Journal Article

Charismatic Legitimation and Bureaucratic Rule: The NSDAP in the Third Reich, 1933–1945

Armin Nolzen

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 23, issue 4, pages 494-518
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0266355405gh355oa
Charismatic Legitimation and Bureaucratic Rule: The NSDAP in the Third Reich, 1933–1945

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This article deals with the history of the Nazi Party's office of the Deputy Führer, Rudolf Heß, which after Heß's flight on 10 May 1941 was renamed the Party Chancellery and led by Martin Bormann. It evaluates the structures and functions of this important party office which had the exclusive right to control government legislation. The Deputy Führer's staff was established before 1935/36. It consisted of several offices which influenced nearly all processes of legislation and tried to introduce Nazi ideology into all sectors of German society. This was done by corresponding intensively with ministerial bureaucracy. Although the staff of the Deputy Führer and of the Party Chancellery acted in a very bureaucratic manner, the article argues that Max Weber's concept of ‘bureaucratic rule’ is not appropriate for analysing the radicalization of the Nazi régime throughout the Second World War because this Weberian ideal type tends to neglect social practices. The same is true for Weber's concept of ‘charismatic rule’ which only offers fruitful insights into the social relations between Hitler and his followers.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

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