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Strengths and Weaknesses of Adolph Hitler

            Some say Hitler was a lazy and reluctant decision maker. However, others saw Hitler as having complete control over all aspects of Nazi government and did in fact set up a social Darwinist bureaucracy which was driven to implement his world view. Structuralists believe that Hitler was indeed a weak dictator. Structuralist historians suggest that Hitler himself was reluctant to make decisions, often uncertain, and concerned only in maintaining his own prestige and personal authority. Also Hitler's reluctance to intervene came from a sense of his own inadequacy and hesitancy and that he was concerned by the impact unpopular policies would have on groups in German society, particularly the working class. In addition, the lack of strong rule by Hitler contributed to the increasing radicalization of the regime as the conflicting and competing agencies of government sought to interpret and implement the Fuhrer's will. Further, Nazism became a movement that could not tolerate stability, it required, in the words of the historian Klaus Epstein, "the incessant mobilization of the German people against foreign and domestic enemies and an atmosphere of permanent crisis justifying the use of exceptional measures.".
             Historian Edward N. Paterson explores this idea in his 1969 work "The Limits of Hitler's Power," which gives clear evidence of the confusion in the Nazi state and the competition and rivalry among different groups not only in government but also in the army and big businesses. Structuralist historians argue that Hitler's weaknesses and his inability or unwillingness to impose his authority and establish a rigid, well defined system of government made him a weak dictator. Hitler's regime was never the efficient system that developed under Stalin in the Soviet Union, and unlike Stalin, Hitler shared power with conservative groups such as the industrialists and the army. Having won power, the Nazis "had no clear idea of what to do with it, apart from attacking the Jews, the left and other enemies of the state.

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