20 Nov. 45

2. Control acquired:

On 30 January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic. After the Reichstag fire of 28 February 1933, clauses of the Weimar constitution guaranteeing personal liberty, freedom of speech, of the press, of association, and assembly were suspended. The Nazi conspirators secured the passage by the Reichstag of a "Law for the Protection of the People and the Reich" giving Hitler and the members of 0a then cabinet plenary powers of legislation. The Nazi conspirators retained such powers after having changed the members of the cabinet. The conspirators caused all political parties except the Nazi Party to be prohibited. They caused the Nazi Party to be established as a para-governmental organization with extensive and extraordinary privileges.

3. Consolidation of control:

Thus possessed of the machinery of the German State, the Nazi conspirators set about the consolidation of their position of power within Germany, the extermination of potential internal resistance, and the placing of the German nation on a military footing.

(a) The Nazi conspirators reduced the Reichstag to a body of their own nominees and curtailed the freedom of popular elections throughout the country. They transformed the several states, provinces, and municipalities, which had formerly exercised semi-autonomous powers, into hardly more than administrative organs of the central Government. They united the offices of the President and the Chancellor in the person of Hitler, instituted a widespread purge of civil servants, and severely restricted the independence of the judiciary and rendered it subservient to Nazi ends. The conspirators greatly enlarged existing State and Party organizations, established a network of new State and Party organizations, and "co-ordinated" State agencies with the Nazi Party and its branches and affiliates, with the result that German life was dominated by Nazi doctrine and practice and progressively mobilized for the accomplishment of their aims.

(b) In order to make their rule secure from attack and to instill fear in the hearts of the German people, the Nazi conspirators established and extended a system of terror against opponents and supposed or suspected opponents of the regime. They imprisoned such persons without judicial process, holding them in "protective custody" and concentration camps, and subjected them to persecution, degradation, despoilment, enslavement, torture, and murder. These concentration camps were established early in 1933 under the direction of the Defendant Goring and expanded as a fixed part of the terroristic policy and method of the conspirators and used by them for the commission of the Crimes against