Was Hitler consistent in his ideas? Ines, Jasmine, Crosby Background Information • “Evil” man • Nationalist • “Very disorganized structure of demand” – Ian Kershaw • Mein Kampf • Policies were “cheap promises” • Intense historical debate Volksgemeinschaft Based on Hitler’s idea of a strong sense of community and nationalism, his support of the peasantry and attempted consolidation of “pure” elements within the community were consistent with his ideas. Traditionalist theory • Supported by Peter Fritzsche • Peasants were purest elements of völk • Preserved traditional values • “One of the few consistent principles of Nazi life” • Mobilized volunteers to assist the “racially worthy” • Successfully enfranchised middle-class women • May Day: workers are patriots, oppressed under economic liberalism Counter Claim Although Hitler’s actions to acquire a “pure race” were consistent with his aims, his other ideas of rearmament conflicted with, and eventually trumped, the preservation of a preindustrial peasant class. Revisionist Theory • Nazi thinking: Germany’s past, nationalism, tradition • Some historians see FP as continuity of predecessors like Bismarck (“blood and iron”) • Hitler believed that this expansionism could not be realized in the scope of Imperial Germany • Though he went against the ToV, he looked east instead of west • Prioritized rearmament, says George Kennan Conclusion • Revisionist Theory Though early attempts to realize Hitler’s support of the “purest class”, the peasantry, showed consistent policymaking, the idea of preserving a pre-industrial class was forgotten in the name of rearmament. Therefore, with regards to Volksgemeinschaft, Hitler was inconsistent in his ideas and policies. INCONSISTENT!!!! Racial Superiority of the Aryans The vague descriptions of the Aryan race, ultimately mythical, lead the vast majority of historians to believe that this area of Nazi ideology was “confused and contradictory”. Traditional Theory • 1936: “Let him be physically as blond and mentally as unemotional as Hitler, physically as long-headed and mentally as direct as Rosenberg, as tall and truthful as Goebbels, as slender and gentle as Goering, and as manly and straightforward as Streicher.” – Biologists • Attempt at mass sterilisation and euthanasia was abandoned due to public hostility • Propaganda began to influence peoples’ racial opinions Conclusion As the Nazi plight for a “racial revolution” lay at the centre of their ideology, the idea of Aryan superiority was strong. It proved to be unfeasible because of the vagueness of the Aryan race, thus an inconsistent policy. It can be argued, however, that it was consistent when the same methods of eradication were transferred to concentration camps in an attempt to rid the world of Jews. INCONSISTENT!! Anti-Semitism • What is it? • What was Hitler’s view on antiSemitism and possible reasons? Common beliefs why hitler hated jewish people • Lost WW1 • Jews controlled the economy, politics, and culture of Germany • Jews were a large population in Germany Traditionalist Theory • Ralf-George Reuth • “With World War One lost and Germany in financial ruin, with revolution threatening, he came to see the Jews as solely responsible for stockexchange capitalism, which caused acute poverty and suffering when it faltered, and Bolshevism These two events were pivotal in shaping his views of Jews and his subsequent plan to murder them all.” EVIDENCE Statistics • Total of 4 to 4.5 million Jewish people were sent to concentration camps • But this number varies since some were killed or died before arrival at the camp • Total of 6 million Jews died by the end of the Holocaust • 1919 Genocide letter publicized • "The final goal must be the removal of the Jews. To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness.” Revisionist Theory • David Irving • Holocaust did not happen He states “I do not think there were any gas chambers or any master plan. It's just a myth and at last the myth is being eroded....eyewitness evidence is a problem for psychiatrists.” “The holocaust of the Germans of Dresden was real. The holocaust of the Jews in the Auschwitz gas chambers is a fabrication.” "The Jews are very foolish not to abandon the gas chamber theory while they still have time.” Conclusion Hitler hated Jewish people, and is proven through traditionalist theory such as from Ralf-George. Hitler’s idea was consistent on killing the Jewish people was SUCCESSFUL, because Hitler killed 6 million people. The revisionist theory is just false INFORMATION, there is proof of gas chambers and deaths of many Jewish people shown in museums and photographs worldwide. Hitler did kill a significant amount of Jewish people!!!!! Lebensraum “Habitat or living space” reasons WHY HITLER WANTED TO EXPAND Germany • Concerned that Germany was small in size compared to other European countries • Threat towards Germany was from the East, and because of the East had unlimited power they can overpower Germany • Food supply would increase • Security could only be met for Germany if more LAND was given Traditionalist Theory H.R. Trevor-Roper • 1923 • “with absolute clarity and logic.” • “Focuses on Hitler’s insistence that Germany could secure its future by economic development and by overseas colonization in Eastern Europe.” Revisionist theory • Alan John Percivale Taylor • “Hitler did not make plans—for world conquest or for anything else. He assumed that others would provide opportunities and he would seize them.” Conclusion Hitler was inconsistent with his idea of expanding Germany in the East. Hitler, although planned his idea and publicly spoke about it, he soon realized that if expansion continued it would mean war with Russia, who Germany was in alliance with.