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How far did Germany undergo a Social Revolution?

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Introduction

How far did Germany undergo a social revolution? The question asks whether actions in Germany concerning the Nazi Party versus the state, the army, SS terror and violence, propaganda, propaganda and culture, education and youth, women and the church contributed to Germany undergoing a social revolution. Hitler claimed the "Nazi party has become the state". This suggested that the church, army and civil service were all controlled by the Nazis but in reality a dual state was in existence. This meant that for every state institution, there was a Nazi equivalent. Hitler may have allowed this to happen through indecision, laziness or the fact that his interest had been diverted elsewhere by his foreign policy and anti-semitism. An alternative to this is that Hitler may have tried to strengthen his own position while the state and party institutions were busy arguing between them-"divide and rule." But, later Hess and then Bormann took control and Nazified the civil service. So, the fact that the Nazi run state was efficient was just a myth as the party was only geared towards winning power and was unsure how to maintain it. Also there were too many groups with too many members within the Nazi party, therefore violence may have been needed to keep it all together. ...read more.

Middle

Nazi culture was a huge contrast with the new and exciting modern Weimar style. Nazi culture was used to promote Nazi ideas and persecute the Jewish, socialist, pacifist and liberal culture. Culture was seen as a means of spreading the Nazi message. Within the world of literature book burning was popular, particularly with books from Jewish authors such as Einstein. Chivalric novels which portrayed Nazis as heroic were popular and the country's best selling book was "Mein Kampf." However, just because everyone owned a copy of Hitler's autobiography doesn't necessarily mean they read it. Theatre was popular, especially traditional plays such as Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice in which the villain was a Jew. Thing spiel pageants took place on regular occasions which saw citizens march whilst dressed in medieval clothes. Art was clear, direct and heroic whilst Hitler favoured classical composers with jazz strictly frowned upon. Film was also geared towards spreading propaganda through epics such as "Triumph of the Will" and although this was Goebbels enthusiasm, the growing audience preferred the limited America choice. This lead to many talented German actors such as Marlen Dietrich leaving the country in favour of Hollywood. As with propaganda, the impact of culture in Germany was difficult to judge although the intent was certainly revolutionary. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was little protest from the Catholics apart from the Bishop of Munster who successfully got the policy of Euthanasia dropped. Within the Lutheran church Martin Neimoller was opposed to Hitler's control so formed the rival Bekennende Kirche (confessional church) in 1934. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was also opposed to Hitler and labelled him the anti-Christ. The Nazi "German Faith movement," which involved no Christian ethics or ceremonies was introduced although few joined it. Many high profile figures from the Church were sent to concentration camps and fear of state persecution of independence along with communism meant little opposition to the Nazis. However there was some resistance in that the Roman Catholics and Lutherans remained united and the Nazis dared not inflict outright repression upon the church as they feared this would alienate their support. The Nazi persecution of the Roman Catholic Church could be described as revolutionary in that the intent was certainly revolutionary, as was the degree of control. However, there was opposition and the Nazis did not crush the Church completely as they feared loss of support so despite the attack the church remained strong. The attack was not a revolutionary concept in that Bismark had previously targeted and persecuted the Catholic Church. In conclusion, to a certain extent Germany did undergo a social revolution as in all situations the intent of the Nazi party was revolutionary however the impact may have been difficult to judge and other factors may have contributed to social change. Hannah Reynolds ...read more.

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