Adolf Hitler Saluting in a Parade in 1938

From Wikipedia: “Article 48

 “Article 48 of the constitution of the Weimar Republic of Germany (1919–1933) allowed the President under certain circumstances to take emergency measures, including the promulgation of legislative decrees, without the prior consent of the Reichstag. Legislation promulgated under this article of the constitution was referred to as Notverordnung, or emergency decrees…

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. Lacking a majority in the Reichstag, Hitler formed a coalition government and, not long afterwards called elections for March 5. Six days before the election, on February 27, the Reichstag Fire damaged the house of Parliament in Berlin. Claiming that the fire was the first step in a Communist revolution, the Nazis used the fire as a pretext to get President von Hindenburg to sign the Reichstag Fire Decree, officially the Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat (Presidential Decree for the Protection of People and State).

Under the decree, issued by von Hindenburg on the basis of Article 48, the government was given authority to curtail constitutional rights including free expression of opinion, freedom of the press, rights of assembly, and the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Constitutional restrictions on searches and confiscation of property were likewise suspended.

The Reichstag Fire Decree was one of the first steps the Nazis took toward the establishment of a single-party dictatorship in Germany. With several key government posts in the hands of Nazis and with the constitutional protections on civil liberties suspended by the decree, the Nazis were able to use police power to suppress, intimidate, and arrest their opposition, in particular the Communists. Hitler’s subversion of the Constitution under Article 48 thus had the mark of legality.”

The suspension of all civil liberties in Nazi Germany was legal. Immediately tens of thousands of members of the German Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party were arrested.

Because the decree had legally suspended all civil liberties. None of them were given any legal opportunity to defend themselves.

Two weeks later, on March 15th  the Nazis opened the first concentration camp at Dachau.  The arrested members of the German Communist and Socialist parties were sent to it. Most of them died there.

All of this was made legal by the Wiemar Fire Decree.

It seems that constitutional and legal did not equate with right or moral or good in this case. It is obvious that the actions were wrong, immoral and inhuman. Although Hitler acted legally in sending millions to their deaths in concentration camps, one may argue that he still should have been arrested for his actions in this case.