Nazi Party in Power 1933-1939

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After assuming political power in 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party implemented a mission of reviving German strength, acquiring territory for more living space or Lebensraum, and establishing a foundation for a pure “racial/supremist” state. In order to achieve these goals, Hitler needed to create a sense of Volksgemeinschaft or a national community unified in mind, will, and spirit. Volksgemeinschaft could only be attained through total state control; therefore, every facet of cultural and social life had to be controlled to achieve Nazi ideology. Culture, the press, movies, religion, education and children's activities were among the many aspects of the social life controlled by the Nazis, as well as control over the economy, education and family structure in the newly formed, totalitarian state. The Reichstag Fire Decree on February 28, 1933, permitted the suspension of basic civil rights--rights that had been guaranteed by the democratic Weimar Constitution. The Third Reich became a police state in which Germans enjoyed no guaranteed basic rights and the SS, the elite guard of the Nazi state, wielded increasing authority through its control over the police. Political opponents, especially those in the Communist Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party of Germany, along with Jews, were subject to intimidation, persecution, and discriminatory legislation. In the first two years of his chancellorship, Hitler followed a concerted policy of "coordination" (Gleichschaltung), by which political parties, state governments, and cultural and professional organizations were brought in line with Nazi goals. Culture, the economy, education, and law all came under Nazi control. In 1933, the real moves towards the future of Germany began. Thousands of Nazis belonged to the Sturmarbeitelung (SA - Storm Troopers). Essentially street thugs in brown shirts, the SA had carried Hitler into the Chancellery with their fists, intimidating or killing his enemies. When...
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