On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:
1. Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
– Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State.
“The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures…The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one.”
– Adolf Hitler, promise to the Reichstag (Parliament) on the occasion of the imposition of “temporary” dictatorship following the Reichstag Fire.
The 1933 Reichstag Fire was a key event in Adolf Hitler’s ascendency to power. During the night of February 27th, the Reichstag Building, which housed the German Parliament, was gutted by a massive fire. Adolf Hitler, who had become President Paul von Hindenburg’s chancellor less than a month earlier, pressured von Hindenburg to give him essentially dictatorial powers. Hitler used the attack to roll back the legal guarantees of personal liberty enshrined in the constitution.