20th Century Germany essays
Evaluate the success of the Nazi party in transforming Germany into a Nazi society in the period 1933 to 1945.
After assuming political power in 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party implemented a mission of reviving German strength, acquiring territory for more living space or Lebensraum, and establishing a foundation for a pure "racial/supremist" state. In order to achieve these goals, Hitler needed to create a sense of Volksgemeinschaft or a national community unified in mind, will, and spirit. Volksgemeinschaft could only be attained through total state control; therefore, every facet of cultural and social life had to be controlled to achieve Nazi ideology. Culture, the press, movies, religion, education and children's activities were among the many aspects of the social life controlled by the Nazis, as well as control over the economy, education and family structure in the newly formed, totalitarian state.
Immediately upon becoming chancellor, Hitler moved to consolidate his power. He persuaded Hindenburg to issue a decree suspending all civil liberties in Germany. A subservient legislature passed the Enabling Act, which permitted Hitler’s government to make laws without legislative approval. The act effectively made the legislature powerless. Hitler then installed loyal Nazis in important posts in the bureaucracy, the judiciary, and the German provincial governments. He replaced all labour unions with the Nazi-controlled German Labour Front and banned all political parties except his own. The economy, the media, and all cultural activities were brought under Nazi authority. An individual’s livelihood was made dependent on his or her political loyalty. Thousands of anti-Nazis were taken to concentration camps-the existence of which was widely publicised-and all signs of dissent were suppressed. A massive propaganda campaign celebrated the end of democracy in Germany, and huge, staged demonstrations gave the imp…