Reichstag Fire

Date: 
Monday, February 27, 1933
Country: 
Germany

The Reichstag fire occurred on the night of 27 February 1933. Göring was one of the first to arrive on the scene. Marinus van der Lubbe—a communist radical—was arrested and claimed sole responsibility for the fire. Göring immediately called for a crackdown on communists.[40]The Nazis took advantage of the fire to advance their own political aims. The Reichstag Fire Decree, passed the next day on Hitler's urging, suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Activities of the German Communist Party were suppressed, and some 4,000 communist party members were arrested.[41] Göring demanded that the detainees should be shot, but Rudolf Diels, head of the Prussian political police, ignored the order.[42] Researchers, including William L. Shirer and Alan Bullock, are of the opinion that the NSDAP itself was responsible for starting the fire.[43][44]At the Nuremberg trials, General Franz Halder testified that Göring admitted responsibility for starting the fire. He said that, at a luncheon held on Hitler's birthday in 1942, Göring said, "The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!"[45] In his own Nuremberg testimony, Göring denied this story.[46]Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_G%C3%B6ring