::Enabling Act of 1933


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Hitler's Reichstag speech promoting the bill was delivered at the Kroll Opera House, following the Reichstag fire.

The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}) was a 1933 Weimar Constitution amendment that gave the German Cabinet – in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler – the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. It passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 24 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day. The act stated that it was to last four years unless renewed by the Reichstag, which occurred twice. The Enabling Act gave Hitler plenary powers. It followed on the heels of the Reichstag Fire Decree, which abolished most civil liberties and transferred state powers to the Reich government. The combined effect of the two laws was to transform Hitler's government into a de facto legal dictatorship.

The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (English: "Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"). This legislation was ostensibly passed at the Kroll Opera House, where the legislators were surrounded by, and threatened by, members of SA and SS. The Communists had already been banned and were therefore not present and not able to vote, while several Social Democrats were kept away as well. In the end, nearly all the parties present voted for the act, with the Social Democrats being the only ones voting against.<ref>Kitson, Alison. Germany, 1858-1990: Hope, Terror, and Revival, pages 153-154 (Oxford U. Press 2001).</ref>

Enabling Act of 1933 sections
Intro  Text  Hitler's speech before the passing of the Enabling Act  Background  Passing  Consequences   Portrayal in films   References