1.1 Friedrich and
Brezinski identified 7
characteristics of a
1.1.1 Single party dictatorship
22.214.171.124 The party and state not fully integrated
126.96.36.199.1 Hitler did not create a new constitution therefore
Weimar institutions mostly remained
188.8.131.52.2 Until 1937 a majority of Reich ministers were non-Nazis as
party membership was not made compulsory for civil servants
184.108.40.206.3 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
220.127.116.11 Hitler's birthday was celebrated with mass rallies and parades
18.104.22.168 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
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 Treatment of minorities
184.108.40.206.1 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.
220.127.116.11.1.1 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.
18.104.22.168.2 Policy towards asocials
22.214.171.124.2.1 Their unwillingness to work is an offence against the community
126.96.36.199.2.1.1 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.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 About 10,000 tramps and 30,000 gypsies were sent to
camps, most of the tramps and 25,000 of the gypsies died.
220.127.116.11.3 Policy towards the disabled
18.104.22.168.3.1 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.
22.214.171.124.3.1.1 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
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 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.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 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.
18.104.22.168.4 Anti-semitic policies
22.214.171.124.4.1 May 1933, the SA organised a one-day boycott of Jewish business
126.96.36.199.4.1.1 Once Hitler came to power, Jewish civil servants were sacked
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 1935 Nuremburg Laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and from having sexual relations with Aryans.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 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
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.1 1942 Wansee Conference, the Final Solution was decided.
188.8.131.52.4.2 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
184.108.40.206.5 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
220.127.116.11.5.1 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
18.104.22.168 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
22.214.171.124 Cheap radios were mass produced so that over 70% of households had radios
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 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
184.108.40.206 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.
220.127.116.11 Non-Nazi recreational clubs were often closed down, even chess clubs
18.104.22.168 Attempted to control the lives of individuals in line with Nazi ideology
22.214.171.124.1.1 The Nazis slogan, Kinder, Kirche, Kuche' defined the
spheres of activity the Nazis wanted to confine women to
126.96.36.199.1.2 Women were restricted from certain jobs eg.
the civil service, and university education
188.8.131.52.1.3 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
184.108.40.206.1.4 The DFW organised training for women in
domestic skills. By 1939 over 3.5 million
women had attended such courses
220.127.116.11.1.5 The Nazis were very anxious to increase birth rate as it had
potentially serious consequences for the Nazis' expansionist aims
18.104.22.168.1.5.1 Policies such as birth medals for prolific mothers,
divorce made easier for women in childless marriage
and encouragement to lead healthy lifestyles
22.214.171.124.1.5.2 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
126.96.36.199.1.6 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
188.8.131.52.2.1.1 Main aim of educational policy was to develop
loyalty to the regime. There was no emphasis on
developing the individual's abilities.
184.108.40.206.2.1.2 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.
220.127.116.11.2.2 The youth were of particular importance to the
Nazis as they were they were the future of Germany
and also more susceptible to indoctrination
18.104.22.168.2.3 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.
22.214.171.124.2.4 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.
126.96.36.199.2.4.1 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.
188.8.131.52.2.4.2 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.
184.108.40.206.2.4.3 These alternative groups reveal the limit to Nazi controls
220.127.116.11 Relations with the Church
18.104.22.168.1 Catholic Church
22.214.171.124.1.1 The Nazis lacked the confidence to destroy the established
churches though they did undermine them
126.96.36.199.1.2 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.
188.8.131.52.1.2.1 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.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 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
18.104.22.168.2 Protestant Churches
22.214.171.124.2.1 The Nazis tried to infiltrate the Protestant church and control it from within
126.96.36.199.2.2 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.
188.8.131.52.2.3 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
184.108.40.206.3 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
220.127.116.11 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.
18.104.22.168 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)
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 Objectives; autarky, deficit financing for job creation and
gearing the economy to the demands of war
188.8.131.52.2 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
184.108.40.206.3 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
220.127.116.11.4 Offering cash incentives to persuade
women to give up jobs
18.104.22.168.5 After 1935, instituting a massive
22.214.171.124.6 Re-introducing conscription in 1935.
126.96.36.199 Industrial output was just 66% of pre
depression but more than in the Weimar Years
188.8.131.52.1 GNP was 8 bn more than pre depression
184.108.40.206 Wage levels rose however in real terms workers were worse off
220.127.116.11.1 Growing working class discontent due to failure to win
substantial pay rises. Banned KPD and SPD undermined the
regime through leaflet distribution.
18.104.22.168 The Four Year Plan (1936)
22.214.171.124.1 Hitler's achievements in tackling unemployment and
stimulating economic growth were offset by a serious problem.
126.96.36.199.1.1 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.
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 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
184.108.40.206.2 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.
220.127.116.11.3 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
18.104.22.168.1 1932 0.2 bn RM, 1938 17.2 bn RM. 66% of industrial
investment was devoted to war production.
22.214.171.124.2 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?
126.96.36.199 Weak (Martin Broszat)
188.8.131.52.1 Undermined orderly government by his habit of
appointing several people to do practically the same job
184.108.40.206.2 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
220.127.116.11.3 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
18.104.22.168 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
22.214.171.124 The Decree for the Protection of People and State
(February 1933) allowed indefinite detention without trial
126.96.36.199 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)
188.8.131.52 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
184.108.40.206 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
220.127.116.11 SD set up in 1931 to gather intelligence and monitor public opinion
18.104.22.168 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'
2.1 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
22.214.171.124 2) Organised centres of opposition such as rival political
parties and trade unions were destroyed in 1933
126.96.36.199.1 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