• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Powerful was Hitler in the Third Reich?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Powerful was Hitler in the Third Reich? Since Hitler's death in 1945 the world has been largely divided on the subject of his power. Some argue that he was a strong and powerful dictator; others would say that he was fundamentally weak, leaving all major decisions to his subordinates. After the Enabling Act was brought into effect in 1934, Hitler succeeded in removing any serious threat to his dictatorship, by destroying the constitution, forming alliances with key industries (the civil service, army and judiciary system) and suppressing civil liberties. By January 1934 he had also banned all other political parties and dissolved the Reichstrat and state parliaments. Supreme dictatorship over the Nazi party itself was achieved with the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934, which both removed Rohm and other influential Nazis, and frightened dissident groups into obeying the party - it both strengthened Hitler's control and guaranteed that his power would not come under threat soon. ...read more.

Middle

The State Secretary in the Foreign Office, Ernst von Weizsacker, said at the time that getting Hitler to make a decision was a case of 'making the most of a favourable hour or minute' and that the decision itself often took 'the form of a remark thrown out casually, which then went its way as an "Order of the Fuhrer"'i. As the regime progressed, Hitler's decisions were often impulsive, and depended as much on who was making the proposal and its timing as the proposal itself, with ministers such as Himmler and Speer carefully packaging their requests in a way that they knew would get the desired response. This opened the way for those who wished to take advantage of the situation, and the real power began to move into the hands of other ministers and influential Nazis, the strongest of which were Himmler, Goring, and Goebbels. As well as taking advantage of Hitler's absences and impulsiveness, Hitler, who assumed that he could trust their judgement, also granted them a certain amount of freedom. ...read more.

Conclusion

patience for the minutiae of government, hating to read detailed documents.'iii Some elements of both views are correct, but overall Hitler was a strong leader who chose to maintain a removed position. Far from being weak because of his lack of decision-making, this in fact shows his strengths - he had successfully set up a regime that did not need his constant supervision to prosper. Martin Collier and Philip Pedley have remarked that 'However much initiative they were allowed, they [his subordinates] were, until the end, fanatically loyal and always tried to translate his visions into specific policies.'iv Hitler was crucial to the survival of the regime, but his constant input was not needed. When he did involve himself, as has been seen, he was never challenged, and ultimately remained supreme ruler until the end. i Quoted in Hitler, A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock ii Quoted in Years of Weimar and the Third Reich, David Evans and Jane Jenkins iii Hitler: A Beginner's Guide, Nigel Rodgers iv Germany 1919-45, Martin Collier and Philip Pedley ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitler and the Nazi Regime - revision sheet.

    It may seem like all were supportive of Nazis, but this was not true! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Church Hitler preferred cooperation to conflict with the church by upholding traditional values. The Protestant and Patholic churches prepared to cooperate with him. In 1933 Protestants agreed to unite to form a 'Reich Church' electing a Nazi as their 'Reich Bishop'.

  2. Was Hitler a weak dictator?

    They state that Stalin worked much more than Hitler, as Hitler enjoyed his position as leader by taken cruises or waking up late in the morning, he even could cancel meetings. This could be viewed as a live trauma as Stalin's origins were more of a higher-middle class, compared to Hitler's which were poor and much suffered.

  1. Why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933?

    They held local meetings where a trained (they took care and time to train all their speakers) speaker would explain the Nazis ideology's and schemes 'the training of speakers is accomplished by correspondence course in the form of monthly instruction packages'.

  2. How far had Hitler achieved his Third Reich?

    This largely benefited the big businesses, whereas the Mittelstand (smaller businesses) were given some token measures. The government set overall targets that private industry had to meet, yet only a few were realistically achievable. Germany raised their own production of key commodities and developed substitute products.

  1. Using your own knowledge, consider how far culture in the Third Reich was transformed ...

    They hoped that it would make people accept the concept of the Volksgemeinschaft, that everyone was working together, no individuality, for the good of the state. On the other hand, the Nazi's built houses for the people of the country, which were very different to the large, grand buildings in the public eye.

  2. Goebbels was more influential than Himmler. Discuss

    The relationship between the two displays the persuasive charm of Hitler and simultaneously explains the manner in which Goebbels chose to portray the Fuhrer. During the economic depression in the 1920's and 1930's in Germany, gave Hitler and Goebbels the opportunity to exploit the disenfranchised.

  1. "Mussolini was an all powerful dictator" - How accurate is this statement?

    Furthermore to ensure that the politicians voted for fascism the parliament gallery in the hall where all the politicians went to vote was filled with armed fascist thugs who took ballot papers from prominent opposition parties and set the clear and real message that your career would end if you did not vote for the new law.

  2. To what extent was Germany a totalitarian state during the Third Reich.

    This system led to a limitation to the party's control. The individual power blocks did not cooperate or communicate with each other, and although the SS and the Gestapo were effective units of repression, they were not as dominant in Germany as is often thought.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work