The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 13 of 55)


Between the Accession to Power (early 1933) and the Outbreak of the War (late 1939) the Nazi Conspirators Consolidated Their Control of Germany by Utilizing and Molding Its Political machinery to Their Own Ends.

[Page 219]

A. The Nazi conspirators reduced the Reichstag to an impotent body of their of appointees. Under the Weimar Constitution of the German Reich, adopted by the German people on 11 August 1919, the Reichstag was a representative parliamentary body with broad legislative powers. Article 20 provided that the Reichstag should be "composed of the delegates of the German people." Article 68 of the Chapter on Legislation provided that:

"Bills are introduced by the government of the Reich or by members of the Reichstag. Reich laws shall be enacted by the Reichstag." (2050-PS)

In Mein Kampf Hitler stated the conspirators' purpose to undermine the Reichstag:

"Our young movement in essence and structure is anti- parliamentarian, i.e., it rejects majority voting as a matter of principle as well as in its own organization *******Its participation in the activities of a parliament has only the purpose to contribute to its destruction, to the elimination of an institution which we consider as one of the gravest symptoms of decay of mankind *******" (288-PS).

With the passage of the Law for the Protection of the People and the Reich (also known as the Enabling Act) the Nazi succeeded, in effect, in depriving the Reichstag of its legislative functions. The legislative as well as the executive powers of the government were concentrated in Hitler and the Cabinet (2001-PS; the legislative activities of the Cabinet (Reichsregierung) and its power to contravene constitutional limitations are treated in Section 3 of Chapter XV).

During the period from March 1933 until the beginning of 1937, the Reichstag enacted only four laws: The Reconstruction Law of 30 January 1934 and the three Nurnberg laws of 15 September 1935. The Reichstag was retained chiefly as a sounding board for Hitler's speeches. All other legislation was enacted by the Cabinet, by the Cabinet ministers, or by decree of the Fuehrer (2481-PS). Hess has admitted the lack of importance of the Reichstag in the legislative process after 1933. (2426-PS)

Hitler indicated in a 1939 decree that the Reichstag would be permitted to enact only such laws as he, in his own judgment, might deem appropriate for Reichstag legislation. (2018-PS)

Immediately after the Nazis acquired the control of the central government they proceeded systematically to eliminate their opponents. First they forced all other political parties to dissolve, and on 14 July 1933 issued a decree making illegal the existence of any political party except the Nazi Party. (1388-PS)

[Page 220]

In early 1935 there were 661 delegates in the Reichstag. Of this number 641 were officially registered as Nazi party members and the remaining 20 were classified as "guests" (Gaeste). (2384-PS; 2380-PS)

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

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