WALT- What was the Reichstag Fire and why was it significant? WILF - K&U of chronology and narrative of events (E-D).... Understanding of how Hitler used the Reichstag Fire to secure dictatorship ... significance (B)....understanding of how and why the Reichstag Fire has been interpreted differently (B-A)
Lesson Development 1. Rally Robin how Hitler went from Chancellor to Fuhrer in 7 steps 2. Stand and Share 3. Watch the film and read the text - how does Hitler use the RF for his own purposes 4. Pair up and design a newspaper frontpage telling ther story of the Reichstag Fire. You can chose to write from either a Communist or Nazi perspective 5. Pair Up and Rally coach the sources exercise at the bottom of the page 6. Plenary - Mix Pair share the WILF
Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State
Auf Grund des Artikels 48 Abs. 2 der Reichsverfassung wird zur Abwehr kommunistischer staatsgefährdender Gewaltakte folgendes verordnet:
On the basis ofArticle 48paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:
Die Artikel 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 und 153 der Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs werden bis auf weiteres außer Kraft gesetzt. Es sind daher Beschränkungen der persönlichen Freiheit, des Rechts der freien Meinungsäußerung, einschließlich der Pressefreiheit, des Vereins- und Versammlungsrechts, Eingriffe in das Brief-, Post-, Telegraphen- und Fernsprechgeheimnis, Anordnungen von Haussuchungen und von Beschlagnahmen sowie Beschränkungen des Eigentums auch außerhalb der sonst hierfür bestimmten gesetzlichen Grenzen zulässig.
Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
On 27th February, 1933, the Reichstag caught fire. When they police arrived they found Marinus van der Lubbe on the premises. After being tortured by the Gestapo he confessed to starting the Reichstag Fire. However he denied that he was part of a Communist conspiracy. Hermann Goering refused to believe him and he ordered the arrest of several leaders of the German Communist Party (KPD). When Hitler heard the news about the fire he gave orders that all leaders of the German Communist Party should "be hanged that very night." Paul von Hindenburg vetoed this decision but did agree that Hitler should take "dictatorial powers" under Article 48 of the Weimar constitution. The Decree enabled the Nazis to ruthlessly suppress opposition in the forthcoming election. KPD candidates in the election were arrested and Hermann Goering announced that the Nazi Party planned "to exterminate" German communists. Although it was extremely difficult for the opposition parties to campaign properly, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party still failed to win an overall victory in the election on 5th March, 1933. The NSDAP received 43.9% of the vote and only 288 seats out of the available 647. Despite many leading Communists and Social democrats languishing in concentration camps the Communists won 81 seats (12% of the vote) and the Social Democrats won 120 seats (18% of the vote). As well as Marinus van der Lubbe the German police charged four communists with setting fire to the Reichstag. This included Ernst Torgler, the chairman of the KPD and Georgi Dimitrov of the Soviet Comintern. On 23rd March, 1933, the German Reichstag passed the Enabling Bill (aka Law for Terminating the Suffering of People and Nation). This banned the German Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party from taking part in future election campaigns. This was followed by Nazi officials being put in charge of all local government in the provinces (7th April), trades unions being abolished, their funds taken and their leaders put in prison (2nd May), and a law passed making the Nazi Party the only legal political party in Germany (14th July). Marinus van der Lubbe was found guilty of the Reichstag Fire and was executed on 10th January, 1934. Adolf Hitler was furious that the rest of the defendants were acquitted and he decided that in future all treason cases were taken from the Supreme Court and given to a new People's Court, where prisoners were judged by members of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).
Does History repeat itself?
Study Sources A, B and C. Discuss the questions below in your group and be prepared to feedback in 15 minutes. After the feedback open the word file, save it in your area and add your own considered written answers.
Source A Cartoon from anti Iraq War website 2003
What do you think are the motive of the person who drew this cartoon?
Are there any similarities between the Reichstag Fire and 9/11?
How valid is the interpretation of the Reichstag fire given in the cartoon?
How valid is the interpretation of 9/11 given in the cartoon?