MODULE 3: How effectively did Hitler consolidate Nazi authority 1933-45? PART 1

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What was the nature of the Nazi state?
•Social Darwinsim •Fuhrerprinzip •a dual state? •a polycracy? •totalatiarian state?
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How does Social Darwinism relate to the nature of the Nazi state?
•much of Nazi ideology was based on belief in Social Darwinism •Nazis applied it different racial groups •Nazis believed strongest race must distance itself from inferior races •no procreation between races (Eugenics) •'law of nature'
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How does Fuhrerprinzip relate to the nature of the Nazi state?
•literal translation= 'leadership principle" •Hitler developed idea of complete acceptance of whatever the leader decided •in theory: Hitler's power- unlimited & undisputed •in practice: Hitler- not omnipotent & omniscient •"biggest confusion in gov"
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What does a dual state mean?
The old conservative system operated side by side with the new Nazi system e.g. the top civil servants remained from the old system & operated fairly independently
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Was the Nazi state a dual state?
•all ministers were replaced by Nazis by 1938 •essentially the old state system remained separate from the Nazi Party structure & tension/conflict remained
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Who is Klaus Fischer and what does he claim?
•A historian •argues the term 'dual state' was misleading •claims Hitler controlled the 1 state •concedes dual roles were played by some men e.g.Goering (held posts within party& within gov) •claims Hitler set up groups independent of both the Party & the
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Was the Nazi state a polyracy?
•a polycracy is made up of several centres of competing power •Broszat sees the Nazi state more as a polycracy
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What does the term Totalitarian reflect and what 6 main features need to be present to qualify as a totalitarian state?
•The essence of the state over the entire period 1-an official ideology 2-a single mass party led by 1 person 3-total control of the Armed forces 4-total control of mass communication 5-terror police force 6-total control of the economy
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How did Hitler use Social Darwinism to gain the support of the German people?
He made them feel superior to other races & encouraged them to vote for him because he could extend the gap between superior and inferior races.
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How did Hitler become increasingly detached from the Nazi Party?
•he was inaccessible & often was reluctant to give orders •he waited for ministers or leading figures in the party to suggest a law & discuss drafts in detail before signing it & passing it •often signed laws without even reading them
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Why does debate exist over the ruling of certain policies?
Many leading Nazis after the war used the excuse that they were only following orders, however they were often the ones who developed the order and not Hitler.
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What does Mommsen's theory of 'cumulative radicalisation' mean?
That Nazi officials had to guess what Hitler wanted as he didn't offer many ideas. They soon learned he approved radical actions which led to them taking even more and worse radical approaches.
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Why was the legislative process weak and ineffective?
•the Cabinet and Reichstag were bypassed •ministers and leading figures of the party discussed laws & drafts amongst themselves before it might eventually reach Hitler for approval who would often sign it without even reading it
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What type of leader was Hitler?
•'hands off' •relied on his subordinates to formulate policy, make and implement decisions
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How did the system of the State develop over time?
•1933-6: Hitler- cautious to keep key groups happy e.g. Army & big business •1936-8 Hitler is more confident & reduces power of key groups •after 1938: SS= dominant force, key groups= 'junior parents'
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How did Hitler manipulate his supporters to fulfil his plans?
•he offered very little guidance & left them to compete with each to win his approval •he did not coordinate his men but wouldn't let anyone else either • he gave particular individuals e.g. Goebbels & Goering freedom
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Within the state did the Nazi party coexist alongside existing ministries•there was a lot of confusion & corruption or replace them?
•didn't entirely remove old service & ministries but set up own ministries & combined some Party & State posts •their agencies challenged the authority of ministries •some agencies (e.g. Gestapo & SS) eventually replaced state run Ministry of Interior
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What type of government did Hitler want?
•blindly obedient •wanted his word to be law •no tolerance of questioning, resistance or opposition •his decision could override all laws, rights & systems
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In which two areas did Hitler play a major role and despite his absence in other areas what happened?
•Foreign Policy •war •no major initiative was possible without his backing •no individual could gain power without his support
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What was the Nazi government like in practice and what did this lead to?
•disorganised & chaotic •led to poor communication between the party & the state
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What is the Intentionalist argument on Hitler's role in maintaining the Nazi's position in power?
•Hitler took all political decisions •Hitler was a clever schemer which developed the political system after 1933 (e.g. Bracher believes this) •Layton argues that Hitler deliberately created a policy of divide and rule which led to chaos
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What is the Structuralist argument on Hitler's role in maintaining the Nazi's position in power?
•Hitler was poor leader •Hitler did not actively intervene in government •Hitler made gov chaotic through withdrawal •Edward Peterson challenged notion of Hitler as strong dictator- confusion, competition & rivalry •Broszat- 'Polycratic State'.
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What is the Modern argument on Hitler's role in maintaining the Nazi's position in power?
•Hitler had limits on his power, he was not invincible •The structure of the Third Reich was complex • Hitler relied on his henchmen for help •All power rested with Hitler but he only took decisions when absolutely necessary
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What are Modern individual's argument on Hitler's role in maintaining the Nazi's position in power?
Fulbrook- combine aspects of both sides of debate & said Nazi state= Polycratic- Hitler's actions •Kershaw: 'middle way'- Hitler's actions were 'indispensable to explaining course of development of Third Reich' but not 'adequate explanation' itself
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Card 2

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How does Social Darwinism relate to the nature of the Nazi state?

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•much of Nazi ideology was based on belief in Social Darwinism •Nazis applied it different racial groups •Nazis believed strongest race must distance itself from inferior races •no procreation between races (Eugenics) •'law of nature'

Card 3

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How does Fuhrerprinzip relate to the nature of the Nazi state?

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What does a dual state mean?

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Card 5

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Was the Nazi state a dual state?

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