The Reichstag Fire Decree & Enabling Act (1933)

Bildergebnis für reichstag burning

By Der Himmelstern, July

How the National Socialists democratically altered the constitution:

It is often said that Hitler changed the constitution using a false flag attack, effectively transforming Germany into a dictatorship. What most people are not taught, is how in reality, the National Socialists respected the democratic constitution of the Weimar republic, using the provided tools to enact democratically authorized measures. I will demonstrate to you why all of these so-called documentaries and movies only briefly mention the Reichstag fire and the laws that were passed following this crisis.

The Reichstag Fire:

Marinus van der Lubbe

Marinus van der Lubbe
On 27 February 1933, a criminal arson is committed on the Reichstag (the German parliament). The culprit is Marinus van der Lubbe, a 24 years old Dutch council Communist that already had a criminal record for arson. After being arrested he declared that he set the Reichstag building on fire as a cry to rally the German workers against Fascist rule. He was sentenced to death by guillotine. Four other senior Comintern leaders were arrested as being linked to this case, namely Ernst TorglerGeorgi DimitrovBlagoi Popov, and Vasil Tanev . Dimitrov was head of all Comintern operations in Western Europe. Marinus declared during a Prussian police interrogation:
“I had to do something myself. I considered arson a suitable method. I did not wish to harm private people but something belonging to the system itself. I decided on the Reichstag. As to the question of whether I acted alone, I declare emphatically that this was the case.”
Video fragment of Marinus at trial.
Germany was extremely afraid of a Communist coup, like what happened in the Russian Empire. The atrocities committed by the Jewish led Bolshevik regime against the civil populations had build a fierce rejection of Communism, and the National Socialist were quick at reacting to prevent any form of civil war from bursting out. This need for counter measures gave birth to two law bills; the Reichstag Fire Decree, and the Enabling Act.

Reichstag Fire Decree:

Paul von Hindenburg
The Reichstag Fire Decreeor officially the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State was issued by German President Paul von Hindenburg on 28 February 1933 as an emergency presidential decree under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. § 1 of the decree goes as follows:
On the basis of Article 48, Section 2, of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of violence that endanger the state:
§ 1 Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, 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 permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
See the complete Reichstag Fire Decree here.
See the complete Weimar Constitution here.
Basically, the decree gives the government the right to arrest and search the house of any person known to be working with the underground Communist network. Some will argue that this was a way to remove civil liberties from anyone. This claim is of course outrageous, since not all citizens of Germany were Communists or know by the Prussian police for criminal activities. There was nothing unconstitutional, as the article 48of the democratic constitution of the Republic of Weimar explained:
If a state (8) does not fulfil the obligations laid upon it by the Reich constitution or the Reich laws, the Reich President may use armed force to cause it to oblige.
In case public safety is seriously threatened or disturbed, the Reich President may take the measures necessary to reestablish law and order, if necessary using armed force. In the pursuit of this aim he may suspend the civil rights described in articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 154, partially or entirely. 
The Reich President has to inform Reichstag immediately about all measures undertaken which are based on paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article. The measures have to be suspended immediately if Reichstag demands so.
If danger is imminent, the state government may, for their specific territory, implement steps as described in paragraph 2. These steps have to be suspended if so demanded by the Reich President or the Reichstag. Further details are provided by Reich law.
So there was nothing illegal or undemocratic to begin with. This was a normal emergency procedure, that the democratic constitution explicitly permitted.

Enabling Act:

The Enabling Act or officially the Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on 24 March 1933 and accepted by both the Reichstag and the Reichsrat, basically centralized the divided, slow and paralyzing economic and governmental infrastructures of the country. Centralized government permitted to collect taxes equally in all states of Germany and to have one body of laws applying to all states. From now on Germany would not be a coalition of independent states, with each state having his own right to refuse laws, but rather Germany finally becoming one unified country, instead of a divided empire.
See the complete Enabling Act here
See the complete Weimar Constitution here.
Articles 1, 2, 3 changes the Reich’s economical and legislative institutions to become that of a country, instead of a divided coalition.
Article 4 enables the government of the Reich to violate the unjust treaty of Versailles.
Article 5 determines the date at which this law ends, which can be renewed if needed. It also loses it’s effect if another government is elected in place of the current one. Which proves that the Reich was still a democracy and could elect other deputies if desired.
Article 1:
In addition to the procedure prescribed by the constitution, laws of the Reich may also be enacted by the government of the Reich. This includes the laws referred to by Articles 85 Paragraph 2 and Article 87 of the constitution.
Article 2:
Laws enacted by the government of the Reich may deviate from the constitution as long as they do not affect the institutions of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The rights of the President remain undisturbed.
Article 3:
They shall take effect on the day following the announcement, unless they prescribe a different date. Articles 68 to 77 of the Constitution do not apply to laws enacted by the Reich government.
Article 4:
Treaties of the Reich with foreign states which affect matters of Reich legislation shall not require the approval of the bodies of the legislature. The government of the Reich shall issue the regulations required for the execution of such treaties.
Article 5:
This law takes effect with the day of its proclamation. It loses force on 1 April 1937 or if the present Reich government is replaced by another.
Was this law undemocratic? Not at all. The article 76 of the Weimar constitution explains under which conditions the constitution may be amended:
Article 76
The constitution may be amended by legislation. Constitutional changes become valid only if at least two thirds of the members are present and at least two thirds of the present members vote in favour of the amendment.

Two thirds of 100% of the members = 66,66%. This was the percentage of votes required to amend the Weimar constitution. How much % of the present members voted for the Enabling Act? The National Socialist coalition with 69,43%of the votes, obtained the right to democratically altered the constitution.
National Socialists and their coalition:
-The NSDAP (National Socialists) obtained 43,91%.
-The Black-White-Red Struggle Front obtained 7,97%.
-The Zentrum (Catholics) obtained 11,25%.
-The BVP obtained 2,73%.
-The DVP obtained 1,10%.
-The DStP obtained 0,85%.
-The other parties obtained a total of 1,62%.
Total = 69,43%
Social Democrats and their coalition:
-The SPD obtained 18,25%.
-The KPD (Communists) obtained 12,32%.
Total = 30,57%
As for SA men threatening the voters, this a hoax created by Marxist historian Richard J. Evans. Obviously no one can force people to vote for a specific party since the voting process is done in secrecy, so it is grotesque to assume this. If anything, it would only have made the National Socialist unpopular and lose votes. Many wild stories are heard about the National Socialists organizing the Reichstag fire as a false flag operation to gain support. They are the creation of mostly Marxist historians and are baked by very few, if any sources at all.


The Reichtag Fire still has some mystery surrounding it. An objective look at the evidences seems to accuse the Communists way more than the National Socialists. The measures about destroying civil liberties were in fact part of the (unaltered) article 48 of the democratic constitution. Then the NSDAP and its coalition partners obtained enough votes to democratically alter the Weimar constitution which remained in use until 1945, thus making the regime 100% legal and in accordance with the will of the majority.