Adolf Hitler, arguably the most hated man in the world actually played a big role in Germany’s development over the past decades. But what made his infamous Nazi Party so successful? The most significant reason behind their success was the way Hitler organized the country using Totalitarianism: a government system used by many countries in the world for stability. Adolf Hitler’s Germany showed an extreme degree of Totalitarianism because it had a unifying ideology, a strong leader with a cult of personality, and used fear, repression, and terror in order to distribute power within the leaders and focus on development over fairness.
To begin with, Hitler’s ideologies allowed the Germans to unite as a country. Between 1921 and 1925, Hitler came to believe that the Germans needed ‘Lebensraum’ (‘living space’) to live. His belief of Germany being able to obtain this space through other countries began to form his take-over of power in Germany. Hitler gave a speech before Germany invaded Poland and started their invasion to his commanders. A writer from Fordham University claimed, that “The speech was received with enthusiasm. Göring (the military leader) jumped on a table, thanked blood-thirstily and made blood-thirsty promises. He danced like a wild man” (Fordham University). Hitler’s ideology of Lebensraum boosted the confidence in Germany’s military power. This allowed the German soldiers and citizens to come together and resulted in Nazi Germany’s territorial expansion which allowed Germany to seize power in Europe during the 1930s. With this in mind, it’s clear that Hitler incorporated his ideology into his military power and citizens to unite Germany. He encouraged the depressed Germans after the loss in World War I to fight for their needs by united the citizens with an ideology and therefore, this is clearly a form of a totalitarian state.
Furthermore, Hitler was viewed as a savior of Germany and had a strong cult of personality. Hitler was viewed by the Nazi propagandists as a soldier who was ready and could be a father of the country, and a messianic leader brought to redeem Germany. A school teacher in Hamburg during the Nazi era said, “How many look up to him [Hitler] with touching faith as their helper, their savior, their deliverer from unbearable distress” (Grimes). Public allegiance towards Hitler was expected by the Germans in somewhat religious forms, such as giving the Nazi salute and greeting others with “Heil Hitler!”. Hitler was idolized by the Nazi propaganda as a leader who brought stability, created jobs, and restored German greatness. Hitler helped up the fallen Germans after World War I and confidence and trust in Hitler united the nation created bonds within the country. Therefore, Germany was able to rise again even after their defeat in World War I. Hitler’s representation within Germany is a clear example of a totalitarian state in having a dynamic leader who symbolizes Germany’s government.
Finally, Hitler’s use of fear, repression, and terror helped the country keep control of its citizens. The SS, or Schutzstaffel was originally Hitler’s bodyguard but it grew into a private army which Hitler used as an execution squad to eliminate opponents. The SS controlled the concentration camps where thousands of ‘inferior people’ such as political opponents and Jews were imprisoned. Germany had about 1200 concentration camps in total during the Nazi era. A former staff member in the Sobibor Death Camp stated that “Sergeant Karl Frenzel, who was a top commander in one of the camps was one of the most brutal members in the camp. His whip was very loose, if he could kill people he did, and if he didn’t like somebody, he shot them” (Gartman). Hitler’s treatment of his enemies provided no room for fairness and he took away the rights of people simply because they were enemies. However, using fear, repression, and terror was a way to control German citizens for Nazis because the citizens were too scared to disobey Hitler’s laws. Consequently, Germany, a country where the government had full control over people’s fates, became a more stable country where everyone had to follow the laws in order to live. This is clearly a representation of a totalitarian state in using fear, repression, and terror to control its citizens and make the country more stable.
Hitler was able to turn Germany into an extremely totalitarian state by having a unifying ideology, a strong leader with a cult of personality, and used fear, repression, and terror to maintain stability and development within the country. Although Hitler’s evil ideas ignored the importance of fairness and resulted in the sacrifice of many Europeans, his use of totalitarianism in Germany resulted in the nation becoming one of the strongest European countries during the 1930s and 40s.