The specific event early in Hitler's reign was the enabling act. The only party in the German legislature that was not allowed to attend was the Communists. I think most of the other parties went along with this act.
I wonder if Hitler's combining of the office and Chancellor and President was allowed even under the enabling act.
They had the Communist Party members arrested, which meant that their seats were open. The Social Democrats were all opposed to the act.
The real appeaser in all this was the Catholic Centre party. They gave Hitler the 2/3 vote that he needed.
I often take it one step and say things like: "The Third Reich was a democracy."
The main "useful idiot" in all this was the party chairman Ludwig Kaas. He gave the Nazis legitimacy that they never could have gotten on their own. Unfortunately, Kaas never saw a concentration camp or even jail time. The pope, of course, had his body laid to rest in Saint Peter's Basilica.
William Shirer's book Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
probably influenced me to leave the Catholic church as much as any book.
Edited by Chris Baker, 27 May 2010 - 03:00 PM.