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Presentation on theme: "© Boardworks Ltd 2006 1 of 24 These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 1 of 24 These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. © Boardworks Ltd 2006 1 of 24 Hitler’s Role in the Development of the Nazi Party Nazi Germany

2 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 2 of 24 Learning objectives © Boardworks Ltd 2006 2 of 24 Learning objectives How Hitler’s image was created. The reality which lay behind this image. The effect of Hitler on the Nazi government, including: a) the Führer Principle (Führerprinzip) b) the Hitler Myth c) how Hitler controlled ministers and departments d) whether there was ‘authoritarian anarchy’ e) whether this chaos was intentional or not. What we will learn in this presentation:

3 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 3 of 24 What do you think of Hitler?

4 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 4 of 24 1. Hitler’s Image: The Führer Principle and the Hitler Myth

5 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 5 of 24 From its formation in 1871, Germany had been dominated by strong leaders striving for national unity and global importance. The democratic Weimar Republic, with its lack of strong leadership and constant power struggles between political parties, was seen as having failed to deal effectively with Germany’s post-war problems. By 1932, the Weimar political system had been discredited. Many Germans felt that the only way to turn this situation around was to have one strong leader, prepared to take ‘personal responsibility’ for running the country. A strong Germany?

6 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 6 of 24 The Führer Principle (Führerprinzip) was the belief that Germany needed a strong, charismatic leader who could unify and lead the people. Hitler’s power came to be regarded as something above and beyond that of a normal head of state. No matter who you were in the Nazi party or whatever your job in the state, you were answerable to Hitler. Hans Franck, Hitler’s lawyer, wrote that: “Our constitution is the will of the führer…it was Hitler’s regime, Hitler’s policy, Hitler’s victory and Hitler’s defeat – nothing else.” Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London. The Führer Principle

7 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 7 of 24 On the next slides you will see five statements on the role of the führer from Ernst Huber, a constitutional theorist of the Third Reich. Which quote do you think best summarizes what the führerprinzip meant to the Nazis? Führer power

8 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 8 of 24 The office of führer has developed out of the National Socialist movement. In its origins, it is not a state office. The Führerprinzip

9 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 9 of 24 The position of the führer combines in itself all sovereign power of the Reich. The Führerprinzip

10 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 10 of 24 All public power in the state, as in the movement, is derived from führer power. The Führerprinzip

11 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 11 of 24 This is comprehensive and total and embraces all spheres of national life. The Führerprinzip

12 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 12 of 24 Führer power is not restricted by safeguards and controls…but rather it is free and independent, exclusive and unlimited. The Führerprinzip

13 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 13 of 24 The Hitler Myth presented Hitler as an almost godlike figure to a German population eager for strong leadership. He was depicted as being solely responsible for the ‘economic miracle’ of the 1930s and for crushing threats from both the Communists (following the Reichstag Fire) and extreme Nazism (in the Night of the Long Knives). The Hitler Myth

14 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 14 of 24 Ian Kershaw, a respected historian of Nazi Germany, has investigated the way in which the Hitler Myth was built up to consolidate the Führer Principle. In his view, the Nazis took power in 1933 because of Hitler, not because of their ideology. Analysis

15 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 15 of 24 Kershaw’s view

16 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 16 of 24 2. The Reality: How did the Fuhrer Principle and the Hitler Myth affect government?

17 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 17 of 24 Hitler’s direct circle consisted of about 70 key figures. These people were rewarded primarily for their loyalty. Their talent was a secondary consideration. Many of their jobs overlapped, leading to confusion and competition. For example, Goering’s responsibilities for military planning overlapped with the work of the Ministry of Economics and the Reich Labour Service. Control of departments and ministers

18 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 18 of 24 Some historians argue that Hitler created confusion on purpose, believing that competition would bring the most committed administrators to the fore – Social Darwinism. Others think that he simply made a pig’s ear of organizing the state. Was the chaos deliberate?

19 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 19 of 24 Hitler’s staff

20 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 20 of 24 The question of whether Hitler deliberately engineered authoritarian anarchy for his own ends, is key to the much bigger and more serious issue of how to account for the terrible events of the Third Reich. Were they chiefly down to: a) the personality, ideology and the will of Hitler (so Hitler was 'Master of the Third Reich') b) the political culture of the German people (so Hitler was a 'Weak dictator')? Why do you think that this is such an important question for historians to answer? OR Was the chaos intentional?

21 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 21 of 24 Historians who think that Hitler intentionally created a chaotic system of government are called intentionalists. Historians who think that the chaos came about by an unintentional series of events are called structuralists. BOTH accept that there was a certain degree of chaos in the Nazi state; BOTH agree that Hitler was a central figure within it; BUT beyond that there are essential differences of interpretation. Intentionalists and structuralists

22 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 22 of 24 IntentionalistsStructuralists Key argument: Key quote: Hitler deliberately created political chaos, partly to ‘divide and rule’ and partly believing that Social Darwinism would lead to the best people triumphing. Political chaos was an unwelcome legacy of the past which shaped Hitler’s policies. He was also indecisive and lazy in some ways. ‘Hitler was master in the Third Reich’ (Norman Rich) ‘unwilling to take decisions, frequently uncertain … in some respects a weak dictator’ (Hans Mommsen) Intentionalists and structuralists

23 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 23 of 24 What do you know now?

24 © Boardworks Ltd 2006 24 of 24 1.What is the essential difference between the Intentionalists and the Structuralists? 2.How do you think each group got its name? 3.Which argument do you find most convincing and why? Discussion point

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