To What Extent Can Nazism in Power Be Seen as Totalitarianism in the Period 1933-1939?

1008 Words5 Pages
According to Fredrich’s “six point syndrome”, a totalitarian state must consist of an official ideology, a single mass party, terroristic police control, monopoly control of the media and arms and central control of the economy. During the Nazi Reich between 1933-1939, under Hitler as Fuhrer (supreme leader), the Nazi regime was able to successfully achieve aspects of totalitarianism by exerting tight control of the media and police; leading to control of certain aspects of German social, political, legal, economical and cultural life. However, there are significant features of the Nazi regime that simply fail to fit Friedrich's six, all encompassing concepts of totalitarianism. Central to the concept of totalitarianism is an official…show more content…
Instead, Hitler allowed for and in fact actually encouraged free market trading and industrialism in an attempt to recover the Germany economy from depression in the 1920’s; this in no way aligned with Friedreich's last principle in fact contradicts a significant characteristic of the totalitarian state. However, as Wolfgang Ruge argues, “the Nazi party developed a propaganda apparatus whose activities far eclipsed all previous heights of the demagogy of German imperialism.” On this note, it is widely agreed by historians that the regime was highly successful in one of Friedreich's principles; control of the increasingly powerful mass media in German society as a mechanism for public control. Primarily coordinated through the work of propaganda minister Goebbels, Hitler was portrayed as a leader who was at the same time moderate and reasonable who put the national good before his own interest. Other themes highlighted images of strength and authority which appealed to the highly nationalist German population; epitomised by Hitler appearing out of the sky to lead the German people depicted in Riefenstahl's 1934 film Triumph of the Will, still widely considered the most influential propaganda film of all time. The radio, state produced to be inexpensive, become the regimes number one weapon as it allowed propaganda to not only infiltrate but permeate as many homes as possible. This control

More about To What Extent Can Nazism in Power Be Seen as Totalitarianism in the Period 1933-1939?

Open Document