Nazi political policies

Police State

By 1934 Germany was a police state and it was almost impossible to escape nazi power

The **

After the night of the long knives, the ** (led by Heinrich Himmler) replaced the SA as the main security force and responsible for removing all Nazi opposition. The SD was part of the **  that maintained security for the Nazis and Germany. 1934 - 50 000 ** members.

The Gestapo

1933 - Set up by Herman Goering (Secret state police).

1936 - controlled by **.

1939 -  Most important police section of the police state: They could arrest 'enemies of the state'. They were usually sent to Concentration camps (run by **) or executed. - Terror and fear made people stay quiet and conform

1939 - about 160 000 were under arrest for political crimes

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Concentration camps

The first concentration camp was set up at Dachau in 1933

What were Concentration Camps?

The SA and ** ran new prisons called 'Concentration camps'. Prisoners were classified by their 'crime against the regime', denoted by the coloured triangles they wore.

What were they like?

People were taken to concentration camps for questioning, torture and slave labour. Slavery meant that raw materials could be extracted and weapons could be manufactured. Inmates suffered from neglect and abuse from guards - Very few survived

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The Legal System

Law courts began to experience Gleichschaltung - Hitler wanted to control the courts and make all laws interpreted in a Nazi fashion.

National Socialist league for the maintenance of law and order

  • Nazi policy upheld in courts
  • Those who refused were sacked

German Lawyers Front 1933

  • Established in 1933 and had 10 000 members
  • Swore an oath of loyalty to Hitler

New People's Court 1934

  • Set up in 1934 to try 'enemies of the state'
  • by 1939 500 were executed, the number of crimes that counted as treason increased
  • Minister of Justice ensured Judges were loyal to Hitler
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Central and local governments

Local Governments

  • 1933 - All state parliaments closed down
  • Divided into regions (Gau) which were controlled by loyal Reich Governors (Gauleiters) that were appointed by Hitler. 
  • Gauleiters were given the power to appoint and dismiss state officials and make state laws.

Central Government

  • Enabling act meant the Reichstag was not needed. When they did meet they were an 'applause machine' for Nazi speeches.
  • Hitler's cabinet gradually lost influence. By 1938 all non-Nazis were removed, they only met once that year. Germany was governed by 'the will of the fuhrer'
  • Reich Chancellery took over the cabinet. led by Hans-Heinrich Lammers who drew up new laws
  • Civil servants were forced to be Nazis in 1939 and carried out policies without question
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Propaganda and Censorship (Traditional Media)

1934 - Dr Josef Goebbels set up the Ministry for Popular entertainment and Propaganda - Aimed to control and brainwash the German people.


Under strict censorship - editors told what they could publish. Germans only read what the Nazis wanted them to believe.


2500 writers banned. All books censored; books had to put across a Nazi message.
1933 - Goebbels encouraged the burning of  20 000 books written by Jews.

The Arts and Posters

Had to portray the Nazi idea of German values and life. Emphasised qualities of the 'Master race'  And 'heroic citizens. Posters were used cleverly and targeted their message mainly towards the young

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Propaganda and Censorship (Untraditional Media)

1934 - Dr Josef Goebbels set up the Ministry for Popular entertainment and Propaganda -  Aimed to control and brainwash the German people.


Radio stations under Nazi control. Mass-Produced and Cheap. Placed in factories and loudspeakers played messages into the streets.


All films to have pro-Nazi stories shown with newsreels glorifying achievements of Hitler.


Annual mass rally at Nuremberg of over 100 000 to showcase the Regime. local rallies held by SA and Hitler Youth.

Anti - Nazi Joke Censorship

Law against malicious gossip 1934 - fines or prison for telling anti-Nazi Stories / Jokes.

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