Nazigovernment

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Nazigovernment

  1. 1. Policy and Practice in FascistGermany 1933 - 1941“Working Towards the Fuhrer”
  2. 2. “Working Towards the Fuhrer”• “Very often, and in many places, it has been thecase that individuals, already in previous years,have waited for commands and orders.Unfortunately, that will probably also be so infuture. Rather, however, it is the duty of everysingle person to attempt, in the spirit of the Fuhrer,to work towards him. Anyone making mistakes willcome to notice it soon enough. But the one whoworks correctly towards the Fuhrer along his linesand towards his aim will in future as previouslyhave the finest reward of one day suddenlyattaining the legal confirmation of his work”– Werner Willikens – Prussian State Secretary ofAgriculture
  3. 3. Hitler’s Style of Government• Emergency powers of Enabling Act meant that Hitlerhad to sign laws into being• Access to Hitler crucial• Bureaucratic competition– Hitler liked the Darwinist competitive element and felt that itmade for better laws– Radicalisation of Fascist program as years passed• Foreign Affairs Preference– Liked to Appear ‘Above’ Domestic squabbling• Gleichschaltung– Co-ordination of State Control• Diagram page 188 of Hite, Hinton
  4. 4. Hitler’s Lackadaisical Style• Hitler alone made all the important decisions– he never involved himself in details and let other get onwith carrying out his ‘big decisions’.• He almost never wrote things down –– he would gather other top Nazis together at lunch or forlate evening chats and they would have to listen – then goaway and try to carry out his wished as best they could.• Hitler did not work hard– he got up late (10am), had a long lunch, some afternoonappointments and then watched films in the evening.• Hitler rarely stayed in one place for long– he moved between his ‘Reichschancellory’ in Berlin andhis house on BERGHOF in Bavaria.• Favouritism– Access to the Fuhrer was the key to power
  5. 5. Divining Hitler’s Will?• Consolidate regime• Rearmament• National Revival• Foreign Affairs• Volksgemeinschaft• Lebensraum• Racial Purity• Self-sufficiencyWrite a paragraphoutlining the Fuhrers willfor each of these priorities
  6. 6. Hitler’s Totalitarian Contradictions• Keeping the Reichstag• Sign Laws as per the Enabling Act• Renew the Enabling Act every Four Years• Huge Advertising and Election Campaigns• Use of Plebiscites• Courting of Foreign Correspondents• Guns and Butter– Darre’s ‘Fat’ ClimbdownIf Hitler and the Nazis wereso in control of Germany,explain why they botheredwith any of these
  7. 7. Hitler’s Diplomatic Revolution• Plan something Audacious– Eg Break a Treaty of Versailles Condition• Ignore cautious traditional naysayers• Maintain Absolute Secrecy until everything is ready• Present the Fait Accompli– In Reichstag for added legitimacy• Propaganda offensive– Present Germany as the wronged nation• Hold a Plebiscite to Confirm Triumph• Case Studies– Re-introduction of Conscription– Saar– Rhineland
  8. 8. Dr Hans Heinrich Lammers1879 - 1962• Chief of Reich Chancellery– 1933 – 1945• National Conservative Civil Servant– DNVP to 1932– Nazi from 1932• Hitler’s Legal Adviser• Controlled access to Hitler– Could promote or Kill any proposals– All draft legislation had to go through Lammers• De Facto leader for months at a time
  9. 9. Rudolph Hess1894 - 1987• Sycophantic and Loyal– Edited Mein Kampf• Deputy Leader of Nazi Party• Minister without Portfolio• Deputy Fuhrer from 1933– Third behind Goring from 1939• Overloaded with responsibilities– Became meaningless– Treated with suspicion• Flew to Britain in 1941
  10. 10. Heinrich Himmler1900 - 1945• Head of SS 1929• Head of Political Police 1933• Head of Prussian Gestapo 1934• Head of Police 1936• Set up Dachau 1933• Huge influence with Hitler– Pandered to racial purity prejudices• Loyal, brutal and ambitious• Terrorised Opponents and Allies alike• Built SS into a huge State within a State
  11. 11. Himmler Speech to SS Officers, 1943• "Our principle must be absolute for the SSman: we must be honest, decent, loyal, andcomradely to members of our own blood and tono-one else. What happens to the Russians,what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utterindifference to me. Such good blood of our ownkind as there may be among the nations weshall acquire for ourselves, if necessary bytaking away the children and bringing them upamong us. Whether the other people live incomfort or perish of hunger interests me onlyin so far as we need them as slaves for ourculture. Whether or not 10,000 Russian womencollapse from exhaustion while digging atrench interests me only in so far as the tankditch is completed for Germany."
  12. 12. Hermann Goering1893 - 1945• Prussian Prime-Minister and Minister of Interior• Head of Luftwaffe• Ostentatious and Corrupt• Head of Four Year Plan 1936– Re-armament– Autarky– Cuts across existing ministries• Economic, foreign exchange, labour, raw materials, prices,– Competed with Hess, Himmler & Goebbels
  13. 13. Joseph Goebbels1897 - 1945• Minister of Enlightenment & Propaganda– “If you tell a lie, tell a big one”• Experimental– Colour film– Parades• Womaniser– Chastised by Hitler for bringing Nazis into disrepute• Many Rivals and enemies within Nazi Party– ‘Poison dwarf’• Loss of some influence once Nazis achieved power• Hence anti-Jewish campaigns• Krystalnacht 1938
  14. 14. Reinhard Heydrich1904 - 1942• Head of SD– SS Security Service– Intelligence and counter-intelligence– Competed with Military Intelligence• Himmler’s Second in Command• Blonde Aryan– However, doubts over Jewish ancestry• Used by rivals to undermine him– Virulently anti-semitic– Chaired Wannasee conference• Einsatzgruppen Commander 1939• Assassinated 1942 in Czechoslovakia
  15. 15. Martin Bormann1900 – 1945?• Hess’s Deputy– In charge of Nazi Finances andAdministration• Behind the scenes– Frequently close to Hitler• Replaced Hess when Hess went AWOL• Hitler’s Secretary in 1943– Capable of preventing Himmler, Goebbelsand Goering from seeing Hitler
  16. 16. Dr Fritz Todt1891 - 1942• Civil Engineer to SS Colonel 1931• Inspector General of German Roads and HighwaySystem 1933– Grew it into Ministry of Construction• “Todt Organisation”– All Transport» Autobahns– Military Fortifications» Seigfried Line– Forced Labour Camps• Minister of Armaments and War Production 1940• Became Pessimistic with War with Russia– Declining confidence of Hitler– Frustrated at equipment inconsistencies and poorplanning• Killed in Air Crash 1942
  17. 17. Albert Speer1905 - 1981• Hitler’s Architect– Hitler an architectural enthusiast• Designs for Berlin and for Nuremburg– Speer promoted into inner circle• Minister for Armaments and WarProduction, 1942– Responsible for remarkable increase in warproduction despite round the clock bombing andall out war– Used Hitler’s confidence in ministerial bickerings
  18. 18. Robert Ley1890 - 1945• Nazi Party Chief of Organisation 1932– Succeeded Strasser• Headed DAF on break up of Trade Unions• Frustrated at having power of DAF pulledfrom under him– Hitler more interested in Re-armament andproduction levels• Conditions and pay whittled away• The Reich Drunkard– Loud, coarse and alcoholic
  19. 19. Wilhelm Frick1877 - 1946• Reich Minister of the Interior– Responsible for Racial Laws– Advocated Administrative Reform and Clarification• Ignored by Hitler• Lost power to Himmler’s Police Department– Officially replaced by Himmler in 1943• Became Reichsprotektor of Bohemia andMoravia• “Everything which is useful for the nation islawful; everything which harms it is unlawful”
  20. 20. Joachim von Ribbentrop1893 - 1946• Wealthy wine exporter– Purchased ‘von’ from a relative• Late Nazi - joined in 1932• Lent his Berlin home to Hitler in 1933• Incompetent and Vain• Special Plenipotentiary to Britain– Infuriated career diplomats– To break Stresa Front• Naval 35% deal• Ambassador to Britain in 1936• Foreign Minister 1938• Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939– Shocked the World• Influence
  21. 21. Bernard Rust1883 - 1945• Dismissed as teacher 1930 for molesting astudent• Reich Minister of Science, Education andPopular Culture 1934• Purged educational establishments ofundesirable teachers– Made Nazi party membership compulsory forteachers• Extensive redesign of curriculum to conformwith Nazi volksgemeinschaft• Deeply loyal to Hitler
  22. 22. Hjalmer Schacht1877 - 1970• Hitler’s Banker• Respected Nationalist Economist• President of Reichsbank• Minister for Economic Affairs• Rehabilitated Nazi Economics– Mefo Bills p 216– Allowed re-armament to be undertaken– Not an Anti-Semite• Jews an important economic sector!– Resigned in 1937 when full war preparation wasundertaken• Implicated in Hitler assassination plot 1944– Ends war in concentration camp
  23. 23. Richard Darre1895 - 1953• Reichsminister of Food and Agriculture• Friend of Himmler• Idealised Peasant– Instrumental in turning Nazis from an Urban to a Ruralparty– Blood and Soil• Difficulties supplying food– World Wide Depression• Markets cut off– Guns and Butter problem• Brought Hitler problems not solutions– Relieved of position 1942
  24. 24. Debate Topic• Hitler was an effective Dictator!– Open For (1)– Open Against (2)– Rebuttal For (3)– Rebuttal Against (4)– Cross Examination For (5)– Cross Examination Against (6)– Conclusion For (7)– Conclusion Against (8)
  25. 25. Nazi Government• Nominally maintained Weimar MinisterialSystem– Cabinet meetings held – but declining p195– Hitler disliked collegial government– Discouraged meetings between ministers• Ministries re-organised– All Ministers Nazis by 1937– Conservatives eased out• Access to Hitler essential– Lammers – Head of Chancellery– Hess – Head of Nazi Party• Force of Character essential to promoteown Ministery
  26. 26. The Radicalisation of Nazism• Consolidation needs to be completed– Hindenburg• Weimar Institutional Restraints Removed• Competitive Government– No Collective Responsibility– Favouritism Rewarded– Radical Proposals more likely to be noticed by Hitler• Hitler’s Rising Popularity– Foreign Affairs– Takes Credit, avoids blame• Nazi Hubris– Believe own propaganda and infallibility– Believe Plebiscite results• Intimidation– SS, Gestapo• Lack of Concerted Opposition– Internally and externally
  27. 27. The Regime’s External CriticsGroup Grievances AdvantagesIn OpposingNazisDisadvantagesIn OpposingNazisJewsSopadeChurchesYouth GroupsForeignGovernments
  28. 28. The Regime’s Internal ObstructionistsWere there any brakes on Nazi Radicalisation?Group Grievances Advantagesto SlowingNazisDisadvantagesto SlowingNazisSome ArmyHighCommandSome CareerDiplomatsSome CivilServantsTraditionalelite

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