How Swiftly Can Someone Take Over a Democratic Nation?

January 30, 1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.  This position has little power and he can be dismissed at any time by President Hindenburg.  He can only make laws with permission of the Reichstag.

February 27, 1933 the Reichstag (government seat and all records) burns; Hitler blames reichstag-fire-smallcommunists.

February 28, 1933 Hitler announces a Communist revolution imminent and announces emergency measures to remove freedoms of speech, assembly, press; no rights on invasion of privacy (mail, telephone) and no rights from house search without a warrant.  The Gestapo (Hitler’s secret police) can now arrest anyone without trial or appeal.

March 20, 1933 Dachau concentration camp opens and 4000 Communists and leaders of Trade Unions are interred.  In the violence on the streets, Nazis beat up Jews.

March 23, 1933 Reichstag gives power to Hitler to make laws for four years without their approval.

April 1, 1933 a nation-wide boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in Germany is announced.  Germans told not to buy from Jews.

April 7, 1933 Jewish civil servants, professors, teachers and newspaper editors are fired.

May 1933 a new ‘People’s Court’ is established to work secretly with no jury and has the power to pass death sentences with only Hitler as the only source to appeal.

May 10, 1933 all books written by Jews and political opponents to Nazis are burned in public rallys.

May-July 1933 all opposition parties are dissolved and Nazi party is declared to be the ‘sole political party existing in Germany.’

July 14, 1933 law enacted for the ‘Prevention of Hereditary and Defective Offspring’ which allowed forced sterilization of Gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped people and any others deemed ‘unfit’ or ‘inferior’ by the Nazi party.

German society are concerned the (SA) Stormtroopers are out of control and will cause a revolution.

June 1934 Night of the Long Knives; Hitler has about 200 leaders of the SA (Hitler’s private army) rounded up and shot.

Hitler is portrayed as a strong leader, taking charge in a time of crises.

Summer 1934 Gay bars are raided by Nazi secret police to fight homosexualityhitler-giving-speech-small

August 2, 1934 President Hindenburg dies.  Hitler becomes Head of State as well as leader of the government.  Hitler takes the new title ‘Fuhrer’.

October-November 1934 Homosexuals are now arrested and imprisoned

December 20, 1934 the Law Against Malicious Attacks on State and Party is passed.  Any critical comments against the Nazi party, it’s leaders or policies is punishable by imprisonment.

During 1934 Hitler ran a ‘Strength Through Joy’ move organizing events, operas, concerts, exhibitions, cruises and hikes for all the German people.

January 1935 Germany annexes The Saar territory

March 1935 Hitler introduces a draft and increases his army from 100,000 to 500,000 men

April 1935 Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned from civil service and arrested

June 1935 Hitler begins rebuilding the German Navy

September 1935 The ‘Nuremburg Laws’ are announced defining Germans and making sexual contact with a Jew illegal.  Jews and Gypsies lose their German citizenship based on nuremburg-laws-smallthem having ‘foreign blood’.  Marriage between a German and a Jew or Gypsy is forbidden and punishable by imprisonment.  Jews are forbidden to employ anyone younger than 45 yrs old in their homes.  Jews may not fly the German flag.

Hitler states Jews in Germany are now foreigners and lost the rights of Germans.  They are now barred from parks, swimming pools, restaurants and public building.

The Final Question of the Jews was being defined; the answer came soon enough.

The takeover of the German government:  The actual power grab took six weeks.  The title of Fuhrer and full evident power took another 15 months.  Within 18 months Hitler was able to take control of a Democratic country, become dictator and lay the groundwork for WWII.

Be vigilant, be aware, be involved.  Be a watchman.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.”                                                                                                                                                                                 -Edmund Burke

[Information gathered from “Reflections” Imperial War Museum]

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