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Hitler Becomes Dictator in 7 Steps

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!

   advantage      alcoholics      arrest      banned      book      Communist      election      embarrassment      Enabling      'Fuhrer'      Gestapo      Jews      laws      money      Parties      President      prison      Reichstag      revolution      SS      strike      teachers   
1 Reichstag Fire - 27 Feb 1933
The Reichstag (the German Parliament) burned down. A Dutch named van der lubbe was caught red-handed with matches and fire-lighting materials. Hitler used it as an excuse to many of his Communist opponents, and as a major platform in his election campaign of March 1933. The fire was so convenient that many people at the time claimed that the Nazis had burned it down, and then just blamed the Communists. Modern historians, however, tend to believe that van der Lubbe did cause the fire, and that Hitler just took of it.

2 General Election - 5 March 1933
Hitler held a general , appealing to the German people to give him a clear mandate. Only 44% of the people voted Nazi, which did not give him a majority in the , so Hitler arrested the 81 Communist deputies (which did give him a majority).
Goering become Speaker of the Reichstag.

3 Enabling Act - 23 March 1933
The Reichstag voted to give Hitler the power to make his own . Nazi stormtroopers stopped opposition deputies going in, and beat up anyone who dared to speak against it.
The Act made Hitler the dictator of Germany, with power to do anything he liked - legally.

4 Gestapo - 26 April 1933
The Nazis took over local government and the police. The Nazis started to replace anti-Nazi and University professors. Hitler set up the (the secret police) and encouraged Germans to report opponents and 'grumblers'. Tens of thousands of , Communists, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, and prostitutes were arrested and sent to concentration camp for 'crimes' as small as writing anti-Nazi graffiti, possessing a banned , or saying that business was bad.

5 Trade Unions banned - 2 May 1933
The Trade Unions offices were closed, their confiscated, and their leaders put in . In their place, Hitler put the German Labour Front which reduced workers' pay and took away the right to .

6 Opposition banned - 14 July 1933
The Law against the Formation of declared the Nazi Party the only political party in Germany. All other parties were , and their leaders were put in prison.

Night of the Long Knives
7 Night of the Long Knives - 30 June 1934
There were more than a million SA men - there was no opposition left, and the SA were an , not an advantage. Also, Rohm, the leader of the SA, was talking about a Socialist and about taking over the army. On the night of 30 June 1934 - codeword 'Hummingbird' - Hitler ordered the to kill more than 400 SA men.

8 Fuhrer - 19 August 1934
When Hindenburg died, Hitler took over the office of and leader of the army (the soldiers had to swear to die for Adolf Hitler personally). Hitler called himself .