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 15 of 55)

C. The Nazi conspirators transformed the states, provinces, and municipalities into what were, in effect, mere administrative organs of the central government. Under the Weimar Constitution of the pre-Nazi regime, the states, provinces, and municipalities enjoyed considerable autonomy in the exercise of governmental functions -- legislative, executive and judicial. (2050-PS)

Hitler, in Mein Kampf, stated the conspirators' purpose to establish totalitarian control of local government:

"National Socialism, as a matter of principle, must claim the right to enforce its doctrines, without regard to present federal boundaries, upon the entire German nation and to educate it in its ideas and its thinking. *******The National Socialist doctrine is not the servant of political interests of individual federal states but shall become the ruler of the German nation." (2883-PS)

These views were echoed by Rosenberg:

"In the midst of the great power constellations of the globe t here must be, for foreign as well as for internal political reasons, only one strong central national authority, if one wants Germany to regain a position which makes it fit for alliance with other countries." (2882-PS)

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By a series of laws and decrees, the Nazi conspirators reduced the powers of the regional and local governments and substantially transformed them into territorial subdivisions of the Reich government. The program of centralization began almost immediately after the Nazis acquired the chief executive posts of the government. On 31 March 1933, they promulgated the provisional Law integrating the Laender with the Reich (2004-PS). This law called for the dissolution of all state and local self governing bodies and for their reconstitution according to the number of votes cast for each party in the Reichstag election of 5 March 1933. The Communists and their affiliates were expressly denied representation.

A week later there followed the Second Law Integrating the Laender with the Reich (2005-PS). This Act established the position of Reich Governor. He was to be appointed by the President upon the proposal of the Chancellor, and was given power to appoint the members of the Land governments and the higher Land officials and judges, the authority to reconstruct the Land legislature according to the law of 31 March 1933 (2004-PS, supra), and the power of pardon.

On 31 January 1934, most of the remaining vestiges of Land independence were destroyed by the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich:

"The popular referendum and the Reichstag election of 12 November 1933, have proved that the German people have attained an indestructible internal unity (unloesliche mere Enheit) superior to all internal subdivisions of political character. Consequently, the Reichstag has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated with the unanimous vote of the Reichstag after ascertaining that the requirements of the Reich Constitution have been met:

Article I. Popular assemblies of the Laender shall be abolished.

Article II. (1) The sovereign powers (Hohetsrechte) of the Laender are transferred to the Reich.

(2) The Laender governments are placed under the Reich government.

Article III. The Reich governors are placed under the administrative supervision of the Reich Minister of Interior.

Article IV. The Reich Government may issue new constitutional laws."

This law was implemented by a regulation, issued by Frick, providing that all Land laws must have the assent of the competent

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Minister of the Reich, that the highest echelons of the Land Government were to obey the orders of the competent Reich Minister, and that the employees of the Laender might be transferred into the Reich Civil Service. (1653-PS)

The Reichsrat (Reich Council) was abolished by law on 14 February 1934, and all official representation on the part of the Laender in the administration of the central government was at an end (2647-PS). The legislative pattern was complete with the enactment of the Reich Governor Law on 30 January 1935, which solidified the system of centralized control. The Reich Governor was declared to be the official representative of the Reich government, who was to receive orders directly from Hitler (Reichstatthaltergesetz (Reich Governor Law), 30 January 1935, 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 65). The same development was apparent in the provinces, the territorial subdivisions of Prussia. All local powers were concentrated in the Provincial Presidents, who acted solely as representatives of the national administration (2049-PS). Similarly, in the case of the municipalities local self-government was quickly reduced to a minimum and communal affairs were placed under central Reich control. The Nazi Party Delegate was given special functions:

"*******in order to insure harmony between the communal administration and the Party." (Art. 6 (2)).

The Reich was given supervision over the municipalities:

"*******in order to insure that their activities conform with the laws and the aims of national leadership." (2008-PS)

The Nazi conspirators frequently boasted of their comprehensive program of government centralization. Frick, Minister of the Interior throughout this period, wrote:

"The reconstruction law abolished the sovereign rights and the executive powers of the Laender and made the Reich the sole bearer of the rights of sovereignty. The supreme powers of the Laender do not exist any longer. The natural result of this was the subordination of the Land governments to the Reich government and the Land Ministers to the corresponding Reich Ministers. On 30 January 1934, the German Reich became one state. (2481-PS)

In another article Frick indicated even more clearly the purposes which underlay this program of centralization:

"In the National Socialist revolution of 1933, it was stipulated for the first time in the history of the German nation that the erection of a unified state (Einhetsstaat) would be accomplished. From the early days of his political activity,

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Adolf Hitler never left a doubt in the mind of anyone that he considered it the-first duty of National Socialism to create a German Reich in which the will of the people would be led in a single direction and that the whole strength of the nation, at home and abroad, would be placed on the balance scale." (2380-PS; 2378-PS.)

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

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