Hitler's consolidation of power

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 08-11-18 10:38

Governmental and Administrative Change

Hitler changed Germany's bureaucratic institutions. He first tried to remove all political opponents. By the end of 1933, the Nazis were the only official party. Germany was a single party state.

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Trade Unions

On 2 May trades union officials were seized; all trade unions replaced by DAF (Nazi Trade Union).

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Politically removing opponents

  • SPD leader Otto Wels fled into exile in June after the party was banned. Other parties dissolved themselves.

  • On 14 July Law against the Formation of New Parties.

  • In November 1933 NSDAP won 92% of the election votes (8% = spoiled votes)

  • In January 1933 the Law for the Reconstruction of the State was passed. Elected state assemblies were dissolved. Reich Governors were created – Nazi Gauleiters often appointed.

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  • New People’s Courts and Special Courts were created in March 1933.

  • In October 1933 lawyers had to join the German Lawyers’ Front and swear loyalty to Hitler.

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Removal of 'alien elements'

  • On 7 April 1933 the Law for the Official Reform of the Civil Service was passed. ‘Alien elements’ (Jews, political opponents) were removed from courts, education and the civil service.

  • The existing civil service stayed in place but lost influence as the NSDAP increasingly set up its own specialist agencies to develop and execute policies

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Political threats?

Most generals agreed with Hitler’s ideas about German nationalism, rearmament, and were anti-left wing. Hitler was also wary of the army.

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Violently removing opponents

  • The SA murdered about 500 people.

  • 100,000 political opponents were arrested.

  • From March 1933 the SA had been violently overthrowing many state governments so that the Reich government had to appoint commissioners.

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Night of the Long Knives 1934

This was a purge of Hitler's SA and key political opponents. The SA were becoming uncontrollable and Hitler believed they were damaging the reputation of the Nazi party. He replaced them with the more disciplined, **.

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Motives behind the Night of the Long Knives

  • Nazi infighting:
    • Himmler wanted the ** removed from SA control.
    • Goering resented Röhm and led Hitler to believe Röhm was planning a coup.
  • Hitler needed élite support:
    • Röhm had spoken of a ‘second revolution’ to fulfil the socialist points of the 25 Point Programme. Hitler feared an élite backlash.
  • Papen had publicly criticised the SA, with Hindenburg’s approval.
  • The Army disliked the SA. Germany’s military was still run by the élite.
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Night of the Long Knives

  • The purge (named Operation Hummingbird) lasted from 29 June to 2 July.
  • Overall, about 90 opponents of Hitler were murdered, including over 50 SA leaders.
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Impact of the Night of the Long Knives

  • The night marks a watershed Hitler’s dictatorship: he crushed the radical SA, murdered his opponents and won the support of the élites – including the army.
  • On 3 July 1934, Hitler passed a law legalising the actions having gained acceptance of his actions and legalised the murders of his opponents.
  • The ** became independent of the SA and under Hitler’s personal command.
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The Death of President Hindenburg

When Hindenburg died, Hitler became the Führer of Germany.

Hindenburg's death

  • On 2 August 1934, Hindenburg died.
  • Hitler became Führer of Germany.
  • As head of the only political party allowed in Germany, all power was in his hands.
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Oath to Hitler

The German Armed Forces took an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler:

  • ‘I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer
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Führer and Reich Chancellor

  • On 1 August 1934, Hitler passed a law concerning the Head of State of the German Reich.
  • He merged the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer and Reich Chancellor.
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