Hitler Cult Analysis

2239 Words 9 Pages
Archie Brown makes the claim that the cult of the leader was of the ‘utmost importance’ in the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Communist Russia during the twentieth century. One cannot deny the increased emphasis on personal leadership as a fundamental characteristic of totalitarian states. This is essentially due to the personality cults of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini that were formed during this era. E.A. Rees maintains that a leader cult is an ‘established system of veneration’ that is established to help promote and integrate a certain political system or ideology, centred around one single leader. From this initial definition, this essay will firstly attempt to establish a coherent understanding of what is …show more content…
It appears that through demonstrating the importance of the Hitler cult, we can conclude that he was in fact both. The primary function of the Hitler cult acted not only as a central prop for popular support but also helped stimulate activity that brought about ‘the aims of the party and the leader’ no matter how inhumane or radical. The secondary function of the cult is to cover up the ‘structural disorder’ that was going on within the Nazi party itself. Hitler had an image to live up to, which according to Kershaw essentially led him to be a weak dictator. He regularly remained absent from key policy decisions and refused to interfere in important yet sensitive areas of policy. His unbureaucratic and aloof style of leadership was essentially there to protect his own image and prestige. The fact Hitler was a weak leader under the surface, but an all-powerful demi god to the people of Germany arguably allowed the Nazi party to function in exactly way Hitler wanted it to. Hitler set the ‘barbaric tone’, his deputies and ministers merely carried out the work. Principally, the importance of the leader cult in the functioning of the Nazi party cannot be down played, since all the terrible events that took place within the Third Reich can essentially be explained directly through the personality, ideology, charisma and will of Adolf …show more content…
The cults that emerged set the regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini apart from any other forms of government that were around in this time. Essentially, none of the regimes would have been able to function fully and develop to the scale they did without a prevalent leader cult. For Mussolini, despite inefficiencies in government, the cult kept his power centralised and secure. For Stalin, without the cult of Lenin and then his own cult, Stalin as a leader would have lacked the legitimacy and security he needed to develop the communist state he desired. And finally, Adolf Hitler is the very embodiment of a leader cult and it can undisputedly be said that without the leader cult, the Nazi regime would not have been the Nazi regime we know and still fear today. Overall, through an examination of the Fascist, Nazi and Soviet Regimes in this essay, one is now able to clearly agree that the leader cult was of the ‘utmost importance’ in the functioning of the totalitarian regimes of twentieth century

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