To what extent could Nazi Germany be considered a totalitarian state in the Period 1933-45?.
Any consideration of the extent to which Nazi Germany could be considered a totalitarian state in the period 1933-45 involves the application and evaluation of political models or "typologies" to Nazi history. It is important to acknowledge that there are a number of totalitarian models, and that these theoretical descriptions attempt to emphasize certain characteristics and features of the Nazi dictatorship. This analysis will consider two theories of totalitarianism: the six point "syndrome" developed by Friedrich and Brzezinski ; and, Karl D Bracher's notion of totalitarianism as a revolutionary form of authoritarianism. It will be argued that the former typology has conceptual limitations and has been substantially disputed by subsequent historical research. However, Bracher's notion of totalitarianism remains an important contribution to Nazi histiography and is particularly relevant to the radicalization of the Nazi state following 1942. Bracher's approach provides a valuable insight into key aspects of Hitlarian domination - aspects that were clearly totalitarian.
It is appropriate to commence an evaluation on the validity of the totalitarian model a description of Nazi history with a consideration of Freidrich's six-point syndrome. As I. Kershaw states:.
"Every subsequent writer on totalitarianism has had to confront Freidrich's work, and especially his famous six-point syndrome highlighting what he saw as the central characteristics of totalitarian systems." .
The six-point syndrome of inter-related features that describe the essential traits of totalitarian systems are as follows: The first feature is an elaborate ideology, an official doctrine that explains all aspects of life, including the origins and final ends of the human race. Regardless of whether the historian accepts Eberhard Jackel's intentionalist account of Nazism, this writer established beyond doubt that Hitler possessed a "programmatic systematic and inherently coherent" world view or Weltanschauung.