How far do you agree that Hitler’s Regime was a ‘consensus dictatorship’?
Hitler’s Regime was a consensus “dictatorship” in which allies such as Himmler and Goebbels had a lot of power. It was consensus due to the fact that Hitler aimed for “consent of the initiated” as stated by Robert Gellately. This was evident as many Germans “enjoyed their lives” suggesting that Hitler’s Regime was in fact a consensus dictatorship.
Eric A. Johnson claims that Germany was “regaining its pride” during the years of Hitler’s Regime. During the years of the Weimer Republic Germans suffered terribly, which was due to reasons such as hyperinflation and the fact that unemployment was so poor that 3 million were unemployed in 1930. Hitler ‘solved’ the problem by giving Men in Germany the jobs of Women and Jews, which led to many “finding employment” as stated by Johnson. Mefo Bills were also introduced by an economist called Schacht that stimulated the growth of the economy. This ultimately would have led to Germans agreeing with Hitler due to the beneficial change he brought with his Regime.
It was a consensus regime due to Hitler’s use of allies such as Goebells. Goebells had complete control over the media, thus he could prevent citizens being outraged by newspapers and such due to the fact that Goebells would filter anything that conflicted with Hitler’s Regime. An example was ‘The Night of the Long Knives’ where Goebells prevented newspapers showing the names of the people who died, he also made sure that Hitler’s justifications were well heard, thus the people of Germany still “slept soundly”.
Title: Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust 1996 622 p. $30. 00 Author: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York Synopsis - Hitler's Willing Executioners is a work that may change our understanding of the Holocaust and of Germany during the Nazi period. Daniel Goldhagen has revisited a question that history has come to treat as settled, and his ...
Johnson and Gellately seem to agree with each other when suggesting the Hitler’s Regime was a Consensus dictatorship. Gellately claims that Hitler believed his regime must be “based on popularity” which is approved by Johnson as he claims that they “were still at peace” and “enjoyed their lives”. If Germans enjoyed their lives, it suggests that Hitler’s aim to create an authority based on popularity was working effectively and thus leading to a consensus dictatorship.
On the other hand Hitler’s Regime was heavily based on fear and not consent. This is suggested by Mary Fulbrook who disagrees with the fact that it was a consensus dictatorship and instead believes that the regime was full of “terror”. The use of the word terror suggests that the fear in Germany was overwhelming. Many were scared as they may be the victims of “torture and murder”, thus leading to many not opposing the regime.
Mary Fulbrook also states that it was the “SS of Heinrich Himmler” that were able to do as they like without the consent of “rule of law”. This suggests that Himmler also had a lot of power in Nazi Germany, thus he may have been the man behind many schemes. Therefore Hitler’s regime may have not been a dictatorship if allies like Himmler had remarkable power within the country.
While Fulbrook completely disagrees with Gellately’s view of Hitler’s authority being based on “popularity”, she agrees with Johnson when he states that there was “potential dangers” for Germans, as it coincides with her view of Germany being controlled through “fear of arrest”.
To conclude Hitler’s Regime was mostly ‘consensus’ in the sense that most agreed with it, this is due to the fact that most Germans weren’t “Jews” as stated by Johnson, so the majority were not under threat of “potential danger”. While Fulbrook suggests that Germany was controlled by “terror”, Johnson actually believes that this terror did not pose any “real threat” to “ordinary” Germans. It was also not a complete dictatorship, for example when Germany invaded Poland Himmler was given the annexed parts of the country, definitely suggesting that Himmler’s influence was immense. For that reason Hitler’s regime was consensus as “most Germans” agreed alongside Hitler’s “popularity” based authority, although it being a dictatorship was questionable due to Himmler having enough influence to make important political decisions. Hence it was mainly consensus, but not completely a dictatorship.
Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader of the Third Reich had a profound effect on international relations from the very moment he became chancellor in 1933 to even after his death and the legacy he had left behind. It can be said that in the span of 20 years between 1933 and 1953 Hitler had huge short term significance on international relations, ranging from his views on the treaty of Versailles, war in ...