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…

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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 ­…

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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.

Divide and Rule, the Economic Sphere (intentionalist)
Divide and rule ­ evident where responsibility…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Unit 8: Controversy: how effectively did the Nazi state operate from 1933 to 1939?




Min. Of interior official interpretation ­ Hitler wanted to use Jews as hostages
= Therefore confusion and unclear government
Sometimes, Fuhrers orders given prematurely without state/party consultation:
1934, Hitler agreed let Ley increase power of DAF…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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