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Word Count: 3,347
Totalitarianism is characterised by strong central rule that attempts to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion repression and propaganda The state achieves popularity through a strong charismatic leader To establish whether Hitlers state lives up to this term different aspects of individual life political social and economic need to be analysed and in conclusion what extent they live up to being a totalitarian state according to this criteria In addition to this there is the debate on whether Hitler was in fact a weak dictator rather than a strong one If this is the case the term totalitarian is not accurate In order for it to be so Hitler and his state must be seen to be living up to the characteristics and definition of the term The state achieves popularity through a strong charismatic leader By analysing social aspects of Hitlers Germany it can be established whether the term totalitarian is accurate In terms of social life under the Nazis It was a movement and an ideology that aimed to exercise power so as to transform German society1 This argument is expressed by Layton whose book is used as an A-level resource Therefore we can rely on it as being a synthesis of the most up to date research Nevertheless there are similar leading Historians such as Traynor who lives up to the views of a structuralist who put forward the argument that Hitler and the Nazis did very little to promote genuine social change2 Recent historians such as Traynor and Layton tend to be structuralists as opposed to intentionalists who believed Hitler was master as well as viewing him as central to foreign and race policies Gradually historical research revealed characteristics of Hitler which painted him as a weaker character Overall the argument through time has developed from intentionalists to structuralists which is why modern historians tend to take this view What is evident is that the
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