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The Reichstag Fire The Night of the Long Knives
The events of the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ led to the strengthening of Hitler’s control over Germany as it meant that he now had the support of the army. In the tussle for power between the SA and the army, the army did not want to support him alongside with the SA. This event was significant as Hitler’s support from the army meant that he could increase his power and become more dictatorial in his ways of controlling and influencing people with violence and terror. With this newly gained support of the army, Hitler was able to silence with military might, any opposition thus making eliminating all challenge to his authority and all opposition. The occurrences of the Reichstag Fire could also be seen as a very significant event in Hitler’s rise to dictatorship. In order for Hitler to be able to pass the Enabling Law, the Reichstag Fire had to have happened first to allow him to get rid of Communist opposition and have enough of a majority to pass the law. The fire was blamed on Communists and the Nazis were quick to support the idea that the Communists were responsible, which therefore meant that the Communist party was rejected from the Reichstag and so Hitler could pass the Enabling Law. While both events were needed for Hitler to both come to and secure his power, with out the Reichstag Fire Hitler would not have been able to convince Hindenburg that the Communists were a threat and that their gatherings be stopped. If this had not happened, the Nazis may not have got an electoral victory good enough to gain control of the Reichstag (because the Communists posed as a large obstruction). Furthermore, if the Nazis had not gained control of the Reichstag, the Enabling Laws may not have been passed and Hitler would not have been able to rise to Dictator. It could be argued that for Hitler to have secured his place as Dictator he needed to dismantle the S.A. If Hitler hadn’t done this he may not have gained the support of the army and may have lost his dictatorship by being overthrown. However, I believe that the Reichstag Fire was more significant as it directly led Hitler to becoming Dictator.