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Enabling Act Adopted: Front Page of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (March 24, 1933)

On March 7, 1933, Hitler presented his cabinet with a plan for the definitive dissolution of the Reichstag. He intended to transfer legislative powers to his administration, which would then be “enabled” to make laws independent of the Reichstag and the president. Such a fundamental alteration to the Weimar Constitution required a two-thirds majority in the Reichstag. But even after the illegal exclusion of the Communist Party (KPD) deputies, the NSDAP/DNVP coalition still lacked 31 votes. Hitler therefore opened negotiations with representatives of the German Center Party, and they ultimately accepted his proposed measure. In return, the Center Party was promised that the integrity of the Catholic Church would be respected in Germany. The official Reichstag vote occurred on March 23, 1933; only the Social Democrats offered resolute opposition to the “Law to Remove the Distress of the People and the State” (also known as “The Enabling Act”), which henceforth formed the pseudo-legal basis of the Nazi dictatorship.

Below is the front page of the March 24, 1933, edition of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. The headline reads: "Enabling Act adopted with 441 votes against the 94 votes of the Social Democrats. A second speech by the Chancellor in the evening session of the Reichstag. Approval of the Reichsrat – Today promulgation by the Reich President."

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Enabling Act Adopted: Front Page of the <i>Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung</i> (March 24, 1933)

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Geheimes Staatsarchiv, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz