Authors

Object ID

2020.1.2

Object Name

Postcard

Date

1933

Files

Download

Download Full Text (711 KB)

Description

Postcard with image of burning building. German text printed below reads "Berlin, Reichstagsgebäude in Flammen"

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

On January 30, 1933, President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Germany’s chancellor. Hitler, head of the Nazi Party, took the oath of office and convened his cabinet. In less than one month, on February 27, 1933, the German parliament building in Berlin – the Reichstag- was set ablaze. Hitler blamed the Communists for the fire, cynically claiming that this was part of an attempt to overthrow the government. The fire became for Hitler a rationale to seize absolute control of the government, suspending civil liberties and constitutional protections on the news media, free speech, and political assembly, and conducting raids and arrests on offices of political opponents. While a young Dutchman with communist sympathies was tried and eventually executed for the arson, many believed that Hitler and the Nazis had contrived and participated in the arson. On March 23, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, giving full powers to Hitler. By the end of the year, all non-Nazi political parties, labor unions and other organizations had ceased to exist. Hindenburg died in 1934, and the German Army sanctioned Hitler’s decision to combine the posts of president and chancellor, thus cementing Hitler’s absolute power to Germany.

Dimensions

5 5/8 x 3 5/8"

Keywords

Reichstag fire, Enabling Act

Subcollection

Early

Picture Postcard of Aftermath of Reichstag Fire

Share

COinS
 

Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.