The Nazi party was effective in its consolidation of power by various means. By 1934 the Nazi party established the apparatus of party dictatorship in Germany through strategies based on fear, threats and the restraint on individual rights as loyalty to the state was paramount. The Nazi party effectively consolidated power through the exaggeration of The Reichstag Fire??™s seriousness in February 1933. The Nazi party exemplified the lingering threat of communism thereby calling upon the authority to pass the enabling act of the Weimar constitution. The Reichstag decree was thereby implemented nullifying many of the key civil liberties of German citizen??™s whereby the basis of the totalitarian state was established. The decree continued relentlessly against all enemies of Nazism and conservatism, especially communists, socialists and trade unionists stifling opposition and taking its first steps towards the Nazi party??™s ultimate consolidation of power. This occurred between 22 June and 5 July 1933 were disbandment of political parties occurred. Also the ???co-ordination??™ of the German society occurred adding to their consolidation in power. And lastly the night of the long knives which was the final and key event which led to the Nazi hard earn consolidate power towards the country of Germany.
After Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933, he wanted to build up mass support from the country in order to strengthen his position against both his political opponents and the President. Using propaganda and the resources of the state, he proclaimed the new government was projected as a government of national revival. The Nazis spoke of bridging the divisions within German society and the creation of a new sense of unity and community among the German people. Hitler wasted no time in consolidating his power in Germany after he had been appointed new chancellor.
Despite Hitler??™s appeal to national revival, the reality was that from the start the Nazis used force and intimidation. Hitler showed this when he stated ???The first condition of power lies in the constant and uniform application of force???. On 22 February 1933 Hitler established an ???auxiliary police??™ drawn up from the SS and the nationalist ex-servicemen??™s league. Over the next few months the SA murdered perhaps 600. Another 100,000 were placed under ???protective custody??™ and thrown into ???concentration camps for political prisoners??™, the first opening on 22 March outside Munich. The victims of this wave of violence were mainly from the left wing of politics such as trade union officials and members of the communist party. The Nazis also classified Germany??™s 525,000 Jews as enemies and they too became targets for a bashing.
Hitler used the Reichstag building fire of 27 February 1933 to his advantage by effectively employing dramatic propaganda to fuel hysteria, ultimately taking advantage of the fire and using it as a means of consolidating power. As Goring surveyed the scene he declared: ???this is the beginning of the communist upswing! Now they??™ll strike out! There??™s not a minute to waste!??? The communists were blamed and an emergency decree ???For the protection of people and state??™- known also as the Reichstag fire decree was proclaimed on 28 February. It gave the government the power to place ???restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and association??™ to open letters in the mail and listen in on telephone calls. This decree basic freedoms of the German people were suspended and the basis of the totalitarian state had been established. This gave the Nazis enormous power to deal with political opponents.
Hitler organised the arrests of communist members of the Reichstag and to ban communist publications. However, in a clever move, he did not ban the Communist Party itself because the party itself was needed for the election campaign in order for Hitler to use the party to create fear within the German people. If the Communist Party was banned, it would in effect, make the people vote for the left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD) instead. Whether or not the fire was actually started by the communist, Hitler used the situation to his advantage to consolidate his power.
The Enabling Act of March 1933 awarded Hitler dictatorial powers through the proposal for drastic new laws enabling the Nazi cabinet to govern by decree. This act gave the government the power to enact laws without parliamentary approval, to enact foreign treaties abroad and even to make changes to the Constitution. The Nazi party was determined to rule Germany without the restraint of a democratically elected parliament, once successfully secured, The Nazi party dissolved all trade unions, abolished political parties and established the German Labour Front.
The enabling act gave the Nazis the power to destroy and abolish the last sources of opposition. The Nazis called this a process of Gleichschaltung, which means the ???bringing into line??™ essentially a deliberate attempt to Nazify Germany also thought to be known as ???co-ordination??™ of the German society. This process would involve the closing down of many independent organisations, to be replaced by Nazi-controlled bodies. The Nazi??™s consolidated power through the disbanding of the republican apparatus and banning political opposition. Between 22 June and 5 July 1933 all other political parties were disbanded; the KPD was banned followed by the subsequent dissolution of the SPD, DNVP and the DDP. Prior to this, the trade union movement was abolished. With little qualification, what was going on met with the approval of the overwhelming majority of Germans. Hitler was seen as providing the strong leadership that the nation had been lacking for a long time. The elimination of political adversaries left the Nazi party in a desirable position of power and by November 1933 all Reichstag seats belonged to the Nazi party. The liquidation of left wing and centre parties enormously enhanced the Nazi domination of remaining political ground. Thus the Nazi exploited the opportunities provided by democracy to destroy it.
The army was crucial in the Nazis gaining effective control of Germany it was the opposition of the army had been his main problem at the Munich beer hall putsch. Therefore Hitler had to decide between the army and the SA. In the Night of The Long Knives in June 1934 Hitler weakened the radical wing in his SA and reassured the army. The effect of these actions was that the Nazi party has secured the armies loyalty to the Nazi regime. The death of President Hindenburg in August 1934 led to the German army taking the Fuhrer Oath which swore allegiance not to the Republic, the flag or the constitution, but to Hitler personally. The Nazi party had now consolidated all elements of German society as the support of the army allowed Hitler to combine the offices of President and Chancellor into that of the Fuhrer.