Hitler and government

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  • Government
    • Even though Hitler tried to organise with Gleichschaltung it was still unorganised
    • 3 Over lapping centers of power
      • Central Government
        • Because Hitler wanted the old elite, he kept the old government as well as the nazis, which led to a dual state.
        • The Reich cabinet remained but lost importance after enabling act. Last met in 1938.
        • Ministries of state still stayed in hands of 'traditional' conservative ministers until 1938. Their influence increased after hitler abolished the lander1934
        • Civil Servants who ran the government departments day to day retained traditional independence
          • However, in 1933 Jews and other 'undesirables' had been sacked by the Nazis. However, 98% weren't sacked. It wasn't until 1939 they had to be nazis
        • There were however, parallel 'Nazi ministries' which nazis could pass policies through without going through government
          • E.g Fritz Todt was made inspector-general of German roads, and through this Hitler could enforce the motorway despite opposition from Finance and interior ministires.
            • Such rivalries undermined the effectiveness of the government of the Third Reich
      • Nazi party
        • Up until 1938 the influence of the Nazi party in Government was relatively weak.
          • Some ministers even though they were Nazis (e.g Frick, minister of the interior) blocked party attempts to interfere in their departments. As long as the wishes of the Furher were carried out, it was possible to stop the party interfering.
        • Civil servants quickly learned to see the party as a rival, but not as an invisible one. The state and the Nazi party seemed to settle down into an easy coexistence. The party's desire to interfere in government ensured that state-party rivalries had a potentially destablising impact on government.
        • More influence 1938-1939. In the winter of 1937-38 the Nazi party began to increase.
          • First a Nazi named Ribbentrop was appointed to the Foreign ministry (with the intention of weakening the power of professional
          • The independence of the army was also weakened when Hitler sacked several high up figures (e.g. General von Fritschand and General Von Blomberg). A new high command of the German armed forces was set up, replacing the defense ministry
            • This reported directly to Hitler. With the Anschluss, March 1939, the Nazi party strengthened. The party was becoming less reliant on the traditional authorities, it began to interfere more with the Churches and Law.
        • World War Two 1939-`45 - with the outbreak of WW2, the Nazi party's responsibilities increased. Education of Children was now in their hands.
      • Hitler
        • How powerful was Hitler?
          • Powerful - In the third Reich, the cult of Hitler was all persuasive. Charismatic image. Constant stream of propaganda heavily influenced German people.
            • Even though the Nazi party became more and more unpopular, Hitler remained popular
              • According to Fuhrerprinzship, Hitler's will was law throughout Germnay from 1933 onwards.Arguably Hitler held the third Reich together. He was the supreme legislator. By distancing himself, he kept a clean image.
          • Weak - Despite potential power played no role in day to day activity of Reich. Avoided making decisions and let actions run their course.
            • Ambiguity of his commands, his unwillingness to make decisions and his way of not making his intentions clear led to a chaotic system of government, with those bellow constantly guessing what he wanted.


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