Hitler, Adolf

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Did Hitler have complete control of Germany between 1934 and 1945? 

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While Hitler did have a great degree of control over Germany during these years, he did not have complete control.  It is never possible for one person to have complete control over a country.

First, we should note that Hitler certainly did not have complete control right away.  In 1934, his time in power had just begun and he had not yet expanded his power as much as he later would.  For example, the “Night of the Long Knives” did not even happen until June of 1934.  This shows that Hitler still felt he needed to eliminate threats to his power at that time.  This means he did not have complete control.

Second, even later on, Hitler had not eliminated all opposition within the country.  For example, as late as 1941, there were protests against his policy of euthanizing “useless” people.  Cardinal von Galen, Roman Catholic bishop of Munster, was very outspoken in his protests against this policy and his protests helped to end the policy.  This shows that Hitler could not control everyone and everything in the country.

Finally, every leader has to work through subordinates.  It is impossible to control all of the actions of these subordinates.  The leader then has to determine when to spend time and energy trying to control subordinates’ actions.  What this means is that there are times when subordinates can do things the leader does not like and the leader may not be able to do anything about it.

Thus, while Hitler did have a great deal of power, he did not have complete personal control.

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