To What Extent Had Hitler Established a Dictatorship by 1936?
Hitler had absolute control of Germany by 1934; therefore, he had established dictatorship by 1936 to a total extent. By definition, a dictator is an individual who has complete control over a nation’s religion, beliefs, has physical obedience of their subjects and has no opposition. This description is correct in describing Hitler, because he had the power to make laws, dismiss the Reichstag, control education, the media, books, and to eliminate opposition. He established compulsory youth groups and trade unions in order to present and impose his racist and supremacy ideology.
Hitler’s idea of ‘Gleichshaltung’ (co-ordination) was established in order to co-ordinate all aspects of political and social life. Hitler achieved this by eliminating any opposition, creating a fear of Jews and Communists, and by sustaining his popularity with the citizens of Germany. One of the key factors that enabled Hitler to establish a dictatorship in Germany by 1936 was his ability to gain and sustain popularity from the German nation. In his speeches, he addressed every socio-economic group and promised answers to their problems. One such example was unemployment.
Hitler fulfilled his promise by forming the National Labour Service in 1934, where it was compulsory for men from the ages of 19 to 25 to perform public works for six months, such as building the O-Bahn, which was a road that allowed the transportation of ammunition and troops. By creating the National Labour Service, the number of unemployment, decreased from 6,000,000 in 1933 to 302,000 by 1939. This gained popularity for Hitler because he was providing employment, and thus allowing people to gain an income, which in turn was addressing some of the main issues in Germany.
But at the same time, it was part of Hitler’s scheme to prepare Germany for War, which was defying The Treaty of Versailles. Germany was embittered from the social, economic and financial implications of the Treaty of Versailles, and was therefore happy that they were being encouraged to work against it. This is an example of how Hitler was able to gain and sustain popularity from the German nation, which lead to his dictatorship by 1926. Another way in which Hitler was able to gain and sustain popularity was by creating a hate and a fear of Jews, which was an integral part of Hitler’s Aryan ideology .
At the beginning of Hitler’s rise to power, he often preyed on the Jews a as threats to society. According to Adolf Hitler, Jews were responsible for everything he did not like, for example, pornography and prostitution, despite the fact that Hitler grew up with Jewish friends. Hitler alleged that the Jews had been responsible for the loss WWI. Because Jews were notorious for running large businesses, they were also seen responsible for the Great Depression, as they failed to halt the depression. Hitler also claimed that Jews, who composed only about 1% of the population, were slowly taking over the country.
They were supposedly doing this by controlling the largest political party in Germany, the German Social Democrat Party, which controlled many of the leading companies and several of the country’s newspapers. Hitler was able to establish a dictatorship in Germany by 1936 to a total extent by enforcing his ideology of Germany being a supreme, strong, superior race. This was done by anti-Semitic activities, as previously mentioned, and by passing the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which outlawed any relationships and marriages between Jews and Aryans, as they threatened the preservation of ‘pure Aryan blood’.
The laws also abolished the citizenship of Jews, whether or not they were born in Germany, and genetically defined what a Jew was. Even if an individual was not a practicing Jew, they were deemed as Jews if they had Jewish grandparents. Jews were also not allowed at public parks, swimming pools, and public transport facilities. Anti-Semitic laws did not only affect the Jews, it also affected people who had undesirable qualities, such as a disability, or a physical or mental disorder. Germans were also encouraged not to use Jewish doctors and lawyers.
Jewish civil servants, teachers and those employed by the mass media were sacked. During Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) over 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed and 400 synagogues were burnt down. Ninety-one Jews were killed and an estimated 20,000 were sent to concentration camps. In order to ensure that Germany was to be run by racially pure and strong people, youth groups were established, such as the League of German Maidens, where it was compulsory for girls to learn domestic duties and physical activities to ensure that they were physically fit and could rightfully provide for a family.
By creating a mass hate and fear of Jews, Hitler provided people with a scapegoat to blame all the problems of the past on. By doing this, Hitler was able to establish a dictatorship by 1936 to a large extent. In addition, another factor that led to Hitler’s complete dictatorship by 1936 was the complete control of education and media. Teachers who did not support the Nazi Party were sacked, and textbooks had to be approved by the party. Any books that may have contained any Semitic materials were burned.
Students were taught Racial Science, where they learned the importance of sustaining a pure race and the dangers of “blood poisoning”. Students were also taught a lot of physical activity and history, as it was believed that it was important to establish and maintain a mentally and physically strong race. The establishment of compulsory youth groups such as the League of German Maidens, Jungvolk and Hitler Youth. Girls were made to learn domestic duties to learn to become good wives and mothers.
Boys were taught army skills, had to learn Nazi philosophy, and were presented with a “Blood and Honour” dagger. At the beginning of these youth groups, children were made to pledge allegiance to Hitler. By doing this, it glorified the Nazi image to children, who are vulnerable and easy to manipulate. These factors helped Hitler to establish a dictatorship by 1936. The establishment of compulsory youth groups and were put in place in order to present and impose his racist and supremacy ideology, and to gain and sustain popularity.