German History, Edexcel - From Kaiser to Fuhrer [Controversy: Unit 8: How Effectively did the Nazi State Operate?]

Controversy Unit for efficiency from the Edexcel History book - summarised.

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
How effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Timeline
1933:
April: Anti-Jewish Boycott
October: Germany withdraws from the League of Nations
1934:
August: Law on the Head of State of the German Reich ­ proclaims Hitler to be Fuhrer
1935:
January: Reich Local Government Law gives local Nazi officials (Kreisleiter) more power
April: Anti-German Stresa Front formed
June: Anglo-German naval agreement
September: Nuremburg Rally and Nuremburg Laws
1936:
March: Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
June: Hitler appoints SS leader Himmler as Chief of Police
1937:
November: Hossbach Conference
1938:
March: Anschluss with Austria
June: Decree forbidding Jewish doctors from treating Aryan patients
September: Czech crisis meetings in Germany ­ Sudetenland given to Germany
November: Kristallnacht
1939:
January: Goring sets up the Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration and places Heydrich at its head
March: Germany invades the rest of Czechoslovakia
May: Pact of Steel with Italy signed
August: The Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Reich
September: Leading Gauleiter become Reich Defence Commissioners
The Central Role of Hitler (Intentionalist)
Intentionalist historians:

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Domestic/foreign policy ­ only understood in context of Hitler's Weltangshauung (world
view)
Hitler's ideological aims = defined in Mein Kampf (1924) ­ and were consistent throughout
life ­ including:
Creation of new Germany and Volksgemeinschaft ­ on racial lines and cleansed of
racially impure ­ ie Jews
Creation of 1000 Year Reich
Struggle of Germans and Aryans through which they would be saved from communism
and Bolshevism destroyed
Restoration and militarily/central…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Hitler head of them
Absolute rule = only amid controlled chaos
Hitler replaced state by chaos and knew how to control it.…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Struggle between Party and State (structuralist)
Structuralists: power structures evolved because of poorly defined roles
1933: state machinery including civil service = intact
Consolidation of power = Weimar institutions weakened ­ civil service challenged by Nazi
Agencies with same roles…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Hess (Deputy) and Bormann (chief of staff) given more power/influence [ie. Hess had power
to supervise new laws
Party ­ state clash = 1934 Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich ­ Frick tried to put Reich
Governors under control of ministry of interior (centralised control) ­ however Failed =
Gauleiters equal to Hitlers representation in regions ­ therefore wouldn't submit to Frick.…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Fuhrer cult ­ contributed to inaction of domestic affairs
Hitler didn't associate himself with `unpopular' measures
Therefore ­ in this sense ­ Hitler = weak
(Mommsen, National Socialism, pub 1971)
Hitler = unwilling to take decisions
Concerned with upholding prestige and personal authority
Some respects = weak dictator
Hitler and the Gauleiter
1932: Hitler wrote: `the basis of political organisation is loyalty'
Ie.…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Min.…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Rearmament and Conscription
1936: Hitler decided to exploit Abyssinia Crisis by remilitarisation of the Rhineland
Remilitarisation of Rhineland = risked military intervention by France/Britain
Hitler instructed German troops ­ retreat in face on resistance ­ But Hitler was correct that
France would not retaliate
Britain needed to retain Germany as ally against Russia
League of Nations (caught up with Abyssinia crisis)remained inactive
Peaceful reoccupation of Rhineland = celebrated and consolidated Nazi…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Hitler demanded immediate occupation of Sudetenland without plebiscite
Czechs mobilised army
German Generals plotted against Hitler to save Germany from defeat
Finally ­ Britain and France agreed to appease Hitler [not ready for war ­ espec when
Russia was bigger threat]
Hitler disappointed = Czech crisis didn't lead to war.…read more

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?
Acceptance that regime had chaotic characteristics
Recognition that Nazis evolved over time ­ change came from above and below
Acceptance that the coherent element of Nazi Germany was a tacit ideological belief and
was identified with the Fuhrer
(Kershaw, Hubris, pub 1998) ­ extent to which Hitler shaped Nazi ideology
Strands of Nazi ideology existed before ­ but Hitler was indispensable to rise of Nazism
Nazi ideology emerged as part of…read more

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