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Terror And Repression In Nazi Germany

1521 words - 7 pages

a) Assess the role of terror and repression in maintaining the Nazi State 1933-1939

Partnered with propaganda, terror and repression became an ever-increasing option for the Nazis. As a tolitarian state, groups or individuals who opposed the propaganda campaign needed to be mobilized through other terms. Brutality was often reserved for minority groups as per Nazi ideologies presented under Hitler. The SA and SS had ever increasing power over these groups.

In 1921 Adolph Hitler formed his own private army called Sturm Abteilung (Storm Section). The SA were instructed to disrupt the meetings of political opponents and to protect Hitler from revenge attacks. Hitler's storm troopers ...view middle of the document...

It was led by Reinhard Heydrich and was ruthless in dealing with opposition to the Nazis. Its task was to discover the enemies of the state, watch them and render them harmless. The Gestapo had the power to arrest and detain suspects without trial. Himmler gradually gained control of the various state police forces and took over the Gestapo in April 1934. Standing alone, the Gestapo didn’t have the manpower to run successful and became dependent on help from other police organisations. The impact of their reign of terror becomes questioned by Historian Gellately in that the Gestapo was not as widespread as propaganda suggested but rather under resourced and lacking in personnel. The propaganda behind the Gestpo created more fear that perhaps the gestapo itself
Concentration camps were a brutal attempt in the Nazis effort to mobilize minority groups. The first camps were established at Dachau near Munich, Buchenwald near Weimar and Sachsenhausen near Berlin. The camps were to be organised on brutal lines to destroy all opposition and intimidate any potential dissent. Run at first by the SA and then the SS, they were used to deal with political opponents and 'socially deviant groups' such as homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and gypsies. Anti-Semitic ideas were also influenced strongly and Jews became a primary target for the Nazi Regime.
The SS (Schutzstaffel) was formed in the mid-1920s and acted as Hitler's personal guard. The SS operated as a political police to root out all open and secret enemies of the Reich. After wider aspects of the terror were introduced and some persuasion from Himmler, Hitler in March 1936 agreed to a longer-term plan for the camps. Due to the huge decline of the SA after the 'night of the long knives' it was the SS who was to head the growing power of the concentration camps. Himmler explained that with growing international tension, it was necessary to re-arrest communists. Also as mentioned previously there were new enemies of the state outline after 1935, this meant that the concentration camp system had to increase its possible holding numbers up to 8,00 by January 1937. This number was to dramatically increase to 24,000 by October 1938, then to 60,000 by December 1938 . This large increase in numbers shows the effectiveness the terror system had on cracking down the 'asocial' elements of society, and furthermore the effectiveness of the crackdown on the Jews.
The role of terror and violence was a major aspect in the establishment of the Nazi Regime. Hitler's legal revolution depended on the early aspects of terror to remove political opposition to the Nazi party.

b) Assess the role of propaganda in maintaining the Nazi State 1933-1939

The Nazis regime in order to successfully consolidate its power had to seek support from the German population. After the failure of the Beer Putsch, Hitler sought to rise to power legally. Propaganda became a large and successful component in the Nazis success aiming to...

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