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Critically Assess The Role Of Terror And Violence In The Establishment Of The Nazi Dictatorship Between 1933 And 1939

2382 words - 10 pages

Critically assess the role of terror and violence in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship between 1933 and 1939After Adolph Hitler was appointed chancellor on 30th January 1933, Germany witnessed the rapid transformation of the Weimar republic into the single - ruling Nazi Dictatorship. Between the years 1933 - 1939 Hitler was able to attain the legal framework needed to single handily rule Germany and remove all major aspects of opposition. Two major factors for the National Socialists achieving their revolution so quickly was arguably the extensive use of terror and violence. After the Reichstag fire Hitler was able to begin to implement an emergency decree, which not only suspended certain restraints of the constitution, but also permitted increased state and police powers. Furthermore, Hitler advocated the implementation of the enabling act, thus subordinating all institutions and organisations towards Nazi control. The Night of the long knives also saw the enormous and unruly SA brought under control by a massacre of its leadership bringing it under the direct control of Himmler. The SS along with the Gestapo thus became the main enforcers behind the terror and violence campaign. They soon became the principle means used to maintain its control of Germany by eliminating any aspects of non - conformity to Nazi rule. A key instrument in the terror campaign was the role of the concentration camps. At first used as protective custody for political prisoners the concentration camp system was to evolve after 1936, when Himmler was appointed head of SS and German police system, to house all perceived enemies of the state. Through the actions of the SS and Gestapo and the fear of the concentration camp system the Nazi dictatorship was established with all major opposition removed both inside and outside the legal framework of the German constitution.After Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazi's immediately began there system of terror upon resistance to their rule. Hitler believed that the reason Germany failed in the First World War was because of enemies from within, it was vital that this would not happen again. As the Nazi's gained control of Germany, there were signs of open opposition. Initially, communists, SPD and Trade Unionists were outlined as the main threat to Nazi rule. Although there was no overall strategy of terror set out at these early stages of rule, smaller improvised actions were being carried out with various results. The SA rounded up thousands of opponents and took them away to make shift concentration camps set up in disused factory premises or barracks, with many meeting their death at the hands of their tormentors, who had the power of the German state behind them. Long Before Germany was declared officially a one party State in the summer of 1933, open political activity directed against the Nazi's had come to a halt .In the city of Breslau, the Communists attempted a planned demonstration at which a general...

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