How and why did Hitler become a dictator?
Hitler rose to the position of chancellor in January 1933, as a result of the poorly prepared treaty of Versailles, the resulting economic hardship and his apparent strong leadership. In the next 18 months however Hitler seized absolute power and created a total dictatorship through his ability to exploit opportunities, a manipulation of his country through a reign of fear and a ruthless and systematic repression of all opposition. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to unite the population against the communists. He used the fact that a communist was found at the scene of the fire to accuse the whole communist party. This way everybody would be scared of the communists, they would have a common enemy, which in some ways would unify them. The fear of communism also weakened the Weimar republic. Hitler took advantage of that and asked the Reichstag and the President to accept the “Enabling law”. The Enabling law was a law that gave Hitler an unlimited right to create “emergency” laws without consulting anyone else. They both accepted, as much as Hindenburg (the president) hated Hitler, he hated communism even more. When Hindenburg died Hitler took hold of the whole power. Regardless of whether these events were a question of chance or provoked (some consider that Hitler ordered the burning of the Reichstag himself) Hitler was an expert at turning these events to his advantage. Hitler led the Nazis to power in the March 1933 elections using underhand means. To get elected and eventually seize absolute power, Hitler used the SA to intimidate the voters, to disrupt his opponent’s meetings, and to arrest or kill anyone who got in his way. This reign of terror eventually led to the Nazis gaining 44% of the seats in the parliament. His use of fear, both of communism and of the SA was a major factor in Hitler’s ability to take the power. Hitler also systematically eliminated his opponents. In May 1933, Hitler arrested the trade...
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