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the SA, will issue the regulations necessary for the execution and augmentation of this law, particularly with respect to the organization and procedure of the jurisdiction of the Party and SA."

Thus by this law the Nazi Party became a para-governmental organization in Germany.

The further merger of the Party and State occurred on the death of Hindenburg. Instead of holding an election to fill the office of President, the merger of the offices of President and Chancellor, in the person of Hitler, was accomplished by the law of 1 August 1934, signed by the entire Reich Cabinet. One of the significant consequences of this law was to give to Hitler the supreme command of the German Armed Forces, always a prerequisite of the presidency, and every soldier was immediately required to take an oath of loyalty and unconditional obedience to Hitler. On 4 February 1938 Hitler issued a decree which stated in part -- and I quote from Document Number 1915-PS, which will be offered in the document book at the close of my remarks--as follows: "From now on, I take over directly the command of the whole Armed Forces."

As a further step in the consolidation of their political control, the Nazi conspirators reduced national elections to mere formalities devoid of the element of freedom of choice. Elections, properly speaking, could not take place under the Nazi system. In the first place, the basic doctrine of the Führerprinzip dictated that all subordinates must be appointed by their superiors in the Government hierarchy. Although it had already become the practice, in 1938 it was specifically provided by law that only one list of candidates was to be submitted to the people. By the end of this pre-war period little of substance remained in the election law. The majority of the substantive provisions had become obsolete.

By a series of laws and decrees the Nazi conspirators reduced the powers of regional and local governments and substantially transformed them into territorial subdivisions of the Reich Government. With the abolition of representative assemblies and elective officials in the Länder and the municipalities, regional and local elections ceased to exist. On 31 January 1934 the last vestiges of Land independence was destroyed by the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich. The Defendant Frick Minister of the Interior throughout this period, has written of this Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich as follows:

"The reconstruction law abolished the sovereign rights and executive powers of the Länder and made the Reich the sole bearer of the rights of sovereignty. The supreme powers of the Länder do not exist any longer. The natural result of this