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

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Introduction

'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 All opposition parties had been eliminated and individual rights had been withdrawn.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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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