The Nazi Regime Depended More on Broad Popularity Than on Terror in the Years 1933

In: Historical Events

Submitted By eclipse2089
Words 1604
Pages 7
It could be argued that from the very beginning, the Nazi regime utilised terror in order to keep control and order within Germany. However, it is equally arguable that the Nazi party only gained control in 1933, because they were the most popular party within the Reichstag with 43.9% of the votes, and so depended upon maintaining this popularity throughout their regime. Source 4, from Robert Gellately argues that the vast majority of ordinary German citizens had ‘no direct confrontation’ with agents of the terror, such as the Gestapo, and rumours of the terror were merely gossip spread by word of mouth and therefore this contributed to the Nazi regime maintaining a high level of popularity on which it could depend. On the other hand, source 5 by Richard Evans, completely contradicts this claim, and argues that the terror was experienced by everyone and was the means on which the Nazis depended to retain absolute control. To Evans, the Nazi regime was a ‘pervasive atmosphere of fear and terror’ by which control was maintained over the German population. However, due to the terrifying extent of cooperation with agents of the terror- post office workers, social services and even doctors and nurses all informed on those who did not fit in- it is arguable that perhaps there was a large amount of popularity for the regime as ordinary German citizens wanted to contribute. It is possible that the people were informing on each other for self-preservation from the terror, but it is equally possible that they took part, simply because they wanted to and supported the Nazi ideology in the removal of asocials from public life. Source 6-from historian Johnson- on the other hand, argues that the terror was selectively enforced, and only targeted select groups, in order to keep their popularity high. Although it is true that the terror only publicly terrorised select groups, for…...

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