April 10, 2013
The end of World War I brought the Weimar Republic into power of the German government, with thoughts of it being the best for Germany. Once the Republic took over the government it looked for the right leader to take over. Most of the public feared the rise of communism and thought the Republic resembled it. Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles which placed major restrictions on the government creating more of a weak government than what Germany need at that point. This allowed many other political parties to begin to develop and receive support from the German people, putting pressure on the Republic. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party used this to gain support from Germans which lead to Hitler being appointed Chancellor by the President. The failing Weimar Republic allowed Hitler and Nazi Party to use the partially developed government in adapting it into their own Regime with a racially pure nation while gaining support from the Volk and expressing the Jewish problem through new laws and requirements.
As the Weimar Republic took control of the German government it was already unsupported by the German people from fear of the rise of communism. The gains that were made by the Republic were struck back down when Friedrich Ebert, the first president, and Gustav Stresemann, founder of the German People’s Party and both chancellor then foreign minister, both died in the 1920’s. The death of these two popular leaders continued to keep the Weimar Republic weak and the parties that created it to suffer with problems of effective governing. Once Hitler and his Nazi party began to pursue seizing the government, it was simple for the party to make changes to the existing government without starting from scratch. Changes were gradually made at the beginning, as Hitler felt it was the perfect time until he gained full power of the government then rapidly sped up the process.
While Hitler and the Nazis worked to gain power of the government they realized they had very little on economic policies and programs. No economic help would have resulted in the loss of the chance to have power and being voted out of office closing any chance of Hitler seceding. The economic planks of their twenty-five-point part platform, which were antagonistic to big business, big financiers, and big department stores, had been based primarily on the interests of the lower middle class. Economic problems from the depression were the first thing on many Germans minds and the twenty-five-points were not what the economy needed at that time. Hitler understood what the country needed, what he needed to do in order to complete his foreign policy goals and remain in power.
The emergency decree of Article 48 was able to allow Hitler to gain more power and use it against his political opponents to gain more support. While waiting for the elections on March 3rd, 1933, the Reichstag was set fire, set by the Nazis, and Hitler used the event to announce it was a communist revolution. With all the fear of the rise of communism it allowed Hitler to continue the decree to protect the German government and people. Passing of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, eliminated the role of the Reichstag and the parliamentary system which gave the government the right to issue laws without the consent of the Reichstag. This brought forth yet more power to Hitler and his Nazi party establishing of the single-party regime. Everything was falling right into place as Hitler needed and he wanted to gain total government control of Germany.
Having major control of the government Hitler began banning divisions of any kind, political and organizations, which could possibly have damaged the regime. This was part of a policy of coordination (Gleichschaltung) that was to be applied to organizational life at all levels, including the most local. All