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Readings on Fascism and National Socialism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about Readings on Fascism and National Socialism.

     Conversations With Foreigners

It is forbidden to all party members to engage in discussions of foreign policy with foreigners.  Only such persons as have been designated by the Fuehrer are entitled to do so.[81]

The Totalitarian State

The Weimar Constitution, although never formally abrogated by the Nazis, was rendered totally ineffectual by two basic laws, promulgated within two months after the seizure of power by the party.  The first of these was the “Decree of the Reich’s President for the Protection of the People and State” (document 11-I, post p. 215), issued February 28, 1933, the day after the Reichstag was burned down.  It suspended “until further notice"[82] articles of the Weimar Constitution guaranteeing essential democratic rights of the individual.  Thus, according to article I of this decree, “restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."[83] The abrogation by the Nazis of these fundamental rights of democracy has never been repealed or amended.  In fact, this decree represents the presupposition and confirmation of the police sway established throughout Germany by the Nazis.[84]

The second basic law, known as the “Enabling Act,” the “Law To Remove the Distress of People and State,” of March 24, 1933 (document 11-II, post p. 217), swept away parliamentary government entirely.  By abrogating the pertinent articles of the Weimar Constitution, it enabled the Nazi Cabinet under Hitler’s chancelorship to appropriate money and legislate without any responsibility to the Reichstag or any obligation to respect the Constitution.

The dissolution of democracy in Germany was sealed by the unification of the authoritarian Nazi Party with the German state.  Soon after the party came to power in 1933, steps were taken to effect and secure this unity.  The process is described by Huber (document 1, post p. 155) as follows: 

On July 14, 1933 was issued the law against the formation of new parties which raised the NSDAP to the only political party in Germany [document 11-III] ...  The overthrow of the old party-state was accompanied by the construction of the new movement-state [Bewegungsstaat].  Out of a political fighting organization the NSDAP grew to a community capable of carrying the state and the nation.  This process was accomplished step by step in the first months after the National Socialist seizure of power.  The assumption of the office of Chancelor by the Fuehrer of the movement formed the basis for this development. 
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