To What Extent Was Germany A Totalitarian

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To What Extent Was Germany A Totalitarian State During The Third Reich Essay, Research Paper To what extent was Germany a totalitarian state during the Third Reich ??????????? In order to answer this question it is important to first define the key phrase ?totalitarian state?.? According to Fredrick, a totalitarian state must: attempt to control every part of people?s lives, be a dictatorship with one party and one leader, have the country?s media, economy and education system firmly under state control, and try to control the social lives of its people. A totalitarian state may also tend to be both militaristic and nationalistic. An alternative definition given by the Encyclopaedia Britannica says: ?In the broadest sense, totalitarianism is characterized by strong central

rule that attempts to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion and repression. The state achieves popularity through a strong, charismatic leader.? In order to answer the question, each of the above points must be addressed and compared with the example of Nazi Germany on order to decide to what extent Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state. The Nazi Regime was unusual, and far from being the well organised, disciplined regime it is often perceived to be, Hitler ran Germany in a similar fashion to a medieval monarch.? Hitler was an all-powerful dictator but he was lazy and ran the country from his mansion in Bavaria in a similar fashion to a medieval court.? In order to get a proposal passed as law, the party member would have to come to Bavaria, flatter

Hitler and then present his proposal.? He despised paper work and often slept until midday, he thought of himself as the visionary leader and he was quite content to be the visionary figurehead and allow those under him to take care of the administration.? He never made appointments as he believed in the principle of survival of the fittest and allowed a permanent battle to rage beneath him.? He believed that if those under him were allowed to fight for his approval then eventually the successful group with a gifted leader would emerge victorious.? This group would, in Hitler?s opinion be the most talented as they would have outwitted all their opponents.? For this reason Hitler had four offices that claimed to represent him, all of which fought for his attention and approval.

This unusual system of administration led to an unusual structure of individual power blocks, all fighting for superiority.? This system led to a limitation to the party?s control.? The individual power blocks did not cooperate or communicate with each other, and although the SS and the Gestapo were effective units of repression, they were not as dominant in Germany as is often thought.? It was the reports given by the people of Germany that allowed the Gestapo to make arrests and maintain effective repression.? Through encouraging the unsubstantiated gossip that spreads in any community and taking this as concrete evidence, the Nazi party and more particularly the Gestapo were able to maintain a degree of control over people?s everyday lives.? However, I would argue that the

system was only partially efficient as the reliance on unsubstantiated gossip and a lack of real facts must inevitably lead to the conclusion that there were things that the gossip missed within any community.? The degree of control of people?s lives, therefore, was extremely limited.? However, the state certainly did set out to control every aspect of people?s lives. The control the Nazis exercised in other areas was also limited.? The education system introduced by the Nazis was unusual.? The emphasis upon physical excellence and militarist drill was resented by many, along with the blatant attempt by the party to indoctrinate Germany?s youth through emphasising nationalist principles and showing the party in a wholly positive light.? The Hitler youth was often seen as