Explain how Hitler instituted a police state in Germany, including the restrictions he placed on the nation’s Jews.

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After being helped into power by traditional conservative and nationalist parties, Hitler immediately began setting about laying the foundations for a one-party dictatorship. Although the Nazis were a minority in the coalition cabinet, they were in charge of strategically important departments of state, such as the Prussian Ministry of the...

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After being helped into power by traditional conservative and nationalist parties, Hitler immediately began setting about laying the foundations for a one-party dictatorship. Although the Nazis were a minority in the coalition cabinet, they were in charge of strategically important departments of state, such as the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, which gave them control over the largest police force in Germany.

The Nazis wasted no time in using their newly-acquired power to crush their opponents, like communists and social democrats. Their position was further strengthened just two months after Hitler became Chancellor by the passing of the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler sweeping powers, transforming what had been a multi-party coalition into a legal, one-party dictatorship.

Hitler knew that the Nazi Party had gained much of its support by promising to restore order to Germany, so wherever possible, he sought to consolidate Nazi control by legal means, using the law as an instrument of repression. At the same time, however, Nazi thugs continued to engage in wanton acts of criminality and destruction, the most notorious example being the anti-Semitic pogroms of Kristallnacht.

However, the Nazis were still determined to put their proposed persecution of the Jews on a legal footing, which they did with the Nuremberg Laws, which deprived German Jews of their citizenship and civil rights. As in the case of the Enabling Act, the Nazis built a formal legal structure on the basis of the gains they'd already made through street violence, intimidation, and outright thuggery.

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