The Psychology Behind The Nazi Regime
An investigation into the techniques and psychological elements that allowed Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to assume control over Germany in the 1930s.
# 60226 | 4,163 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2003 |
Published on Aug 14, 2005 in History (European - World Wars) , Psychology (Social) , Psychology (Behaviorism) , Holocaust Studies (General)
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This paper discusses the psychological techniques that Hitler and the Nazis used during the 1930s to assume control in Germany and maintain order until their defeat in 1945. The paper breaks down several sociological and psychological concepts such as obedience, conformity, the power of iconic symbols, national pride, and the authority of a centralized ideal over the individual. The paper demonstrates that the Nazis were adept at creating an environment in which the wounded German psyche, crippled from harsh treatment from the Versailles Treaty and foreign oppression, was able to restore its strength under the symbol of the swastika. While many Germans understood that the Nazis were perhaps corrupt and performing cruel actions against their fellow man, particular psychological elements that the Nazis installed upon their rise to power in the 1930s prohibited any individual from opposing their rule. The last part of the paper discusses how many Germans felt that following the Nazis was a way for them to restore the pride they had lost, and Hitler capitalized on this feeling with great effectiveness. There is also a brief description of the tactics that Goebbels used in using his Propaganda Ministry to keep the German masses completely under the heel of Nazi brutality.
From the Paper:"The inclination of human beings within any society to design and accommodate a government that protects their rights as citizens normally is considered top priority for any culture or ethnic group. Throughout history, societies have been influenced by many sociological factors that dictate what system of government they install, or in some cases, governments that are installed for the public by an authoritarian ruler. Nowhere in the annals of human existence can this forced subjugation of the masses be seen more clearly then in Nazi Germany, beginning in 1933 and ending after the Allied victory at Berlin in 1945. This particular case is peculiar however, for not only were the majority of citizens in Germany at the time willing to comply with Hitler's tyrannical government, but many individuals actively participated in the horror that was the Nazi regime. The question behind the German populace's compliance has been explained from the political and economic perspectives countless times, but the most interesting aspect of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich is from a sociological point of view."
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