border, they did not react to the small German force on the Rhine. At the time, they were not worried about them. Hitler to prevent anything from happening, had made many declarations of wanting to establish peace throughout all of Europe. He was even willing and offered to negotiate new non-aggression pacts with several countries.

Hitler having troops holding secure in the Rhineland meant that there was less security for other countries in Central Europe. This led to the Austrian Government having Dr. Schuschnigg begin a course of appeasement of Hitler by giving Austrian Nazis influential positions in the government. To thank the Austrian Government for allowing the Nazis to have influential positions, Hitler pledged his recognition of Austrian sovereignty. This then led to Mussolini undermining Austria in October 1936 by allying with Hitler. This was known as the Rome-Berlin Axis, which included an agreement on a common foreign policy between the two countries.

There was a German rearmament program that led to full employment and an unrestrained expansion of production. This reinforced some of the success of foreign policies such as the Rome-Berlin pact of 1936, the Anschluss with Austria, and the liberation of the Sudeten Germans. All of these brought Hitler to his all-time highest level of popularity. With this level of popularity, he was able to dismiss sixteen of his senior generals and take personal command of the armed forces. This allowed him to have direct control and able to implement all of his ideas immediately. This forced the British and French into the Munich agreement and eventually dismantled the Czechoslovakian State. Many of the Germans were blinded by Hitler’s territorial expansion and victories, and they forgot about all of the concentration camps, Nuremberg racial laws, the persecution of churches, disband of many groups, and unfair treatment towards the Jews. With almost everything he wanted, there was not much that Hitler was left wanting, well except for Poland. But to avoid a two-front war, Hitler had to sign a pact of friendship and non-aggression with Soviet Russia.

s President of the Reichstag with the support of the Center Party. The most critical year for the new empire was from the summer of 1933 to the summer of 1934. This was a very turbulent year due to Germany’s slip of independence. Even Mussolini kept himself away from Hitler. He viewed Italy’s role more closely as a part of the equality closer to Western power than as the Hitler Alliance.

As President of the Reichstag, Goering was able to prevent the Chancellor from issuing an order to dissolve the Reichstag. There was also a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor and his government which led to the forced resignation of the new government. This allowed the Nazis to maintain sufficient influence to feel confident that Papen would not be able to reform the government. Unable to form a new government, Papen decided to step down on November 17, 1932. Despite Papen’s resignation, Hindenburg still refused to appoint Hitler as chancellor because of fears that Hitler would overthrow the dictatorship. Instead, he tried to reinstate Papen as chancellor. Papen, however, could not get enough support from his cabinet, which led to widespread dissatisfaction. On January 30, 1933, President Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler as Chancellor of the coalition government with Papen as Vice-Chancellor.

On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag was burned to the ground. Many believe the fire was organized by the Nazis, Goebbels and Goering. Not only was Marinus van der Lubbe made into a scapegoat for fire, but Hitler was also given excuses for arresting all Communist deputies in the Reichstag. He even managed to get the Nazi government to contact anyone he thought was a threat to the nation from President Hindenburg. The decree also allowed the Nazi government to suppress the free speech of political opponents. Despite having all the credentials to win, the Nazis were able to win only 44 percent of the vote in the March 5, 1933 election.

On March 23, 1933, the Knowledge Act was enacted. The move allowed the legal force to be transferred from the Reichstag to Hitler’s cabinet for four years. The move was approved with the support of the Center and Nationalist party and the repression of all Communist supporters and several Social Democrats. With this passing action, we allowed something that Hindenburg was trying to prevent from happening. It authorized the dictatorship to be officially granted to Hitler. This led to many changes for Hitler. Another change was made on July 14, 1933, when Hitler announced a law that allowed the Nazi Party to become the only political party in Germany. This meant that any non-Nazi organizations, including political parties and unions, that existed in Germany, could no longer exist, and had to be disbanded. By making the Nazi Party the only political party in Germany, it was not long before some German states were stripped of their power and made Nazi officials their vassals.

In August, Göring, the prime minister of Prussia, since April 1933, disbanded the Police Force and gradually closed down “unauthorized” concentration camps and concentration camps in South Africa. Then there were the secret police, called the Gestapo, who had been ousted from the interior. The Gestapo was led by Heinrich Himmler, a former SS leader and subordinate to the South African Labor Party. Many wanted to see another change in Germany’s power structure by controlling big business as well as making SA a major German army. However, Hitler did not agree. He wanted to keep the economy running smoothly, and he did not think SA was a military force. Because Hitler needed military support to become Hindenburg’s heir apparent, he suggested that he pressure the SA and increase the army and navy if they would support him. The chiefs maintained their fate by supporting Hitler, who also ordered SA to go on holiday for a month.

When the SA was ordered to take a leave of absence, the Nazi criminals began to riot and got out of hand when President Hindenburg wanted to announce the legal status of the marshal. This threatened Hitler if nothing was done to rectify the situation. This, along with many other developments, led Hitler to order Himmler and Goering to take action against South African leaders. Special police have been ordered to arrest and kill South African leaders, including Ernst Roehm and many others.

On August 2, 1934, President Hindenburg passed away. It was agreed that the Presidency and Chancellor would be merged. Before his death, Hindenburg expressed his desire for the monarchy to be restored. Hitler, unfortunately, refused, leading him to suppress these wishes and not publish the will of the President. He took advantage of military support and made all the army vows to be loyal to him. Then there was the consultation meeting where the community decided whether to accept the change which resulted in the approval of 90% of the voters. This led to Hitler’s becoming ‘Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor’ instead of President.

At the beginning of Hitler’s reign, a series of reforms took place. One was extreme research and was used in everything like media, films, radio, books, and event art. Another change was that the central Labor Front changed unions even though they did not function as unions.

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