Nazi Germany: Gleichschaltung, Gestapo, and Schutz-Staffel Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1278 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 14  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Hitlers Germany

Hitler's Germany - the Nazi, the Gleichschaltung,

The Gestapo and the Schutz-Staffel

More than 60 years after the fall of the Third Reich, the world is still terrified by the atrocities that went on in Hitler's Germany. The entire globe has condemned the Nazi regime and their actions. Today, even the most forceful advocates of German social-nationalism are appalled at recollecting that dark period in the country's history. However, back then, most Germans praised the new regime and were proud to be part of it. "In March and April (1933), there were long queues outside Nazi party offices of people applying for membership. By May, a temporary block had to be put on the acceptance of further applications."

What raises curiosity about it is that the same people who were standing in line to become official Nazis are today the most ardent disclaimers of the regime. But what generated this paradox? How could people have willingly taken part in the atrocities of Hitler's regime and even more, how could they have been proud of it? The answer relies in a single word: the Gleichschaltung.

2. The Gleichschaltung philosophy

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Gleichschaltung is a term used to describe the enforcement of political and military forces synchronized towards the integration of the German society, attempted by Hitler's Nazis between the years 1933 and 1939. This integration was meant to eliminate all unique features of the individuals' and transform them into mere tools that aid the ruling powers achieve their goals. The population was subjected to a strict military control which affected all features of their lives: they were robbed of their identity and uniqueness and they were all controlled and directed towards the same direction.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Nazi Germany: Gleichschaltung, Gestapo, & Schutz-Staffel Assignment

Because of its impressive power over the German people, the Gleichschaltung is contemporarily referred to as a coordination effort or as forcible coordination. Under this term, the Gleichschaltung coordinated all Germans to adhere to the Reich's ideology and with the aid of the state police, controlled every single aspect of their lives.

A reduced number of individuals disagreed with the new totalitarianism policies, but their reactions, ideas and even families and themselves, were soon crushed by the Nazis. So why didn't others react? Why didn't the German population put a stop to these drastic measures? And why were there so few who saw what the Gleichschaltung really meant? The answer is the diabolically genial philosophy implemented.

They brilliantly managed to brain wash the German population up to the point where they controlled the population's minds and hearts. They melded at such a level that the individuals could no longer distinguish right from wrong. The German people were in a critical stage, they were so confused and so impotent, that the rulers could manipulate them as they pleased. The success of the Gleichschaltung was based on people's patriotism, free will and their search for a better life than the one they had under Hitler's previous predecessors.

Patriotism

The Germans were an extremely patriotic population and the Nazis exploited people's dedication to their country. They had them believe that the Gleichschaltung was in fact synonym to patriotism and nationalism.

Depressed by the stains left upon Germany by the defeat suffered during the First World War and by the Treaty of Versailles, the population believed the encouragements given by the Nazis in regard to the country's economic recovery. Wanting to believe that the Nazis would regain Germany's international pride and status, the population found it difficult to distinguish true nationalism from the "radical and revolutionary implications of the Nazi racialist ideology."

Free will and a better life

Another reason for the success of the Gleichschaltung was the fact that the people had willingly chosen and supported Hitler ever since he had only been a simple military man. Most people had supported Hitler as they saw him as a promoter… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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