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Hitler - A master of the Third Reich or 'in some respects' a weak dictator? watch

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    (Original post by !Laxy!)
    Discuss.
    hmm i did an essay on this at AS..
    i suppose you have to argue both sides and then reach the final decision...evidence to show he was master in the third reich include nuremburg rallies, night of the long knives etc..maybe you can discuss it according to his aims, then whether they succeeded, then assess his popularity...
    the basic argument sould be intentionalism V structuralism
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    A clever man was hitler
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    Not saying he was right or anything - just clever
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    Interesting debate. The argument that various historians put forward is that Hitler's dictatorship was not only polycratic, but also that he implied the theory of 'structured chaos'. It's an interesting debate, one that you should definitely follow up.
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    (Original post by !Laxy!)
    Discuss.
    please tell me you are doing Edexcel history! I don't know anyone else who is apart from my school. Basically as mentioned this question is intentionalism v structuralism. Refer to Brozsat who was for structuralism and Kershaw for intentionalism. I think the main points I would make are, there is no way it can be said that Hitler was the totalitarian leader he was claimed to be (refer to The Hitler Myth - Kershaw) because its basically all bull, there were so many other rival power bases in the Nazi party. He set up new Nazi institutions ALONGSIDE not INSTEAD OF existing state ones, creating mass confusion. This is fact. The question would be, was this done on purpose (intentionalism) to benefit from social darwinianism, e.g. so that the strongest deputies would come to the fore, or by accident (structuralism) because Hitler was lazy, uninterested in politics. I would say intentional, because it ensured complete obedience to him because all the liutenants Goering Himmler etc needed his approval for all policies so they were intensely loyal to him. But to agree with structuralism you may say how occasionally things were done that he didnt agree with, specifically Kristallnacht was actually more radical than Hitler wished at the time and was masterminded by Goebbels.

    These are just my first thoughts, anyone else??
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    IMO:

    A master of the Third Reich in terms of:

    1. The penetration of an all-encompassing ideology through the constant re-assertion of Hitler as the ultimate Fuhrer, who apparently had greater legitimacy than any other previous leader of Germany.

    2. Successful in brainwashing so many people.

    3. Successful in that he knew what he wanted, he knew what was good for his aims, hence his rejection of classical totalitarian methods and an adoption of a more social darwinist approach to government whereby those with power and influence vied it out to gain a role of greater influence. This can be seen with Schact, Goering and Todt of the economy, all of whom increasingly sidelined each other and sought to erode each others power away.

    4. Succeeded in killing 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of homosexuals, gypsies, trade unionists, jehovas witnesses', those with genetic disorders etc etc.

    5. A truly charismatic speaker, would often hold peoples attention for up to 6 hours at a time.

    6. Welfare provisions increased, infant mortaility dropped.

    Weak in terms of:


    1. Very disorganised system of government (although arguably this is what produced the good policies - people worked harder due to the competition), lack of a central collective forum for decision making, no coherent structure for administration - papers and documents often left unsigned for weeks etc.

    2. It failed women. I think sometimes the extent to which women were failed by Nazism is often undermined or not realised due to the persecution of minorities. Thousands of women were dismissed from high ranking jobs - and some also sterilised, so ultimately many women lost any sense of purpose in society. Women had their privacy and dignity invaded by cruel methods of sterilisation. Psychological impact of this cannot really be fully appreciated.

    3. Weak in that he relied on everyone else to think and innovate for him - used the best policies that arose out of conflict.

    4. The idea of the Volksgemeinschaft/family as the basis for life and society was flawed due to the encouragement of of extra-marital sex resulting in illegitimate births, war meant women had to work, extremely fundamentally sexist values instillied in the home meant that many women suffered abuse from husbands and sons, DENUNCIATIONS. Hitler strived for a perfect master race, had a vision of Germany as an organic body, racially pure, urban/village residential areas with parks and greenery, one organic body linked together by a series of efficient autobahns..

    all boils down to race.

    Hitler ultimately weak in that he had to rely on, albeit a very powerful, propaganda machine to provide a facade and a scaffolding.
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    (Original post by red_roadkill)
    IMO:

    A master of the Third Reich in terms of:

    1. The penetration of an all-encompassing ideology through the constant re-assertion of Hitler as the ultimate Fuhrer, who apparently had greater legitimacy than any other previous leader of Germany.

    2. Successful in brainwashing so many people.

    3. Successful in that he knew what he wanted, he knew what was good for his aims, hence his rejection of classical totalitarian methods and an adoption of a more social darwinist approach to government whereby those with power and influence vied it out to gain a role of greater influence. This can be seen with Schact, Goering and Todt of the economy, all of whom increasingly sidelined each other and sought to erode each others power away.

    4. Succeeded in killing 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of homosexuals, gypsies, trade unionists, jehovas witnesses', those with genetic disorders etc etc.

    5. A truly charismatic speaker, would often hold peoples attention for up to 6 hours at a time.

    6. Welfare provisions increased, infant mortaility dropped.

    Weak in terms of:


    1. Very disorganised system of government (although arguably this is what produced the good policies - people worked harder due to the competition), lack of a central collective forum for decision making, no coherent structure for administration - papers and documents often left unsigned for weeks etc.

    2. It failed women. I think sometimes the extent to which women were failed by Nazism is often undermined or not realised due to the persecution of minorities. Thousands of women were dismissed from high ranking jobs - and some also sterilised, so ultimately many women lost any sense of purpose in society. Women had their privacy and dignity invaded by cruel methods of sterilisation. Psychological impact of this cannot really be fully appreciated.

    3. Weak in that he relied on everyone else to think and innovate for him - used the best policies that arose out of conflict.

    4. The idea of the Volksgemeinschaft/family as the basis for life and society was flawed due to the encouragement of of extra-marital sex resulting in illegitimate births, war meant women had to work, extremely fundamentally sexist values instillied in the home meant that many women suffered abuse from husbands and sons, DENUNCIATIONS. Hitler strived for a perfect master race, had a vision of Germany as an organic body, racially pure, urban/village residential areas with parks and greenery, one organic body linked together by a series of efficient autobahns..

    all boils down to race.

    Hitler ultimately weak in that he had to rely on, albeit a very powerful, propaganda machine to provide a facade and a scaffolding.
    But how can you say Hitler was weak when he could pass any policy he wished and do as he pleased?
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    That's just it though. He did as he pleased.
    Would a real dictator spend most of his time watching films in Alpine hideaway?

    Also, don't forget that at first, he relied heavily on the army and big business, who were never taken over by Hitler, but simply sided with him. Without the Night of the Long Knives, the Army may well have opposed him and his SA. The fact he never truly controlled these was significant. However, people thought he did...just like with the Gestapo, their threat and power was made out to be far greater than it actually was.
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    Huge thing surrounding the Hitler Myth. A lot of policy passed came from people who just acted on his ideological rantings rather than his own conscious decision. If he was a truly strong dictator would he have failed in some of his key aims such as Increasing the Birth Rate and lowering number of women in employment (reverse of which happened i think) x
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    i think he was powerful but lazy. he let things mature as he wanted and tended not to interfere. but he had total loyalty from his subordinates which is arguably the most powerful thing to have. the polycratic system seemed to have worked for him as it was a kind of 'divide and rule' whereby his subordinates fought to enact his will, as kershaw says 'working towards the fuhrer'. he was strong in the repsect that he had loyalty and ultimate power over decisions, but not all powerful in the respect that he couldnt be bothered half the time.
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    Thats what I did my A2 coursework on...My conclusion is that basically both extremes are bs but certainly he was weak on domestic policy, and his foreign policy was radicalised by others. He could have stepped in but didn't...you have to come to your own conclusion as to why, whether it was because he lacked the ability, thought it would undermine the carefully built up image or because he provided the vision and merely let others implement (then how allowing this gives scope to undermine)

    Hell you jst end up going on forever
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    Academically he wasnt brilliant, i mean, he was a failed artist in his teens/late 20s. But he was a brilliant speaker and propaganda expert and knew what to do to get to the top so i say a good dictator.
 
 
 
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