What is the meaning of the state to Hitler?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a difficult question, because to Hitler, like totalitarian dictators throughout history, the state was really little more than a vehicle for their own ambitions and their will to power. As a result, we have to take much of Nazi ideology with a very large grain of salt. That said, it is also true Hitler and his followers articulated a vision for what the state should look like, and this answer will address a few of these elements. 

First, the state was a means of establishing racial "purity" within the nation. By establishing laws like the Nuremberg Acts of 1935 that legally discriminated against people of Jewish ancestry, the state promoted a vision of Germany that excluded all people they deemed racially unfit. This policy reached its horrible conclusion with the Holocaust. Second, the state was geared around war. Nazism was an unapologetically warlike ideology, and part of its success in the 1930s revolved around the restoration of German pride, which had long been identified with military power. Finally, the state was to serve as the center of every aspect of German life. From education to family life, the Nazi Party sought to influence people at the most fundamental level. It sought, in short, to be the only source of truth and reality. This concept, known as Gleichschaltung to Nazi leaders, emphasized absolute uniformity and conformity to the ideals promoted by the state.

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