The Nature of Nazi Government

  • Created by: sirius3
  • Created on: 17-08-18 10:37

The Nature of Nazi Government

Power and the role of Hitler

  • Hitler Myth - Germany's hero: stood for national interests, saviour of the economy, defender against the enemy.
  • Gained credence due to people's desire for a strong government capable of national unity.  Sustained by Hitler's 1933 successes.
  • The propaganda concealed the shortcomings of the regime.
  • Created an image of security belied by the chaos of the regime. Hitler never co-ordinated cabinet meetings; the regime had no constitution; the Enabling Law meant changes were brought about in a haphazard way. 
  • Created radical momentum that ultimately weakened the regime.
  • Became victim of his own myth.

Polycratic nature of the Third Reich

  • Plurality of authorities, often tasked with similar jobs (Goebbels - Minister of Propaganda, Rosenburg - Nazi ideology, Dietrich - Nazi press office, Rust - Education, Bouhler - Censorship. Also Lammers - Reich Chancellery, Bouhler - Chancellor to Führer, Bormann - Party Chancellery, Meissner - the Presendential Chancellery).
  • Why did Hitler allow this? - Was he lazy or did he deliberately want to encourage competition? It must be noted that, although Hitler took a 'hands off' approach, nothing was ever done against his will, suggesting he was in control.
  • Policies were drawn up by those below Hitler, meaning they aimed to create policies that would land them in Hitler's favour (and did so competitively).  Sir Ian Kershaw: 'working towards the Führer'.
  • Polycracy resulted in CUMULATIVE RADICALISATION = war, Holocaust.  Hitler's subordinates competed with each other by proposing increasingly radical ideas.

1938 Purge of the Army

  • Hitler purged his leading


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