How did the Nazis consolidate power?

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Dealing with opposition

The Nazis quickly began to deal with all forms of opposition. On 1 April 1933 a concentration camp was established in the town of Dachau, 12 kilometres from Munich. In the beginning it was reserved for political prisoners, opponents of the Nazi regime.

Two months after the election, on 2 May 1933, the SA and SS raided offices of German trade unions whose leaders were arrested and imprisoned in Dachau.

Between March and July 1933, they also raided offices of opposition political parties, destroyed equipment, confiscated funds and arrested their leaders. By July 1933, the Nazis had banned all opposition political parties and become the only political party in Germany.

  • Book Burning

    On May 10 1933, the first of the book burnings was carried out outside the University of Berlin, with university students leading the parade. Dr Joseph Goebbels began by throwing the works of Sigmund Freud into the flames. All books which, in any way, contradicted Nazi ideas were banned or destroyed.

    Ironically, the German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine had written 100 years earlier that ‘any people that burn books, will one day burn people.’ The book burning, with all the other propaganda devices, attempted to take over the minds of the population.