Events Relating to the Rise of the Third Reich in 1933  
  Wednesday, January 4, 1933  
  Adolf Hitler and Franz von Papen met at the house of banker Kurt von Schroeder. Hitler and von Papen agreed that von Papen would support Hitler as Reich Chancellor with von Papen as vice chancellor. Papen, whose fellow non-Nazi nationalists received a majority of the ministerial posts, naively thought he could restrain the Nazis.  
   
  Monday, January 30, 1933  
  Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg.  
   
  Wednesday, February 1, 1933  
  Adolf Hitler made his first speech as Reich Chancellor of Germany. Addressing the Reichstag He declared that "Within four years, the German farmer must be raised from destitution. Within four years, unemployment must be completely overcome." The speech was also broadcast nationwide on the radio. Read the text of the speech.  
   
  Hitler prevailed upon Reich President Paul von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag. New elections were scheduled for March 5.  
   
  Herman Goering, as acting Prussian Minter of the Interior, ordered the entire Prussian police forces to render unqualified assistance to the paramilitary organizations supporting the new Nazi government, such as the SA and the SS, and to crush all political opponents with firearms, if necessary, regardless of the consequences.  
   
  Friday, February 3, 1933  
  At a dinner at the home of Commander-in-Chief General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord, Adolf Hitler met with Germany's senior Army and Navy commanders for the first time as Reich Chancellor. At the meeting Hitler talked about his true domestic and international political agenda. Hitler outlined his plans to begin conscription, to rearm Germany in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and, eventually, to invade Eastern Europe to increase Germany's territory.  
   
  Saturday, February 4, 1933  
  With the approval of Germany's President Paul von Hindenburg, Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler decreed the "Ordinance for the Protection of the German People", which allowed the police to ban any publications which were a threat to public order. Violators could be arrested and detained without a warrant for as long as three months.  
   
  Monday, February 6, 1933  
  Reich President Paul von von Hindenburg stripped the Landtag (Prussian parliament) of its powers. Franz von Papen became de facto prime minister and the committee of the prime minister, speaker of the Landtag, and the president of the State Council voted 2-1 to dissolve the Landtag. This left control of Prussia with the Nazi Party.  
   
  Friday, February 10, 1933  
  Adolf Hitler made his first public speech since becoming Reich Chancellor at the Sportspalast in Berlin before a crowd of tens of thousands who packed the facility. Dr. Josef Goebbels opened the evening's program with a speech of his own with a heavy anti-Communist slant. Hitler followed with a speech that promised that Germany will no longer be divided, no longer have class struggle - but will be one Germany with one people. He also promises a victory over Marxism.  
   
  Friday, February 17, 1933  
  Herman Goering, as acting Prussian Minter of the Interior, issued a decree authorizing the Prussian police to fire on demonstrations at will.  
   
  Wednesday, February 22, 1933  
  Minister of the Interior for Prussia and President of the Prussian Police, Hermann Goering announced the formation of the Hilfspolizei, an auxiliary police force. This force initially consisted of three detachments of sixty men each and most of its members had former police experience and were to be selected from volunteers from the SturmAbteilung (SA) and Allgemeine-SchutzStaffel (SS). The force was created to counter activity from Communist groups.  
   
  Friday, February 24, 1933  
  Police in Berlin raided the Karl Liebknecht Haus, headquarters of the Communist Party of Germany, in Berlin. The Nazi government announced that the raid had uncovered documents showing that the Communists intended to burn down government buildings, private businesses, and mansions.  
   
  Monday, February 27, 1933  
  A huge fire destroyed the Reichstag, the seat of German government. The National Socialists blamed the attack on the Communists marking the pinnacle of a violent election campaign. The next day Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler asked for and received from Reich President Paul von Hindenburg the Reichstag Fire Decree which suspended most civil liberties including the constitutional guaranties of free speech and a free press in Germany and was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered "friendly" to the Nazi cause. In addition the Reichstag would outlaw the German Communist Party. History has determined that the fire was a Nazi plot and possibly started by Hermann Goering.  
   
  Tuesday, February 28, 1933  
  In response to the Reichstag fire the previous night, Reich President Paul von Hindenburg signed an emergency decree - Reichstag Fire Decree - that suspended articles in Weimar constitution guaranteeing personal liberty, freedom of expression of opinion, freedom of the press, freedom from domiciliary visits, right to hold meetings and form associations, and the privacy of postal, telegraph, and telephone service.  
   
  All Communist deputies in the Reichstag and Landtag and all Communist civil servants in the state of Prussia were arrested.  
   
  Thursday, March 23, 1933  
  The Reichstag met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler's Enabling Act. On the day of the vote, storm troopers lined the hallways of the house where the vote would take place to intimidate anyone who might vote against Chancellor Adolf Hitler's measure and "Full powers, or else! We want the bill, or fire and murder!" Prior to the vote Hitler gave a lengthy speech. After the speech the Reichstag voted and Hitler secured the votes needed to pass the measure. Deputies from the Nazi Party, the German National People's Party, and the Centre Party voted in favor of the act, 441 for, only 84, the Social Democrats, against. Upon passage of the law, the Nazis leapt to their feet clapping, stamping, shouting, and broke into the Nazi anthem, the Hörst Wessel song. German President Paul von Hindenburg signed the bill the same day. The Enabling Law gave the new government dictatorial powers until April 1, 1937 and marked the beginning of constitutional, administrative, judicial, political, racial, religious, economic, and military reforms across Germany. Read the text of Hitler’s speech.  
     
   
     
   
 

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