27 Feb 1933
Reichstag Fire - the Reichstag building is set on fire. A Dutch Communist, van der Lubbe, is caught red-handed in the burning building.
5 Mar 1933
General Election - only 44 per cent of the population vote for the Nazis, who win 288 seats in the Reichstag.
23 Mar 1933
Enabling Act - the SA intimidates all the remaining non-Nazi deputies. The Reichstag votes to give Hitler the right to make his own laws.
26 April 1933
Local government is reorganised - the country is carved up into 42 Gaus, which are run by a Gauleiter. These Gaus are separated into areas, localities and blocks of flats run by a Blockleiter. Hitler sets up the Gestapo.
2 May 1933
Trade unions are abolished and their leaders arrested.
20 June 1933
Concordat - Hitler makes an agreement with the Pope who sees him as someone who can destroy communism. This agreement allows Hitler to take over political power in Germany as long as he leaves the Catholic Church alone.
14 July 1933
Political parties are banned - only the Nazi party is allowed to exist.
24 April 1934
People's Courts - Hitler sets up the Nazi people's courts where judges have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Nazis.
30 June 1934
Night of the Long Knives - some SA leaders are demanding that the Nazi party carry out its socialist agenda, and that the SA take over the army. Hitler cannot afford to annoy the businessmen or the army, so the SS murders perhaps 400 of the SA members, including its leader Röhm, along with a number of Hitler's other opponents.
19 Aug 1934
Führer - when Hindenburg dies, Hitler declares himself jointly president, chancellor and head of the army.
Hitler used the fire to his advantage in two ways:
It gave him an opportunity to imprison many communist leaders, which stopped them campaigning during the election.
It allowed the...