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Who Started The Reichstag Fire? Essay

1183 words - 5 pages

On the 27 of febuary 1927, the German parlement (Reichstag) burned down, this essay is to help people decidefor themselves who did it as historians cannot decide who did it for us.One account says that Goering and Goebbels, with the approval of Hitler, looking to smash the Communist Party, setfire to the building. A small group of S.A men, led by Karl Ernst ( Leader of the Berlin S.A. ) entered through apassage linking to Goering's palace. They scattered chemicals in order to burn down the building. After they left, ayoung Dutchman, ( Van der Lubbe) who had previously been seized for arson by the S.A, and had been hand pickedfor the plan, entered the building, and began to start fires at strategic points around the building. He was to be used asa scapegoat. The fire soon engulfed the building.The background to this is as follows :- Hitler had secured the chancellorship after the elections of November 1932,but his Nazi Party had not won an overall majority. He therefore obtained Cabinet consent to fix new elections forMarch 5, 1933. Meanwhile, his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, is supposed to have devised the schemewhereby 10 agents led by Karl Ernst were to gain access to the Reichstag through a tunnel leading from the officialresidence of Hermann Goring, Reichstag president and Hitler's chief minister, who was then to conduct an officialinvestigation, which would fix responsibility for the fire on the Communists. The supposed arsonist was a Dutchman,Marinus van der Lubbe, whom some have claimed was brought to the scene of the crime by Nazi agents. Others havecontended that there was no proof of Nazi complicity in the crime, but that Hitler merely capitalized on van derLubbe's independent act. The fire is the subject of continued debate and research. The link between Karl Ernst of theSA and Lubbe has never been proved.So, on the 27th February the Reichstag is empty as it had been in recess since December. At around 20:30 one of thecaretakers checked the building and found nothing unusual. At 20:50 a postman passed the entrance to the sessionchamber and noticed nothing.At 21:05 a student saw a man carrying a burning brand on the first floor. By 21:14 the fire alarm was received by thelocal firestation and the firemen were in the building by 21:24. At 21:27 there was a huge explosion and the greatchamber burned down. In the rear of the building a half naked dutchman, Marinus van der Lubbe was discovered andarrested. He claims to have done it as "a protest".Hitler and Goring arrived on the scene. Goring at once accused the communists. The next day the President signed adecree which allows the nazis to suspend freedom of speech which they usd to ban nearly the entire opposition press.Communists were arrested and sometimes shot.Did the communists do it?Torgler, the chairman of the Communist deputies to the Reichstag and a number of other communists are arrestedincluding several Bulgarians. There is absolutely no evidence that they were involved...

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