How successful was the Nazis' attempt to create a Volksgemeinschaft between 1933 and 1935?

  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 13-04-18 12:15

One of the key aspects contributing to the chaos in the Nazi system was the complex relationship between the party and state

Hitler never fully allowed the Nazi Party to take total control over the state

State institutions such at the ministries, police, army, judiciary and civil service remained in place but the Nazi Party reformed and controlled them, purging them of Jews and political opponents 

It was never entirely clear whether the institutions of the state or the party were the dominant aspect in politics

In terms of the military, it was clear Hitler favoured the traditional state institution over the SA

In other areas the boundaries between state and party were complex and ever-changing:

  • Ley attempted to use the DAF to influence economic affairs, but was mostly unsuccessful 
  • 1934/7 - Minister of Economics, Schacht, was the main figure in charge of the economy, showing the dominance of the state institution on the economy during this period 
  • On the other hand, the Gauleiters were largely independent Nazi institutions and frequently clashed with the Minister of the Interior, Frick

To add to the confusion, Hitler created party institutions that paralleled state institutions and set out overlapping tasks

1933 - instead of using the Ministry of Transport to manage the construction of the Autobahn, he created a totally new organisation, Organisation Todt, lead by Todt, to oversee the Autobahn

In terms of the police, the lines were blurred between state and party when the **, SA and Stalhelm were inducted into the Prussian police force

1933/6 - Minister of the Interior and Himmler clashed over whether the party or state had control over the police 

1936 - the ** was officially placed in charge which enabled the police to become a key instrument in the imposition of Nazi policies 

The new German air force, the Luftwaffe was placed under the newly created Reich Aviation Ministry, controlled by Goering, as opposed to the state institution of the Ministry of Defence

There was also overlapping responsibilities of the state Ministry of Education and the party institution of the Hitler Youth, run by Schirach

This confusion enhanced Hitler's power

Hitler was happy to use state institutions when they benefitted him 

In the early stages of his dictatorship, Schacht was needed to assure industrialists that the Nazis would not make radical change to the running of the economy, thus it was to Hitler's advantage to use the Ministry of Economics 

In key areas of Hitler's interests: the police, Autobahn and German youth, appointing new organisations that were directly answerable to him allowed Hitler to subvert the potential controls of the state and his own party

The leaders of these institutions were loyal to Hitler and committed to enacting his 'will'

Therefore, both the power of the party and the state eroded during the Nazi period, in turning enhancing the personal power of the Fuhrer

Attempts to create a Volksgemeinschaft:

  • One of the key goals for the Nazi dictatorship was the implementation of a people's community 


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