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-Give a clear judgement
-Explain support for the Party fluctuated throughout the 12 years of the Third
Reich, not everyone supported the party, communists/socialists who were
disbanded by Gleichschaltung.
-Question nature of support, severe limitations to the nature of evidence, fear of
Gestapo may lead historians to believe that there was more support than
there actually was. 88% plebiscite in `support' of the Nazis, is this actually
-Consider different support came from different sections of society.
-Consider that support for Hitler and support the Nazi's are two different things.
-Consider which groups gave the greatest support to Nazism?
ALWAYS deal with the factor given in the question first.

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HITLER MYTH- The Hitler Myth created the image that Hitler was a demigod, an all-
seeing, all-knowing figure. He was seen to be the embodiment of the German
people. Even when support of the Nazi party was declining, support for Hitler was
still popular. Support for the party and for Hitler were two different things.
However towards the end of the war after several military failings, the belief in the
Hitler myth was declining. The Hitler Myth presented Hitler as the almighty
defender of Germany. This was a major propaganda achievement. He left the day-
to-day running of the country to other leaders, therefore no bad decisions were
seen to be reflected back onto himself.
PROPAGANDA- Hitler was aware the role propaganda played in the rise to power.
Joesph Goebbels. His two main tasks were to ensure nobody in Germany could
read or see anything that was hostile or damaging to the Nazi Party and to ensure
that the views of the Nazis were put across in the most persuasive manner
possible. Goebbels set up the Reich Chamber of Commerce in 1933. This
organisation dealt with literature, art, music, radio, film, newspapers etc. To
produce anything that was in these groups, you had to be a member of the Reich
Chamber. Books that did not match the Nazi regime were burned. Loud speakers
were put up in streets so that people could not avoid any speeches by the Fuhrer.…read more

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"The essence of propaganda consists they decided.' AJP Taylor "lay more in
in winning people over to an idea so the actions of those politicians who
sincerely, so vitally, that in the end were not National Socialist than Hitler
they succumb to it utterly and can himself. Therefore Hitler couldn't have
never escape from it." Goebbels achieved so much power if the
president hadn't decided to give him
GLEICHSHALTUNG- This was the co-
the post of Chancellor legally. When
ordination of society, bringing them into
Hidenburg died, Hitler combined the
line with Nazi views. All areas of society,
two posts to create: the Fuhrer.
youth, women, religion, the army, were
all brought into line.
NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES- This was when the leaders of the SA and any political
opponents of Hitler were rounded up during the night in June 1934. The SA had given
the Nazi's an iron fist with which to disrupt other political parties meetings before
January 1933. By June 1934, the regular army hierarchy also saw the SA as a threat to
their authority. The SA outnumbered the army by 1934 and Röhm had openly spoken
about taking over the regular army by absorbing it into the SA. Such talk alarmed the
army's leaders. Hitler's popularity soared, gained the support of conservative elites
and army oath.…read more

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The Night of the Long Knives also acted as a deterrent that if they disobeyed the Regime or
were found unsuitable, they would suffer a similar fate.
TWIN PILLARS-Ian Kershaw, an eminent 20th century historian suggests a convincing picture
of the nature of support in Nazi Germany. His theory is based around the image of two
pillars which continued to uphold the regime for 12 years. He suggest that the twin pillars
of coercion and consent formed the basis for the Nazi regime, and that one alone could
not sustain the regime, they were both equally important. It could be argued that support
was achieved through popularity but maintained through terror.
EARLY SUCCESSES IN FOREIGN POLICY- These created support with the mass population,
as they hated the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler's remilitarisation of the Rhineland and
union with Austria gave him popularity as it was seen to be taking back what was
rightfully theirs, and disobeyed the Treaty of Versailles which they hated so much. When
the Allies made no move against Germany for taking these steps, Hitler gained the
confidence to do more.
REICHSTAG FIRE- This shows the opportunistic nature of the party and political prowess.
The following March 5th election showed an increase in support .…read more

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GESTAPO- The repressive organs of state also generated support for the Nazi party.
he Gestapo acted outside of the normal judicial process and it had its own courts
and effectively acted as judge, jury and frequently executioner. he Gestapo's main
purpose was to hunt out those considered a threat to Nazi Germany. By the time
World War Two started these included Jews, Communists, Jehovah
Witnesses, homosexuals ­ basically anyone who was thought to challenge the
hegemony of the Nazi Party within Germany. The Gestapo's greatest weapon was
the fear that it created. Logic said that the Gestapo simply could not be
everywhere and it is now accepted that in some places within Germany it was
thinly spread at best. However, the perception of the German population was that
it was everywhere and that you could trust no-one. There was an acceptance that
if you crossed the state, the Gestapo would get you. Their methods of dealing with
anyone in `protective custody' were well publicised ­ deliberately so, as this
further enforced the message that an individual should be totally loyal to the
state. The Gestapo relied heavily on `denunciations' made by the German people
on one another, therefore suggesting co-operation by the rest of the population.…read more

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