Adolf Hitler’s rise to power took place on January 30, 1933, when he was sworn in as chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg, along with a new cabinet. The reason for Hitler’s appointment as chancellor was that in the last two parliamentary elections neither of the two winning parties, the NSDAP* and the DNVP*, had not obtained an overwhelming majority of seats in order to form a one-party’s government as the coalition of these two parties failed and got dissolved. Since the Nazi Party had come out second in the November 1932 election, right behind Hindenburg’s, with 35% of votes and 196 seats, the President was persuaded by Franz von Papen, former chancellor, and Alfred Hugenberg, influential businessman and politician, to designate the World War I German Army corporal chancellor of the Reich.

Although Nazi Party did not have majority in the Reichstag, the new Enabling Act of 1933, granted Hitler full legislative powers (to enact laws without parliament) for a four-year period. One of the first act of Hitler’s government was to suppress all political opposition. Upon the death of President Hindenburg, on August 2, 1934, a law was enacted naming Adolf Hitler Führer and chancellor. Without political opposition and backed by the powerful SS and SA paramilitary organizations, he put an end to the Weimar Republic and created the Third Reich through the Gleichschaltung, which was a Nazi Party policy of abolishing all opposition to Hitler government. In August 1934, all army officers had to swear an oath of loyalty to the Führer.

*NSDAP: Nationalsocialistische Deutsche Arbeitpartei (or simply Nazi Party). *DNPV: German National People’s Party

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