Enabling Act of 1933

dictatorshipEnabling Actconvertedthe1933one-party dictatorshipparty dictatorshipillegalbecame illegalcame under control of
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.wikipedia
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Adolf Hitler

HitlerFührerthe leader
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.
Shortly after, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism.

Hitler cabinet

cabinetHitler's cabinetmember of the Nazi government
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.
The Enabling Act of 1933, passed two months after Hitler took office, gave the cabinet the power to make laws without legislative consent for four years.

Paul von Hindenburg

HindenburgPresident Hindenburgvon Hindenburg
The act passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 23 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day.
In February he approved the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties, and in March signed the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler's regime arbitrary powers.

Social Democratic Party of Germany

SPDSocial Democratic PartySocial Democrats
The Communists had already been repressed and were not allowed to be present or to vote, and some Social Democrats were kept away as well.
Adolf Hitler banned the SPD in 1933 under the Enabling Act and the National Socialist régime imprisoned, killed or forced into exile SPD party officials.

Secret Meeting of 20 February 1933

Secret Meetingsecretly meetssummit of leading German industrialists
A secret meeting was held between Hitler and 20 to 25 industrialists at the official residence of Hermann Göring in the Reichstag Presidential Palace, aimed at financing the election campaign of the Nazi Party.
The Nazi Party wanted to achieve two-thirds majority to pass the Enabling Act and desired to raise three million Reichsmark to fund the campaign.

Reichsrat (Germany)

ReichsratGerman ReichsratState Council
The act passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 23 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day.
It can be argued that this violated the Enabling Act, which stipulated that any laws passed under its authority could not affect the institutions of either chamber.

Reichstag (Weimar Republic)

Reichstagnational parliament (''"Reichstag"'')national parliament (''Reichstag'')
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. The act passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 23 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day. A secret meeting was held between Hitler and 20 to 25 industrialists at the official residence of Hermann Göring in the Reichstag Presidential Palace, aimed at financing the election campaign of the Nazi Party. The law was enacted by the Reichstag (meeting at the Kroll Opera House), where non-Nazi members were surrounded and threatened by members of the SA and the SS. Non-Nazi members of the Reichstag, including Vice-Chancellor von Papen, are shown objecting.

Chancellor of Germany

ChancellorGerman ChancellorReichskanzler
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.
After only two months in office, and following the burning of the Reichstag building, the parliament passed the Enabling Act giving the chancellor full legislative powers for a period of four years – the chancellor could introduce any law without consulting Parliament.

Weimar Constitution

constitutionGerman constitutiona new constitution
The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) of 1933, formally titled Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ("Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"), was an amendment passed on 23 March 1933 to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet—in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler—the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.
The subsequent Enabling Act, passed by the Reichstag on 23 March 1933, stated that, in addition to the traditional method of the Reichstag passing legislation, the Reich government could also pass legislation.

Reichstag fire

burning of the ReichstagLeipzig trialReichstag fire trial
The burning of the Reichstag, depicted by the Nazis as the beginning of a communist revolution, resulted in the presidential Reichstag Fire Decree, which among other things suspended freedom of press and habeas corpus rights just five days before the election.
Hitler hoped to abolish democracy in a more or less legal fashion, by passing the Enabling Act.

Centre Party (Germany)

Centre PartyZentrumCentre
Hitler believed that with the Centre Party members' votes, he would get the necessary two-thirds majority.
After the Reichstag Fire in early 1933, the Centre Party was one of the ones who voted for the Enabling Act, which granted dictatorial powers to Adolf Hitler.

Nazi Party

NSDAPNazisNazi
A secret meeting was held between Hitler and 20 to 25 industrialists at the official residence of Hermann Göring in the Reichstag Presidential Palace, aimed at financing the election campaign of the Nazi Party.
On 23 March, the parliament passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave the cabinet the right to enact laws without the consent of parliament.

March 1933 German federal election

1933 Reichstag electionsMarch 1933German federal election, March 1933
A general election was scheduled for 5 March 1933.
Two weeks after the election, Hitler was able to pass an Enabling Act on 23 March with the support of all non-socialist parties, which effectively gave Hitler dictatorial powers.

Weimar Republic

GermanyWeimar GermanyWeimar
The Nazis expected the parties representing the middle class, the Junkers and business interests to vote for the measure, as they had grown weary of the instability of the Weimar Republic and would not dare to resist.
Within months, the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency: it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties.

Communist Party of Germany

Communist PartyKPDCommunist
The Communists had already been repressed and were not allowed to be present or to vote, and some Social Democrats were kept away as well.
Shortly after the election, the Nazis pushed through the Enabling Act, which allowed the cabinet–in practice, Hitler-to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag, effectively giving Hitler dictatorial powers.

President of Germany (1919–1945)

PresidentPresident of GermanyReichspräsident
The act passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 23 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day.
On 23 March the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively brought an end to democracy.

Reichstag Fire Decree

aftermathDecree for the Protection of People and StateReichstag'' Fire Decree
The burning of the Reichstag, depicted by the Nazis as the beginning of a communist revolution, resulted in the presidential Reichstag Fire Decree, which among other things suspended freedom of press and habeas corpus rights just five days before the election. The Enabling Act gave Hitler plenary powers and followed on the heels of the Reichstag Fire Decree, which had abolished most civil liberties and transferred state powers to the Reich government.
Just over three weeks after the passage of the Reichstag Fire Decree, Hitler further tightened his grasp on Germany by the passage of the Enabling Act.

Reichskonkordat

Reich concordatConcordatConcordat between Germany and the Holy See
Some historians, such as Klaus Scholder, have maintained that Hitler also promised to negotiate a Reichskonkordat with the Holy See, a treaty that formalised the position of the Catholic Church in Germany on a national level.
The concordat has been described by some as giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired quasi-dictatorial powers through the Enabling Act of 1933, an Act itself facilitated through the support of the Catholic Centre Party.

Kroll Opera House

KrolloperKroll OperaKroll
The law was enacted by the Reichstag (meeting at the Kroll Opera House), where non-Nazi members were surrounded and threatened by members of the SA and the SS.
On 23 March 1933, the majority of the Reichstag delegates in the Kroll Opera House disempowered themselves passing the "Enabling Act" that gave Adolf Hitler virtually unlimited authority.

German National People's Party

DNVPDeutschnationale VolksparteiGerman National People's Party (DNVP)
Although they received five million more votes than in the previous election, the Nazis failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament, and depended on the 8% of seats won by their coalition partner, the German National People's Party, to reach 52% in total.
On 23 March 1933, the entire DNVP Reichstag delegation voted for the Enabling Act, which gave the Cabinet the power to make laws without parliamentary consent, effectively making Hitler a dictator.

Gleichschaltung

transformingandtransforming Germany
As with most of the laws passed in the process of Gleichschaltung, the Enabling Act is quite short, especially considering its implications.
When the newly elected Reichstag first convened on 23 March 1933—not including the Communist delegates because their party had been banned on 6 March—it passed the Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz).

Ludwig Kaas

Monsignor KassDr. Ludwig KaasKaas
Hitler negotiated with the Centre Party's chairman, Ludwig Kaas, a Catholic priest, finalising an agreement by 22 March.
Later that month, from 15 March, he was the main advocate supporting the Hitler administration's Enabling Act in return for certain constitutional and, allegedly ecclesiastic guarantees.

Otto Wels

WelsYou Cannot Take Our Honour
Only SPD chairman Otto Wels spoke against the Act, declaring that the proposed bill could not "destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible."
On 23 March 1933 Wels was the only member of the Reichstag to speak against Adolf Hitler's Enabling Act (the "Law for Removing the Distress of People and Reich").

Heinrich Brüning

BrüningChancellor BrüningHeinrich Bruning
Debate within the Centre Party continued until the day of the vote, 23 March 1933, with Kaas advocating voting in favour of the act, referring to an upcoming written guarantee from Hitler, while former Chancellor Heinrich Brüning called for a rejection of the Act.
Later that month, he was a main advocate for rejecting the Hitler administration's Enabling Act, calling it the "most monstrous resolution ever demanded of a parliament."

Franz von Papen

Papenvon PapenCabinet of Barons
Non-Nazi members of the Reichstag, including Vice-Chancellor von Papen, are shown objecting.
Neither Papen nor his conservative allies waged a fight against the Reichstag Fire Decree in late February or the Enabling Act in March.