Hitler called for von Hindenburg to sign an emergency decree “for the protection of the people and the state.”
The emergency decree canceled all individual and civil rights, placing power in the hands of Hitler and his party. It became illegal for Germans to express their opinions freely, or to assemble to hear political speeches or for any other reason. And the decree made it legal for Hitler and his Brownshirts to control what was published in newspapers or broadcast as news over the radio; to open mail, read telegrams, and listen in on telephone conversations; to search houses without warning; to confiscate personal property; and to rule by dictatorship in any of the states of Germany, whenever Hitler thought it necessary.
With von Hindenburg’s decree on February 28, 1933, Hitler became Germany’s dictator.