Adolf Hitler: Proclamation to the German People

(1933)

At 10:00 on the evening of February 1, 1933, Adolf Hitler delivered a Proclamation to the German People, his first address as the nation’s chancellor. In his Proclamation to the German People, the Volk, Hitler enunciated themes that had obsessed him for more than a decade. His expressed goal was to revive the German nation and lead it back to the stature it had once enjoyed.

Hitler had taken the oath of office at about noon on January 30. The office of chancellor, called Reichskanzler in German, was (and still is) roughly equivalent to that of prime minister. At the time, the chancellor of Germany was appointed by the president and was responsible to the German parliament, the Reichstag. During the Weimar Republic, the name given to the German government from 1919 to 1933, the chancellor had been a weak figure, often functioning as little more than the head of the political party in power. Hitler, however, would use the office to seize absolute power in Germany, and...

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Adolf Hitler (Library of Congress)

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