John W. London: Longman, In other words, he sought to uncover the deeper forces behind the regime rather than provide a more biographical overview of the key political players. Instead, the study is an examination of how power and authority were structured and exercised in Nazi Germany.
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Broszat saw Nazi Germany as a welter of competing institutions, putting forth the thesis that this internal rivalry, not Adolf Hitler , provided the driving force behind Nazi Germany. In his book Der Staat Hitlers The Hitler State , Broszat argued that Nazi Germany was dominated by a power struggle by various institutions and that these power struggles explained the course that the Third Reich took.
Broszat pointed out that the Nazi State was dualistic; the normal institutions of the German state, theoretically Nazified operating in parallel to institutions of the Nazi Party, a rival power structure.
Broszat was able to prove that beneath the public veneer of Nazi unity, there were endless power struggles between the revolutionary institutions of the Nazi Party and the organs of the traditional German state. Broszat rejected the view that Hitler was following a "divide and rule" strategy as argued by Bracher and instead argued that Hitler was unwilling and unable to provide for orderly government.
Broszat argued that Hitler allowed the Nazi state to become a collection of rival power blocs, which allowed for the release of extremely destructive forces into German society. That the Nazi state was a jumble of competing bureaucracies in perpetual power struggles , has been widely accepted by historians. The second element, that Hitler was a "weak dictator" is less influential on the grounds that although Hitler did not involve himself much in daily administration, this apparent neglect stemmed not from an inability to do so as Broszat suggested but a lack of interest in the quotidian.
Broszat was a Functionalist on the origins of the Holocaust. Broszat argued that the Nazis wanted to have "revolution in society" but because they needed the co-operation of the traditional elites in business, the military and the civil service, they turned their energy and hatred on those groups such as Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally ill that the traditional elites did not care about.
These groups were subjected to increasing persecution in the s, beginning with internment in concentration camps which were not initially death camps and the "euthanasia" program murder of people with learning difficulties, escalating into the genocide of Jews in — Broszat argued that aggression abroad was part of the same process of lashing out against Volksfeinde and Volksfremde caused by the Nazi failure to achieve the sort of comprehensive revolution they sought in German society.
After all, Hitler had frequently spoken of nationalizing not industry as conventional socialists wanted but the people. For Broszat , the idea of Lebensraum was more of a vague utopian "metaphor" which served to provide a vision for the Nazi movement and was not a coherent foreign policy.
With Hans Mommsen , Broszat developed a "structuralist" or "functionalist" interpretation of Nazi Germany, arguing in his book Der Staat Hitlers The Hitler State that the government had consisted of a welter of competing institutions and power struggles, and that this internal rivalry, not Adolf Hitler , had been the driving force behind the regime. The institutional and legal results of the intermittent orders and decrees of the Fuhrer became increasingly unfathomable and clashed with later authorizations granted by him. The second element, that Hitler was a "weak dictator", is less accepted. The argument is that, although Hitler did not involve himself much in daily administration, this stemmed not from an inability to do so as Broszat suggested , but from a lack of interest in the quotidian. Broszat argued that the "No liquidation" comment referred only to that train and was probably related to concerns that American reporters had been asking about the fate of German Jews deported to Eastern Europe. He led the "Bavaria Project" between and , a comprehensive look at Alltagsgeschichte in Bavaria between and The emphasis upon resistance in "everyday life" portrayed Widerstand resistance in shades of grey, noting that people who refused to behave as the Nazi regime wanted in one area often conformed in others.
The Hitler State