Many historians believe that Hitler’s anti-Semitic policy was out of control and much of what occurred was as a result of chaos within the party rather than planned action. It can be argued however that although many of his policies seemed chaotic on the surface, Hitler was always in control who always had the final say on what happened. Krtistallnacht is a prime example of Hitler seeming to have lost control of his policy. On the night of Krisallnacht, the country spiralled out of control with the persecution of the Jews.
It was thought to be the work of the SA, with Himmler claiming to have initiated it. The fact that Hitler also distanced himself from the events suggests that he was not in control of the situation. This however is a bit misleading as at the time Hitler was under pressure from other leading countries to behave and by distancing himself from the events he was merely protecting himself from the wrath of Britain and France. Who knows what control Hitler was exerting over Himmler and the SA to provoke the violence?
This could show control and measure as opposed to the allegations of chaos that is directed at Hitler today. Another instance when Hitler appeared to be out of control of his policy was the boycotting of Jewish businesses across Germany in 1933. The boycott was called off after one day because of its ineffectiveness which at first glance shows weakness and bad decision on behalf of Hitler. The fact, though, that Hitler was able to call off a national boycott shows the power he held and demonstrates the control he was able to exert.
It may have been a bad decision in the first place but it shows a lot of control to be able to rectify the problem, as Hitler did. Some historians believe that Hitler showed great disorganisation when creating the Nuremburg laws, as many were created in a short space of time and were rushed to be put together. An example of this is one law being made on the back of a menu in a restaurant. This is a strong argument against Hitler, but Hitler was clever rather than lazy in the way he went about things.
He intentionally delayed the making of laws until the issue really pressed, thus making it a lot easier for it to be passed and would be more readily accepted. Many of the laws made in Nurenburg set a clear aim for the future- the denial of citizenship, and the general taking away of rights of the Jews. This does not point to Hitler being out of control of his anti-Semitic policy, he had clear aims which he intended to carry out. The laws may have been vague and caused confusion, but this enabled Jewish rights to be stripped away easier as they were open to interpretation.
This was clearly an attempt to speed up the emigration process. The fact that Austria was used as a testing ground for the emigration policy shows control and thought, these do not seem the actions of a man leading his party through chaos. On the surface the persecution of the Jews may have seemed haphazard and improvised, but this was because Hitler had to work within constraints to distance himself from events that were occurring.
Hitler had always been preparing for war but the timing of the war was the key thing, he didn’t want to run the risk of upsetting the other leading countries and starting a war too early when Germany was not ready. This was a very clever strategy and shows much control. This changed by 1938 as Hitler’s domestic and international position were secure and he no longer needed to worry about how things looked from the outside. Mein Kampf gave a great insight of Hitler’s mind and his ambitions and it is clear that from the start that Hitler was set on the emigration and persecution of the Jews.
Many believe that Hitler up made much of what he did, as he went along, but it is hard to argue that Hitler didn’t have a big picture from the beginning of what he wanted to achieve. In Mein Kampf there is much bombardment of hatred towards the Jews and I don’t think it can be argued that he didn’t want the Jews out of the way from early on. Hitler’s subordinates clearly played a huge role in the running of the government and of Hitler’s anti-Semitic policy, some say it was them who made all the decisions and Hitler merely signed on the dotted line.
This however is far from the truth as it was Hitler who played them off against each other to filter the strongest leaders through. Hitler’s ideology was firmly drilled into them and they were selected because Hitler knew they would make competent decisions and this created a very well smooth running machine. Hitler also didn’t always feel compelled to comply with his right hand men, often refuting their ideas as being too extreme and radical.. This is quite a measured response and shows he knew when to stop before things became out of hand and ineffective.
Hitler appeared at first glance to be at the helm of a chaotic government where sub-ordinates made all the decisions and knee jerk reactions were made and improvised. This is only at first glance as much of that supposed chaos was intended as a way of making his policies more effective and easier to pass. Events such as Kristallnacht and the Jewish business boycott appeared to be spontaneous happenings of which Hitler had little control, but the fact that Hitler called off the boycott, and distanced himself from Kristallnacht showed great control and composure.
At times I admit Hitler wasn’t in total control of his policies, but this was due to the clever way in which his government was set up and the faith he had in his subordinates such as Himmler and Goerboels. Hitler had his clear aims from the beginning which he adapted to the situations which he found himself in. Some people misinterpret this as indecision and improvisation but the ability to adapt is one of the factors that make humans so successful. If his policies hadn’t been altered who knows how it would have turned out.