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The Reichstag Fire Options
Daemon
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The Reichstag Fire

The 1933 fire at the German Parliament building known the Reichstag was a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. Allegedly set by a Dutch communist, the fire was used by Adolf Hitler to turn public opinion against his opponents, especially the communists. Immediately after the fire, he enacted a decree suspending constitutional protection of personal rights, effectively establishing the Nazi Party dictatorship. Why do some believe the fire was set by the Nazis themselves? More...
ChristopherJohnson
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Commies.
raghd muhi al-deen
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Reichstag fire
Reichstag fire
Reichstag fire
Der Reichstagsbrand

Firemen struggle to extinguish the fire.
Participants Marinus van der Lubbe
Location Reichstag building, Berlin, Weimar Republic
Date 27 February 1933

The Reichstag fire (German: Der ) was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

At 21:25 (UTC +1), a Berlin fire station received an alarm call that the Reichstag building, the assembly location of the German Parliament, was ablaze. The fire started in the Session Chamber,[1] and, by the time the police and firemen arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was engulfed in flames.

The police conducted a thorough search inside the building and found Marinus van der Lubbe, a young, Dutch council communist and unemployed bricklayer who had recently arrived in Germany, ostensibly to carry out political activities. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the "ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany".[2] With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival Communists gone and their seats empty, the National Socialist German Workers Party went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power.

Meanwhile, investigation of the Reichstag fire continued, with the Nazis eager to uncover Comintern complicity. In early March 1933, three men were arrested who were to play pivotal roles during the Leipzig Trial, known also as the "Reichstag Fire Trial": Bulgarians Georgi Dimitrov, Vasil Tanev and Blagoi Popov. The Bulgarians were known to the Prussian police as senior Comintern operatives, but the police had no idea how senior they were: Dimitrov was head of all Comintern operations in Western Europe.

Historians disagree as to whether Van der Lubbe acted alone, as he said, to protest the condition of the German working class or whether the arson was planned and ordered by the Nazis, then dominant in the government themselves, as a false flag operation.[citation needed] The responsibility for the Reichstag fire remains an ongoing topic of debate and research.[citation needed]
Prelude

Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor and head of the coalition government on 30 January 1933. As Chancellor, Hitler asked German President Paul von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a new parliamentary election. The date set for the elections was 5 March 1933. Hitler's aim was first to acquire a National Socialist majority to secure his position and remove the communist opposition. If prompted or desired, the President could remove the Chancellor. Hitler hoped to abolish democracy in a more or less legal fashion by passing the Enabling Act. The Enabling Act was a special law which gave the Chancellor the power to pass laws by decree without the involvement of the Reichstag. These special powers would remain in effect for four years, after which time they were eligible to be renewed. Under the existing Weimar constitution, under Article 48, the President could rule by decree in times of emergency.[3] The unprecedented element of the Enabling Act was that the Chancellor himself possessed these powers. An Enabling Act was only supposed to be passed in times of extreme emergency, and, in fact, was only used once before, in 1923–24, when the government used an Enabling Act to rescue Germany from hyperinflation (see inflation in the Weimar Republic). To pass an Enabling Act, a party required a vote by a two-thirds majority in the Reichstag. In January 1933, the Nazis had only 32% of the seats and thus were in no position to pass an Enabling Act.

During the election campaign, the Nazis alleged that Germany was on the verge of a Communist revolution and that the only way to stop the Communists was to pass the Enabling Act. The message of the campaign was simple: increase the number of Nazi seats so that the Enabling Act could be passed. To decrease the number of opposition members of parliament who could vote against the Enabling Act, Hitler planned to ban the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (the Communist Party of Germany or KPD), which at the time held 17% of the parliament's seats, after the elections and before the new Reichstag convened. The Reichstag fire allowed Hitler to accelerate the banning of the Communist Party. The Nazis capitalized on the fear that the Reichstag fire was supposed to serve as a signal launching the Communist revolution in Germany and promoted this claim in the Nazi campaign.
The fire

At 21:15 (UTC +1) on 27 February 1933, the Berlin Fire Department received a message that the Reichstag was on fire. Despite the best efforts of the firemen, most of the building was gutted by the blaze. By 23:30 hours (11:30 p.m.), the fire was put out. The firemen and policemen inspected the ruins and found twenty bundles of inflammable material (firelighters) unburned lying about. At the time the fire was reported, Adolf Hitler was having dinner with Joseph Goebbels at Goebbels' apartment in Berlin. When Goebbels received an urgent phone call informing him of the fire, he regarded it as a "tall tale" at first and hung up. Only after the second call, did he report the news to Hitler.[4] Hitler, Goebbels, the Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen and Prince Heinrich Günther von Hohenzollern were taken by car to the Reichstag, where they were met by Hermann Göring. Göring told Hitler, "This is a Communist outrage! One of the Communist culprits has been arrested." Hitler called the fire a "sign from God", and claimed it was a Fanal (signal) meant to mark the beginning of a Communist Putsch (revolt). The next day, the Preussische Pressedienst (Prussian Press Service) reported that "this act of incendiarism is the most monstrous act of terrorism carried out by Bolshevism in Germany". The Vossische Zeitung newspaper warned its readers that "the government is of the opinion that the situation is such that a danger to the state and nation existed and still exists".[5]
Political consequences

The day after the fire Hitler asked for and received from President Hindenburg the Reichstag Fire Decree, signed into law by Hindenburg using Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germany[6] and was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered "friendly" to the Nazi cause. Despite the fact that Marinus van der Lubbe claimed to have acted alone in the Reichstag fire, Hitler, after having obtained his emergency powers, announced that it was the start of a Communist plot to take over Germany. Nazi newspapers blared this "news".[6] This sent the Germans into a panic and isolated the Communists further among the civilians; additionally, thousands of Communists were imprisoned in the days following the fire (including leaders of the Communist Party of Germany) on the charge that the Party was preparing to stage a putsch. With Communist electoral participation also suppressed (the Communists previously polled 17% of the vote), the Nazis were able to increase their share of the vote in the March 5, 1933, Reichstag elections from 33% to 44%.[7] This gave the Nazis and their allies, the German National People's Party (who won 8% of the vote), a majority of 52% in the Reichstag.[7]

While the Nazis emerged with a majority, they fell short of their goal, which was to win 50%–55% of the vote that year.[7] The Nazis thought that this would make it difficult to achieve their next goal, which was to pass the Enabling Act, a measure that required a two-thirds majority.[7] However, there were important factors weighing in the Nazis' favor. These were: the continued suppression of the Communist Party and the Nazis' ability to capitalize on national security concerns. Moreover, some deputies of the Social Democratic Party (the only party that would vote against the Enabling Act) were prevented from taking their seats in the Reichstag, due to arrests and intimidation by the Nazi SA. As a result, the Social Democratic Party would be under-represented in the final vote tally. The Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the right to rule by decree, passed easily on March 23, 1933. It garnered the support of the right-wing German National People's Party, the Catholic Centre Party, and several fragmented middle-class parties. This measure went into force on March 27 and, in effect, made Hitler dictator of Germany.
Dimitrov on an East German stamp
Reichstag fire trial

In July 1933, Marinus van der Lubbe, Ernst Torgler, Georgi Dimitrov, Blagoi Popov, and Vassil Tanev were indicted on charges of setting the Reichstag on fire. From September 21 to December 23, 1933, the Leipzig Trial took place and was presided over by judges from the old German Imperial High Court, the Reichsgericht. This was Germany's highest court. The

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