Łukasz Kołodziej History HL 28/03/2014
Why do you think Hitler allowed chaos to exist in Nazi government?
It is important to remember that Hitler’s achievement of power was a legal revolution, not a bloodletting. So the existing power structures remained once Hitler became Fuhrer. Given that conservatism was the defining characteristic of the Germany elites at this time, Hitler’s policies, at least initially, had to be cautious and disguised by a legal façade in order to maintain alliances with conservative interests in politics, business and army. However, by the end of 1934, democracy had been destroyed and replaced by a dictatorship with Hitler as supreme leader. Though Nazi Germany was a totalitarian regime, there has been much historical debate about the true nature of government structure.
The reality of Hitler’s governmental structure was chaotic, rather than orderly.
Hitler had not destroyed the existing system of government in 1933/34 but built on top of the old structure.
Interior Minister, Wilhelm Frick, drew up schemes for major administrative reform but Hitler was not interested in developing a new coherent structure.
The result was administrative chaos, as overlapping institutions (at national and local level) duplicated functions, and lack of clear demarcation of responsibility led to conflict. This form of government is known as polycratic.
It has also been described as feudal in that Nazi leaders owed ultimate loyalty to Hitler. Each leader (level) would be competing for Hitler’s attention. In return he allowed them to build up their own power bases, especially key individuals such as Goering, Himmler and Goebbels, in order to reject aspiring characters from himself. Moreover, we can speculate that he wasn’t aware of this chaos in his government, he didn’t care actually and didn’t pay attention for that.
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