Today in History, February 28, 1933:
The Reichstag Fire Decree. On the night of February 27, 1933, the German Parliament, or Reichstag, was burned by arsonists.
The very next day (strike while the iron is hot) German President Paul Von Hindenburg, on the “advice” of Chancellor Adolph Hitler, issues the Reichstag Fire Decree “for the protection of the people and the state.”
The order suspended basic civil liberties guaranteed by the German Constitution.
The fire was blamed on the Nazi’s enemies, Communists. However it is likely the fire was contrived to justify the order, which began Hitler’s dictatorship.
The same type of maneuver would be used by the Nazis in September, 1939, to justify the invasion of Poland.
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin