Berlin. Each slate plate corresponds to one of the 96 Reichstagmembers eliminated by the Nazis after they grasped power in 1933] "Machtergreifung" (Audio|De-machtergreifung.ogg|listen) is a German word meaning "seizure of power". It is normally used specifically to refer to the Nazi takeover of power in Weimar Germanyon January 30 1933.
The term "Machtübernahme" ("takeover of power") is also used for this event. Note that when used in German, both "Machtergreifung" and "Machtübernahme" retain their more general meanings and are not particularly related to the Nazis. "Machtübernahme" can be used for any take over of power, whether peaceful and legitimate or violent and illegitimate.
The term "Machtergreifung" was first coined by the Nazis themselves in order to portray their accession to power as an active seizure (an alternative term used was "Nationale Erhebung" ("national rising"). Since
Adolf Hitler's accession to power was the result of intrigue rather than of an active revolution, the term has been criticized by historians and is sometimes replaced with the term "Machtübertragung" ("handing-over of power") or, more polemically, "Machterschleichung" ("sneaking into power").
Another name commonly used for the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 is the "Brown Revolution" . [ Toland, John "Hitler: The Pictorial Documentary of his Life" Garden City, New York:1978 Doubleday & Sons Chapter 5 "The Brown Revolution" Pages 42-60 ]
The "Machtergreifung" was followed by the "
Gleichschaltung," the period to around 1934 characterized by systematic elimination of non-Nazi organizations that could potentially influence people, such as trade unions and political parties.
* Richard J. Evans: "Das Dritte Reich - Aufstieg", München 2004, ISBN 3-421-05652-8 de icon
* Norbert Frei: "Machtergreifung. Anmerkungen zu einem historischen Begriff." In: "Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte." (VfZ) 31/1983, S. 136–145 de icon
* Gotthard Jasper: "Die gescheiterte Zähmung. Wege zur Machtergreifung Hitlers 1930-1934". Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1986 (Neue Historische Bibliothek), ISBN 3-518-11270-8 de icon
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