Abel Ashes - One of the most often cited instances of agents of government conducting a terrorist spectacle against their own institutions for propaganda effect is that of the burning of the German Parliament building, also known as the Reichstag, on February 27th 1933. This was the event which provided the excuse that the Nazi Party needed to transform Germany into a militarized dictatorship.
The Reichstag fire was officially attributed to a nearly blind Dutch communist radical named Marinus van der Lubbe who was arrested in the Reichstag building as it burned. Adolph Hitler and the top Nazi leadership alleged a widespread communist conspiracy was responsible for the act of arson and used this fraudulent assertion to justify their subsequent acts of constitutional and human treason.
However, even before the Reichstag Fire Trial in Leipzig, the Legal Commission of the International Investigation Committee had reached the conclusion that Nazi agents had set fire to the Reichstag and that van der Lubbe was innocent of the crime. In 1945, failing to produce evidence linking any communist but van der Lubbe to the crime, the Nazi Government settled for an official story starring Marinus van der Lubbe as sole perpetrator. Of course by then the Nazis had already successfully used the fictional widespread communist arson threat to suppress opposition to their murderous ambitions at home and abroad.
In 1990, 50,000 pages of original German court, government, and Gestapo documents pertaining to the Reichstag fire that had been hidden away for decades in Moscow and East Berlin, were finally made available for review. Historian Alexander Bahar and physicist and psychologist Wilfried Kugel spent years meticulously reviewing the documents before publishing their 864 page analysis of the burning of the Reichstag, Der Reichstagbrand - Wie Geschichte gemacht wird. The title translates into English as The Reichstag Fire – How History is Created. While the evidence extracted from the 50,000 previously unavailable documents is primarily eyewitness testimony and therefore circumstantial, it is as conclusive a circumstantial case as any prosecutor could hope for. Indeed, the only evidence that was necessary to convict and execute Marinus van der Lubbe was the fact of his presence and subsequent arrest in the Reichstag building at the time of the fire and a flimsy insinuation of political motive. Whereas the evidence against the Nazi Party is comprised of sworn testimony and confessionals by Nazis themselves, not only admitting the guilt of the Nazis and the innocence of van der Lubbe, but explaining how the deception was carried out.
The Nuremberg War Crimes Trail in 1946 yielded testimony such as that of Hans Bernd Gisevius, a junior lawyer for the German political police from August 1933 to December 1933 who stated for the record that "It was Goebbels who first came up with the idea of setting fire to the Reichstag. Goebbels discussed this with the leader of the Berlin SA brigade, Karl Ernst, and made detailed suggestions on how to go about carrying out the arson. A certain tincture known to every pyrotechnician was selected. You spray it onto an object and then it ignites after a certain time, after hours or minutes. In order to get into the Reichstag building, they needed the passageway that leads from the palace of the Reichstag President to the Reichstag. A unit of ten reliable SA men was put together, and now Göring was informed of all the details of the plan, so that he coincidentally was not out holding an election speech on the night of the fire, but was still at his desk in the Ministry of the Interior at such a late hour... The intention right from the start was to put the blame for this crime on the Communists, and those ten SA men who were to carry out the crime were instructed accordingly."
Newspapers such as Pariser Tageblatt, which provided daily news to German immigrants and exiles living in Paris offered important details such as those provided in their interview of SA member Adolf Rall, published on December 24, 1933 , which read in part: "He (Rall) stated he was a member of the SA's "Sturm 17" unit. Before the Reichstag fire broke out, he had been in the subterranean passageway that connects the Reichstag assembly building to the building in which the government apartment of the Reich President (Hermann Göring) is located. Rall said that he had personally witnessed various members of his SA unit bringing the explosive liquids into the building." Adolf Rall was later murdered by the SA and the Gestapo.
Official Nazi documents provided evidence such as the police radio telegram alleged to have been written six hours before the Reichstag fire and sent out to all police stations in Prussia on February 27th 1933 at approximately 6:00 p.m., which is at least three hours before fire was set to the Reichstag. The official police radio telegram was written by none other than Rudolf Diels, head of the Political Police since February 23, 1933 and who was subsequently appointed head of the Secret State Police Office, or Gestapo as it is more widely known today. Rudolf Diels telegram warning in advance of the Reichstag fire that communists would soon be attacking Nazis and Nazi institutions reads in part:
"Communists reportedly plan to carry out systematic raids on police squads and members of nationalist associations with the aim of disarming them…Suitable countermeasures are to be taken immediately, and where necessary communist functionaries placed under protective custody." With this official police proclamation the Nazi Party initiated the wave of arrests that would follow the Reichstag fire, in advance of the Reichstag fire.
Documents from The Reichstag Fire Trial, which began on September 21, 1933 in Leipzig conclusively prove that each and every one of the fire experts that had examined the physical evidence of the Reichstag fire were in complete and certain agreement that the fires set in the Reichstag assembly hall had to have been set by multiple arsonists. Yet the only persons in addition to van der Lubbe that were present in the assembly hall in the time immediately before, during, or after the blaze were Nazis such as Reich President Hermann Göring.
From their detailed analysis of all of the available documentation Bahar and Kugel constructed the following sequence of events taking place on the night of February 27th 1933: "On February 27, 1933, at about 8:00 p.m. a commando group of at least 3, and at most 10 SA men led by Hans Georg Gewehr entered the basement of the palace of the Reichstag President. The group took the incendiary substances deposited there, and used the subterranean passageway to go from the Reichstag President's palace to the Reichstag building, where they prepared the assembly hall in particular with a self-igniting liquid they probably mixed in the hall. After a certain latency period, the liquid set off the fire in the assembly hall. The group made their getaway through the subterranean passageway and the basement of the Reichstag President's palace (and possibly also through the adjacent basement leading to the machinery and government employees' building) to the public street 'Reichstagsufer.' Göring entered the burning Reichstag building at 9:21 p.m. at the latest, presumably in order to provide a cover for the commando group's retreat.
"Van der Lubbe was brought to the Reichstag by the SA at exactly 9:00 p.m. and let into the building by them. The sound of breaking glass which was noticed by witnesses and which was allegedly due to van der Lubbe breaking window panes to get into the building was probably only intended to attract the attention of the public. The Dutchman was sacrificed as the only available witness."
Bahar and Kugel also discovered that many of the SA involved in the Reichstag fire and the framing of van der Lubbe were murdered by fellow Nazis, along with lesser accomplices during the so-called "Röhm putsch" of June 30, 1934 , thus insuring their silence.
So how exactly did the Nazi leadership benefit from the Reichstag fire?
After a much contested and allegedly rigged election Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolph Hitler Chancellor of Germany on January 30th 1933. Less than a month later, on February 27th, the Reichstag was set ablaze and consequently burned to the ground. As discussed earlier, the fire was blamed on a widespread communist conspiracy and led to the end of the Weimar Republic and the true beginning of the Nazi totalitarian power.
The institution of a German police state was accomplished via the false justification that was the Reichstag fire and thereafter through both the legislative process and via dictatorial decree. This process began immediately on February 28th 1933, the day after the Reichstag fire when German President Hindenburg and German Chancellor Adolph Hitler invoked article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State, which permitted the suspension of civil liberties in times of national emergency. The Constitutional rights that were thereby repeal included, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of the press, the right to freely assemble and associate, the right to privacy of postal and telephonic communications, the right to be free of unlawful searches and seizures, the right to individual property, and the States' rights to self-governance. An additional decree created both the SA and the SS Federal police agencies which operated as dictatorial death squads.
On March 5th 1933 Herman Göring declared to the Reichstag that State governments were no longer necessary. State governments were indeed dismantled following a wave of chaos and violence instigated by Nazi provocateurs. The anarchy was quieted only after elected State governments were replaced by appointed Nazi Reich Commissioners.
Then, perhaps the most infamous piece of legislation in history, The Law for Terminating the Suffering of The People and Nation, also known as the Enabling Act was passed by the Nazi dominated Reichstag. It was this piece of legislation that granted to Adolph Hitler the dictatorial powers he used to wage imperial war on Europe and murder an estimated 6,000,000 people via eugenics extermination programs. None of this would have been possible without the manufactured crisis that was the Reichstag fire.