Reichstag Fire

Source A shows the Reichstag on fire on the morning of 28th February. The morning after the fire was spotted. I think that if the fire has been burning all night this must have been a big fire. I think this because in the text it says “the morning of the 28th of February” and knowing that the fire was set the night before. This quote proves my point because if this wasn’t a big fire it wouldn’t still be burning in the morning. If this was the morning after why hasn’t this been put out yet?

I also think that it wasn’t early in the morning. I think this because in the picture it shows lots of people out on the street. This image proves my point and proves that the fire was still burning until waking time of people

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Source B is useful because it shows he admits his offence of arson shows the reason for him doing so. Van der Lubbe’s reason for committing arson was because he “was inspired by political motives”. This is useful because if Van der Lubbe wasn’t inspired by political motives he wouldn’t have decided to commit arson. But with the Nazis decisions on political issues, Van der Lubbe was inspired to commit arson.

Source C is useful because it is evidence to show that they were at Goebbels house at the time of the fire and goebbel thought “Communists had made a final attempt to seize power by creating an atmosphere of panic and terror”. “Suddenly the telephone rang. The Reichstag is burning” this shows that Goebbel was at his house at the time of the fire. This makes source c useful as its shows that the communists weren’t in favour of parliament and it is written evidence at the time of the fire.

The limitations of source b are that it doesn’t show any specific times and Van der lubbe’s statement doesn’t tell you when he made his decision to commit arson, wether it was planned a long time before hand or was spontaneous. This source could also not be that reliable because he could be lying or stretching the truth by saying “No one at all helped me.”

The limitations of source c are that there is no evidence on who was calling the goebbles household when they were informed about the burning of the Reichstag. And doesn’t say why he didn’t inform the Fuhrer at first reliability?

These sources can be useful because they clearly state who was at the fire and who wasn’t at the fire I know this by when the sources say “I thought arson was a suitable method” and “at nine the fuhrer came for supper”. Both of these sources are useful because it tells us that Van der Lubbe started the fire and says that the fuhrer was at his house.

In source D it shows a cover of a book. It shows armed communists with the Reichstag building on fire. Source E shows the official announcement about the Reichstag fire by the Prussian government. In this source it says “this act of incendiarism (arson) is the most monstrous act of terrorism so far carried out by communism in Germany” and “The burning of the Reichstag was to have been the signal for a bloody and civil war”. The Nazis used this for propaganda to make the communists look bad. This is also why people voted against the communists because using propaganda to make the communists look like terrible people, they thought that the Nazis would be much better.

The Nazis used the fire as an excuse to get other things done such as, banning political meetings, suspending freedom of speech, suspending freedom of assembly and freedom of press. Giving the police emergency powers made them able to detain people indefinitely without trial, search houses and confiscate property. As a result of all these the Nazis arrested opposition politicians and were arrested and imprisoned, they executed Communists and the enemies of the Nazis. And they even intimidated voters by watching over them as they crossed there ballot papers. This could be why on March 5th the Nazis got there best ever results.

Propaganda played a very important part in the elections. I know this by in the statistics from the 1933 5th march elections it shows that the Nazis got the most seats as a result of there propaganda:

Source G agrees with source F by in source F it says “its nothing but a malicious lie” and in source G it says ” That is quite impossible minister ! No one can possibly believe that a single man can have carried that load!” I know that they both agree with each other because they both believe it’s a lie. In the rest of the source of both G and F there are no more comparisons

In source G and H there is no comparisons between each other. I know this by trying to comparing both sources and didn’t find any similarities.

Source G and source H may differ from each other because source G was written by gorings press officer in 1947. The purpose of this was written to tell us what happened from Goring’s view point. Source H is the testimony of Karl van Ernst, S A Grupenfurer which was written in 1934 the purpose of this was to talk about the Reichstag fire. I think that these differ from each other because of the difference of the dates of when they were written. people.

Yes the Reichstag fire was important but there were also other important factors such as propaganda. Propaganda was important because without it no one would see the Nazis as powerful people and wouldn’t make anyone vote or look up to the Nazis. It was also used for making enemies look like bad people such as the Jews. Terror (SS/SA/Police/Gestapo) this was important because without these people Hitler wouldn’t have been able to gain control because he wouldn’t have been able to arrest and fight against communists and were also used as protection.

Hitler’s youth, this was important because this made German teenagers from the age of 14-18 better fighters and made them more brave, it also made woman more athletic and made them a better wife for there husband but this didn’t really help gain any control. Education, this was important because every part of the German schools curriculum was indoctrinating the pupils into believing that the Nazis are the best and are the most powerful, this didn’t have a high amount of importance to do with the fire because the only thing that came out of it was indoctrinating them into believing that the communists were bad people. And the enabling act this was important because this is how Hitler gained full control.

The Reichstag was important was important but out of all of these factors I believe that terror (SS/SA/Police/Gestapo) was most important into gaining control than the others because SA helped Hitler come to power by fighting against communists. The SS protected Hitler they were his private bodyguards all and the police were able to arrest people, also the police took control of things such as small law problems and arrests with people.

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