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

To what extent was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state before 1939?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History To what extent was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state before 1939? Although the Nazi state appeared to be an efficient and organised totalitarian government, they were only successful in controlling some aspects of German life, they were never in complete control of the country, greatly due to their lack of organisation and efficiency. They were not completely effective in controlling opposition either, which grew with time. The Nazi government seemed to be a totalitarian state in complete control of Germany; they tried to control all aspects of German life and were quite successful in a few occasions. They imposed fear and crushed opposition with a huge police force, the SS and the Gestapo, a secret police force. All political parties, except for the Nazi party, were banned and many political opponents were persecuted and murdered. They tried to have power over Germany's education system by rewriting schoolbooks to fit Nazi theories and closely watching teachers and professors. German boys had to join the Hitler youth and girls had to join the league of German maidens and so Nazis could control youth. ...read more.

Middle

The Catholic Church was in agreement with the Nazis at first, but around 1937 they became disillusioned with them, there were many leaders who openly criticised Nazi dictatorship, and when they protested against Hitler's Euthanasia campaign, Hitler publicly ordered it to stop. The Catholics were also very critical of Hitler's persecution of Jews. I don't think that the Nazi state was a fully successful totalitarian state because I believe in the structuralist argument that their system of government was actually quite chaotic. Hitler was not in complete control of the government, according to his assistants, he was easily bored with paperwork, he hated making decisions and refused to most of the time, and he had extremely short working hours. It is suggested that he was quite happy in allowing organisations to make independent decisions and create policies they assumed he would approve of, and only stopping some, once in a while if they became unpopular. When the Nazi's came into power, the existing government organisations of the civil service didn't leave power, they were supposed to be controlled and supervised by a variety of Nazi party bodies, but ministers, such as von Krosigk and Schacht managed to preserve traditions of their departments. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was quite a lot of underground resistance; working class groups produced anti government leaflets, people sabotaged factories, railways and army depots, some refused to join the party or contribute to Nazi funds and members of banned political parties continued to meet in secret. Some people like pastors Grueber and Zwanziger helped Jews. A lot of people were very happy with Hitler and felt no need to oppose him, Nazis were very concerned about pleasing important groups in society and did moderate policies to satisfy the general public, in 1938 there was widespread disapproval of the persecution of Jews. The government succumbed in a way, they continued to persecute Jews but kept it secret. The most successful aspect of the Nazi rule was probably the propaganda, which led people to believe that Hitler was in complete control of Germany and that the Nazi government was organised, effective and in full power over the lives of everyone in Germany. This is only true to a certain extent; the government was far from organised and effective and it never managed to fully control local governments who followed policies they wished to, and they were not completely successful in controlling the old government hierarchies and resistance from people. ...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. The government of the Nazi state was chaotic and lacked coherence in the years ...

    government in which an individual or group had absolute control, whereas 'Anarchy' would refer to a lack of government, suggesting that the government system could not exist without being completely redefined, further reflecting the idea that it was chaotic. Overall it suggests how the Nazi state was chaotic but didn't

  2. To what extent did Hitlers Policies attract working class support between 1933 and 1939?

    Any possibility of cohesive working class resistance effectively ended with the 1934 abolition of trade unions and centralization of power through the DAF. This policy revealed urgency of decisively minimizing worker's resistance. Having promised to, "build up...worker's rights"11 this removal of political expression was not immediately contradictory given propaganda which aligned it with Volksgemeinschaft.

  1. Soviet State

    * The impact of collectivisation: The government claimed that collectivisation had the support of most poor and middle peasants. * The reality was that collectivisation was resisted, not just by the minority of kulaks but the majority of peasants. And their resistance, which often took violent forms, turned mass collectivisation

  2. How realistic are POW films?

    This also seems very realistic as in source A1 it describes the clothes as 'dirty' I know that POW amps had many shortages such as toilet paper, anaesthetic, be clothing and everyday clothing, showing that it would be unlikely to have more than one set of clothing.

  1. Formarion of the Nazi Party.

    During the war Hitler was very fortunate not to have died, he was sending message very close to the battlefield. Hitler's bravery meant that he received the Iron Cross twice.Although his luck did run out when he was it by a shell fragment during a battle.

  2. To What Extent was Self-Preservation the Prime Motive of the Catholic Church's subservience to ...

    time as Niem�ller and Bonh�ffer broke away to form the Confessional Church for the same reasons. With this in mind the source above seems very useful when deciding what motives were really behind Pacelli's signing of the Concordat since von Galen's view as a fellow nationalist would have been somewhat in line with Pacelli's.

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

    It was the reports given by the people of Germany that allowed the Gestapo to make arrests and maintain effective repression. Through encouraging the unsubstantiated gossip that spreads in any community and taking this as concrete evidence, the Nazi party and more particularly the Gestapo were able to maintain a degree of control over people's everyday lives.

  2. To what extent was Wilhelmine Germany an entrenched authoritarian state?

    However, the Kaiser?s over reliance of Weltpolitik being the answer for Germany undoubtedly stopped his rule from becoming an entrenched autonomy, as there would always be substantial opposition who could veto his proposals. Nonetheless, it was the Kaiser?s advisors who were flattering him into believing that he was making the decisions.

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