World History 1933 Part 1

About the history of the world in 1933, the Chicago's World Fair is held, Hitler appointed Chancellor and Roosevelt elected President.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1933

* The Chicago World's Fair, the Century of Progress Exposition, opened in the face of worldwide depression.

Jan. 13 The U.S. Congress voted over President Hoover's veto to allow the Philippines to form an independent government.

Jan. 30 Adolf Hitler, 44, leader of Germany's Nazi party, was appointed chancellor. However, the Nazis represented a minority in the Reichstag, so to validate Hitler's appointment new elections had to be called. Leaving nothing to chance, Hitler pulled out all the stops in one of the most violent political campaigns ever to precede a free election. Nazi storm troopers assaulted opposition party workers, especially the Communists, and herded them into jails. When the prisons were filled to capacity, the government built concentration camps to hold the dissenters. By year's end, 50 such camps dotted the Fatherland, and more were on the way. Then on Feb. 27 a fire broke out in the Reichstag building. Obviously a case of arson, the blaze began with over 20 simultaneously set fires and gutted the building. Within an hour Hitler was on the scene, blaming the Communists for the torch job. Although a Dutch ex-Communist named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested, convicted, and decapitated for the crime, it became clear that others unnamed were involved; and further evidence suggested, though not conclusively, that the Nazis themselves had set the fire to give Hitler a hot campaign issue. Whoever the culprits, Hitler immediately seized the incident and clobbered the Communists with it. Despite Hitler's base appeal to emotion, or perhaps because of it, the German electorate gave the Nazis just 44% of the vote on Mar. 5, short of a majority. Not to be denied, Hitler expelled all 81 duly elected Communists from the Reichstag, and thus automatically the Nazi party became a majority of a truncated parliament. By this time, the new chancellor had already suspended civil rights in the land "for the defense against Communist acts of violence endangering the state." Now he pressed on to tighten the reins of the police state. On Mar. 23, with Nazi storm troopers standing ominously in formation in the corridors of Berlin's Kroll Opera House (the temporary Reichstag), Hitler browbeat the parliament into passing the Enabling Act, granting him absolute dictatorial powers. The path to nazification now lay open. In a political blitz every bit as stunning as his military thrusts later in the decade, Hitler weeded "non-Aryans" (read Jews) out of the civil service, cracked down further on all political opposition until the Nazi party remained the only legal party, seized the trade unions and appointed "labor trustees" to determine wages, and established the Nazi Youth to bring the good word home to, and sometimes to spy on, uncooperative parents. He appointed Joseph Goebbels minister "for popular enlightenment and propaganda." Under his tutelage, the Nazi line filled the media, movies, and the theater. All writers, publishers, and artists were required to obtain a government license to practice their crafts. Many fled the country rather than submit. And a new required course appeared in the curricula of German schools-the science of race. In short, the Nazi ball was rolling and few people dared get in its way.

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