German History

Nazi consolidation of power

HideShow resource information

The rise in the Nazi party

  • Hitler's attempt to gain power in the Munich Putsch failed. He decided to try and gain support by legal means.
  • By 1928, it was apparent this had failed, he only had 2.6% of the Reichstag vote.
  • By 1932, the position of the Nazi's had changed dramatically. They still lacked an overall majority but they were now the largest party in the Reichstag and had gained 13.4million votes.
  • They attracted support form different regions and groups .�
  • The failures of the Weimar republic inbetween 1930 and 1932 meant that Hitler was able to undermine other parties and demand his appointment as chancellor.
  • The rise of support for his party was due to failings of the Weimar republic, economical issues and political issues.
1 of 83

Nazi Ideology

  • Put forward in the 25 point plan in 1920.
  • Hitler made many speeches and interviews which gave an insight into his thinking.
  • Their aims and views changed according to who they were addressing.
  • Mein Kampf written in Hitler's years in prison was the most complete statement of his aims.
  • Nationalist, Anti-Communist, Anti-Semitic.
  • Was originally anti-capitalist but needed the support of big business' so this was disregarded.
  • Appeal was based on constant repetition of simplistic ideas.�
2 of 83

Stereotypes

Positive Stereotypes

  • Racially pure Aryans
  • Women
  • Farmers/Peasants
  • Workers

Negative Stereotypes

  • Feminists
  • Physically and Mentally ill
  • Vagrants, Prostitutes and Workshy
  • Jews
  • Homosexuals
  • Intellectuals
  • Pacifists
  • Gypsies�
3 of 83

Volksgemeinschaft

  • German term for a 'people's community'
  • Only racially pure Aryans were allowed to be part of the 'people's community', all non-Aryans were denied the right of citizenship
  • Everybody would work together for the good of the community
  • There would be no social classes, everybody was given an equal chance at finding their level in society
  • It would be based on 'Blood and Soil', based on the peasants. Hitler believed they had retained their racial purity better than those in the cities.
  • Peasant's in rural areas had had strong people's communities before industrialisation. They had retained their racial purity and traditional values more than city dwellers.�
4 of 83

German Nationalism

Hitler was a strong German Nationalist who had 3 main aims:

  • Destroy the Treaty of Versailles and the humiliation which came with it.
  • Gain 'lebensraum' - Living space, he wanted to expand Germany.
  • He wanted a 'Greater Germany' in which all German speakers would be within the borders of Germany.
5 of 83

Situation at the start of 1933

[strong]<span style=\"color: #ff0000;\">End�of January 1933:[/strong]</span>�Hitler was made Chancellor- still not the dictator he aspired to be.

The Nazi's were the largest party in the Reichstag, but were reliant on their coalition with the DNVP for parliamentary votes- they had no overall majority.

The army was still loyal to Hindenburg.�

The Weimar constitution was still in force.�

[strong]<span style=\"color: #ff0000;\">By August 1934:[/strong]�Hitler was Fuhrer (made Fuhrer after death of Hindenburg).</span>

Hitler could rule by decree- the Weimar constitution which guaranteed individual freedom had been suspended.

Germany had become a one-party state- opposition had been divided, de-moralised and many thrown into prison.�

through Gliechschaltung (coordination), the majority of Germany institutes had been bought under Nazi control.�

Army had sworn an oath of allegiance to Hitler.

6 of 83

How was consolidation of power achieved?

The Nazi's used a variety of methods, legal and illegal, peaceful and violent.

  • The use of fear and terror
  • Compromise and concessions to powerful institutions
  • Introduction of new laws to legitimise dictatorial rule�
  • Propaganda
  • The introduction of new policies to consolidate Nazi control
7 of 83

Use of fear and terror

  • Violence of Nazi stormtroopers played a large part in Hitler's rise to power.
  • The Nazi 'legal revolution' and the 'revolution from below' where the SA unleashed a reign of terror on opponents were opposites of the same coin.
  • SA were the Nazi's main instrument of terror in January 1933. �(Membership of the SA expanded after the Nazi's came to power- 1933: 500 000/1934: 3 000 000)
  • Another result of the Nazi's coming to power was that the activities of the SA gained legal authority.�
  • SA unleashed an assault on socialist and communist opponents. by July 1933, 26 789 political had been arrested and imprisoned in some 70 camps.
  • 27th February 1933- Reichstag fire: blamed on communist Van der Lubbe- used as justification for decree for protection of people and state which removed civil liberties of the Weimar constitution.�
  • Violence and intimidation used in March elections. Communists still managed to secure 28% of the votes and NSDAP still didn't have an overall majority.
  • Terror alone could not guarantee that the Nazi's would remain in power.
8 of 83

The Enabling Act

  • Issued in March 1934.�
  • Granted Hitler's government powers to rule by emergency decree for 4 years, their legislation could bypass the Reichstag and Cabinet.
  • As a fundamental change in the constitution, it required a 2/3 majority vote in the Reichstag to become law.
  • Nazi's achieved this through strong use of violence and intimidation- deputies had to pass through the ranks of Nazi supporters outside the Berlin Opera House to get in, and corridors were lined with SA and SS.�
  • Communist deputies were banned from taking their seats, DNVP were bought off with threats and promises.
  • A verbal version of the Catholic Concordat was made before the elections, CCP agreed to vote in favour, in return, the party would stay out of the churches way.�
9 of 83

Next steps..

May 2nd 1933: Trade Unions disbanded and replaced with the German Labour Front, the DAF.

July 5th 1933: Catholic Centre Party voluntarily disbands.

July 14th 1933: Law against the formation of new parties- Germany now a one party state.

July 20th 1933: Concordat with the Catholic Church.

June 30th 1934: Night of the Long Knives

10 of 83

The SA

Hitler�benefited�from violence of his supporters but was not always in control of events.

Much violence on behalf of the SA was unplanned and Hitler wasn't in control.

By July 1933, Hitler was able to declare the Nazi revolution over, yet the SA continued their violence, they were becoming an embarrassment and providing a threat of second revolution at the hands of Ernst Rohm.�

The army were not yet loyal to Hitler and their support was vital for his dictatorship. The army saw Rohm and his desires for a 'peoples army' as a threat and wanted the elimination of the SA.

Hitler delayed this for as long as possible. In the Summer of 1934, SA units began stopping army convoys and taking supplies. Blomberg had Hindenburg's support and threatened to use the army to crush the SA themselves.�

In June 1934, Hitler knew he could delay no longer.�

on the 30th June 1934, a ruthless purge known as the Night of the Long Knives was launched.

11 of 83

Night of the Long Knives

  • SS eliminated the leadership of the SA.
  • Also eliminated many other political opponents of the Nazi's.
  • At least 84 were executed.
  • A further 1000 more were arrested.
  • The victims included Rohm and other leaders of the SA.�
  • Hitler also used it as an opportunity to remove other opponents and settle old scores.
  • The victims included Schliecher, Strasses and Kahr who had all played a role in crushing the Munich Putsch.�
  • Members of Papen's staff were executed.
  • Papen was put under house arrrest.
  • Many leading conservative politicians were also targetted.
  • Hitler accepted full responsibility.
  • This secured him the support of the army.
  • SS controlled the terror machine after this event.�
  • After June 1934, violence and terror was used more systematically and in a more controlled matter.
12 of 83

The Army

Hitler's position after his�appointment�by Hindenburg was far from secure.�

Even after he had gained dictatorial powers, the army was the one institution which could remove him from power.

This could be done by army leaders appealing to Hinders or by the army using force.

Hitler had to take steps to secure the support of army leaders.

He attended a dinner organised by Hammerstein in which he outlined his plans for reamrmament.

he also reassured the army leaders that he would ignore the pressure from the SA for a second revolution and would not undermine their role as the most important institution in the state.

In return, the army leaders gave him a free hand in establishing a dictatorship.�

in 1933/34, as all other institutions fell under gleicschaltung, the army remained immune.�

Many young officers were committed Nazis, but the army high command remained thoroughly conservative and aristocratic, representative of the old Germany.�

13 of 83

Big Business'

  • Hitler had been receiving support from leading industrialists since 1929. After he came to power, both he and business leaders were keen to develop the relationship.
  • February 20th, Hitler met with leading industrialists asking for financial support for the Nazi election campaign, he got 3million Reichmarks.
  • Government was anti-communist, but anti-capitalist attitudes of the SA and army worried business men.
  • Hitler needed strong business' to help him achieve his aims of rearmament and reviving the economy.�
  • Hitler had to stop Nazi attacks on large capitalist enterprises to gain the support of the businessmen.
  • He also appointed Schmitt (managing director of Germany's largest insurance company) to replace Hugenberg as economics minister.�
  • Business and industry didn't completely escape Gleichshaltung: June 1933, employers' associations were coordinated into the Estate of German industry. 1934: The whole of German business (apart from individual business') were grouped together in the Reich Economic Chamber.
14 of 83

Civil Servants

  • Civil servants enjoyed a status almost on par with soldiers,�higher ranks of civil service were mainly recruited from aristocracy, they identified with authoritarian values of the state and welcomed Hitler's appointment, their support for the regime was based on a misunderstanding.
  • They thought the state created by the Nazi's would be run by non-political expert administrators. They were wrong. In 1933, Nazi activists at a local level began to take over state governments.
  • Hitler realised that a 'revolution from below' threatened to place incompetent Nazi activists in charge of local government and would undermine his attempts to build a close alliance with the conservative forces in society.
  • Re-establishment of a Professional civil service (April 1933) led to a purge of Jews, Communists and socialists from the Civil service.�
  • There was no concentrated effort to appoint Nazi's to key posts. eg the Foreign Ministry continued to be staffed by non-political, aristocratic civil servants and diplomats.�
  • This decision to leave civil service largely untouched by Gleichschaltung shows compromise between Hitler and the conservative forces in Germany.�
  • For the most part, the professional service remained separate in the New Reich.
  • However their independence counted for less and less as the Nazi's began to create alternative power structures eg Ribbentrop took control over foreign policy, the FO was reduced to administrative duties.
15 of 83

Summary of Compromise and Concessions

Hitler knew that he would have to compromise with powerful conservative forces.

His anti-democratic and anti-communist values were shared by the army, businessmen and civil service.

His aim of rearmament offered benefit to both the army and bug business.

No formal written agreement between these three, but he needed their support so consolidate his power and the price of this was to leave them mainly untouched by gleichshaltung.

He also had to restrain the more radical elements of the Nazi movement form attacking big business'.�

16 of 83

Legal Power

Hitler's appointment by Hindenburg for chancellor was strictly legal.�

  • The Decree for Protection of People and State- signed by Hindenburg on 28th Feb in aftermath of the Reichstag fire. Suspended important civil political rights guaranteed under the Weimar Constitution. Police given increased powers to arrest and detain those providing threat to the state. Also had increased powers of right to search and censor. Ultimately used to arrest communists and socialists (to ban their publications/disrupt meetings etc)
  • The Enabling Act- Passed by the Reichstag in March 1933. Gave Hitler the power to issue decrees without the approval of the Reichstag or cabinet for 4 years. Could also make treaties with foreign states. (passed by violence and intimidation)

An appearance of legality was important as it reassured the majority of the population that the Nazi rule was legitimate.�

17 of 83

Propaganda (radio)

March 1933- Ministry for Public�enlightenment�and Propaganda set up, run by Gobbels. Gobbels new propaganda ministry could use full legal powers of the government to control the media which in 1933 consisted of mainly Radio and Press.

Radio: Both Gobbels and Hitler believed that spoken word had more impact than written.

In 1933, 4.5million German households had a radio, a number which increased over the next few years. Also in 1933 alone, Hitler made 50 broadcasts.

Radio stations were still controlled by state governments, Gobbels began to bring them under Reich control. A purge was made, 13% of staff were dismissed on poilitical/racial grounds.

Came across resistance from Goring who wanted control to remain in the hands of state government.

Wasn't until April 1934 that radio stations were brought under the Reich Radio company and controlled by the propaganda ministry.�

18 of 83

Propaganda (Press)

Establishing control over the press was more difficult. There were some 4 700 privately owned newspapers and hardly any national ones.

  • Socialist and Communist papers were closed down using the Decree for protection of people and state.
  • Nazi's bought up more newspapers, by the end of the year they owned 27.
  • New agencies which sent information to press offices were merged into a state organisation, this way information was censored before it hit the press.
  • Journalists were given daily briefings and told what they could or couldn't print.�
  • An Editors Law of October 1933 gave responsibility of the newspapers content to the editor. Editors had to follow the instructions of the propaganda ministry of personally have to take consequences.�
19 of 83

Policies to consolidate power

Party bought a broad base of support from all different social classes.

Propaganda and Nazi economic policies played a key role in gaining this support. They promised public investment in industry to boost employment, measures to protect those in debt, controls on prices or imports to protect German industry against foreign competition.�

20 of 83

Law for Protection of Retail Trade May 1933

Law banned any further extension of large department stores.�

A series of decrees in 1933 extended this policy, they banned department stores form offering a range of services such as baking, shoe repairing and hairdressing. The aim was to protect smaller stores from the larger ones which Hitler believed were Jewish-owned.

21 of 83

Law to reduce unemployment June1933

The Nazi regime began schemes of public works to provide work for the unemployed.

Manual labour was required to be used on all projects to provide more employment�opportunities.�

It also included a scheme to persuade women to leave employment when they got married to open up more jobs for men.

Also in June 1933 the regime began the construction of a network of Autobahns, although theses were designed more for their propaganda than for their propaganda impact than for their actual effect on the level of unemployment.

22 of 83

Reich Entailed Farm Law September 1933

All farms between 7.5 and 125 hectacres in size were declared to be hereditary states which were entailed.

This meant that they could not be sold or closed down due to indebtedness on behalf of the farmer.

It was designed to protect small peasant farmers from being forced to leave their land, but ti actually deprived them of their freedom to sell or mortgage their properties.�

Small farmers found it increasingly difficult to get loans from banks if they wished to improve their farms.�

Hugenberg, the Agriculture Minister increased tariffs on imported goods.�

23 of 83

The Reich Food Estate Summer 1933

Introduced by Darre when he replaced Hugenberg.

Was designed to establish control the distribution of agricultural produce.

Was a move to protect farmers but pleased neither farmers nor consumers.�

Import controls led to price increases of commodities such as butter and margarine whilst controls on the distribution of food actually led to lower prices being paid to farmers.�

24 of 83

Summary of the consolidation of power!

  • Fear and Terror (eg Night of the Long Knives and the passing of Enabling Act)
  • Compromise with conservative interests (eg Army, Civil Service, Big Business')
  • Propaganda (Mainly radio.newspapers. Propaganda ministry set up in March 1933)
  • Legalities (eg Enabling Act, Decree for Protection of People and State)
  • Policies (Law to reduce unemployment, Law for the protection of retail trade, Reich entailed farm law, food estate)
25 of 83

Propaganda: Parades and Public spectacle

Been a feature of the regime since creation of the party.

1920s/early 30s military style parades were used to raise the parties profile, intimidate opponents and give the appearance of a large, disciplined, well supported organisation.

Nazi's were able to convey that they were the face of order and discipline in a chaotic society.

30th January 1933, Hitler stood on the balcony of the Reich Chancellory as 100 000 SA/SS marched in a torchlight procession.

On national holidays civilians were expected to hang swastika's out of their windows to show support for the parades.

Ritual parades and flag waving showed the support for the regime. However it was all cleverly manipulated by Gobbels.�

26 of 83

Propaganda: Newspapers

Between 1933 and 1939, Gobbels took measures to establish control of the press.

Reich Press Chamber created- everybody involved in the production and publishing of newspapers had to be a member.

Applicants for membership were vetted for 'racial and political reliability'. By 1935, 1 500 Jewish and Marxist journalists were dismissed from their jobs.

By late 1930, around half the content of papers was provided by the DNB- they detailed what could and couldn't be published.�

Nazi party increased direct ownership of newspapers, newspapers that were still privately owned had to comply with government directives.

Newspaper content was incredibly bland, boring and conformist.�

27 of 83

Propaganda: Radio

Hitler regarded radio as the most important form of propaganda because it allowed him to reach people in their homes.�

Gobbels took steps to make radios available to a wider audience. He made a deal with industrialists to promote the production and sales of cheap radios.

in 1933, 4.5million German households had a radio set. By 1939, 70% of households did.�

Hitler made 50 broadcasts in 1933 alone.

Gobbels realised the importance of the need for light music and entertainment as well as political broadcasts. Purely political broadcasts would alienate listeners.

Gobbels also promoted the communal listening to of radios.

28 of 83

Propaganda: Music

Music was a threat which the Nazi's found difficult to control.

Reich Music Chamber was established by the propaganda ministry with composer Strauss at its head.

Experimental and jazz music was banned from being performed, published or played on radio,

The chamber showed consistent hostility to popular American music, especially jazz but there was no policy on music they wished to promote.

Hitler preferred opera.

Singing music within the family home was popular in German families and this was difficult for the regime to control.

29 of 83

Propaganda: Film

Gobbels recognised that film could work on the subconcious- deliver subliminal messages and reinforce prejudices.

Gobbels disapproved of blatantly political films, he believed that films should be an escape from everyday life for Germans.�

Reich Film chamber was set up in July 1933 to regulate the content of films and employment in the industry.

Gobbels made himself personally responsible for the publication of any films.

Between 1933 and 1945, 1000 feature films were made, film attendances increased four-fold. Only 14% of these had an overtly political message.

Many films de-humanised Jews and communists.

Films with a pacifist message were banned.�

Examples of films- 'The Eternal Jew' 'The Triumph of Will' (propaganda film)

30 of 83

Propaganda/Indoctrination: Education

  • Main method of indoctrinating they youth.�
  • All textbooks had to be vetted for ideological correctness and new textbooks were issued.
  • Nationalist Socialist Teachers League was founded in 1927- Membership wasn't compulsory but but 1936, 97% of teachers were members.�
  • The league was a means of politically indoctrinating the teaching community, the were sent on political education courses.
  • Teachers were under pressure to conform otherwise there was fear of being reported to the gestapo by teachers, pupils and parents.
  • Many teachers were dismissed on the grounds of racial or political�in suitability, many Jewish teachers were dismissed.�
  • 'Racial health' was promoted in PE and there were many military drills.�
  • Biology presented a stress on race and hereditary.
  • Sex education was banned, people had a duty to have as many children as possible.
  • Girls were obliged to study needlework and homecraft in order to prepare them for their role as housewives and homemakers.
31 of 83

Propaganda/Indoctrination: Censorship

  • The totalitarian aspects of the Nazi Regime didn't allow for others to express their point of view.
  • The Nazi's wanted a sense of 'cultural autarky'- they wanted Germany to be alienated from the influence of other countries and ideologies. The Nazi ideology was to be the only influencial/existing one.
  • Socialist, Communist and Jewish leaflets/letters/pamphlets were banned from employment in media and arts.
  • Newspaper editors were given responsibility for what their papers printed. Encouraged them to comply.
  • Propaganda ministry was given the power to seize books and made a list of unsuitable literature.
  • Those who opposed the Nazi regime were dismissed from employment, put in prison, exiled or put under surveillance.�
  • Censorship was successful, it created a dull conformity in German life and stifled creativity.�
32 of 83

Effectiveness of propaganda and indoctrination

  • The Nazi regime placed great emphasis on propaganda and the effort to indoctrinate the German population into the Nazi Weltanschaung.�
  • Plebiscites were carried out to assess support of the NAzi's, but given the situation and that there were no free elections, these can't be regarded as genuine signs of support.
  • Attitudes to the regime depended on a range of factors- religion, age, occupation, to name a few. Attitudes could also change over a period of time.�
  • Therefore it is difficult to judge whether the majority of German supported the regime, whether support was consistent, and whether the support was down to propaganda and indoctrination or things such as fear and terror.
  • Appears to have been most successful when aimed at the young, easier to influence their opinion, it would also be children who were the future of the 1000 year reich.
  • Also successful in reinforcing existing beliefs such as hatred of Jews- Less successful when challenging existing beliefs such as religion.
  • Efforts were also most successful when they overlapped with traditional attitudes and values of political groups.�
33 of 83

Hitler myth

-created by Gobbels

-hitler had been a growing force in the nazi party from the 20s, but in the 1933 elections which were the last in which the people got a proper choice, less than half of the electorate voted for hitler and the nazi party.

-by 1934, a 'hitler cult' had taken hold.

-hitler became the symbol of the nation, the 'light at the end of the tunnel', this was all carefully cared through propaganda to mask reality and make hitler appear superhuman.

-hitler was presented as a man of the people, he symbolised the coming together of the nazi party.

34 of 83

Hitler myth

-hard working

-political genius

-tough

-uncompromising

-ruthless in fighting and defeating the nations internal and external enemies

-dynamic

-energetic

-forceful

-sacrificed personal happiness for his country

-statesman of true genius

35 of 83

The reality

-Hitler was lazy. He stayed up til late watching films, then would get up midday. He spent his days eating and taking strolls in his mountain retreat and delivering long rambling speeches to subordinates.

-He disliked reading documents and rarely got involved with discussing details of policy, his officials had great difficulty in getting him to make decisions.

-Although was undoubtedly willing to crush evils outside of German and things such as communism on the inside, when it came to his party he was less willing. It took him months to take decisive action over the threat of his SA and he only took action after threat from the army.

-Hitler was surrounded by officials struggling to gain his attention and wanting to implement his decisions. Hitler supplied the vision and officials and ministers interpreted this and turned it into policies. He was no political genius, nor isolated and on his own.

-Actions of the Nazi party, especially at local level were tainted by corruption, greed and arrogance, but hitler managed to escape the blame for the actions of his subordinates. For example after the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler claimed the actions were for the benefit of the people and to protect them.

-The public themselves started to carry the myth as many others convinced themselves it was true.

36 of 83

Development of the Hitler Myth

-Goebbels built on the Hitler myth.

-Key events such as the re opening of the reichstag after the march 1933 elections and the day of Potsdam were carefully stage managed to create political theatre.

-Radio, the press, newsreels, and posters were used to promote the cult of the fuhrer.

The Nuremburg rallies and the film The triumph of the will were instrumental with furthering the fuhrer cult as they portrayed hitler to show enourmous strength of will in overcoming major obstacles.

  • there was a tradition of authoritarian leadership in Germany. The conservative and nationalist right wing parties wanted the return of a strong leader who would restore Germany's pride. This meant that a certain number of the population were already receptive to Hitler. When Hitler suppressed left wing parties when he came to power, he won the support of the middle and upper classes. The supression of the SA in the knight of the long knives reinforced his strength as leader. The gradual decline I'm unemployment and actions taken to protect farmers all found him favourable with the people and showed him to be getting to grips with the german economy.

by the end of 1934, support for Hitler had spread to all classes and regions.

37 of 83

Ideology and success of the regime

-when Hitler was appointed chancellor on 30th Jan 1933, germany was in deep recession and almost 6 000 000 people were out of empoyment.

-part of the rise in support for the nazi party between 1930 and 1932 was because Hitler vowed to make decisive action and reduce unemployment.

-by 1935, official figures showed unemployment to be down to 2 000 000 and by 1935 there were labour shortages in some areas.

38 of 83

Nazi economic policy

Aims:

Short term:

Reduce unemployment

Revive the economy and bring it out of recession

Long term:

Create an economy capable of supporting the rearmament programme and geared to the needs of future war

Such an economy would need to be self sufficient (economic autarky) in the production of food and raw materials.

39 of 83

Recovering the economy

During the years 1933 to 1936, Schacht, president of the Reichsbank and from August 1934 economics minister, was a key figure in nazi economic policy. He put measures in place to revive the economy such as:

-Taking the first steps to rearmament

-in 1934 the 'new plan' which intended to control Germany's foreign trade and improve the country's balance of payments

-giving subsidies to private firms to encourage them to employ more people

-pumping money into the economy to build houses and autobahns

-stimulating consumer demand by reducing taxes and grants to particular groups

-putting controls on wages and prices to control inflation.

40 of 83

Rearmamament and war policy

Schachts measured achieved their aims in that they reduced unemployment and revived the economy. However other problems became present. Along with the balance of payments problem and the shortage of foreign exchange, there were also food shortages, rising prices and lower living conditions for standard Germans. Reports from this time showed growing disillusionment with the regime.

From the point of the nazi's long term aim of creating a war economy, Schachts approach was way too slow. In 1936, Schacht was marginalised and a new Four Year Plan was intorduced with Goring in charge. The aim of is was to make Germany ready for war in four years. Priority was given to rearmament and economic autarky.

41 of 83

How this was to be achieved

-Creating a managed economy with controls on labour supplies, prices, raw materials and foreign exchange

-Setting production targets for private companies to meet

-Establishing new state owned industrial plants such as the Hermann Goring Steelworks

-Increasing production of key commodities such as iron and steel and chemicals.

-Ecnouraging research and investment into the production of synthetics, thereby reducing Germany's dependence on imports.

42 of 83

Economic miracle- myth or reality?

Goebbels and the Nazi propaganda machine used all the resources available to promote the 'economic miracle' to be a success.

Speeches and radio broadcasts made by hitler in 1936 said that the 'battle for work' had been won, and indeed after 1936 unemployment wasn't even mentioned, showing that propaganda had convinced the people that unemployment was no longer a problem.

Advertising campaigns for high end products such as cars and cruise holidays suggested that the standard of German living was rising.

Military campaigns were also used to show off the latest equipment and patriotic campaigns to encourage citizens to only buy German goods were to show that Germany was achieving autarky and was ready for war.

In each case, there was an element of truth in the claims but the successes were mainly over exaggerated and covered up failures of economic policies.

43 of 83

Reduction unemployment

Statistics showed a dramatic reduction in the number of unemployment by 1934 and a continuing decrease after. There were flaws in these statistics:

-economic recovery had actually begun before the nazis came to power in 1933.many policies introduced by the Nazi's to create jobs were based on Brunings policies of the 1930s.

-part of the reason for the decline in unemployment was because the regime offered women marriage loans once they were married. They were encouraged to drop out of employment once they were married so men could take their jobs. Women weren't counted in unemployment figures

-the reintroduction of conscription in 1935 took a lot of young men out of the labour market.

-those who only had occasional employment were counted as being in permanent employment. Those drafted into unpaid agricultural work were also counted as employed.

-'invisible employment' those who were out of work but not counted in figures is expected to be around 1.5million

-the 1.6m out of work by 1936 should really be 3m. J

44 of 83

Raising living standards

Nazi propaganda empathised the need for everybody to make sacrifices on behalf of the 'people's community' by working harder for longer hours with a squeeze on wages.

Nazi propaganda also stressed the benefits the regime had placed on workers such as better working conditions, better social and welfare provisions and access to goods and services which had previously only been available to an elite few.

Pay for some people increased due to the nature of their work, longer hours and employment, but wages were subject to increased deductions because of compulsory contributions workers had to pay to the german labour front (DAF) and welfare societies.

Because of this it is difficult to generalise what happened to the standard of living for the majority of German workers in these years.

Workers in key industries such as rearmament were better off, whereas those in industries such as consumer goods didn't do so well.

45 of 83

Continued

Living standards depended as much on price as on incomes, and in 1930s living prices rose and there were some shortages of key commodities, particularly fats.

German people could buy enough food to feed their families but couldn't afford luxuries.

There was pressure on living standards and Gestapo reports from this time show discontent.

However, the fact that the regime succeeded in persuading the people to shoulder this burden and there was no widespread opposition shows that their propaganda was successful in convincing the population that this 'battle for production' was necessary.

46 of 83

Organisations/goods

STRENGTH THROUGH JOY gave workers access to cruises and holidays in Germany and also provided activities such as trips to the cinema and hikes. They were designed for volksgemeinschaft purposes, the regime wanted to create a classless society, and also for gleichschaltung purposes, they wanted to control workers leisure time. Was a means of indoctrination and keeping the people in line.

BEAUTY OF LABOUR improved working conditions and facilities in factories and other workplaces. However the workers had to do this out of their own wages and in their own unpaid time.

RAIO SETS EG THE PEOPLE'S RECEIVER and the VOLKSWAGEN car were evidence that the regime was providing goods for ordinary Germans which would only be available to a privileged few in other countries.

47 of 83

Autarky - the four year plan for self sufficiency

The four year plan aimed to achieve autarky or self sufficiency in food production and vital raw materials in Oder to prepare the economy for war. The nazis believed autarky would 'free germany from the chains of international capital.

The effort to increase production was presented as a battle in which the whole 'people's community' had to participate.

Patriotic propaganda campaigns told German citizens that they should only buy German goods, eat only German food and use only German raw materials, this duty belonged to all citizens.

There were also propaganda campaigns to encourage Germans to save more as this money would go into future investments in production facilities.

In 1937, the regime started collecting scrap metal from people's homes and parks to melt down to makeup for shortages in raw materials. Hitler youth collected the metal and

Local committes were set up to coordinate collections.

48 of 83

Results of the four year plan

Results did not match the propagandist claims.

Despite massive investment, German industry did not meet the targets set by the regime and by 1939, Germany still imported 1/3 of its raw materials.

There were similar failings in food production.

The drive for rearmament and the desire to reach economic autarky put huge strain on the people including longer working hours, higher prices and growing shortages. From time to time there were even shortages of eggs and meat.

Price control and the introduction of rationing on some key commodities in the late 30s helped to control the pressures.

Despite this, there were few signs of discontent and unrest.

Nazi propaganda had succeeded in convincing the public of the need for these measures.

49 of 83

The Berlin Olympics

No expense was spared at the Berlin Olympics.

The regime used it as a propaganda opportunity to present the reich as organised, orderly, efficient and successful.

Anti Jew propaganda was removed and the work shy detained for the duration of the Olympics.

Sport and physical exercise played a large role in the nazi regime and the nazi ideals in achieving racial purity and a 'people's community'. The regime used the occasion as a chance to teach the youth drills for mass gymnastic displays and help install the belief that the individual could only achieve their full potential as part of the wider community.

There was large emphasis placed on sport. In nazi ideology, the aryan race was was physically as well as mentally superior to all others and sport provided the opportunity to show this.

No Jewish athletes were selected for the German team at the Olympics.

50 of 83

The impact of war on nazi propaganda

Overview of the war:
-The war began on 1st September 1939 when German forces invaded Poland.
-Two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany.
-Over the next couple of years, Germany achieved a range of victories and occupied countries in north west and southern Europe.
-By 1940, the only country that Germany was at war with was Britain.
-after failing to defeat Britain in 1940, Hitler turned his attention to the east when he invaded the soviet union in June 1941. He had initial success which took him to the outskirts of Moscow. The soviets red army then succeeded in halting the German advance in December 1941.
-The USA entered the war on the side of the allies 1941.
-German advance halted at Stalingard in November 1842 struggled continued until January 1943.
-German defeat, decisive turning point in the war. German forces were on the defensive and it was a struggle for survival.
-Nazi regime adopted a 'total war' strategy.

51 of 83

Impact of total war on propaganda

During the 1930s, one of the aims of nazi propaganda had been to install a 'military spirit' in the people. The majority of Germans undoubtedly supported the nationalism policy to turn over the Treaty of Versailles, there was no great enthusiasm for war.
No cheering crowds as there was at the outbreak of WW1.
The easy victory over Poland and the entry of troops into the Polish capital of Warsaw was greeted by much flag waving and rejoicing, but this was in response to directions from local nazi officers.
In erly years of the war (19309-41) nazi propaganda efforts were to maintain morale and mobilise energy and support for the war effort, in light of the victories, it wasn't difficult.
The invasion of the soviet union in 1941 did not bring an immediate change in tone of nazi propaganda. Success in the first weeks of the campaign led to the belief that the war would soon be over.
As German advance became halted in December 1941, Gobbels orders a more sober tone in propanda. The war had became a costly war of attrition in the middle of Russian winter. Troops were under supplied. There were heavy aire raids, cuts in food rations and also damaged public morale.

52 of 83

The defeat of the army at Stalingrad had a very profound effect. It was also a disaster for propagandists. Having confidently predicted victory own the early stages of the battle, the propagandists had an almost impossible task of explaining defeat.
In these circumstances, Gobbels realised the need to prepare the German civilians for a long drawn out struggle which was now for survival of the reich. He used propaganda to jusitfy increasing sacrifices which were being demanded from the German people and to enlist their support for total war.
Nazi propaganda focused on:
Anti-Bolshevism: used to frighten with a threat of soviet invasion. Used to generate fear and hatred towards USSR.
Anti-semitism: emphasised after the defeat at Stalingrad
Strengthening resolve: Gobbels was concerned that the air raids and high rates of casualties would weaken the resolve of the German people to continue the war. He wanted to strengthen the will to resist.

53 of 83

Continued

Retaliation: major theme in the last two years of the war, he wanted to reassure the people of the strength of Germany and that the country still possessed the will to strike back at their attackers. Hopes were kept alive by the claims that Germany possessed weapons of mass destruction which could be used at any minute.

Gobbels task as propaganda minister in the last two years of the war was to sustain the morale of the people. Despite all of his efforts, propaganda didn't stop the war weariness of the people. There was growing gap in reality between people lives who had been affected by air raid and what was being shown by propaganda.
Disillusionment with regime became apparent and after the defeat at Stalingard in 1943, the Hitler myth bean to decline. Hitler himself had taken over control of the armed forces and it had been his decisions which led the country to defeat.
After Stalingrad, direct criticism of Hitler became more open. He increasingly withdrew from the public life and was rarely seen or heard.
Hitler was still held in awe by his party, but it was unlikely that Germans would mourn his death in April 1945. Wartime propaganda had failed.

54 of 83

Gleichschaltung

-there were to be no independent groups standing between the individual and the state.
-individuals would have no space or time in which they could think or act independently of the regime.
all Germans would have to conform to the norm in order to create the 'people's community'
-the volksgemeinschaft would be united by blood, race and ideology with a common bond of loyalty to the fuhrer.
-men would become warriors and women would place their bodies in service of the state by having as many children as possible.

55 of 83

Youth

School:
Coordination of the education system was the responsibility of Bernhard Rust.
Under the law for the re establishment of the civil service 1933 he dismissed teachers on the grounds of political or racial unreliability.
teachers were pressured into joining the national socialist teachers league. Membership wasn't compulsory but by 1936, 97% of teachers were members. They were sent on courses and were indoctrinated with nazi ideology.
Nazi officials provided direct surveillance of what was happening in schools, teachers knew that other staff, pupils and parents could report them to the Gestapo.
The vetting of textbooks was undertaken from 1933, all text books had to be checked over by the regime and new books were printed. The nazi regime set the cirriculum.
Schools were run by the fuhrerprizip- the leadership principle. Head teachers were appointed from outside the school and leaders were expected to take orders from above.

56 of 83

New nazi institutions working alongside existing s

NAPOLA SCHOOLS- created for boys between the ages of 10 and 18. These were boarding schools which provided a military style education. Heavy emphasis on physical education, military drill manual labour and political indoctrination. By 1938, there were 21 of these schools across Germany.
ADOLF HITLER SCHOOLS- set up in 1937 by the leaders of the Hitler youth and the German Labour Front, Shirach and Ley. They were for boys between 12 and 18 and provided military style education but were more selective in their admissions than Napolas, intended for the Nazi elite.
ORDENSBURGEN- large boarding schools catering for 1000 students at a time between 25 and 30. They were 'finishing schools' designed to complete the training of selected youths after school, army service and professional training.

57 of 83

Universities

With a stress on physical education on political indoctrination, Nazi's downgraded the importance of education and the number of students attending university decreased considerably between 1933 and 1939.
Access to higher education was rationed and limited to people who were 'politically reliable'.
Women were resticted to 10% of university population, and Jews 1.5%.
-students had to join the DS but 25% managed to avoid this
-students had to attend twice weekly political indocrination and physical training sessions.
-the university cirriculum was modified.
-university teachers were obliged to join the nazi lecturers league.
Nazi's encountered very little resistance in their policies towards universities. Under the Weimar republic they had been dominated by nationalist anti-democratic attitudes.

58 of 83

Hitler youth

Introduced in 1926 and was relatively unsuccessful in its early years.
When the nazis came to power in 1933 it took over or banned all other youth organisations apart from the ones related to the catholic church (concordat). It was then that the group began to flourish.
Catholic youth organisations were banned in 1936 and Hitler youth became the only permitted youth organisation.
By 1939, membership was compulsory.
There was a constant diet of physical activity and political indoctrination. The emphasise was on competition, struggle, heroism and leadership as boys were taught for their future roles as warriors.
Members had to swear a personal oath of allegiance to Hitler.
They were taught to sing nazi songs, read propaganda and took on hikes and camping trips. The opportunity of taking part in sport and camping trips away from home appealed to many boys who grew up without knowing any other system.
Many boys parents didn't want them to join, they weren't nazi sympathisers and had grown up in a different era.

59 of 83

By the Kate 1939s, enthusiasm began to wane as more emphasis was focused on military drill and training. There were reports of poor attendance on weekly parades.
Boys resented the harsh punishments imposed for minor infringements of the rules.

Main facts:
Started in 1926
Replaced other youth organisation apart from catholic ones in 1933
Catholic youth organisations banned in 1936
Hitler youth made compulsory in 1939

60 of 83

League of German girls

'be faithful, be pure, be German'
Part of the process for preparing girls for their futures as housewives and mothers in the volksgemeinschaft. Membership became compulsory in 1939.
They were taught that they had a duty to be healthy since their bodies belonged to the nation. They had to be fit for their future role as child bearers.
They were instructed in matters of hygiene, cleanliness and healthy eating.
Formation dancing and group gymnastics served the purpose of strengthening comradeship and fitness.
Girls were taught handicrafts, sewing and cooking.
Sessions for political education and racial awareness.
In faith and beauty groups, young women were instructed in baby care and social skills such as ballroom dancing.
Many girls found the experience liberating, they developed a sense of comradeship and were doing things their mothers weren't allowed to do. Racial awareness was an important part of their indocrination and they were taught who they could and couldn't marry.

61 of 83

Continued

After 1934 girs were expected to do a years work on the land and or in domestic service. The aim was to put girls in touch with their peasant roots and give the experience in Childcare. It also developed their sense of community. Many girls tried to avoid this as it was unpopular, but in 1939 it was made compulsory.

62 of 83

Workers

Working class made up 46% of the economically active population. It was incredibly important for the nazis to have their support.
The name 'national socialist german workers party' was an attempt at winning over the working class away from socialism and communism.
Party did best mainly in rural and Protestant areas, not industrial areas.

63 of 83

German labour front DAF

Established on the 6th May 1933 under Robert Ley.
Trade unions had been banned on the 2nd May.
Designed to coordinate workers into the volksgemeinschaft.
Membership wasn't compulsory but grew rapidly as it was the only group representing workers.
Two main aims: win workers over to the volksgemeinschaft, and increase production.
Because it was a symbol of volksgemeinschaft, it included employers as well as workers.
Although it replaced TUs,it wasn't one, it didn't bargain over wages or influence social/economic policy. It spread nazi ideology among working class germans.
It established strentght through joy to organise workers leisure time.
Started to provide vocational training to improve workers skills in 1936.
Built up a large business empire of its own, this included bad and insurance companies. By 1939, the DAF had 44 500 paid employees.
Nazi system of labour relations was weighted heavily towards the state. Workers were under the strains of having to work harder for a squeeze on living standards on wages. The nazis knew they couldn't take workers for granted-started organisations

64 of 83

Strength through joy

Set up by Robert Ley and the DAF to organise workers leisure time. Happy workers would be more productive. Workers who were refreshed by holidays, sports and cultural activities would be more efficient when they returned to work.
One aim was to encourage workers to see themselves as part of the volksgemeinschaft. Leisure and work time would be organised by the regime and there would be no chance to build private lives. It was a propagandist organisation used to indoctrinate workers and their families.
To encourage social equality, was to be a class less organisation.
Workers were offed subsidised holidays in Germany and abroad, hikes, trips to the cinema, sporting activities etc. also classical music concerts.
Membership of the kdf came automatically the rough membership of the DAF.
The FDA owned its own cruise ships which contained gyms, pools, restaurants etc. They were built to encourage a classless society, and life on them was strictly regimented. However the reality was contradictory. Tickets were too expensive for ordinary Germans. There were fights between different classes on the ships and the best rooms, those above water level, we're saved for officials and senior officers.

65 of 83

Despite this, the kdf was one of the regimes most popular organisations. It was valued by workers because it offered opportuinities which they hadnt had before.
BEAUTY OF LABOUR- this looked at improving working conditions in the workplace. Its aim was to get workers to work harder. It campaigned for better washing and toilet conditions in factories. It encouraged the provision of sports and recreational facilities at the workplace. The regime claimed that by 1938, 34 000 companies had improved their working conditions and facilities. However it was the workers who bore the brunt of these activities. They had to make the improvements themselves in their own leisure time and the money was docked from their wages. They received no extra pay for the overtime they did. Those who refused to contribute to these efforts were threatened with dismissal.
Effectiveness of policies towards workers- Gestapo reports shows the reaction to the schemes as mixed. Many weren't impressed by nazi propaganda but were willing to accept the benefits of what was on offer. The kdf wasn't popular because people shared its aims, but because people liked what it had to offer. Many workers concluded that since they were paying for membership of the DAF with compulsory deductions from their wages, they may as well take what was on offer.

66 of 83

Peasants

German peasants were regarded as special because they has retained their traditional attachment to German soil. They were seen to be free of moral decline which had happened in cities. Nazi policies wanted to reverse the drift in population from the country to the cities, relieve farmers of their debts and encourage volksgemeinschaft in the community.

67 of 83

Reich food estate

Set up by Darre in 1933.
It was based on the leadership principle. Darre himself would be at the top, belowe him would be a hierarchical structure of state, district and local peasants under his direction and answerable to him.
The aim was that producers, retailers and wholesales were all in a single chain which would cut out profiteering by the 'middle men' and would mean a fair deal for farmers. The sense of community would be reinforced by removing sources of conflict.
In reality, it had mixed results for the peasants:

68 of 83

In reality, it had mixed results for the peasants:
-between 1933 and 1936, the regime spent 650 000 000 RMs to clear the debts of farmers. Most of this money went to the owners of large or medium sized farms and owners only saw the benefits after 1935.
-farmers incomes increased by 41% between 1933 and 1938. This was a higher increase than that of industrial workers but the profits of industry increased more than farmers incomes.
-after 1936, the regime had the power to force the merger of small farms into larger ones to increase productivity. This angered many small farmers and conflicted the nazi 'blood and soil' ideology. It was deemed economically justifiable in order to achieve higher agricultural production.
-the wages of agricultural workers increased slowly and they benefitted from being exempt from unemployment and health contributions, however their wages were still lower than industrial workers and there was actually a bigger drift of population to the cities and by 1939 there were severe labour shortages in German agriculture.

69 of 83

The problem was that the regime was trying to achieve rearmament and autarky at the same time as he was trying to achieve volksgemeinschaft in the country. When military and economical objectives of the regime clashed with social, the former took precedence. Although farmers needed higher prices to increase their incomes, needs of the consumer meant that they were kept down. When agriculture failed tonreach sekf sufficiency in animal fats, instead of investing money into production, the regime rationed consumpiton. Rearmamament led to the need for more air fields, army camps, and training grounds which led to the requisitioning of land from farmers.

70 of 83

Problems with the reich entailed farm law/food est

Manybpeasants were unhappy with this law. Old peasants disliked the law, whereas younger peasants wanted to take advantage of the economic and social opportunities provided by the regime. This caused a generation gap within Amelie's described as 'war I'm every household'
This generation gap did not result in open resistance to the regime, but it did show that volksgemeinschaft in the community was far from being achieved.
Darre's food estate also faced mounting problems and his influence began to wane.
By 1939 the reich food estate was regarded as a failure And Darre had been marginalised in the hierarchy of the regime. After 1936 the German labour front had taken over responsibility for the education and training of agricultural labourers and shortages of labour had been made up by drafting in members of the Hitler youth and RAD to work on farms.

71 of 83

Nazism and the church's.

Both the Protestant and catholic churches shared some of the nazis ideologies. They were both anti-semitic and anti-communist.
Protestants provided less of a problem for Hitler as they answered to the head of sate- him. However the Catholics had an alternative power to answer to, the Pope,as they are an international force. This meant that some Catholics were more influenced by the Pope than Hitler and challenged his control.
Mainly the Protestants showed support for Hitler and the regime and in the spring/summer 1933, the nazi regime began to coordinate the 28 separate Protestant churches into one 'reich church' under nazi control. The Protestants showed little resistance. However in september 1933, a group of dissident pastors led by Bonhoeffer and Niemoller established a pastors emergency league. This evolved into a breakaway confessional church which had the support of about 5000 pastors. It was established to resist state interference and was an open display of defiance to the league.

72 of 83

The catholic church

The catholic church showed more resistance to the regime. The Catholics in Germany were prt of an international church and took their lead on religious matters from the Pope. This challenged Hitlers desire for a totalitarian state. The church was prepared to compromise with the regime once the nazis had come to power, they wanted to be accepted as part of the German nation. The catholic church regarded communism as a far greater evil than nazism, an ideology shared by the nazis.
The church adopted a compromise to preserve strategy. When trade unions were taken over by the DAF in may 1933, the Catholic trade unions voluntarily disbanded, preferring not to be taken over by force. Rather than allowing the CCP to be banned after the enabling act, the party decided to disband voluntarily.
In July 1933, the regime and the Vatican reached an agreement called the concordat.
It wasn't long before the nazis began to break down this agreement and by the summer of 1933 they were seizing control of catholic lay organisations and forcing them to close. The Gestapo and SS put catholic priests under surveillance. Many leading Catholics were also killed in the NOTLK. Catholic leaders did nothing and thought the best way to survive was to show continuous support for the regime.

73 of 83

Between 1935 and 1936, some catholic priests did begin to speak out against the nazi regime from their pulpits. In response, the regime increased repression of the regime.
The Papal encyclical 'with burning grief' was issued by the Pope in 1937. This condemned the hatred poured upon the church by the nazis. It was read out by priests in church services across Germany. In respone,mthegime once again increased repression of the church.
By the Summer of 1939, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Germny had been severely weakened. The church and it's priests had been intimidated and forced to retreat. Young Catholics were denied access to church schools or the opportunity to join catholic youth organisations. Many older Catholics were torn between their religion and desire to be 'good germans'
Although individual Catholics did oppose the regime and the treatment of the church, there was no organised resistance to the reich.

74 of 83

By 1939, the nazi party had cut its links with organised religion but the religious policy of the regime was confused and inconsistent.
The nazis bad tried and failed to established a unified unremitting Protestant church based on the German Christian movement.
By 1939, the concordat established with the catholic church was effectively dead, yet Hitler never formally renounced it.m
The nazis had failed to coordinate the church into the Volksgemeinschaft and organised religion remained a powerful force in society.

75 of 83

Repression, conformity and resistance in Nazi Germ

In the third reich, Hitlers word was law. He was determined that the regime would not be constrained by the law and the legal system.
The regime did not introduce a new constitution or legal system, they purely forced the existing one to adapt to their will.
No longer were all citizens treated equally in the eyes of the law. Judges weren't permitted to act independently of the government. Individuals could be imprisoned without trial and without the police having to have any evidence against them.

76 of 83

The courts

The nazis created a new court to deal with political offences. In 1934, a people's court was established- two professional judges sat alongside three non professional judges appointed by the nazi party. These courts required no jury and dependents couldn't appeal. The way the court was balanced meant that the decision/sentence would always go in favour of the nazis. In the nazi regime, a criminal wasn't necessarily somebody who had offended a specific law, but somebody who was outside the 'people's community'

77 of 83

The police system

The nazi regime didn't abolish the separate state police forces of the regime but created a system of party controlled forces which were answerable to Hitler.
THE SS: controlled by Himmler
THE SD: an intelligence gathering offshoot of the SS
TH SA: controlled by Rohm
THE GESTAPO: secret state police force of which Goring was president.
There was rivalry between the three men for control of the police force. Rohm was eliminated in the NOTLK which strengthen Himmlers position.
In 1936, the SS, SD and Gestapo were all placed under the command of himmler.
In 1939, the reich security department headquarters placed all party and state police organisations under one unmbrella organisation supervised by the SS.

78 of 83

The SS

Was created I 1926 as hitlers body guard
Himmler took charge of the SS in 1929
After the Nazis came to power in January 1933 and under Hitlers control, the SS expanded rapidly.
After the NOTLK it became the main nazi party organisation involved in identification, arrest and detention of political prisoners.
By 1936, after Himmler had been appointed head of the German police forces, the SS controlled the entire police system in the Reich.
Under SS control, the police was an instrument of the fuhrer and the nazi party.
Himmler intended the SS to be racially pure, un questioningly onedient and disciplined.
The main role of the SS was an instrument of terror.
The SS grew rapidly after 1933 and between 1933 and 1935, Himmler dismissed 60 000 men form the SS on the grounds they were homosexuals, alcoholics or opportunists.
After Himmelr became chief of the German police in 1936 there was a noticeable tightening of control and increase of repression. Violence and murder were instrument of state power and were to be used twitchy it's no consideration to morals. For H and the SS, the end justified the means.

79 of 83

The SD

Led by Heydrich.
After 1933 it's main role was to gather intelligence. It didn't have police powers to detain or arrest subjects.
One of its most important roles was to monitor public opinion and to report on this to Hitler.
By 1939 the SD had 50 000 officers.
The SD were staffed by non proffessional police officers it by amateurs who were committed to the nazis and saw their role as to wage an ideological struggle.

80 of 83

The Gestapo

The secret state police headed by Muller. Anti communist but not a member of the nazi party. He was tolerated because of his efficiency and dedication to serving the state.
Developed a reputation for being all seeing and all knowing. Ordinary Germans believed that the Gestapo were on every corner. The reality was different. The Gestapo was a small organisation which in 1939 only had 20 000 officers to cover the whole country. In 1934, the Gestapo only had 41 officers in the major citiy of Frankfurt.
Most of its agents we're office workers, not field workers and not members of the nazi party, they saw their role as being servants to the state.
The Gestapo depended on information given to them by informers. Nazi party activists who were asked to spy on people were very important.
The law on malicious gossip of 1933 was used to prosecute those who were reported for criticising the regime.
Despite its small size, the Gestapo was very successful in creating an atmosphere of fear and terror. People believed there were Gestapo informers everywhere and adjusted their behaviour accordingly.

81 of 83

Fear and terror

Knowledge that long sentences and death penalties were handed out by the people's courts and special courts acted as a deterrent. The amount of people being imprisoned for tiny offences, for example under the law of malicious gossip resulted in a large feeling of terror in the population. Basic civil rights had been abolished and the law offered no protection from state oppression. The law had become an instrument for imposing the ideology of the nazi party and ensuring that any resistance was stamped out.

82 of 83

Extent of conformity and resistance

Propaganda, indoctrination and coordination were all designed to ensure there was no resistance to the government. On the whole, there was little opposition and there was evidence of hitlers increasing popularity.
There was widespread acceptance of the regime and it can bee said that people preferred it to the chaos of the Weimar years.

83 of 83

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The rise of Germany from 1871 resources »