After 1989 Schön, a master craftsman from Stralsund, a city on the Baltic Sea, initially racked up one success after the next. Although he no longer owns the Porsche he bought after reunification, the lion skin rug he bought on a vacation trip to South Africa -- one of many overseas trips he has made in the past 20 years -- is still lying on his living room floor. "There's no doubt it: I've been fortunate," says the 51-year-old today. A major contract he scored during the period following reunification made it easier for Schön to start his own business. Today he has a clear view of the Strelasund sound from the window of his terraced house.
Although the Nazis won the greatest share of the popular vote in the two Reichstag general elections of 1932, they did not have a majority and therefore Hitler led a short-lived coalition government formed by the NSDAP and the German National People's Party .  Under pressure from politicians, industrialists and the business community, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933. This event is known as the Machtergreifung ("seizure of power").  In the following months, the NSDAP used a process termed Gleichschaltung ("co-ordination") to rapidly bring all aspects of life under control of the party.  All civilian organisations, including agricultural groups, volunteer organisations and sports clubs, had their leadership replaced with Nazi sympathisers or party members; these civic organizations either merged with the Nazi Party or faced dissolution.  By June 1933, virtually the only organisations not in the control of the NSDAP were the army and the churches.