This painting by Arthur Kampf commemorates the Nazi seizure of power on 30 January 1933. There was a huge torchlit procession that evening in Berlin  Source: Die Kunst im Dritten Reich, January, 1938

By
Norman D. Livergood

German Nazification
Phase 1

Seizure of Power

1933: January 30


Hitler is appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg

Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor even though the Nazis were only a small minority in the German government. On his first day as chancellor, Hitler manipulated Hindenburg into dissolving the Reichstag and calling for the new elections he had wanted - to be held on March 5, 1933. President Hindenburg had fallen under Hitler's spell and was signing just about anything Hitler put in front of him. Hitler began immediately to orchestrate the complete takeover of all mechanisms of governance and functions of state, to make Nazi Germany a totalitarian dictatorship.


February 3, 1933

In a speech to the leading army and navy commanders, Hitler revealed his Lebensraum program for the conquest of "living space" for the German people, rearmament, and resistance to the Versailles Treaty. He spoke of the importance of the military and promised not to involve it in domestic political disputes.



American Nazification
Phase 1

Seizure of Power

2000: November


Bush is appointed President by the Supreme Court

Bush is foisted on the American public through a coup d'etat of the Supreme Court after massive election fraud perpetrated by his brother in Florida.

Thousands of voters were illegally disqualified in the 2000 election in the state of Florida, when Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State compiled a false list of felons who would not be allowed to vote.

The Supreme Court was packed with reactionary right-wingers, several of whom had conflicts of interest because of their ties to the Bush family.

Dubya appoints convicted criminals, racists, and corporate-controlled underlings to his cabinet.


January, 2001

Bush pushes his tax cuts for the wealthy through Congress, begins his assaults on the environment, and commands the FBI to stop investigations concerning the Bin Laden family and other suspected terrorist cells.

Phase 2

An Atrocity to Subdue the People

February 27, 1933

The Reichstag Fire

On the night the German Parliament Building--the Reichstag-- burned down, Hitler was at Goebbels's apartment having dinner. They rushed to the scene where they met Göring who was already screaming false charges and making threats against the Communists. At first glance, Hitler described the fire as a beacon from heaven. "You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in German history. . .  This fire is the beginning," Hitler told a news reporter at the scene.

While not all historians agree on who actually perpetrated the Reichstag Fire, writers such as Klaus P. Fischer feel that most likely the Nazis were responsible.

A dazed Dutch Communist named Marinus van der Lubbe was found at the scene and charged with arson. He was later found guilty and executed.

On February 28, 1933--the day after the Reichstag fire--President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which permitted the suspension of civil liberties in a time of national emergency.

A Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State abrogated the following German constitutional protections:
  • Free expression of opinion
  • Freedom of the press
  • Right of assembly and association
  • Right to privacy of postal and electronic communications
  • Protection against unlawful searches and seizures
  • Individual property rights
  • States' right of self-government

A supplemental decree created the SA (Storm Troops) and SS (Special Security) Federal police agencies.

Additional information about the Reichstag Fire

Phase 2

An Atrocity to Subdue
the People

September 11, 2001

The Terrorist Attacks

When the Word Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, Bush was listening to Florida grade school children read. When informed of the attack by his associates, he continued listening. He then flew to a security bunker in Nebraska before finally returning to the White House.

No military aircraft had been scrambled to intercept the four hijacked planes, though there was plenty of time to do so.

The Bush junta's totally cynical appointment of the war criminal Henry Kissinger to create a coverup for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American citizens arouses additional suspicion that the Bush administration was complicit in the horror. Under pressure, Kissinger was forced to resign.

Hundreds of suspects were immediately jailed after 9/11, without benefit of habeas corpus or other rights. Some of these suspects have already been found guilty of the crime.

The Bush junta forced the Patriot Act bill through Congress, suspending essential civil liberties, excusing oppression as essential to the "war on terrorism," and maintaining that dissent was treason.

The Patriot Act abrogated the following American constitutional protections:
  • Free expression of opinion
  • Freedom of the press
  • Right of assembly and association
  • Right to privacy of postal and electronic communications
  • Protection against unlawful searches and seizures
  • Individual property rights
  • States' right of self-government

Presidential decrees make it possible for military forces to be used to monitor and control the civilian population, in abrogation of the posse comitatus act.


The Reichstag Fire Syndrome occurs whenever a democracy is destroyed by creating a law-and-order crisis and offering as a "solution" the abdication of civil liberties and states' rights to a powerful but unaccountable central dictator. The men of wealth who put the tyrant into power are then able to reap obscene war profits.

Phase 3

The Leader Destroys Elections and Appoints Himself Dictator

March 24, 1933

The Enabling Act


On March 24, 1933, the Reichstag passed the Law for Terminating the Suffering of People and Nation, also known as the Enabling Law, essentially granting Adolf Hitler dictatorial power. There was no further need for elections because the Fuhrer/Dictator made all the decisions!

Since the Nazis had only been able to gain a 44% plurality in the Reichstag in the March 5, 1933 elections, Hitler looked for another way to establish a full dictatorship.

  • Herman Göring--later to become the head of Germany's armed forces--declared that there was no further need for State governments. So over the next few weeks, in each of the legal Weimar states the local Nazi organizations instigated riots and then summarily replaced the elected state government by appointed Nazi Reich Commissioners to quell the disorder.

  • The Nazi legislators sponsored the Enabling Act, a bill that gave Hitler dictatorial powers for four years. To make sure the law passed, the Nazis imprisoned Communists and created propaganda campaigns to influence public opinion. Just days before the vote on the bill, the Nazis held a staged ceremony in Potsdam in which Hitler was depicted as a conservative national leader, not the head of a radical party. Hitler promised that the Enabling Act would only benefit the German people.

    The moment the bill passed, however, the German democratic constitution was abrogated and Nazi Party rule became absolute. Hitler immediately invoked the new law to rescind the democratic freedoms of the Weimar Republic and to dissolve political parties and organizations.


The Dictator Establishes
Death Camps

March 22, 1933

Dachau slave labor death camp established


The Hitler regime established the first concentration camp about 15 kilometers northwest of Munich, dedicated on March 20 by Heinrich Himmler. It held about 5,000 prisoners, mostly Communists, Social-Democrats, and homosexuals. Bavarian police guarded the prisoners until April 11, when the SS took over. The slave-labor death camps, so hideous in their reality that Germans didn't want to hear about them, became an efficient tool in silencing opponents of the regime. Dachau was a "political camp" and the first Jewish detainees were among the best-known political opponents of the Nazi regime. More than 10,000 Jews from all over Germany were interned there after the Kristallnacht pogrom. When the systematic genocide of Jews began, the Jewish prisoners were deported from Dachau and other camps in the Reich to the extermination camps in the East.

Throughout 1933 and 1934, thousands of Communists, Social Democrats and Jews were arrested in various parts of Germany. There was no secret about these arrests. The German people made no effort to stop Hitler's terrorism. They allowed themselves to be brainwashed by his relentless propaganda and regarded their Fuhrer as making heroic efforts to re-establish order and decency.

On May 2, 1933, Hitler dissolved all the German trade unions and within six months he had destroyed the largest and best-organized workers' movement in the world at that time. This catastrophic defeat of the German workers had the worst possible psychological effect because throughout this entire time there was not even a single symbolic act of resistance. Had there been even an attempt at resisting the Nazi's relentless destruction of human freedoms, it would at least have allowed the workers to feel that they had not gone down without a struggle.

Throughout 1933 and 1934, the SS, Gestapo and police, often assisted by fire brigades and emergency services, regularly sealed off specific German housing estates and combed through them house by house for suspected "enemies of the state." Local SA groups carried out beatings, arbitrary arrests and spontaneous vandalism, creating an atmosphere of terror and helplessness in working class strongholds Germans had believed to be safe. In this way the Nazi goons smashed any semblance of working class solidarity. The Gestapo built up its surveillance apparatus to make mass resistance impossible. So German people felt an ever-present sense of terror and fear, as if they were living in a country occupied by foreign troops.

The Nazi terror continued, unchallenged:

  • June 22, 1933: the Social Democrat party, the only opposition party to the Nazis, was banned

  • July 7, 1933: the elected Social Democrats were expelled from the government

  • July 14 1933: a law was passed making sterilization compulsory for those considered unfit

  • July 15, 1933: all political parties were banned except the Nazi party

  • July 1933: concentration camps were systematized

  • October 1933: the entire press was now under Nazi control

    • New laws destroyed editors' and journalists’ independence and expression of personal opinion

    • The film industries were taken over one by one

  • November, 1933:

    • General elections were held for a single-party parliament

    • The Nuremberg race laws were established

  • January 20, 1934: ‘Regulation of National Labor’ broke the power of all organized labor within German workplaces

  • January 30, 1934: the local governments were dissolved without provision for re-election; local commissioners were henceforth appointed by Reich ministers to whom they were beholden

  • February 1934: the Upper House of Parliament was dissolved

  • May 5, 1934: the German Protestant Church's ‘confessing synod’ made the ‘Barmen Theological Declaration’ against the totalitarian state; later in 1934, the Catholic Bishop Galen of Munster preached against the Nazi attacks on Christianity in a sermon widely disseminated

  • June 30, 1934: the ‘Night of the Long Knives' -- hundreds of "enemies of the state" were murdered in cold blood

    • The massacre included several prominent non-Nazis, among them, the leader of Catholic action and two army generals

    • Among those murdered were socialist revolutionaries within the Nazi party

    • People the world over were shocked at the mass bloodshed, but no reaction within Germany or elsewhere challenged the Nazi terror

  • August 1934: Hitler became Der Führer as well as Chancellor; a plebiscite of the German people formally ratified his dictatorship
The German people had allowed this reign of terror to seize control of the entire nation without any significant resistance or expression of outrage.

The same thing can happen to any people who do not begin early to resist the attacks on their liberties.





Phase 3

The Leader Destroys Elections and Appoints Himself Dictator

November, 2002

Homeland Security Act


In the 2000 and now again in the midterm 2002 elections, electronic voting has meant that our democratic right to have our votes counted fairly and accurately has been taken from us by the Bush junta.

Since we now suffer under the situation where there is no opposition to the criminal Bush regime--most Democrats having effectively become pawns of the Republicans--then none of the state election frauds will be investigated. We can't be sure that key races such as that of Mondale in Minnesota and Carnahan in Missouri were not the result of massive vote fraud. We can be sure that the Florida gubernatorial race was completely fixed.

This sinister phase 3 of the Nazification of America is best understood by reviewing some of the information that Greg Palast has made available. Palast is the investigative reporter for BBC and the Observer who first exposed the 2000 Florida vote crimes.

94,000 people -- over half of them African American --were on a "scrub list" in Florida, resulting in their being blocked from voting in the 2000 election. Did Florida rectify this mistake before the 2002 election? Fuhgeddaboudit! Those voters won't be reinstated in Florida until January 2003--if ever.
Electronic, touch screen voting is the basis for election fraud:

  • votes can easily be lost through "software glitches"

  • Democratic votes can become Republican votes and no one is the wiser

The "touch" screen computers are made by ES&S, the vendor chosen by Katherine Harris, Florida Secretary of State and current congressperson. The lobbyist who sold that company's system to Jeb and Katherine is Sandy Mortham, founder of Women for Jeb and Harris' predecessor as Secretary of State. Mortham was the person who instigated the scam in 1998 to find black voters who could be disqualified.

ES&S machines, not surprisingly, failed to work in black precincts in 2002. And of course with electronic voting there is no paper ballot back-up.


In the "decisive" 2002 mid-term "elections" the Republicans gained control of all branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. Just as in Hitler's Enabling Act, so Bush Jr. forced the Homeland Security bill through Congress which gave him complete dictatorial powers:

  • the President is able to make any decision he wishes without judicial or legislative restraint

  • the executive branch can now carry on its meetings in secret, without scrutiny from the press or the people

  • the "homeland security" agents can now intrude in any part of a citizen's life

  • The Cyber Security Enhancement Act slipped into the Homeland Security bill at the last moment:

    • allows police to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping willy-nilly with no requirement to ask a court's permission first

    • demands life sentences for hackers that 'recklessly' endanger lives

    • allows Net surveillance to gather telephone numbers, IP addresses, and URLs or e-mail information, where an 'immediate threat to a national security interest' is suspected

    • permits ISPs to hand users' records over to law enforcement authorities, overturning current legislation that outlaws such behavior

  • the Homeland Security Information Awareness Office will be run by a former convicted felon

  • up to 850,000 jobs will be privatized, knocking out union and civil service oversight

On November 14, 2002, as the Senate was being pressured to pass a hastily-prepared homeland security bill, Senator Byrd spoke out vehemently against the bill as Bush's grab for dictatorial power--the worst act of tyranny, Byrd said, in the fifty years he's been in Congress.


Secret US Police Concentration Camps

In a revealing admission in June, 1997, the Director of Resource Management for the U.S. Army confirmed the validity of a memorandum relating to the establishment of a civilian inmate labor program under development by the Department of the Army. The document states, "Enclosed for your review and comment is the draft Army regulation on civilian inmate labor utilization" and the procedure to "establish civilian prison camps on installations."

an actual US concentration camp

Amid widespread rumors, Congressman Henry Gonzales clarified the question of the existence of civilian detention camps. In an interview, Gonzalez stated, "The truth is yes--you do have these stand by provisions, and the plans are here . . . whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism . . . evoke the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps."

Pierre Tristam's 11/26/02 editorial in the Daytona Beach News Journal blew the lid off the Homeland Security Department.

"The New Deal was a 'reorganization' or an 'expansion' of government. The creation of the Homeland Security Department is a coup within the government. What Ollie North once did illegally in a White House basement - free-lancing policy with public money and accountability to no one - a $37 billion department with 170,000 employees will now do legally in what is sure to be a high-rise of basements and metaphorical windows on Washington's Bureaucracy Row. Like a Wall Street firm beholden only to its board room, the second-largest government department is now a proprietary arm of the presidency. It operates beyond congressional scrutiny and public accountability, and guarantees secrecy to its own machinations or to those of any private business with which it deals.

"Let's say Kafka Inc. were a company that made surveillance cameras the government was installing at a few thousand intersections. Kafka's products happen to be pathetically faulty, as such devices commonly are. The public would be outraged if it knew. But all Kafka would have to do to keep its products' evaluations from becoming public is submit them to the Department of Homeland Security, where everything is to be kept secret by law. What Kafka does, every other company or hospital or airline or even local sheriff's department can do with any proposal, any budget item, any safety plan made part of the homeland security racket. The department, in other words, is a black hole to the Freedom of Information Act - everything goes in, nothing gets out."

On Sunday, November 10th, the New York Times announced that 200,000 to 250,000 troops would be used to attack Iraq, while 265,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel would be called to active duty--MOST OF WHICH WILL BE DEPLOYED IN THE UNITED STATES! Is Bush at war with Iraq or with American citizens?


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Phase 4              ? ? ? ? ?