POTSDAM, March 21, 1933 (UP) - With a threat to "destroy all those seeking to damage our people," Chancellor Adolf Hitler opened a session of the Reichstag today in an atmosphere of Imperial Germany.
The banners and war songs of the former monarchy dominated the scene in Potsdam, seat of the Kaisers, as President Paul Von Hindenburg and the Nazi chancellor addressed a parliamentary session expected to confer imperial powers on Hitler.
Hermann Goering was re-elected speaker and the session then adjourned until Thursday, at which time dictatorial powers probably will be voted to the Hitler government.
Speaking in the garrison church where lie the bones of Frederick the Great, Chancellor Hitler called for cultivation of the old national tradition, repudiated Germany's admission of war guilt as contained in the Treaty of Versailles, and cited the banning of the republican flag as an act of restoration of the national honor.
An ovation greeted his address.
As drawn last night the bill eliminated the necessity of the Reichstag's passing the budget or indorsing loans, abolished veto rights of the federal council in the Reichstag, granted the chancellor the right to issue laws without signature of the president and permitted the cabinet to make and carry out foreign treaties on its own initiative.
Today Potsdam surged with triumphant national emotion. It was estimated that half a million people crowded into the town, 16 miles from Berlin, for the multiple ceremonies attending the Reichstag opening.
Endless parades of Reichswehr troops moved through the streets while spectators thundered the chorus of "Deutschland uber Alles" and other songs of war time. Brown-shirted Nazi marched beneath the swastika banner.
President Von Hindenburg, resplendent in full field marshal's uniform, with the slash of orange ribbon of the highest Prussian order across his breast, raised his marshal baton at the garrison church and saluted smartly when in the imperial box, he saw the ex-crown prince in field gray uniform.
He appealed to members of the Reichstag to "leave behind the narrow path of party doctrines and accept the necessities which distress imposes upon all of us."
A united policy throughout the Reich, he said, would be his government's program. Reorganization of the country's political structure would be its main feature, he declared, adding that "we will make one German people out of the farmers, workers and burghers."
Stating the Nazis were determined to defend Germany's honor and freedom, Chancellor Hitler still emphasized that "we are sincere friends of peace and shall heal the wounds from which all are suffering."