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Third Reich- Nazi Germany - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Totalitarianism: A Foregone Conclusion? The events surrounding the rise of Stalin in the Soviet Union and the rise of dictators like Mussolini and Hitler in Europe proved to be a defining mark of the 1930’s and early 1940’s…
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Third Reich- Nazi Germany
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Third Reich- Nazi Germany

Download file to see previous pages... In this way, many scholars have concluded that the regimes of Stalin and Hitler were not themselves totalitarian as much as they were merely representations of what some have termed “organized chaos”. However, such a view, although it has some merit, flies in the very face of prior and existing definitions of the term as well as the key signs that these regimes demonstrated prior to the Second World War. As such, this brief essay will attempt to chronicle some of the ways in which both of these regimes epitomized totalitarianism in every aspect of the word. For purposes of clarity, this essay will utilize one of the prominent Soviet historians Robert Conquest’s definitions of totalitarianism. Conquest says the following, “Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever necessary (Conquest 74). As such, the all encompassing nature of the state and the level to which the state is controlling nearly every aspect of the life of the society is the predominant factor. Naturally, when one considers the level of totalitarianism that existed within both the Soviet and National Socialist systems, it will be necessary to consider the following freedoms: economic, political, social, press, and art. As this analysis will make manifestly clear, both regimes sought outright control of nearly every aspect of these freedoms that have been enumerated upon. With respect to Nazi Germany, upon coming to power, Hitler began to seek immediate consolidation of all power that was within his grasp. The changes were incremental as directorates were set up to oversee the administration of the press, the oversight of opposing political parties, a rigid oversight of the German economy, and even directorates that oversaw the representation of various art, architecture, and music that was to be created during the years that the Third Reich had control over the German population (Stone 50). Each of these apparatus was specifically designed to give the National Socialist party, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, a complete and total control of the ways in which the different functions of government and society would be able to both oversee and direct the state towards ideals that would better serve the purpose of the leadership. In this way, the reader begins to gain a better grasp of how totalitarianism was well rooted within the National Socialist Party long before the outbreak of war in 1939. As a further evidence of this, one need only look at the way that the educational system was fundamentally re-oriented to provide a means of uplifting the state, nationalism, patriotism, sacrifice, and racial pride. Moreover, the prevalence of the Hitler youth as early as 1933 presented a new face to the means by which the state not only wanted to control every aspect of politics, education, the media, property, culture, but also the minds of the youth as a function of reshaping the state into the ideal that the leadership had set before them. Likewise, if one considers the case of the Soviet Union during this same time period, a similar story is told; however, with far bloodier undertones and consequences. Upon the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin assumed leadership of the Soviet Union up until well after the conclusion of WWII. As such, Stalin was perhaps the living embodiment of totalitarianism. To attempt to relate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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