Analyse and Explain the Nature of Nazi Government Essay

2587 WordsNov 11, 201411 Pages
Analyse and explain the nature of Nazi government. by Geoff Pugh When considering the question of the nature of Nazi government it is necessary to consider three broad factors which are central to the understanding of it. Firstly, is the way in which Hitler led the Party prior to the seizure of power in 1933. It is then necessary to assess the relationship which developed between the Nazi Party and the existing structure and institutions of the State following the rise to power. Finally, it is necessary to consider the role which Hitler himself played in the Nazi regime, and the underlying debate as to whether or not the development of the nature of Nazi government was planned or accidental. Having considered these factors it is then necessary to see how this affected the nature of Nazi rule. The nature of Nazi government was profoundly influenced by Hitler’s leadership of the Party prior to the seizure of power in 1933. This was characterised by what Max Weber called the concept of ‘charismatic leadership’. Hitler’s authority was derived from his personal qualities as opposed to being vested in the office which he held. “All authority within the Party was ultimately concentrated in the hands of the leader, Hitler.” The party was organised around the idea of the Fuhrerprinzip. This laid down that power was concentrated in the hands of one leader and that his authority was absolute. This gives the impression of a very ordered power structure, but in reality it was more complex. Even before 1933, the Nazi Party leadership, Hitler aside, was undermined by its inability to exert control over the regional Gauleiters, who saw themselves as Hitler’s personal representatives responsible only to him. “In the Party, the leader principle had formed the real foundation of Hitler’s strength long before 1933.” Indeed, since Hitler re-founded the Party in 1925,

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