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Was Hitler a Totalitarian Dictator?

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Was Hitler a Totalitarian Dictator? A Totalitarian is a dictator which controls all the aspects of their citizens lives. In practice the term is often is used to describe a political situation where a small group of people, or one organization, has total authority over a nation. In Hitler's Germany there were many characteristics of a Totalitarian state and a Totalitarian Dictatorship. The Government ran and censored the media. All forms of communication were liable to interference from above and could, and were, heavily censored. This removes freedom of speech, therefore enabling the government to influence popular opinion via propaganda and false news messages. The Age of Anxiety, the age of the lost generation, was also an age in which modern Fascism and Totalitarianism made their appearance on the historical stage. Before examining if Hitler established a totalitarian dictatorship, it is necessary to look at how Hitler, once in power, established a dictatorship. In my essay I will be examining three different methods of control, one how Hitler manipulated the law, two how Hitler used terror and three how Hitler used propaganda and persuasion. Hitler used the law to his own advantage throughout his quest to become the Fuhrer and when he eventually became the Fuhrer. Hitler removed his opposition through the Enabling Act. The Enabling Act gave Hitler the power to make any law he wanted without needing a vote in the Reichstag. ...read more.


That is what the Nazis were after in establishing the Hitler Youth. All of this is proves that Hitler manipulated the law to his own rise and power. The Nazi party had established a dictatorship in Germany, all opposition parties had been banned and Hitler had given himself the title of the Fuhrer. Yet once Hitler had successfully established a dictatorship he was not satisfied. He wanted a total dictatorship and that he should face no opposition. For those that he thought could not follow the Nazi way he used violence very effectively to eliminate all opposition. Hitler used terror and violence throughout his campaign. One of his many instruments of terror was the SA. The SA had long been the face of the Nazis. They were about two million of these brown shirts in 1934, this group held large meetings and demonstrations. The leaders of the SA demanded that the SA should take over the army. The SS was a part of the SA but the SS were Hitler's personal body guards. However this caused friction between the two. Hitler believed the SA were getting too big for their boots. On the 30th June 1934 Hitler had the SA leaders arrested and shot in Munich. These events have become known as 'The Night of the Long Knives'. ...read more.


Image was vital. People would believe that Hitler was making Germany great if they could see it. Goebbels organized huge marches and rallies throughout Germany at which the SA could show off. Every year a party rally was held a Nuremburg. The sheer size and spectacle shocked and gave the audience an image of greatness. Perhaps the best rally was at the Berlin Olympics of 1936. A new stadium was built with film cameras to record the events and photo-electric timing instead of stop watches. Germany was presented as the most advanced nation. To make the nations look advanced in every form the Nazis set up youth organizations to control the life of the young people outside school as well. Boys could join at the age of 14 or before that it's younger section the German young people. One rule was that membership was compulsory. I Hitler was a very good example of what a totalitarian dictator was. People did not question decisions, no matter how absurd they appeared to be. It was evident that working against the party, or even being perceived as a potential threat would lead to prison or worse (the Night of the Long Knives for example). Through careful coercion, manipulation and misleading information the authorities could, and did, do as they pleased as the people either knew nothing about actions being taken or were too afraid to speak out about them. I have concluded from the information that Hitler was an extreme example of what a Totalitarian Dictator is. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The student gives detailed explanation to the points made throughout the essay, however they fail to explicitly link this explanation back to the question. Perhaps this is not helped by the structure of the essay. There are many paragraphs of ...

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Response to the question

The student gives detailed explanation to the points made throughout the essay, however they fail to explicitly link this explanation back to the question. Perhaps this is not helped by the structure of the essay. There are many paragraphs of various lengths – I particularly noticed that one paragraph was only a sentence long. In having superfluous paragraphs, the linkage between the paragraphs and hence the entire essay to the question was difficult to find. The student is on the right lines in defining what is meant by a totalitarian dictator in the introduction, but they erroneously stated that “a totalitarian is a dictator” – this is not necessarily always true. Whilst to an extent I agree to the statement made, it must be made clear in an essay (most possibly in the introduction) why it may be a convincing conclusion. Confusingly, the student defines a ‘dictatorship’ as a leader who still faces opposition whilst a ‘total dictatorship’ is a leader who faces no opposition. Personally, I would say that a dictator does not have opposition and is not restricted by laws of the state.

Level of analysis

The level of explanation in relation to the points the student makes is excellent. I would avoid the words “you” and “I” in the essay, however, at GCSE level it is acceptable. Whilst many relevant points have been made, the student fails to develop their points further. This is what gains students higher marks. The further development gives more weight to their argument and makes their argument more explicit and linked to the question set. The appropriate conclusion was reached, however, due to the structure of the essay, it did not naturally flow to the conclusion. Whilst the concluding idea was apparent throughout the essay, I was not ‘expecting’ the conclusion when I reached it. This is where linking the paragraphs and then linking the paragraphs to the question set is very important. A fluent, well linked and structured essay allows the argument for the essay to be clearly defined and makes it easier for an examiner to spot. In turn, this ensures that the examiner does not have to read over a point twice to understand the relevance of it to the question. This all contributes to a higher mark being awarded.

Quality of writing

In believing that this piece of work was coursework, I find the spelling, grammar and punctuation poor. There were many cases of the lack of a comma where needed. Spelling mistakes included “Goebbles” and “rumors”. Above this, there were letters and even words missed out from sentences disrupting the fluency of the essay (for example, “I Hilter” – I believe they meant, “I think Hitler” and “wee” instead of “were”). The only technical terms that the essay required was the understanding of the words totalitarian and dictator. Both the student has attempted to define and whilst there was a confusing point made in the essay, it was generally a fair definition. The lack of fluency in the essay is typical of GCSE level essays and would be improved by a detailed plan along with reviewing the essay after writing. Surprisingly, the essay contained so many spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes for a piece of coursework – such issues should not be appearing in a GCSE level history essay and would, without doubt, lower the mark.

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Reviewed by crystalclearmagic 17/02/2012

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