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German History in Documents and Images
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Adolf Hitler at the Lectern in the Kroll Opera House on the Occasion of the Extension of the "Enabling Act" (January 30, 1937)
The "Enabling Act" adopted on March 23, 1933, was initially valid for four years. During the voting, Hitler had emphasized that the new law was not tantamount to the abolition of the Reichstag, since he expected to use this limited authority only in cases of emergency. But, in fact, Hitler and his cabinet ruled virtually independently from that point on. In any case, by the end of the year, the NSDAP was the only remaining political party: all other parties had been banned or had dissolved on their own. The surviving Reichstag consisted entirely of National Socialists and served mainly to project an air of legitimacy. In 1937 and 1939, it ratified extensions of the "Enabling Act." In 1943, Hitler decreed that the law would remain in effect permanently.