Hitlers Domestic Policy

Noah Lawson
Mind Map by Noah Lawson, updated more than 1 year ago
Noah Lawson
Created by Noah Lawson about 4 years ago


Jackson Mind Map on Hitlers Domestic Policy, created by Noah Lawson on 02/08/2016.

Resource summary

Hitlers Domestic Policy
1 Was the Third Reich a totalitarian state?
1.1 Friedrich and Brezinski identified 7 characteristics of a totalitarian state
1.1.1 Single party dictatorship The party and state not fully integrated Hitler did not create a new constitution therefore Weimar institutions mostly remained Until 1937 a majority of Reich ministers were non-Nazis as party membership was not made compulsory for civil servants The Army escaped co-ordination by the Nazis despite the SA wanting to create a mass, revolutionary 'people's army'. However, in 1938 Hitler did remove 18 senior generals and assume personal command of the armed forces
1.1.2 Cult of the leader Hitler's birthday was celebrated with mass rallies and parades Ian Kershaw argues that this was due to the Hitler Myth
1.1.3 Elaborate ideology covering all aspects of life and everyone in the society is supposed to adhere to Historian Broszat argues that Nazism lacked distinct ideology and is merely a branch of Fascism as it shares a hatred for Communism, a Europe-wide militarism and stresses centralism within the state. Other Historians such as Bullock accept that Nazi ideology was not clearly defined however argue that the 'Fuhrer principle' was of particular importance to the regime and believe that Hitler provided Nazism with a unique racial and anti-semitic programme which was absent from Italian Fascism. Treatment of minorities Hitler's ideological view; In Hitlers eyes, the community was everything and the individual nothing. He aimed to create a society in which every individual saw the purpose of their life as contributing to the greater good of Germany. However, Hitler's community, Volksgemeinschaft, would be superior to all others and composed only of pure Aryans. There was no room for no-Aryans, asocials or the disabled. Policy towards asocials Their unwillingness to work is an offence against the community Initially the idea was to re-educate asocials eg. chronic alcoholics in an 'asocial colony' Hashude. However, in the late 1930s many were sent to concentration camps. About 10,000 tramps and 30,000 gypsies were sent to camps, most of the tramps and 25,000 of the gypsies died. Policy towards the disabled The superior German race could not be weakened by the unhealthy genes of the disabled. They were also burdens on the community and worthless life. In 1932 voluntary sterilisation for certain hereditary illnesses was proposed. Then in 1933 the Nazi Sterilisation Law made it compulsory for a wide range of hereditary illnessses. 320,000 people were sterilised 1939-41 saw the Nazis pursue a euthanasia programme against the disabled. 72,000 were killed. The Nazis tried but failed to keep it a secret due to errors such as blaming Appendicitis for patients without an appendix. Killed by lethal injection, starvation or gas in mobile vans. A special unit to kill disabled children named the T4 was set up. Programme at first only applied to children but then was extended to adults. Anti-semitic policies May 1933, the SA organised a one-day boycott of Jewish business Once Hitler came to power, Jewish civil servants were sacked 1935 Nuremburg Laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and from having sexual relations with Aryans. November 1938 Kristallnacht, an attack on Jewish properties and synagogues occured. 20,000 Jews were sent to camps. Following this, Jewish doctors and lawyers were forbidden to work for Aryans and Jewish children had to be taught in separate schools 1942 Wansee Conference, the Final Solution was decided. Were targeted due to a long tradition of hatred for killing Christ, resentment of their comparative wealth and positions and a growth of racist views associated with Social Darwinism Historian Goldhagen sparked great controversy by stating that the German people had for centuries been anti-semitic and that ordinary did not just stand by and watch persecution of Jews but took pleasure in attacking them However, evidence suggests that though many Germans had a vague dislike of Jews, in general they got on well with their Jewish neighbours and failed to respond to propaganda aimed at inciting hatred of Jews
1.1.4 A monopoly of control over the media and all cultural activity March 1933, the ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda was set up by Goebbels. The Reich Radio Company brought all radio broadcasting under Nazi control Cheap radios were mass produced so that over 70% of households had radios The Nazi publishing house, Eher Verlag, controlled 66% of the Press and the sole news agency permitted was run by the Nazis. All films had to pass censors. Nazi rituals were created to celebrate the Nazi state; Nuremburg rallies, celebrations of the Munich Putsch and of Hitler's birthday
1.1.5 Control over all aspects of citizens' lives through propaganda, education, mass organisations Leisure and work were controlled through party organisations. The German Labour Front had branches such as Strength Through Joy which organised recreational opportunities for workers and the Beauty of Labour which worked to improve amenities for workers. Non-Nazi recreational clubs were often closed down, even chess clubs Attempted to control the lives of individuals in line with Nazi ideology Women The Nazis slogan, Kinder, Kirche, Kuche' defined the spheres of activity the Nazis wanted to confine women to Women were restricted from certain jobs eg. the civil service, and university education Women who left work to marry an Aryan received interest free marriage loans, the amount of which needed to be repaid decreased by 25% with each child born The DFW organised training for women in domestic skills. By 1939 over 3.5 million women had attended such courses The Nazis were very anxious to increase birth rate as it had potentially serious consequences for the Nazis' expansionist aims Policies such as birth medals for prolific mothers, divorce made easier for women in childless marriage and encouragement to lead healthy lifestyles The birth rate did rise from 990,000 in 1932 to 1.28 million in 1937 but this was well short of the 1.6 million births in 1920 and was probably more as a result of improved economic conditions However, from 1936 the Nazis had to modify their employment policies because of labour shortages. From this point, growing numbers of women were recruited and numbers surpassed those of pre-1933 Youth Education Main aim of educational policy was to develop loyalty to the regime. There was no emphasis on developing the individual's abilities. In 1933 the Law for the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service led to a purge of teachers. By 1937, the Nazi Teachers' League represented 97% of all teachers. Lessons became politicised with a much greater emphasis on Physical education, the introduction of Eugenics and the rewriting of the curriculum eg. calculate bomb angles. The youth were of particular importance to the Nazis as they were they were the future of Germany and also more susceptible to indoctrination Hitler Jugend was set up in 1925. By 1933 they were only 55,000 members. However, in 1933 all other youth groups except for those run by the Catholic church were closed down and absorbed into the Hitler Jugend. By 1939, 82% of all 11-18 year olds were in the HJ or BDM (League of German Maidens - equivalent for girls). In 1939 membership became compulsory. Boys were trained for war and women for motherhood. The HJ lost popularity in the late 1930s as activities and discipline became more militarised and membership became compulsory. Consequently, alternative youth groups, illegal after 1936, attracted growing numbers. The most popular of which was the Edelweiss Pirates who were working class and refused to join the HJ. They met in parks or on streets, organised their own activities and often beat up members of the HJ. The Nazis found them difficult to deal with because there was no organised leadership they could target. However punishment could be as severe as hanging. There were also middle/upper class youth groups which became known as the Swing Movement. They tended to meet in night clubs or in parents homes and angered Nazis by dancing to black American music and wearing English style clothing. These alternative groups reveal the limit to Nazi controls Relations with the Church Catholic Church The Nazis lacked the confidence to destroy the established churches though they did undermine them Nazis signed an agreement, the Concordat, with the Pope in 1933, under which Catholic bishops had to take an oath of loyalty to the Nazi state and both sides agreed not to get involved with each other. In 1936 the Nazis broke the Concordat by closing down Catholic youth organisations and by beginning to close monastries. This led to the Pope denouncing the Nazi regime. In 1941 the Catholic Press was closed down. However, the Church survived and some individual Catholic clergy spoke out against the Nazis. For example Cardinal Galen denounced the murder of the handicapped, and protests were organised against the order to replace crucifixes by portraits of Hitler Protestant Churches The Nazis tried to infiltrate the Protestant church and control it from within Nationalist movement in the church known as 'German Christians' won 75% of the votes in Church elections in 1933 and their leader, Muller, was made Reich Bishop. However, in 1934 dissenting clergy set up the 'Confessional Church' in opposition to attempts to Nazify the Church. Pastor Niemoller was their leader and the majority of Clergy joined. Niemoller was imprisoned in 1938 Therefore, the Churches to some extent continued to provide sources of values and information different from the Nazi regime
1.1.6 Centralised control and direction of the entire economy When Hitler came to power, he knew that his continuing popularity depended on his being able to tackle Germany's economic problems, particularly unemployment, successfully. At the same time he was determined to rearm Germany and prepare for war. For both these reasons he wanted to rebuild the German economy. Hitler needed the support of industrialists and so rejected SA calls for a nationalisation of big business and ignored socialist elements in the Nazis' Twenty Five Points. Many industrialists became very closely identified with the regeime eg. Krupp (steel/arms manufacturer) Until 1936 Hitler followed fairly orthodox financial policies - the New Plan. Protected peasants with tariffs, cheap loans and tax exemptions. Aided by the recovery of world trade. Substantial success in creating jobs and reviving industry. Objectives; autarky, deficit financing for job creation and gearing the economy to the demands of war Tackling unemployment Unemployment: 1932 5.6%, 1934 2.3%, 1937 0.9%, 1938 0.2% Spending on public works programmes eg, schemes to build houses, plant forests and reclaim land. Spending rose from 8.6 bn in 1932 to 29.3 bn RM in 1938 Encouraging the expansion of the car industry by removing luxury tax on cars, cutting the tax on petrol and beginning a programme of autobahn building Offering cash incentives to persuade women to give up jobs After 1935, instituting a massive re-armament programme Re-introducing conscription in 1935. Industrial output was just 66% of pre depression but more than in the Weimar Years GNP was 8 bn more than pre depression Wage levels rose however in real terms workers were worse off Growing working class discontent due to failure to win substantial pay rises. Banned KPD and SPD undermined the regime through leaflet distribution. The Four Year Plan (1936) Hitler's achievements in tackling unemployment and stimulating economic growth were offset by a serious problem. To rearm, Hitler had to import fuel and raw materials which worsened Germany's balance of payments. By the end of 1935, Hitlers advisers told him Germany could not afford to import both all the food it was and all the industrial raw materials. This is known as the 'Guns or Butter?' crisis. Hitler felt his popularity could not risk cutting down on the availability of food and so he decided to try and make Germany self-sufficient in industrial raw materials Goering was put in charge. Needed to make synthetic substitutes for oil and rubber and devise ways to use Germany's poor quality coal and iron ore. Overall the plan was not a success. Synthetic fuel and rubber worked but in most categories of production the targets were not met. By the time war broke out Germany was still dependent on imported fuel and raw materials. Furthermore Germany was still importing 19% of its food requirements Rearmament 1932 0.2 bn RM, 1938 17.2 bn RM. 66% of industrial investment was devoted to war production. 1933 - 100,00 men, no tanks, no warplanes and a limited Navy. By 1939 the Germans had 1200 bombers and 98 divisions in their army. The Navy comprised of 2 battleships, 2 armoured cruisers, 17 destroyers and 47 U-boats.
1.1.7 Was Hitler a strong or weak dictator? Weak (Martin Broszat) Undermined orderly government by his habit of appointing several people to do practically the same job He added to existing institutions instead of destroying them. When he created Supreme Reich Authorities their function often overlapped with existing ministries. Eg. Four Year Plan Office and the Todt Organisation Hitler destroyed collective government as the Cabinet seldom met. Because Hitler was the single source of authority he was in a good position to co-ordinate policy however he failed to do so as he was lazy and was not interested in day-to-day government business, particularly domestic policy.
1.1.8 A system of terror With the Gestapo, SS, SD, a purged police and legal system, 18 concentration camps and a vicious punishment code, the Third Reich was certainly a police state The Decree for the Protection of People and State (February 1933) allowed indefinite detention without trial The first concentration camp, Dachau, was opened in March 1933. In total, about 225,000 Germans were imprisoned for political crimes in the years 1933-39 (a fraction of the figures for Stalin's camp system) The Gestapo was heavily dependent on denunciations by ordinary Germans. For example in Wurzberg 54% of all race-related charges were initiated by private citizens SS became immensely powerful after the NotLK and had 200,000 members by 1935. Its main duty was to run the concentration camps and enforce racial policies SD set up in 1931 to gather intelligence and monitor public opinion After 1933, judges could be removed for their political beliefs, special courts were set up for political crimes and judges were ordered to interpret the law according to 'the will of the Fuhrer'
2 Opposition
2.1 Within the Army when defeat in the war seemed inevitable the Stauffenberg Bomb Plot of July 1944 had significant backing from senior officers who sought to bring about a negotiated peace. 5,000 executed.
2.2 White Rose at Munich University led by Sophie and Hans Scholl distributed anti-Nazi leaflets and were executed in 1943. Kreisau Circle drew up plans for the period after Hitler's downfall.
2.3 Opposition was limited because:
2.3.1 1) There was so much positive support for the regime and Hitler himself due to propaganda and the impressive economic results 2) Organised centres of opposition such as rival political parties and trade unions were destroyed in 1933 3) Opposition was illegal and the fear inspired by the SS and Gestapo effectively made the majority unwilling to speak out about issues that did not immediately affect them
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