The German Reichstag building is destroyed by a fire allegedly set by Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch national once associated with communism. Although he belonged to a Communist youth organization at one point, he broke with them decisively in 1931.
This, however, didn't matter to the Nazis who believe that these associations as a youth could be useful. According to one witness' report, Adolf Hiter says:
"There will be no mercy now. Anyone who stands in our way will be cut down. The German people will not tolerate leniency. Every communist official will be shot where he is found. Everybody in league with the Communists must be arrested. There will also no longer be leniency for social democrats."
Hitler pressures President Hindenburg to declare a state of emergency in which constitutionally protected liberties are suspended and the path is made clear for the creation of concentration camps. The actual guilt of Marinus van der Lubbe is a matter of some debate. Some believe that he is guilty and that the Nazis were simply able to take advantage of the situation; others argue that the entire event is staged with Marinus van der Lubbe serving as a fall guy.