A smouldering debate
On this very evening 90 years ago one of the pivotal events of the 20th century took place in central Berlin.
The evening of February 27th 1933 was "the decisive turning point after which there was no going back to democracy," Martin Sabrow, a professor at the Humboldt University, resumed.
Four weeks to the day after Hitler was first named Chancellor, the Reichstag building went up in flames.
The Nazi leader announced from the building’s smouldering remains that the fire had been the start of a communist plot. “Every communist functionary will be shot where he is found. Communist deputies must be hanged this very night,” he fumed.
In the coming hours communist leaders were rounded up and put into improvised concentration camps. The Nazis used the fire to escalate their reign of terror and intimidate voters ahead of the federal elections that were scheduled for early March.
Within weeks, the Enabling Act had been passed. Ge…
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