The Nazi Terror State

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  • Created by: Lozza8
  • Created on: 17-05-15 18:48

Nazi State Control

How?

  • The purpose of dictatorship was to give the Nazis control of people's lives, thus, the job of controlling people became one of the main tasks of the Nazi state and done by two organisations, the Nazi Party and the Police.

Police Control

  • Police network was run by the SS (led by Heinrich Himmer). This was a branch of the SA, which had started life as Hitler's bodyguard. The SS helped Hitler to get rid of the SA leaders in the Night of the Long Knives
  • This is because the SA were growing too powerful, their violence was unnece**ary and unwanted now Hitler was in power, they were also too Socialist, recruiting Communits and wanting an alliance with Ru**ia. Rohm also became a threat as he wanted to be the commander of a joint army (SA+**). 
  • As a reward, Hitler made the SS independent of the SA. Two years later he gave Himmler control of the entire police network, by 1939
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Nazi State Control x2

Party Control

  • 1938- Nazi Party had 5 million members; over half a million officials. Most important people in the huge organisation were the 400,000 Block Leaders. Block leaders were were controlled by the Gestapo, the secret police. It was infiltrated by members of the SS from 1934 and controlled directly by them from 1936 (Block Leaders).
  • There was a Block Leader on every street and in every block of flats im every town and city. They snooped on their neighbours and reported suspicious behaviour to their Party bosses. In this way, political opponents and petty criminals could be identified and turned over to the police.

 

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Support for Nazi Dictatorship

Evidence for Support

  • The absence of widespread opposition
  • Series of plebiscites held by the Nazis in the 1930s, which saw the Nazis obtain more than 90% support for measures such as remilitarisation of the Rhineland (1936)
  • Secret reports produced by the Gestapo on public opinion sometimes show there was widespread surrport for Nazi foreign policy and for Hitler himself
  • It has been argued that the regime was a 'consensus dictatorship' as it relied heavily on collaboration form ordinary people

Reason for Support

  • Chaos of latter years of the Weimar Republic compared favourably to the situation in Germany under the Nazi rule where unemployment fell to 1 million by 1935
  • Nazi policies were often popular. Nazi social policies improved the standard of living for certain groups of people. 2.5 million families benefited from increased benefits
  • Propaganda that people were subject to may jave been effective and increase support for the regime

 

 

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Conformity and resistance

Conclusions

  • Majority of people in 1930s Germany did not oppose the Nazis and the numbers involved in active resistance were small
  • Many people did collaborate with the regime, but equally there were many examples of small-scale non-conformity
  • There were great difficulties in resisting because of the terror network and the way in which opponents of the Nais had been so comprehensively destroyed in 1933
  • Opposition by 1939 included; underground networks of resistance, e.g. SOPADE. There was on occasion opposition from the Churches, e.g. 1937-Catholic priests read out an encyclical from the Pope condeming some Nazi ideas. Small numbers of young people were involved in opposing Nazi ideals, e.g. Edelweiss Pirates- explicit anti-Nazi youth group. A group around General Beck plotted to remove Hitler in 1938, and finally George Elser, acting alone, tried to assassinate Hitler in 1939.
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The courts

  • Used to maintain repression. 1935-5,000 people convicted for high treason; prison population increased by 53,000 and 23,000 inmates of prisons were classed a political prisoners.
  • The network terror created serious impediments to people's freedom as the Nazis established a system of concentration camps to house their opponents and asocial elements.
  • People had no civil right or freedom. The Reichstag Fire Decree removed the Weimar constitution's protections in this area.
  • People lost the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly-so had little power to organise any kind of opposition. 
  • The Gestapo could arrest and hold people in custody for any reason, or none. 
  • Law April 1933-penalty for seeking to reduce Hitler's power=BEHEADING.
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