The Nazi Regime Depended More on Its Broad Popularity

1 January 2017

It can be argued that in order for the Nazi Regime to have stayed in power, it was essential that they maintain high popularity. On the other hand, though popularity is needed, it can be debated that the use of terror was a more important aspect to the regime as it ensured that the German people would not question or speak out against the regimes policy and actions. The view in source four appears to provide the view that the regime was dependant on its popularity and also agrees with the statement provided.

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However, if you were to compare this with source five then you would see that it gives the impression that the regime depended solely on terror, thus disagreeing with the statement. Furthermore, it would appear that source six provides a balanced view on the subject and to some extent supports both source four and five. It can therefore be debated as to whether or not the Nazi Regime depended more on its broad popularity than on terror in the years 1933-1939. Some historians have taken up the view point that without the popularity the Nazi Regime would not have been able to survive.

Through its policies, it is clear to see that the Regime tried to make it look like they were working for the good of society in order to make Germany a better place. It would appear that the majority of the German people supported the regime; however, as it was a repressive state, it is unclear as to whether this is fully correct. In source four, historian Robert Gellately supports the argument of popularity as he gives the impression that the majority of people agreed with the extensive policing measures that were put in place by the Nazi regime as they believed it was improving German society as a whole.

In the defence of source four, historian E. A. Johnson in source 6, to some extent, supports Robert Gellately as he gives the impression that the Nazi Regime gained popularity through the fact that it treated sections of the society differently. On the other hand, it would be clear to note that it would not be accurate to say that all people support the regime as, at this current time, the majority of those who could speak out or didn’t support the regime were receiving the so called ‘work therapy’ at the work camps to which they were sent.

Overall, the judgements made by both sources four and five appear to support the statement provided, giving reason to agree. On the other side of the argument, some historians have taken up the view point that the Nazi regime was highly dependent on it use of terror in order to ensure their survival in power. The use of terror was thorough and extensive in the attempt to prevent and remove all of those who could and would most probably speak out against the Regime. This fear forced the German people into supporting the Nazi Regime and thus explains a reason why the majority of the population were so supportive.

In source five, historian Richard J Evans supports with this interpretation of the period that terror was of high importance as he gives the view that all areas of society were watched constantly and that the majority of organisations set up provided information to the Gestapo, the Courts and the Prosecutions Services. In supporting Source five, to some extent, historian E. A. Johnson in source six suggests that the Nazi Regimes terror tactics were both brutal and ruthless towards what they considered their enemies.

Furthermore, the fact that source six suggests that terror became far more intense towards the end shows the aggressive nature of the regime’s tactics and suggests that the Nazi regime was more dependent on the use of terror. This can be supported by evidence such as the attacks on Jewish communities carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians in the Kristallnacht, the reason being that, as well as being fed anti-Semitic propaganda, the German people chose to support the Nazi Regime as they did not want to sufferer the same fate as the Jews.

There are many Historians who would agree on a balanced judgement to which suggests that both popularity and the use of terror were essential in order for the regime to have survived. It can be argued that the measures take by the Nazi Regime would not have been as effective, or effective at all for that matter, if they did not have popularity or use terror. It is therefore without a doubt that both helped to ensure that the regime had the power and support to rule without question. In source six, historian E. A.Johnson provides a mixed view on the statement as, to some extent, agrees and disagrees.

The source gives the impression that the Nazi Regime was able to gain popularity due to the fact of its ‘two-way treatment of different sections of the German population’, thus the use of terror appeared to be a justifiable cause in which was benefitting society. In support of this argument, source four demonstrates how there was wide consensus for the expanding of the work camps in which the state would place all political riminals as well as the various defined socials.

However, historians Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Gerhard Paul deemed this popular support to be loyal reluctance, this concept being the idea of unqualified and widespread consent, thus suggesting that terror was what forced people into supporting the Nazi Regime. This is then supported by source five as it shows how a German worker was in fear of the Third Reich, therefore it would appear that the Nazi regime depended more on the use of terror than on its broad popularity in the year 1933-1939.

In conclusion, the argument that the Nazi Regime depended more on its broad base of popularity is presented in source four, and to some extent source six, giving the impression that the terror side of Hitler’s dictatorship was created through interpretations made by the German people who passed it on to another, and that the whole population where generally in support toward the expansion of police and work camps.

However, there is a counter argument to which suggests that the Nazi Regime depended more on its use of terror. This can be seen in source five, and to some extent source six, which gives the impression that terror was the heart of the regime as it appeared throughout the whole structure of society with organisations providing information to the Gestapo as well as the courts.

Each source seems to mentions terror however not all of them mention popularity, furthermore, it can be argued that the majority of people appeared to support the Nazi Regime through the concept of Loyal Reluctance so therefore they did not fully support the Nazi Regime or at least not at their own will. Overall it can be justifiable to say that the statement provided in inaccurate and therefore can not fully agree as it is in my own opinion that the Nazi Regime depended more on the use of terror than its broad base of popularity in the years 1933-1939.

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