USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945Main MenuIntroduction: A Mural as WindowOn Diego Rivera's Detroit IndustryThe World Around 1914, Part I: the Journey of Young GandhiThe World Around 1914, Part II: The Era of Nationalism and Imperialism (1848-1914)The First World WarThe Long Russian Revolution (1917 – 1929)The Decline of the West? Europe from 1919 – 1929A New Middle East: The Rise of the Middle East State SystemChina Between Qing Collapse and WWIILatin America Between Boom and Bust (1911-1929)Africa Under Colonial Rule: Politics and Race from 1914‐1939The United States from The First World War to the Great DepressionThe Great DepressionThree Varieties of Radicalism in the 1930s: Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Imperial JapanThree Responses to Modernity: Ho Chi Minh, Ibn Saud, and Getulio VargasThe Second World WarSeth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c
The Führer (Leader) Principle
12017-07-14T23:03:46-07:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c192373plain2017-09-19T07:40:51-07:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929cThe Nazi’s Führer Principle or the cult of Adolf Hitler was its defining feature. Hitler was more than a powerful leader in the Nazi imagination, he was the embodiment of the German people, their desires, aspirations, power, potential. His will was the direct reflection of the collective will of the Volksgemeinschaft, the community of racial Germans. Of course, this collective will had no political power or way of freely expressing itself. Hitler set the course, the state and the people followed as it this course was also their course, Hitler’s choices also their choices. There was no room for opposition to Hitler’s way. Democracy and republicanism, for the Nazis, was defined by its internal struggles, its arguments, its domestic strife—its openness to the individual political opinions of all. Such constant internal strife signified the weakness of the Weimar Republic and ultimately the weakness of democracy as a system. While democracies sought compromise between competing opinions and glorified coalition, the Nazi political structure imagined a society in which all people found political voice through their leader. Individual people existed, of course, but they were first and foremost members of the German race and the German nation. All individual desires and ideas came after the collective ideal. Individuality—expressions of selfhood in either the political or artistic sense—were considered dangerous and were targeted by the massive Nazi apparatus of terror.
12017-09-19T07:36:39-07:00The Lounge at the German Press Club, Berlin, with a Portrait of Hitler on the Wall (1935)1"The press was one of the Nazi regime’s most important propaganda tools. In 1933, Goebbels's propaganda ministry assumed control over the content and style of the entire newspaper industry by holding daily press conferences. What these conferences actually did was allow for pre-censorship. Journalists who failed to bring their reporting into line with official demands were threatened with banishment from the profession and persecution. After the war began, state control over the press increased dramatically. Press reports put a gloss on the realities of war; victories were glorified and defeats were often ignored. At the same time, the German population was supposed to be cut off from all independent sources of information, such as foreign newspapers and radio broadcasts." GHDI http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=2091plain2017-09-19T07:36:40-07:00
12017-09-19T07:39:44-07:00The Führer and Youth (Adolf Hitler with a Little Girl), Postcard (1933)1"Goebbels's most successful propaganda tool was the "Führer cult" that revolved around the person of Adolf Hitler. Articles in magazines and newspapers, books, films, posters, postcards, and paintings presented Hitler as both universal genius and ordinary man of the people. The parallels with Jesus Christ were not coincidental. Apparently, God had predestined Hitler to lead the German people out of its misery; it was a matter of Divine Providence. This propaganda photo shows the new “savior of humanity” with a little girl. Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann." GHDI http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=2087plain2017-09-19T07:39:44-07:00