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

To What Extent Had Hitler Legally Achieved A Dictatorship in Germany by 1934?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To What Extent Had Hitler Legally Achieved A Dictatorship in Germany by 1934? Like most nations of Europe in the early 1930's, Germany's economy was suffering from the rippling affect of the Great Depression. During this period Germany had suffered from great political unrest and had become more susceptible to extreme political parties promising solutions to the problems facing the country. The Nazi Party, one such group which acquired political power in 1933 with the promise of making Germany great once more. Propaganda was used intensively by the Nazis as a means of achieving power in 1933, as was the main method of consolidating power. Propaganda was inescapable in Germany under Nazi rule - the press, the radio, literature, theatre, film and other forms of art and culture hammered the message home, sometimes crudely and sometimes subtly. The Nazi propaganda of the 1930s was an instrumental part of persuading the German people to believe in Nazi doctrine and its foundation issue of loyalty to the state. Hitler and the Nazi party consolidated their hold on Germany (1933-36) by instilling fear in the German people, as well as preying on existing fears, and achieving surrender of individual rights through an intensive propaganda campaign. Germany under Hitler was a society with little personal choice, and few individual civil rights. Only in this way could Hitler be sure that his power would not come under threat. Suppression of individual rights and liberties could be seen in a number of ways, as is illustrated in White & Hadley's Germany 1918-1945 (see appendix 1). This illustration shows Hitler and his subordinates standing on a platform which is supported by bound and gagged German people, each representing religious freedom, academic freedom, labour and trade unions, and freedom of the press. ...read more.

Middle

Under SA and SS persuasion, the Catholic party agreed to join the Nazis in voting for the Law to be passed. As only the socialists were voting against it, the majority gained was over two-thirds and Hitler now had the power of a dictator. All trade union offices were closed down and thousands of union officials and representatives were arrested. The union organisations subsequently became the Nazi-run German Labour Front. New political parties were forbidden; parties that fiercely conflicted with the Nazi movement were banned and their leaders arrested, whilst other parties were simply dissolved. Schools were forced to introduce new syllabuses, and media was carefully censored. By 1934, Germany was a completely autocratic, one-party state. Hitler had wiped out most of his opponents, and his only rivals outside his own party was the Stormtroopers. At this time Germany had two armies; the normal state army and the military wing of the Nazis - the two-million-strong Stormtroopers (SA). The SA had helped Hitler take power by terrorising his opponents, and now that the Nazis were the most powerful force in Germany, they wanted a bigger role. Their leader, Ernst R�hm, wanted to merge the SA with the regular army, leaving them both under his absolute control. The regular army was not happy with this arrangement, and Hitler was alarmed, as a merger would make R�hm the most powerful man in Germany. R�hm had enemies in the Nazi movement, most notably Hermann G�ring and Heinrich Himmler. The two of them helped to persuade Hitler that something must be done; as Hitler also knew he could not afford to lose the support of the army generals. He finally acted against the SA on 30 June 1934; the SS and army, known as the Purge of the SA or Night of the Long Knives murdered R�hm and approximately 400 other leaders of the SA. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their duties were to conduct door-to-door searches looking for Hitler's opponents. The list was a long one: Jews, communists, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, Jehovah's Witnesses, socialists, unfriendly writers, and homosexuals. In conclusion, perhaps it is the weakness of democracies that anyone can take control. Hitler came to power somewhat legitimately. Through participating in elections. True he broke or bent a few rules and cheated and lied but probably no more than any other politician. It is common belief that had Hitler come along at another less desperate time for Germany; history would have played itself out very differently. Germany was weak. The people were miserable and Germans were scared after being hit with wave after wave after wave of calamity. The Nazis provided the answer for impoverished farmers, ruined shopkeepers and small-business owners, workers disillusioned with the socialists and communist parties, and a host of frustrated and embittered young people of all classes, brought up in the post-war years and without hope of personal economic security. Hitler did a lot of good for Germany, fulfilling most if not all his promises. He provided employment and stabilised the economy. He provided them with a scapegoat, someone to pinpoint their anger at the Jew. If someone had to suffer and pay the price for Germany's prosperity then let it be the Jew. Such was their mentality. History books should not portray the Germans as evil; their eager acceptance of Hitler's ideas and policies is the product o human weakness and imperfection. But Hitler was evil. Perhaps the most evil of men. An amoral man he viewed his fellow human beings as mere bricks in the political structure he wanted to erect. The legality of Hitler's build up to and consolidation of power is still in question. 1 Liberal view evident. ?? ?? ?? ?? Paul Cook History Coursework TG 302 ...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. To what extent was Hitler a totalitarian dictator?

    This helped Hitler to gain the totalitarian state because he needed to control all potential forms of opposition. The church was very powerful also the German people were deeply religious. The church could also be a disguise to spread propaganda; he now indoctrinated the people with both the state and the church.

  2. How did Hitler establish a dictatorship?

    On February 27, he decided to burn the Reichstag building. Carrying incendiary devices, he spent all day lurking around the building, before breaking in around 9 p. m. He took off his shirt, lit it on fire, and then went to work using it as his torch.

  1. To what extent was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state?

    The Reichstag had its power voted away in the Enabling law in March 1933. It rarely met and when it did it acted " as the applause machine for Hitler's speeches" As Hitler didn't like collective decision making, the cabinet rarely met.

  2. HOW EFFECTIVE WERE INDOCTRINATION AND PROPAGANDA?

    The focus on literature was preventive censorship. This meant the massive book-burning sessions in which the SA took part, and the removal of over 2,500 German authors from the approved lists. To some extent destruction was cathartic. It could never seriously have been the preliminary to an alternative Nazi literature since Nazism itself was anti-intellectual.

  1. To What Extent Was Nazi Germany a Totalitarian State 1933-1939?

    His later policies (four-year plan, autarky policy) were geared mainly to rearmament for future war and not for the welfare of Germanys society. The autarky policy was not achieved and the process of rearmament was too excessive and disorganised. Even though unemployment levels had fallen, Germanys economic growth rate was still below the average.

  2. What was it like to live in Nazi Germany? How did life change for ...

    Trade unions were banned, the workers had to work for much longer hours than before the Nazis came and most were paid less. The media, films and music were censored and education, the church, youth organisations and the courts were heavily influenced by Nazi propaganda and their beliefs.

  1. Was the Reichstag fire the main reason why Hitler was able to establish a ...

    By 1934 Germany was a secure one party state and Hitler had also managed to secure is position within the party as the one figurehead of Nazism by removing Rohm, the leader of the SA. This allowed Hitler to get the army on side and help him maintain his position as he was now in control of Germany.

  2. Nazi Germany - who supported Hitler and how did he become a dictator?

    But in 1929, the American stock market crashed and sent the USA into a disastrous economic depression, and soon after, countries around the world were following it. Germany was particularly badly affected. American bankers and businessman lost enormous amounts of money in the crash and to pay off their debts

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