Explain why the Decree for the Protecti

Topics: Nazi Germany, Reichstag fire, Paul von Hindenburg Pages: 2 (603 words) Published: January 12, 2015
Explain why the Decree for the Protection of people and state was issued in February 1933 (12 marks) The Decree for the Protection of People and State, also known as the Reichstag Fire decree, was issued by the Hitler in February 1933 and was essentially a means for the Nazis to consolidate their power. The decree suspended many of the civil and political rights that had been brought about under the Weimer constitution. It restricted various liberties such as private telephone calls and allowed the Nazis to control what the press printed, as well as giving the police numerous extra powers such as the ability to arrest without charge if the person was seen as a threat to security. The primary reason as to why the decree was introduced was the fact that Hitler’s grip on dictatorship was far from secure. By January 1933, the Nazis had absolutely no majority in the Reichstag with only 196 seats, compared with the combined 221 of the Social Democrats and the Communists who could easily out-vote them. However, the Reichstag fire on the 27th February 1933 played a pivotal role in changing the fate of the Nazi party. To this day there is dispute over who actually started the fire, Hitler was unwavering in blaming a simple-minded Communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, claiming that he intended to start a Communist revolution that only the Nazis could deal with. But it is widely believed that the fire was a Nazi conspiracy, that members of the SA used a secret tunnel, which connected the Reichstag and Göring’s residence, to torch the place and then escape unnoticed. But regardless who was responsible, Hitler used the Reichstag fire as a means of extending his power and the Decree for Protection of People and State was signed by Hindenburg a day later, under the direction of Hitler who declared a state of ‘emergency’. Furthermore, while the decree was supposed to protect the country from an apparent Communist takeover, in practise the newly established powers simply allowed...
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