How far was the popularity of Nazi ideology responsible for the success of the Nazi Party in the elections of 1930 to 1932? (a) Explain why Hitler introduced the Enabling Law in March 1933.(b) 'Hitler's dictatorship was complete by August 1934 and it was achieved entirely by legal means.' Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.
The striking contrast between the Nazi party and the Weimer republic particularly impressed the people most. The Nazi party promised strong, decisive government and restoration of national pride. They promised to get Germany rid of real causes of trouble; Marxist, Jews and Jesuits. They advocated for the scrapping of the Treaty of Versailles which was highly unpopular in Germany. And finally, due to their anti-communist stand, they were supported by industrialists also.
(a): Hitler was not satisfied with the results of March 1933 elections. He was still short of an overall majority and his aim of independent Nazi party government shattered. President Hindenburg, who was still in shock after Reichstag fire, was persuaded by Hitler that emergency legislation was necessary to prevent a communist uprising. Thus Enabling Law was forced through Reichstag to provide the legal basis to the Hitler’s power.
(b): On the day of passage of Enabling Bill, the Kroll Opera House (where all MPs had been meeting since Reichstag fire) was surrounded by the SS troops and Hitler’s private army. They were also present inside the Kroll Opera House. 81 communist MPs were either detained or were in hiding to prevent arrest and some of the socialist were not allowed to enter. In this situation opposing the Enabling Bill requires courage. All MPs present except those of the Social Democrats voted in favor of the bill. The aim of killing parliament was achieved in a seemingly democratic was but it was not legal at all by assessing the situation under which MPs voted. After this, under the policy of forcible co-ordination (Gleichschaltung), Germany was turned into the totalitarian and fascist state. All political parties and trade unions were banned.