By Marshall Cavendish Corporation
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Extra resources for Countdown to Catastrophe
It was only later that concentration camps were used for mass murder during the Holocaust. Also in 1933, the Nazis created a nationwide secret police, the Gestapo. The Gestapo kept information on anyone suspected of opposing the Nazis. They could arrest people for as long as they wanted. They often used torture on prisoners. The courts had no power to intervene. Germany’s lawyers, frightened into silence, did nothing. POLITICAL WORLD THE ENABLING ACT After he became chancellor, Hitler wanted to tighten his control over Germany.
Hitler needed a two-thirds 60 COUNTDOWN TO CATASTROPHE majority in the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act. This act would suspend the constitution and give Hitler absolute power. On March 23 the Reichstag met in the Kroll Opera House. Massed ranks of SA troops surrounded the building. They were there to frighten the deputies. Only eightyfour Social Democrats voted against the bill. The bill passed with 441 votes. Hitler had legally been voted dictator. Democracy in Germany was dead. m. on February 27, 1933, a witness saw a man trying to break into the Reichstag, the parliament building in Berlin.
Nerships to his own advantage. Germany’s government was led by a chancellor, or prime minister, and a president. President Hindenburg was very popular. But at eighty-four years of age, he was no longer a real force in politics. Hitler saw that one of his main rivals was the current chancellor, Heinrich Brüning. The other was General Kurt von Schleicher, a clever assistant to Hindenburg. Schleicher wanted to replace Brüning as chancellor. Both politicians tried to persuade Hitler to join with them.
Countdown to Catastrophe by Marshall Cavendish Corporation