ReichstagsbrandOn Monday 27 February 1933, four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist, set fire to the Reichstag, the building housing the German parliament. The Nazi government attributed the fire to communist agitators in general, although a German court decided later that year that van der Lubbe had acted alone, as he claimed.

The day after the fire, the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree) was passed which nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens.

This was followed by the Ermächtigungsgesetz (Enabling Act) passed on 23 March, an amendment to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet — in effect, Adolf Hitler — the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. The combined effect of the two laws was to transform Hitler’s government into a legal dictatorship.

Is there a certain similarity to an event on 15 March 2019 in Christchurch and what the NZ government under PM Jacinda is doing now?