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

'The Hitler State'- how valid is this view of the Third Reich?

Extracts from this document...


'The Hitler State'- how valid is this view of the Third Reich By the end of 1934 Hitler had destroyed the Weimar republic. All opposition parties had been eliminated and individual rights had been withdrawn. The democracy of Weimar had become a dictatorship with the major offices and decision making of the state in the hands of Hitler. This put Hitler in the extremely powerful position of Fuhrer. After the enabling act of 1933 Hitler was able to alter the constitution at will and any treason against Hitler was seen as direct treason against the state of Germany. After the night of the long knives in which Rohm and the leading figures of the SA were eliminated the army had sworn an oath of loyalty towards Hitler personally, not to the state and this put Hitler in a very influential position. In Hitler's state the definition of the word Fuhrer meant power. It was made very clear that the power of the state derives from the Fuhrer and not the other way around as traditionally seen. ...read more.


This was largely spread through the clever use of propaganda and showed Hitler to be a symbol of strength, reliability and success. This myth originated from Hitler seeming to have improved the economy greatly, reducing the unemployment rate and other significant successes. The people of Germany believed Hitler to be a super-being and were swept up in a sense of infatuation for the leader. However, as with the concept of a Voltsgemeinschaft, there was emphasis on the fact that if you were not German, you were not part of the vision. This myth was beneficial for Hitler as it is likely that if something went wrong he would not be blamed. However this myth also made the state very unstable and increasingly radical, as no one was able to challenge the Fuhrer and be the voice of restraint or reason. It is difficult to say whether the population of Germany were dominated by Hitler himself, the concept of Nazism or simply making Germany great again. After the war, the signing of the treaty of Versailles and the 'stab in the back' by the Weimar government, Germany was deeply humiliated and the people may simply have ...read more.


As Hitler spent a minimal amount of time a day reading select papers he cannot have been up to date on his state and had a full understanding of ongoing issues suggesting weak dictatorship. In addition to whether Hitler was in control the structuralist vs. the intentionalist debate must be considered. I think that to a certain extent Hitler did have a plan of how to gain power in Germany and I do not think that it was simply luck that the Nazi's became so powerful. Hitler was clever not to get his party associated with the Weimar government by refusing to take up office unless it was chancellor and therefore did not get blamed for their failures. However he was to a certain extent a structuralist in that he took advantage of situations that presented themselves such as using the Reichstag fire to eliminate the main opposition of communism providing doubt as to whether he was indeed a strong dictator. Therefore I believe that even though Hitler had established the Third Reich and put himself in a position of great power, Fuhrer, his grasp on power slowly deteriorated over time with other individuals becoming increasingly prominent in power thus making it more likely to be a Nazi state than a Hitler state. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. World War Two - The Police State

    As long as we maintain this principle, the Order (the SS) will remain healthy. After the war, we shall really build up our Order .... It will provide Germany with an elite. This elite will provide leaders to industry, agriculture and policies and the activities of the mind" Education and

  2. The Nazi Police State

    In 1939 almost two thirds of Germany's oil was being imported, and this was a far cry from autarky, and between 1933-38 German imports rose by 28%, whilst exports grew by a mere 8%. The truth was, Germany was exporting less than in 1932, yet Hitler remained unconcerned; He had

  1. To what extent was Hitler a totalitarian dictator?

    Special courts developed for political crimes, special Nazi judges ran these courts. They had no appeal. Hitler could put opposition to trial knowing they would be found guilty, this helped him to become a totalitarian dictator. Also in local government the Riechstat was abolished and Hitler made 42 Gauleiters who

  2. adolf hitler

    Hitler was now the leader of the second largest party in Germany. The German Social Democrat Party was the largest party in the Reichstag, it did not have a majority over all the other parties, and the SPD leader, Hermann Muller, had to rely on the support of others to rule Germany.

  1. To What Extent Was Hitler a Totalitarian Dictator?

    and the Race and Resettlement Office. People were very respectful of the SS and all of its sub-divisions. Many Germans wanted to join the SS for the sense of being wanted it instilled in them - the majestic black uniform made them feel part of something important.

  2. How widespread and dangerous was Youth opposition in the Third Reich?

    public, as well as the compulsion of attending weekly to hostel evenings (Heimabende) and camps in holidays made youth opposition unlikely. The context of these meetings was a constant indoctrination of Nazi ideology with the glorification of war and with names of `German heroes` as passwords and mottoes of the

  1. To what extent was the SS a "state within a state"? How powerful was ...

    The German people were completely suppressed. The SS managed to effectively advance into the field of the armed forces.

  2. Thr opposition of the Church.

    It took deep levels of bravery to continue protesting the regime. As Prof. F. L. Carsten Points out: Their unwavering loyalty to the cause of Socialism or Communism is indeed one of the few positive features in German History during the years 1933 - 45.

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