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The Nazi Party 

From Wikipedia

 The National Socialist German Workers' Party (German:  Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (help·info), abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party (DAP), existed from 1919 to 1920. The term Nazi is German and stems from Nationalsozialist, due to the pronunciation of Latin -tion- as -tsion- in German (rather than -shon- as it is in English), with German Z being pronounced as 'ts' as well.

The party was founded out of the current of the far-right racist völkisch German nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post-World War I Germany. The party was created by Anton Drexler as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism. Initially Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, though such aspects were later downplayed in the 1930s to gain the support from industrial owners for the Nazis, focus was shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.
The party's last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Hitler rapidly established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.

 The National Socialist German Workers' Party (German:  Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (help·info), abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party (DAP), existed from 1919 to 1920. The term Nazi is German and stems from Nationalsozialist, due to the pronunciation of Latin -tion- as -tsion- in German (rather than -shon- as it is in English), with German Z being pronounced as 'ts' as well.

The party was founded out of the current of the far-right racist völkisch German nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post-World War I Germany. The party was created by Anton Drexler as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism. Initially Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, though such aspects were later downplayed in the 1930s to gain the support from industrial owners for the Nazis, focus was shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.
The party's last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Hitler rapidly established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.

Nazi ideology denounced many political and economic ideologies and systems as being associated with parasitical Jewry, such as: capitalism, democracy, the Enlightenment, industrialisation, liberalism, Marxism, parliamentary politics, and trade unionism. To maintain the purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate or impose exclusionary segregation upon "degenerate" and "asocial" groups that included: Jews, homosexuals, Romani, blacks, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party and the German state which it controlled organized the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and six million other people from the other targeted groups, in what has become known as the Holocaust.

The Nazis were presented by Hitler and other proponents and viewed by some scholars as being neither left-wing nor right-wing but politically syncretic. Hitler in Mein Kampf directly attacked both left-wing and right-wing politics in Germany, such as saying: "Today our left-wing politicians in particular are constantly insisting that their craven-hearted and obsequious foreign policy necessarily results from the disarmament of Germany, whereas the truth is that this is the policy of traitors [...] But the politicians of the Right deserve exactly the same reproach. It was through their miserable cowardice that those ruffians of Jews who came into power in 1918 were able to rob the nation of its arms." However a majority of scholars identify Nazism in practice as being a far right form of politics.

Etymology

The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, Nazi Party). The German term Nazi parallels the term Sozi (pronounced /zoːtsi/), an abbreviation of Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany).

The term Nazi was originally used by southern German opponents of the NSDAP, and may have been influenced by the Bavarian term Nazi, which was a familiar form of the name Ignatz, which was used colloquially to mean a "clumsy or awkward person". The earlier term Inter-Nazi, which was a German abbreviation of Internationale, may have also contributed to the adoption of the term.

Members of the NSDAP referred to themselves as Nationalsozialisten (National Socialists), rarely as Nazis. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power of the German government, usage of the term Nazi diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis continued to use the term as an insult. Many Neo-Nazis still refer to themselves as National Socialists. According to Joseph Goebbels in an official explanation of Nazism, the synthesis of the words nationalism and socialism was to "counter the Internationalism of Marxism with the nationalism of a German Socialism".

History
The party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In the early months of 1918, a party called the Freier Ausschuss für einen deutschen Arbeiterfrieden ("Free Committee for a German Workers' Peace") was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich called the Committee of Independent Workmen. Drexler was a local locksmith in Munich who had been a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I, and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and to the revolutionary upheavals that followed in its wake. Drexler followed the typical views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having anti-Semitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views, as well as believing in the superiority of Germans whom nationalists claimed to be part of the Aryan "master race" (Herrenvolk), but he also accused international capitalism of being a Jewish-dominated movement and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I.[28] Drexler saw the situation of political violence and instability in Germany as the result of the new Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses, especially the lower classes.

Drexler emphasized the need for a synthesis of völkisch nationalism, a strong central government movement, with economic socialism in order that a popular, centrist nationalist-oriented workers movement might be created that could challenge the rise of Communism, as well as the internationalist left and right in general.

On 5 January 1919, Drexler created a new political party based on the political principles which he endorsed by combining his Committee of Independent Workmen with a similar group, The Political Worker's Circle, led by newspaper reporter Karl Harrer.  Drexler proposed that the party be named the German Socialist Worker's Party, but Harrer objected to using the term "socialist" in the name; the issue was settled by removing the term from the name, and it was agreed that the party be named the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, DAP). To ease concerns among potential middle-class nationalist supporters, Drexler made clear that unlike Marxists, the party supported middle-class citizens, and that the party's socialist policy was meant to give social welfare to German citizens deemed part of the Aryan race. They became one of many völkisch movements that existed in Germany at the time. Like other völkisch groups, the DAP advocated the belief that through profit-sharing instead of socialisation Germany should become a unified "national community" (Volksgemeinschaft) rather than a society divided along class and party lines.

This ideology was explicitly anti-Semitic as it declared that the "national community" must be judenfrei ("free of Jews").[citation needed] As early as 1920, the party was raising money by selling a tobacco called Anti-Semit.

From the outset, the DAP was opposed to non-nationalist political movements, especially on the left, including the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the newly formed Communist Party of Germany (KPD). Members of the DAP saw themselves as fighting against "Bolshevism" and anyone considered to be part of or aiding so-called "international Jewry". The DAP was also deeply opposed to the Versailles Treaty.[26] The DAP did not attempt to make itself public, and meetings were kept in relative secrecy, with public speakers discussing what they thought of Germany's present state of affairs, or writing to like-minded societies in Northern Germany.

The DAP was a comparatively small group with fewer than 60 members. Nevertheless, it attracted the attention of the German authorities, who were suspicious of any organisation that appeared to have subversive tendencies. A young corporal, Adolf Hitler, stationed in Munich,[33] was sent by Captain Mayr, head of press and propaganda in the Bavarian section of the army to investigate the DAP. While attending a party meeting on September 12, 1919, where Gottfried Feder was speaking on 'How and by what means is capitalism to be eliminated?', Hitler got involved in a heated political argument with a visitor who questioned the soundness of Feder's arguments and who proposed that Bavaria should break away from Prussia and found a new South German nation with Austria. In vehemently attacking the man's arguments he made an impression on the other party members with his oratory skills and, according to Hitler, the "professor" left the hall acknowledging unequivocal defeat.

According to August Kubizek, Drexler was so impressed that he whispered to a neighbour, "My he's got a gift of the gab. We could use him." He was invited to join, and after some deliberation, chose to accept. Among the party's earlier members were Ernst Röhm of the Army's District Command VII; well-to-do journalist Dietrich Eckart; student at the University of Munich and later deputy of the party Rudolf Hess; Freikorps soldier Hans Frank; and Alfred Rosenberg, often credited as the philosopher of the movement. All of the above were later prominent in the Nazi regime.
Hitler became the DAP's 55th member and received the number 555, as the DAP added '500' to every member's number to exaggerate the party's strength. He later claimed to be the seventh party member (he was in fact the seventh executive member of the party's central committee; he would later wear the Golden Party Badge number one). Hitler's first speech was held in the Hofbräukeller, where he spoke in front of a hundred and eleven people as the second speaker of the evening. He later declared that this was when he realised he could really "make a good speech". At first Hitler only spoke to relatively small groups on behalf of the party, however in early 1920 he took over the propaganda work for the Party and began to take a more prominent role in its organisation; consequently, his public speaking began to attract larger audiences.

Hitler began to make the party much more public, and he organised the party's biggest meeting yet of 2,000 people, for 24 February 1920 in the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München. Such was the significance of this particular move in publicity that Harrer resigned from the party in disagreement. It was in this speech that Hitler, for the first time, enunciated the twenty-five points of the German Worker's Party's manifesto that had been drawn up by Drexler, Feder, and Hitler. Through these points he gave the organisation a much bolder stratagem[38] with a clear foreign policy (abrogation of Versailles, a Greater Germany, Eastern expansion, exclusion of Jews from citizenship), and among his specific points were: confiscation of war profits, abolition of unearned incomes, the State to share profits of land, and land for national needs to be taken away without compensation.

In general, the manifesto was anti-Semitic, anti-capitalist, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, and anti-liberal. On 24 February 1920[dubious – discuss], the party also added "National Socialist" to its official name, in order to appeal to both nationalists and socialists, becoming the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) (or Nazis for short), although Hitler earlier suggested the party to be renamed the "Social Revolutionary Party"; it was Rudolf Jung who persuaded Hitler to follow the NSDAP naming.

Hitler quickly became the party's most active orator, and he appeared in public as a speaker thirty-one times within the first year after his self-discovery. Hitler always spoke about the same subjects: The Treaty of Versailles and the Jewish question. This deliberate technique and effective publicising of the party contributed significantly to his early success,  about which a contemporary poster wrote 'Since Herr Hitler is a brilliant speaker, we can hold out the prospect of an extremely exciting evening'. Over the following months, the DAP continued to attract new members, while remaining too small to have any real significance in German politics. By the end of 1920, the party numbered 3,000,[42] many of whom Hitler and Röhm had brought into the party personally, or whom Hitler's oratory had been their reason for joining.

Hitler discovered that he had talent as an orator, and his ability to draw new members, combined with his characteristic ruthlessness, soon made him the dominant figure. Drexler recognized this, and Hitler became party chairman on 28 July 1921. When the party had been established, it consisted of a leadership board elected by the members, which in turn elected a chairman. Hitler scrapped this arrangement. He acquired the title Führer ("leader") and, after a series of sharp internal conflicts, it was accepted that the party would be governed by the Führerprinzip ("leader principle"): Hitler was the sole leader of the party, and he alone decided its policies and strategy.[citation needed] Hitler at this time saw the party as a revolutionary organization, whose aim was the violent overthrow of the Weimar Republic, which he saw as controlled by the socialists, Jews and the "November criminals" who had betrayed the German soldiers in 1918. The SA ("storm troopers", also known as "Brownshirts") were founded as a party militia in 1921, and began violent attacks on other parties.

 Dust jacket of Mein Kampf
Unlike Drexler and other party members, Hitler was less interested in the "socialist" aspect of "national socialism" beyond moving Social Welfare administration from the Church to the State. Himself of provincial lower-middle-class origins, he disliked the mass working class of the big cities, and had no sympathy with the notions of attacking private property or the business class (which some early Nazis such as the Strasser brothers espoused). For Hitler the twin goals of the party were always German nationalist expansionism and Antisemitism. These two goals were fused in his mind by his belief that Germany's external enemies – Britain, France and the Soviet Union – were controlled by the Jews, and that Germany's future wars of national expansion would necessarily entail a war against the Jews. For Hitler and his principal lieutenants, national and racial issues were always dominant. This was symbolised by the adoption as the party emblem of the swastika or Hakenkreuz, at the time widely used in the western world. In German nationalist circles, the swastika was considered a symbol of an "Aryan race". The Swastika symbolized the replacement of the Christian Cross with allegiance to a National Socialist State.


During 1921 and 1922, the Nazi Party grew significantly, partly through Hitler's oratorical skills, partly through the SA's appeal to unemployed young men, and partly because there was a backlash against socialist and liberal politics in Bavaria as Germany's economic problems deepened and the weakness of the Weimar regime became apparent. The party recruited former World War I soldiers, to whom Hitler as a decorated frontline veteran could particularly appeal, as well as small businessmen and disaffected former members of rival parties. Nazi rallies were often held in beer halls, where downtrodden men could get free beer.

The Hitler Youth was formed for the children of party members, although it remained small until the late 1920s. The party also formed groups in other parts of Germany. Julius Streicher in Nuremberg was an early recruit, and became editor of the racist magazine Der Stürmer. Others to join the party around this time were WW I flying ace Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler. In December 1920 the party acquired a newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, of which NSDAP ideological chief Alfred Rosenberg became editor.


In 1922, a party with remarkably similar policies and objectives came into power in Italy, the National Fascist Party under the leadership of the charismatic Benito Mussolini. The Fascists, like the Nazis, promoted a national rebirth of their country; opposed communism and liberalism; appealed to the working-class; opposed the Treaty of Versailles; and advocated the territorial expansion of their country. The Italian Fascists used a straight-armed Roman salute and wore black-shirted uniforms. Hitler was inspired by Mussolini and the Fascists, borrowing their use of the straight-armed salute as a Nazi salute. When the Fascists came to power in 1922 in Italy through their coup attempt called the "March on Rome", Hitler began planning his own coup which would materialize one year later.


In January 1923 France occupied the Ruhr industrial region as a result of Germany's failure to meet its reparations payments. This led to economic chaos, the resignation of Wilhelm Cuno's government, and an attempt by the German Communist Party (KPD) to stage a revolution. The reaction to these events was an upsurge of nationalist sentiment. Nazi Party membership grew sharply, to about 20,000. By November, Hitler had decided that the time was right for an attempt to seize power in Munich, in the hope that the Reichswehr (the post-war German military) would mutiny against the Berlin government and join his revolt. In this he was influenced by former General Erich Ludendorff, who had become a supporter—though not a member—of the Nazis.


On the night of 8 November, the Nazis used a patriotic rally in a Munich beer hall to launch an attempted putsch (coup d'état). This so-called Beer Hall Putsch attempt failed almost at once when the local Reichswehr commanders refused to support it. On the morning of 9 November the Nazis staged a march of about 2,000 supporters through Munich in an attempt to rally support. Troops opened fire, and 16 Nazis were killed. Hitler, Ludendorff and a number of others were arrested, and were tried for treason in March 1924. Hitler and his associates were given very lenient prison sentences. While Hitler was in prison, he wrote his semi-autobiographical political manifesto Mein Kampf ("My Struggle").

The Nazi Party was banned, though with support of the nationalist Völkisch-Social Bloc ("Völkisch-Sozialer Block"), continued to operate under the name of the "German Party" (Deutsche Partei or DP) from 1924 to 1925.[50] The Nazis failed to remain unified in the German Party, as in the north, the right-wing Volkish nationalist supporters of the Nazis moved to the new German Völkisch Freedom Party, leaving the north's left-wing Nazi members, such as Joseph Goebbels retaining support for the party.

 Rise to power: 1925–1933
Hitler with Nazi Party members in 1930
Further information: Adolf Hitler's rise to power
Adolf Hitler was released in December 1924. In the following year he re-founded and reorganized the Nazi Party, with himself as its undisputed Leader. The new Nazi Party was no longer a paramilitary organization, and disavowed any intention of taking power by force. In any case, the economic and political situation had stabilized and the extremist upsurge of 1923 had faded, so there was no prospect of further revolutionary adventures. The Nazi Party of 1925 was divided into the "Leadership Corps" (Korps der politischen Leiter), appointed by Hitler, and the general membership (Parteimitglieder). The party and the SA were kept separate, and the legal aspect of the party's work was emphasized. In a sign of this, the party began to admit women. The SA and the SS (founded in April 1925 as Hitler's bodyguard, commanded by Himmler) were described as "support groups", and all members of these groups had first to become regular party members.


The party's nominal Deputy Leader was Rudolf Hess, but he had no real power in the party. By the early 1930s the senior leaders of the party after Hitler were Himmler, Goebbels and Göring. Beneath the Leadership Corps were the party's regional leaders, the Gauleiters, each of whom commanded the party in his Gau ("region"). There were 98 Gaue for Germany and an additional seven for Austria, the Sudetenland (in Czechoslovakia), Danzig and the Territory of the Saar Basin (then under French occupation).[citation needed] Joseph Goebbels began his ascent through the party hierarchy as Gauleiter of Berlin-Brandenburg in 1926. Streicher was Gauleiter of Franconia, where he published his anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer. Beneath the Gauleiter were lower-level officials, the Kreisleiter ("county leaders"), Zellenleiter ("cell leaders") and Blockleiter ("block leaders"). This was a strictly hierarchical structure in which orders flowed from the top, and unquestioning loyalty was given to superiors. Only the SA retained some autonomy. Being composed largely of unemployed workers, many SA men took the Nazis' socialist rhetoric seriously. At this time, the Hitler salute (borrowed from the Italian fascists) and the greeting "Heil Hitler!" were adopted throughout the party.


NSDAP election poster in Vienna in 1930. Translation: "We demand freedom and bread".


 Political poster for the November 1932 Reichstag election. The text, Das Volk wählt Liste 1 Nationalsozialisten Reichstagswahl, may be translated "The nation is voting for List 1. National Socialists. Reichstag election, 6.11.32" or "The People Choose List 1: National Socialists".

 Political poster for the November 1932 Reichstag election. The text, Das Volk wählt Liste 1 Nationalsozialisten Reichstagswahl, may be translated "The nation is voting for List 1. National Socialists. Reichstag election, 6.11.32" or "The People Choose List 1: National Socialists".
The Nazis contested elections to the national parliament, the Reichstag, and to the state legislatures, the Landtags, from 1924, although at first with little success. The "National-Socialist Freedom Movement" polled 3% of the vote in the December 1924 Reichstag elections, and this fell to 2.6% in 1928. State elections produced similar results.

Despite these poor results, and despite Germany's relative political stability and prosperity during the later 1920s, the Nazi Party continued to grow. This was partly because Hitler, who had no administrative ability, left the party organization to the head of the secretariat, Philipp Bouhler, the party treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz and business manager Max Amann. The party had a capable propaganda head in Gregor Strasser, who was promoted to national organizational leader in January 1928.

These men gave the party efficient recruitment and organizational structures. The party also owed its growth to the gradual fading away of competitor nationalist groups, such as the DNVP. As Hitler became the recognized head of the German nationalists, other groups declined, or were absorbed. The party expanded in the 1920s beyond its Bavarian base. Catholic Bavaria maintained its right-wing ennui for a Catholic monarch; and Westphalia, along with working-class "Red Berlin", were always the Nazis' weakest areas electorally, and even during the Third Reich itself.

The areas of strongest Nazi support were in rural Protestant areas such as Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia. Depressed working-class areas such as Thuringia also gave a strong Nazi vote, while the workers of the Ruhr and Hamburg largely remained loyal to the SPD, the KPD, or the Catholic Centre Party. Nuremberg remained a party stronghold, and the first Nuremberg Rally was held there in 1927.

These rallies soon became massive displays of Nazi paramilitary power, and attracted many recruits. The Nazis' strongest appeal was to the lower middle-class – farmers, public servants, teachers, small businessmen – who had suffered most from the inflation of the 1920s, so who feared Bolshevism more than anything else.

The small business class were receptive to Hitler's anti-Semitism, since they blamed Jewish big business for their economic problems. University students, disappointed at being too young to have served in World War I and attracted by the Nazis' radical rhetoric, also became a strong Nazi constituency. By 1929, the party had 130,000 members.

Despite these strengths, the Nazi Party might never have come to power, had it not been for the Great Depression and its effects on Germany. By 1930 the German economy was beset with mass unemployment and widespread business failures. The SPD and the KPD parties were bitterly divided and unable to formulate an effective solution: This gave the Nazis their opportunity, and Hitler's message, blaming the crisis on the Jewish financiers and the Bolsheviks, resonated with wide sections of the electorate. At the September 1930 Reichstag elections the Nazis won 18.3% of the vote, and became the second-largest party in the Reichstag after the SPD. Hitler proved to be a highly effective campaigner, pioneering the use of radio and aircraft for this purpose. His dismissal of Strasser and appointment of Goebbels as the party's propaganda chief was a major factor. While Strasser had used his position to promote his own leftish version of national socialism, Goebbels was totally loyal to Hitler, and worked only to burnish Hitler's image.

The 1930 elections changed the German political landscape by weakening the traditional nationalist parties, the DNVP and the DVP, leaving the Nazis as the chief alternative to the discredited SPD and the Zentrum, whose leader, Heinrich Brüning, headed a weak minority government. The inability of the democratic parties to form a united front, the self-imposed isolation of the KPD, and the continued decline of the economy, all played into Hitler's hands. He now came to be seen as de facto leader of the opposition, and donations poured into the Nazi Party's coffers. Some major business figures such as Fritz Thyssen were Nazi supporters and gave generously, as well as alleged involvement of Wall Street figures; but many other businessmen were suspicious of the extreme nationalist tendencies of the Nazis, and preferred to support the traditional conservative parties instead.

During 1931 and into 1932, Germany's political crisis deepened. In March 1932 Hitler ran for President against the incumbent President Paul von Hindenburg, polling 30.1% in the first round and 36.8% in the second against Hindenburg's 49 and 53%. By now the SA had 400,000 members, and its running street battles with the SPD and KPD paramilitaries (who also fought each other) reduced some German cities to combat zones. Paradoxically, although the Nazis were among the main instigators of this disorder, part of Hitler's appeal to a frightened and demoralised middle class was his promise to restore law and order. Overt anti-Semitism was played down in official Nazi rhetoric, but was never far from the surface. Germans voted for Hitler primarily because of his promises to revive the economy (by unspecified means), to restore German greatness and overturn the Treaty of Versailles, and to save Germany from communism.

On 20 July 1932, the Prussian government was ousted by a coup—the Preussenschlag, and a few days later at the July 1932 Reichstag election the Nazis made another leap forward, polling 37.4% and becoming the largest party in the Reichstag by a wide margin. Furthermore, the Nazis and the KPD between them won 52% of the vote and a majority of seats. Since both parties opposed the established political system, and neither would join or support any ministry, this made the formation of a majority government impossible. The result was weak ministries governing by decree. Under Comintern directives, the KPD maintained its policy of treating the SPD as the main enemy, calling them "social fascists", thereby splintering opposition to the Nazis. Later, both the SPD and the KPD accused each other of having facilitated Hitler's rise to power by their unwillingness to compromise.

Chancellor Franz von Papen called another Reichstag election in November, hoping to find a way out of this impasse. The electoral result was the same, with the Nazis and the KPD winning 50% of the vote between them and more than half the seats, rendering this Reichstag no more workable than its predecessor. But support for the Nazis had fallen to 33.1%, suggesting that the Nazi surge had passed its peak – possibly because the worst of the Depression had passed, possibly because some middle-class voters had supported Hitler in July as a protest, but had now drawn back from the prospect of actually putting him into power. The Nazis interpreted the result as a warning that they must seize power before their moment passed. Had the other parties united, this could have been prevented, but their shortsightedness made a united front impossible. Papen, his successor Kurt von Schleicher, and the nationalist press magnate Alfred Hugenberg spent December and January in political intrigues that eventually persuaded President Hindenburg it was safe to appoint Hitler Reich Chancellor at the head of a cabinet including only a minority of Nazi ministers—which he did on 30 January 1933.
Ascension and consolidation

Reichsparteitag (Nuremberg Rally): NSDAP-leader Adolf Hitler and SA-leader Ernst Röhm, August 1933.
The votes that the Nazis received in the 1932 elections established the Nazi Party as the largest parliamentary faction of the Weimar Republic government. Adolf Hitler was appointed as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933.

The Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, was Adolf Hitler’s raison d’état for suppressing his political opponents. The following day, 28 February, he persuaded Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg to grant him, as German Chancellor, an emergency-powers decree suspending civil liberties and the governments of the German federal states. On 23 March, with an Enabling Act (four-year Presidential decree-law power circumventing the Reichstag), the Reichstag conferred dictatorial powers to Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who subsequently personally managed the political emergencies of the German State, by decree. Moreover, then possessing virtually absolute power, the Nazis established totalitarian control; they abolished labour unions and political parties; and imprisoned their political opponents, first at wilde Lager, improvised camps, then in concentration camps. Nazism had been established, yet the Reichswehr remained impartial, Nazi power over Germany remained virtual, not absolute.