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World War 2 – The Build up to War

Article by Richard McMunn

On the 1st April 1924, for his part in the failed Beer Hall Putsch Hitler was sentenced to serve Five years in Landsberg Prison, a sentence for which he served little less than a year. During his trial Hitler popularity soared as he was given unrivalled amount of time to speak turning him from a local personality, to a National figure. When serving time in Landsberg Hitler would receive favoured treatment from the prison guards and much mail from admirers, however the majority of his short stay was spent dictating the first volume of his memoirs Mein Kampf to his associate Rudolf Hess. On the 20th December 1924 Hitler was pardoned and released from prison by order of the Bavarian Supreme Court which issued its final rejection of the state prosecutors objection to Hitler’s release, thus making him a free man.

At the time of his release the German economy had greatly improved and the political turmoil of previous times had settled which initially would hinder Hitler’s plans, also the NSDAP party had been outlawed in Bavaria which left him no platform to campaign. After some persuasion Hitler managed to convince the Bavarian Prime Minister, Heinrich Held to abolish the ban based on the assurance that the party would only seek political power through legal means. During the next few years the Nazi’s popularity would rise and fall in elections varying from 32 to 12 seats in the Reichstag. The Political turning point for the Nazi?s would come when the Great Depression hit Germany 1930, which would see the votes for the party continue to rise culminating in Hitler being elected Chancellor in 1933.

Although the Nazi’s were the largest party in the government they failed to win an overwhelming majority so a coalition government was formed with the DNVP party, Hitler the new Chancellor would foil all attempts of his opponents to gain any majority in government. After a fire in the Reichstag was blamed on a communist plot, The Government would react with the Reichstag fire decree giving Hitler the ability to suspend all civil liberties of the German people, allowing him to terminate his enemies with ease.

In March 1933 Hitler confronted the Reichstag with The Enabling Act, which would allow the cabinet to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag for a period of four years, however as the bill required a two thirds majority in order to pass the Nazi’s required the cooperation of parties in the Reichstag, which they found in Germany’s third largest party The Centre Party, who agreed to the Act under an oral agreement to protect the Churches liberty. With his new powers Hitler banned the Nazi’s remaining political opposition, and on the 14th of July the Nazi’s were the only legal Party in Germany. Hitler also used the SA to intimidate any remaining non Nazi’s ministers in the cabinet forcing them to resign. It would not be long before the SA would fall to the Nazi?s sword as their leader Ernst Rohm’s lust for political & Military power threatened the Nazi’s goals. Hitler used allegations of a plot by the SA leadership, to carry out political assassinations of the SA hierarchy commonly known as the Night of the Long Knives, it is thought that 85 enemies of Hitler were murdered that night, showing no mercy to one time allies including Gregor Strasser and many others who Hitler thought could be a threat to his domination of Germany.

On the 2nd August 1934 President Paul Von Hindenburg died, rather than electing a new President the Nazi’s passed a law proclaiming the presidency dormant and transferring all head of state affairs to Hitler as Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor, thus making him Commander of the Armed Forces and total ruler and dictator of Germany, Hitler had achieved his primary goal, his next objective World domination.

About the Author

Richard McMunn provides details and information about World War 2 through his popular online website. For more information go to: =>

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