Hitler Essay

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The controversy that Hitler was not in control of Germany is an extremely debatable one, mainly supported by Structuralist historians such as Mason who in source 3 puts forward the idea of Hitler as a weak dictator without control since he never “associated” with measures that could make him unpopular with the people which showed that his control over the Third Reich was temperamental and not unconditional. This is supported to a certain extent by source 2 as Feuchtwanger states that Hitler was unwilling to take decisions if it might “damage his popularity” again showing that he was not in control of the Third Reich; however he also implies that because Hitler was able to make “major decisions” without “bureaucratic consultation” it proved he was in total control as his opinion was the only valid one and his “obsessions became translated into reality” as Kershaw states in source 1. It seems that although Germany had deep undertones of a polycentric state, it was in fact their totalitarian leader that had the final say in matters. In source 3 Mason puts forward the argument that because Hitler’s “dependence” on his “popularity” was “so great” it led him to be a weak dictator. Mason implies that since Hitler was so concerned about not implementing policies that would tarnish his reputation amongst the people, it showed that he lacked total control over the Third Reich. An example of Hitler appealing to others to maintain his popularity can be identified within the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. It is possible to say that because Hitler wanted to gain the trust and adoration of the public, he purged the SA of ‘thugs’ and also of Rohm who had threatened to seize power, absorb the army into the SA, and consequently assume control. It seems that Hitler took drastic measures to ensure that Germany was purged of all elements that could threaten his control, even if it

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