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"who was responsible for the reichstag fire"
who was responsible for the reichstag fire
Author:
Rebecca Wyant
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REICHSTAG FIRE?


1. Rudolf Diels, who was the head of the Prussian police at the time, wrote source A. It says that Van Der Lubbe was caught red handed and that he must have acted alone, there was no proof of anyone else being involved, not even communists.

During Van Der Lubbe's trial in 1933, he confessed he had set fire to the Reichstag, but said he hadn't been helped. Source B shows that he was insistent that he had worked alone. This agrees with source A, but Van Der Lubbe might have been lying to protect the other people who had helped him, who probably were important members of the communist party according to Goring's theory. If he was lying, he could also be covering the tracks of the Nazi party, who could have set it all up and, as they did, place the blame on the communists.

Rudolf Diels' account could be seen as reasonably reliable. However, it was written 12 years after the incident so Diels' memory might not have been that reliable after all. Van Der Lubbe's speech is not a reliable source either because he could have been protecting other people. It was known that he was half-blind, mentally slow, injured (leg) and that he would have done anything to have his name down in history. So source B, even though it was said only shortly after the event, might not be reliable at all.

So source B supports source A in the way that they both say Van Der Lubbe acted alone, but none of the source are totally reliable, so we cannot really use them to prove the theory of Van Der Lubbe acting alone.

2. Rudolf Diels, a high-ranking Nazi official, wrote an account of the fire, source A. That account seems...

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essay on who was responsible for the reichstag fire
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02/19/2012
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History
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