U.S. Patriot Act compared to the Hitler's Enabling Act
By Terry Neal
Hitler's Enabling Act, 23 March 1933
The History Place, [17 February 2003] Read the Enabling Act of Hitler
On March 23, 1933, the newly elected members of the German Parliament (the Reichstag) met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler's Enabling Act. It was officially called the ‘Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich.’ If passed, it would effectively mean the end of democracy in Germany and establish the legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.
The ‘distress’ had been secretly caused by the Nazis themselves in order to create a crisis atmosphere that would make the law seem necessary to restore order. On February 27, 1933, they had burned the Reichstag building, seat of the German government, causing panic and outrage. The Nazis successfully blamed the fire on the Communists and claimed it marked the beginning of a widespread uprising.
On the day of the vote, Nazi storm troopers gathered in a
show of force around the opera house chanting,
Just before the vote, Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag in which he pledged to use restraint.
He also promised an end to unemployment and pledged to promote peace with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. But in order to do all this, Hitler said, he first needed the Enabling Act.
A two thirds majority was needed, since the law would actually alter the German constitution. Hitler needed 31 non-Nazi votes to pass it.
He got those votes from the Center Party after making a false promise to restore some basic rights already taken away by decree.
However, one man arose amid the overwhelming might. Otto Wells, leader of the Social Democrats stood up and spoke quietly to Hitler.
This enraged Hitler and he jumped up to respond.
The vote was taken—441 for, only 84, the Social Democrats, against.
The Nazis leapt to their feet clapping, stamping and shouting, then broke into the Nazi anthem, the Hvrst Wessel song.
They achieved what Hitler had wanted for years—to tear down the German Democratic Republic legally and end democracy, thus paving the way for a complete Nazi takeover of Germany.
From this day on, the Reichstag would be just a sounding board, a cheering section for Hitler's pronouncements.
The Patriot Act
The U.S. Congress has just passed a law that fundamentally changes
the rights and protections afforded people under the U.S. Constitution.
The law is called the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (S.3930).
Evils in Government
Communism and Moral Decay