Once Hitler had control of Germany he didn’t need the SA anymore. He was also worriedthat they might be a threat to his leadership.
The SA leader Ernst Roehm wanted the SA to have total control of the German army. Thiswould make him more powerful than Hitler.
Hitler decided that Roehm must be stopped, or the Nazis ran the risk of losing the supportof the army.
June 1934 the
Night of the Long Knives
took place. Hitler claimed that the SAwas plotting to seize power and ordered the SS to arrest hundreds of SA leaders. Theywere rounded up and shot.
Hitler told the Reichstag that he had done all this to “save the nation” from threat.
The only person with higher power than Hitler was the President, Hindenburg.
August 1934, Hindenburg died aged 87.
Immediately Hitler declared that he was
, as well as being
Headof the German army.
These positions meant that Hitler could now give himself the title of
“Fuhrer”.The Nazi control of Germany was now totally complete. All areas of opposition had beenremoved by one method or another.
Democracy and the Weimar Republic
is the form of government that has come to prevail in the majority of states at the beginningof the Twenty First Century. Democracy means ‘rule by the people’ and was first tried in some of thecity-states of Ancient Greece. The essential point of democracy is that people are able to choose who theywish to be their rulers.In 1919, Germany became democratic for the first time. Up until the end of the First World War,Germany had been ruled by the
. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated and government passed from royalhands to an elected government known as the
. This was so-called because the Germancapital, Berlin was under the control of
and the new government was forced to meet inWeimar instead.The Weimar Republic was a democracy. The German people voted for
Members of Parliament
torepresent them in Parliament (
). The political party that gained a majority large enough to winvotes formed the
. The leader of that party became the Prime Minister (
) andministerial posts were given to other prominent members of the party. To keep a check on the actions of the new government, a head of state (
) was elected. This person did not run Germany on a dayto day basis that was the Chancellor’s job. The relationship between Chancellor and President was similar