Goebbels once said "the aim of the Nationalist Socialist Revolution
must be a totalitarian state, which will permeate all aspects of
In reality to put this into practise was a lot more difficult. From
the outside, people assume that the Nazis had brainwashed every German
citizen during their reign. By booking more closely, through Germanys
archives we can see a better picture of what Germany was really like.
Totalitarian states must have a number of things, primarily being one
main leader, government control of all aspects of life and create
committed members of state.
In 'Weimar and Nazi Germany' by John Hite and Chris Hinton, they give
us the essential features of a totalitarian regime. In order to see
how well the Nazis achieved this, it is better to go through the key
points one by one.
" A one party state, led by one powerful leader, the centre of a
Hitler achieved a one party state in July 1933 by banning other
opposition parties. However these opposition parties had underground
parties: the SDP had the Berlin Red Patrol and the KDP had the red
orchestra, so Hitler didn't completely get rid of his opposition. A
major area of debate about the 3rd Reich concerns the role played by
Hitler. There are two schools of thought. The traditional view is that
Hitler was the all-powerful dictator, he made all the decisions and
disciplined his followers into implementing his wishes. Hugh Trevor
Roper and Bullock back this view. The Revisionalist view is that
Hitler was weak dictator, and was not involved in the decision making
process. Other Nazis such as...
... middle of paper ...
...successful in controlling certain areas but were not successful in
everything as Historian Stephen Lee says:
" In theory the Nazi state was totalitarian in that it eradicated
institutions allowing of the formal expression of dissent and
opposition and then proceeded to use the SS and Gestapo to pick off
individual acts of anti Nazi behaviour. By and large this combined
process was successful. Yet, the fact that oppositions did develop in
such a variety of forms indicates that totalitarianism was only party
I believe this statement is true, as the evidence clearly shows.
Hitler was not the tyrant that everyone believed him to be, especially
when there is opposition to his party and their ideals. It shows that
even with all the propaganda, and control of institutions, people
cannot easily be dictated.
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