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Documents - Building the Nazi Regime
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1.   Adolf Hitler, "Appeal to the German People" (February 1, 1933)
Hitler delivered his first radio address late in the evening of February 1, 1933, reading a Reich government appeal to the German people in his capacity as Reich Chancellor. The proclamation was....
2.   Cabinet Discussion on Budget Priorities (February 8, 1933)
After being named Reich Chancellor on January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was determined to put the political ideas he had formulated in 1924 in Mein....
3.   Georg von Schnitzler on Hitler’s Appeal to Leading German Industrialists on February 20, 1933 (Affidavit, November 10, 1945)
Hitler did not intend to share his power with coalition partners. After the dissolution of the Reichstag, he hoped to win an absolute majority for the NSDAP with a massive election campaign. To finance....
4.   Rudolf Diels, Head of the Prussian Political Police, on the Reichstag Fire of February 27, 1933 (Retrospective Account, 1949)
In preparation for the Reichstag elections of March 3, 1933 (which were supposed to pave the way for the legal establishment of the Nazi dictatorship), Hitler ordered the near-complete elimination....
5.   Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State ("Reichstag Fire Decree") (February 28, 1933)
The Reichstag fire gave Hitler the welcome opportunity to eliminate any and all political opposition.....
6.   Cabinet Discussion of the Reichstag Fire and Necessary Changes in the Law (March 7, 1933)
On March 7, 1933, two days after the elections, the new cabinet discussed the fate of the arsonist ....
7.   The "Enabling Act" (March 24, 1933)
Hitler had decided to build his dictatorship through a largely legal process. His next important step along that road was to emasculate the Reichstag by transferring its legislative authority to....
8.   Speech by the Social Democrat Otto Wels against the Passage of the "Enabling Act" (March 23, 1933)
By the time Hitler proposed the "Enabling Act", the National Socialists had virtually smashed....
9.   Circular from Dr. Robert Ley, Staff Chief of NSDAP Political Organizations, on the Action to "Coordinate" [Gleichschaltungaktion] the Free Trade Unions (April 21, 1933)
Hitler aimed not only to secure complete control over all sources of state authority: he also sought the total mobilization of the general population behind the Nazi cause. To that end, he demanded....
10.   Excerpt from the Minutes of a Conference of Ministers (July 14, 1933)
In 1933, Hitler promised to protect the rights and authority of the churches, but in actuality he pursued their "coordination" [Gleichschaltung]. The Catholic Church ultimately gave in to....
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