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Nazi Consolidation of Power

  • Date Submitted: 04/30/2014 11:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.1 
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‘Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 was primarily due to the use of terror and violence.’ How far do you agree with this judgement?

The use of terror and violence helped Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 but it was not the only factor. Other factors aided the consolidation of power such as: the use of legality to secure power by lawful means; the use of propaganda to shepherd the German people into supporting the Nazis; adapting to different demands of society to ensure the support of a wide range of people; and gleichschaltung (co ordination) ensured all aspects of Germany society was under Nazi control.

The use of terror and violence certainly contributed to Nazi consolidation of power in 1933. For example, on 27th February 1933, a communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was accused and arrested for the Reichstag fire when the actual perpetrators were most likely to be the Nazis. This was important to the consolidation of power by the Nazis because it instilled fear in the minds of ordinary Germany people which would have a negative impact on the communist party as their reputation would have been tarnished. This is of significance because the KPD were the second largest party in the Reichstag and thus were the main rivals of the Nazi party. With them out of the way, the Nazis didn’t face any real threat which made it easier for them to consolidate power. In addition, the SA and the SS broke into rival political party offices and destroyed documents and files. This form of arson intimidated the wider population, especially anyone that opposes the Nazis which helped Nazi consolidation of power because people were too afraid to stand up to these ‘hooligan-like’ SA.

However, it can be argued that propaganda is another factor that was significant in the Nazis consolidating power in 1933. As historian Ian Kershaw explains, "It was plain from the beginning that the regime would attach a high priority to the steering of opinion." This is accurate to some degree...

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