Reichstag fire
Reichstag Building, Berlin, Feb. 27, 1933

How is a dictator born when he was elected? Can you tell when history is repeating? Consider the burning down of the Reichstag building in Berlin under Hitler; February 27th 1933. Hitler seized the opportunity as a means of extending his power. So he suspended 7 articles of the Constitution of the German Reich:

“It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom, freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

4 weeks later, on March 23rd, 1933: Hitler introduces “The Enabling Act.” This was a 5-year measure that allowed the Nazis to bypass the Constitution so they could flush out “the troublemakers and secure the state.” (Just until we can figure out what the hell is going on.”)

“The Enabling Act gave the executive branch full power to rule, which included creating and enforcing laws. Hitler vehemently declared that the laws the Nazi Party would implement were for the good of Germany, and that the people of Germany would be relieved of their current economic problems.” (Everette Lemons)

Now Hitler could write foreign policy without legislation or Reichstag approval.