Holocaust Essay

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Assess the view that the most important element in maintaining Hitler's regime in power between 1933 and 1945 was the consent of the German people.

During 1933 and 1945 the Nazi party gained the respect and trust of a number of German people through methods of manipulation and propaganda towards unfavoured races. Some would say that Hitler’s regime was maintained by the faith of German civilians in the Nazi ideology as they voted for them in the hope of a better country. Bergahn mentions that numerous civilians were socially conditioned into believing Aryans were the superior race and consequently desensitised to the segregation Jews faced. This mindset formed a window of opportunity for Hitler to openly express his dislike for Jews, gays and gypsies. The Nazis were prepared to deal with Jews by making them feel so unappreciated in society that they migrated from Germany. However, Goldhagen argues it was Hitler’s idea all along to wipe out Jews and the outbreak of war in 1941 made a perfect excuse for him to send them away. Despite his strong hatred for Jews there is a theory by Kershaw that suggests his role in the Holocaust was minimal as the party already knew how he wanted the situation to be handled.

In interpretation A, it is argued that the Nazis were hesitant to completely annihilate the Jews at first due to pressure from German civilians who still thought of it as immoral to kill off innocent human beings. Also, aside from the general anti-Semitism they had little justification to back up why they would wipe them all out. As the Nazis were aware of how careful they had to be when it came to handling the Jews they kept their methods a little more humane so they wouldn’t suspect anything. For example, in the 1936 Olympics Anti-Jewish signs were taken down as the NDSAP could have faced criticism on a global scale for their discrimination and blatant lack of respect. As their goal was to win over citizens into agreeing with the concept, it was vital that

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