Nazi ideology was based around 7 main factors
- Social Darwinism
- Violence and Struggle
- Traditional Values
Social Darwinism was based on Darwins theory of evolution and especially the idea of survival of the fittest
Darwin saw how humans and animals are in a constant struggle to survive, (natural law) and those who succeed are superior
Hitler linked this with Galton’s ideas on biological inheritance. This combination helped hitler to justify his persecution towards certain groups he saw to be 'impure' or racially weaker.
Violence and Struggle
Hitlers ideas on violence and struggle were confused and irrational.
He based his ideas on struggle around social Darwinism.
His belief in violence as a way to have power and control was shown clearly while he was in power. The use of secret police, using terror to stop any opposition and the idea of a 'final solution'
He used violence to solve the majority of the problems he faced.
Even his speech skills were used for verbal abuse. Hitler said "the very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence". Also "..those who do not wish to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live".
Fuhrerprinzip and its role in the ideology
Fuhrerprinzip = leadership principle
Hitler believed strongly in a dictatorship rather than democracy. He believed that the fuhrer should have ultimate power over his people.
The fuhrer represented the will of the people and it was believed only he would lead them to greatness.
Hitler believed that the Fuhrers' word should be the law and his people should be loyal to him over any other loyalties they may have - this included religion and their own conscience.
He based some of these ideas on Nietzsche's superhuman theory.
Hitler saw the Germans to be naturally superior to other races and thought that their pure blood must be protected from 'contamination'.
In contrast Jews were seen to be parasites causing the 'decomposition' of Germany
Herrenrasse or the idea of white supremacy was based around social darwinism and survival of the fittest.
Hitler used this to justify his persecution and discrimination towards the Jews and other ethnic groups he considered to be parasites.
Hitlers reign ment that the racially impure were put into concentration camps and later exterminated, and the mentally and physically disabled went to sanatoriums or asylums where they suffered from ‘accidental’ deaths or were sterilised to remove the risk of passing on their 'impurities'.
Volksgemeinschaft - The peoples community
Hitler wanted to establish a national community with one unifed mind and spirit.
It would be easy to control Germany if they all had the same beliefs and were unifed in this way
Hitler wanted to make Germany a classless society
He believed that all aspects of culture and social life should be controlled by the government. The Nazis saw themselves as a revoluntionary movement who would lead Germany into a golden age.
Lebensraum = living space
Hitler wanted to unite all german people with pure blood. He wanted to reclaim land that was taken from germany in the treaty of versailles, as well as claiming lands that had never been part of the reich but did have a large percentage of German speaking people within it
Hitler thought that they needed space to expand eastwards towards Russia, so that the German race could spread out and populate Europe.
His belief that all Germans were superior and that their victory over other inferior races was inevitable is key within this factor of the ideology
Hitler said in his book Mein Kampf (written whilst in prison in 1923) that it was absurd for a superpower (that he wanted germany to be) should have such little space.
Hitler had very traditional views when it came to a womens role. He believed their main focus should be child bearing.
Part of the Nazi ideology was based around how to raise birth rates. They used a slogan kids, church and kitchen or KKK (Kinder, Küche, Kirche).
When Hitler came to power in 1933, he introduced a Law for the Encouragement of Marriage, which entitled newly married couples to a loan of 1000 marks (around 9 months' average wages at that time). On their first child, they could keep 250 marks. On their second, they could keep another 250. They reclaimed all of the loan by their fourth child.
Nazi women were also discouraged from being fashionable, thin, smoking or wearing trousers or makeup. Another way in which Hitler tried to raise birth rate was by making abortion illegal and contraception was hard to procure.