To what extent, and by what means, did Hitler create a totalitarian regime?

Essay by silly_rabbitHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2004

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To what extent, and by what means, did Hitler create a totalitarian regime?

After consolidating his power, Hitler sought to make Germany a nation a totalitarian state in which the one-party Nazi structure had absolute political authority over every aspect of 'life'. By suppressing opposition and making individuals mere pawns of the state this was partly achieved. Several strategies quickly ensured civilian support, whilst exploiting political opportunities and manipulating the economy allowed Hitler close to unlimited power within Germany. However, due to a lack of central control over the economy and inherent problems in the structure of the Nazi party, Hitler's position as leader of a totalitarian state was never complete.

Through a mixture of violence and propaganda, daily life in Germany was effectively regimented. Gaining a monopolisation of the media was essential to Hitler's aims and was achieved through purchasing newspapers and heavily censoring radio broadcasts and films.

Such propaganda schemes were fundamental to Hitler's authority and included restructuring education to teach Nazi ideologies, introducing youth groups to indoctrinate younger generations and gaining the support of women through stressing their importance, especially as healthy mothers. Furthermore, by suspending civil liberties such as freedom of speech and assembly following the 1933 Reichstag fire, and by introducing measures like the 'Strength through Joy' scheme, Hitler managed 'to leave the people with nothing but sleep to themselves' (insert source here). The other vital requisite of Hitler's totalitarian society was the enforcement of a police state. Fear tactics implemented by the Gestapo and SS such as the persecution of religious opposition, imprisoning people indefinitely and conducting interrogative torture sessions, were characteristic of the Nazi regime and effectively dissolved pockets of rebellion. By dictating many facets of daily life and ruthlessly removing any opposition that arose, Hitler achieved extensive control of German society.