1933: Death of a Democracy

On 1 January 1933, Germany was a democracy with a range of political parties. By the end of the year its parliament was a rubber stamp for Adolf Hitler’s will.

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels  at a campaign  rally, Berlin Sports Palast, 31 November 1933 © Bettmann/Getty Images.

German newspapers offered gloomy predictions for Adolf Hitler’s political prospects. The Social Democratic newspaper Vorwärts ran an article on 1 January 1933 with the headline: ‘Hitler’s Rise and Fall’, suggesting Nazi electoral popularity had peaked at the July 1932 national poll. The Berliner Tageblatt noted: ‘Everywhere in the world people were talking about – what was his name: Adalbert Hitler. Later? He’s vanished!’

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