January - March 1933

January 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor

German President Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as     Chancellor of Germany.  Many people think Hitler took power illegally or by military force, but as the leader of the Nazi Party, Hitler was a      member of the Reichstag (German Parliament). The Nazi Party was    voted into the Reichstag (Parliament) during democratic elections held in the Weimar Republic/Germany.


Photo: courtesy of the Photo Archives at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum 

February 27-28, 1933


The Reichstag building is set on fire, and the Nazis propagandize this act of arson as a communist attack on national security. The Reichstag enacts the “Emergency Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State,” which gave the SS (Protection Squadrons)  authority over the police and all civil rights of the German citizens.  



Photo: courtesy of the Photo Archives at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum


March 22, 1933 - Dachau Opens

Less than two months after Hitler is appointed Chancellor, the Nazis open the Dachau concentration camp. Heinrich Himmler, Police President of Munich described Dachau as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners." Dachau remained in operation until April 26, 1945.


March 23, 1933

Hitler introduces a bill to the Reichstag (Parliament) that would give his government the right to decree laws without a parliamentary vote.  The "Enabling Act" was supported by the Nazis, the Conservatives, and the Catholic Center Party. Before the vote, Communists and     Socialists were arrested, and only the remaining   Socialists voted against this bill. The bill passed, and Hitler outlawed all other political parties. The Nazi Party was now the only political party in Germany. Hitler now had total control over Germany, its government and its people.


Photo: courtesy of the Photo Archives at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum