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Hitler. 1889-1936: Hubris Chapter 11: The Making of the Dictator Ian Kershaw.

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Presentation on theme: "Hitler. 1889-1936: Hubris Chapter 11: The Making of the Dictator Ian Kershaw."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hitler : Hubris Chapter 11: The Making of the Dictator Ian Kershaw

2 Introduction and Background Is a biography of Hitler The first volume of two Used secondary sources of info including Hitler’s speeches and writings An examination of Hitler’s power – how he obtained and maintained it Looks at how German people saw him, not necessarily at him himself. Sees Nazi state as more important that the personality of Hitler ‘Cumulative radicalism’ – end result is a result of endless bureaucratic power struggles Model example of Weber’s ‘Charismatic leadership’ Simply played a role within political and social structures Was careful in how he portrayed his image and people saw in him what they wanted to see Came to power in Germany through hard won domination of the Nazi Party, along with his skills as a public speaker and clever use of propaganda

3 Timeline of the Transformation 30 th Jan 1933 – Hitler became Chancellor Feb 1933 – civil liberties extinguished March 1933 – Reichstag surrendered its powers, giving Hitler control of its legislative May 1933 – trade unions dissolved July 1933 – all opposition parties forced into voluntary liquidation, leaving only NSDAP (Nazi Party) remaining Jan 1934 – sovereignty of Länder formally abolished Summer 1934 – all organisations, institutions, professional bodies had aligned themselves with new regime and adopted Nazified mentalities This process of ‘coordination’ was called Gleichscaltung Managed to apply to every organisation, except Christian Churches

4 Quotes ‘It can’t be denied: he has grown. Out of the demagogue and party leader, the fanatic and agitator, the true statesman...seems to be developing’ ‘What the old parliament and parties did not accomplish in sixty years, your statesmanlike insight foresight has achieved in six months’ In nine months, the genius of your leadership and the ideals which you have newly placed before us have succeeded in creating, from a people inwardly torn apart and without a hope, a united Reich’

5 30th January 1933 – Hitler’s Appointment to Chancellorship Given Chancellorship by Reich President Hindenburg Mixed reactions across society – fear, anxiety, optimism, indifference Many ordinary people apathetic – doubted it would bring improvement after Depression For existing Nazi’s – saw it as opportunity for prosperity, advancement and power At the time, there already existed aspects in German political culture that helped him: chauvinistic nationalism, imperialism, racism, anti-Marxism, glorification of war, placing of order above freedom – exploited and warped beyond recognition as Hitler’s regime took hold Hitler at first, cautious, willing to take advice Addressed the people – ‘German people, give us four years and then judge and sentence us’ – allowed them to feel involved However, still Authoritarian: ‘removal of the damaging cancer of democracy’

6 The Rise to Power Hitler had good instinct for propaganda – lead towards initiative in motor car industry – this caught the public’s imagination and help already recovering economy He elevated it to ‘most important industry of the future’, and despite his lack of specific plans, the mere promise of them caused the industry to pick up This helped his election campaign Mass media at his disposal – speeches broadcast on radio Got army on his side – convinced even previously aristocratic, conservative officers. ‘Partial Identity’

7 The Use of Legislation After Fire at the Reichstag, fears of a Communist uprising Emergency Decree soon drafted (not by Hitler, but in his style) ‘For the Protection of People and State’ Gave executive power to Reich Government – strengthened his position DFPOPAS – freedom of speech, of association of the press, privacy of postal and telephone communication suspended, autonomy of Länder overridden by Reich Government Enabling Act - needed two thirds of the vote to be passed – bullying Other parties gave in to Hitler’s tactics of pseudo-legallity Power now in hands of national socialists Hitler now had no constitutional constraints on his power Steps towards consolidation of his dictatorship now followed in quick succession…

8 Spring/Summer Gleichschaltung Germany fell into line behind its new rulers What was happening in politics was being mirrored in every other form of organized form of social activity Hitler actually took very few initiatives…’the ball was rolling’ With all constraints towards Jews removed, became brutal Hitler reactive towards Jew’s planned boycott of German goods – Boycott of Jewish business Hitler’s role confined to giving sanction to legalization of measures often already illegally introduced by party activists Any remaining parties caved in – Nazi’s only party left Personality cult surrounding him was booming, even though he had rarely been personally involved

9 Summary “Charismatic rule has long been neglected and ridiculed, but apparently it has deep roots and becomes a powerful stimulus once the proper psychological and social conditions are set. The leader’s charismatic power is not a mere phantasm – none can doubt that millions believe in it” Hitler’s dictatorship showed how an advanced society can sink into barbarity Importance of Co–Dependence – Hitler needed traditional power groups in order to impose the counter revolution, and they need him to provide mass support Hitler did remarkably little – mostly authorised and legitimated actions of others Disdain of the Parliamentary system that was perceived to have failed resulted in willingness to entrust monopoly control over state to Hitler Had harsh values and was ruthless in his aim of regaining political power: No tolerance of opposition ‘Those unwilling to be converted must be crushed. Extermination of Marxism root and branch’ As much to do with those around him as Hitler himself


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