Consolidation of Power
Nazi Propaganda



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  • 1933
The Reichstag in Flames

Set on Fire by the Communists  


The Reichstag Election campaign of February-March 1933 was extremely controversial. All the political parties threw all their resources into the fight. Some of their posters are contained on another page, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Although the Nazis had the full backing of the government controlled radio, and with SA men serving as auxilliary police, opposition parties were not intimidated. Knowledgable observers believed that a Nazi victory was by no means guaranteed.

Then, on the night of 25 February 1933, only two weeks before the election, a Dutch Communist, Martinus van der Lubbe, set fire to the Reichstag building. Many at the time, and ever since, believe that only the Nazis could have benefitted from such at outrage and therefore, they hold, Hitler must have ordered the fire himself. In fact, he and his party were innocent of this crime. But they hastily and effectively rushed to capitalize on this disaster. This is the poster which appeared all over Germany on the next day. Its very improvised look confirms that the whole affair had NOT been planned beforehand. The text below reads:

This would be the fate of the entire country should the Communists and their allies, the Social Democrats, be installed in power for even a few months. Innocent citizens would be stood against the wall and shot as hostages! Farmers would have their homes burned down over their heads.

An Outcry must echo throughout all of Germany:

Stamp out Communism! Stamp out the Social Democrats

Vote Hitler, List 1

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