Totalitarian state is one in which the leader, in
this case Adolf Hitler, has total control of the Government
and the people. In practice the term is often is used
to describe a political situation where a small group
of people, or one organisation, has total authority
over a nation.
Hitler's Germany there were many characteristics of
a Totalitarian state. The Government ran and censored
the media. All forms of communication were liable
to interference from above and could, and were, heavily
censored. This removes freedom of speech, therefore
enabling the government to influence popular opinion
via propaganda and false news messages.
within Nazi Germany was highly effective. The Nazi's
realised the importance of the Radio and newspapers
as a means to communicate with the masses. they were
also highly aware of the force that these media's
had and the level of influence that they had over
the population. carefully planned radio broadcasts,
rallies and films were used to convince the public
that Hitler and the party had the overwhelming support
of the masses. the news was engineered to show successes
brought about by the parties policies and techniques
such as subliminal messaging were used to 'brainwash'
the masses into a state of belief and hysteria. In
effect all news, rumour and opinion within the state
was produced or influenced by the Government, a classic
sign of a totalitarian leader exerting his control.
not everyone is susceptible to propaganda. You cannot
force somebody to listen to the radio, read newspapers
or watch film shows. To combat the potential threat
to the utopia that was created by Hitler by these
people alternative methods of ensuring control were
necessary. The secret police was publicised, it's
role was to find enemies of the state. These people
would quite often be publicly humiliated or even tortured.
Such actions making people think twice before questioning
the state. Likewise the police and Gestapo had the
authority to remove people from their homes and send
them, often without trial, to concentration camps.
Once again this acted as a deterrent but it also ensured
that the more determined opponent of the state was
removed from the public domain.
essence Germany under Hitler was a very good example
of what a totalitarian state is/ was. People did not
question decisions, no matter how absurd they appeared
to be. It was evident that working against the party,
or even being perceived as a potential threat would
lead to prison or worse (the Night of the Long Knives
for example). Through careful coercion, manipulation
and misleading information the authorities could,
and did, do as they pleased as the people either knew
nothing about actions being taken or were too afraid
to speak out about them.