Since its establishment by Otto von Bismarck in 1871, Germany has been home to a number of fundamentally disparate governments. In just seventy-four years, the unified German kingdom was reduced to rubble after a series of political failures. While this nation’s history has many high points, the lower moments tend to define Germany throughout the modern era. Without an examination of these moments, however, we are doing a disservice to historical study and analysis, which is why this essay examines the seven-year period between 1933 and 1939. Viewing these formative years through a modern lens tints the period with a darker shade. From our perspective, these were the years that Adolf Hitler, Germany’s Führer, proselytized the nation to accept the commandments of a racist ideology—one that would have various and complicated consequences post-1945. But non-Jewish Germans in the 1930s likely saw the Gleichschaltung (or coordination) of society through rose-colored glasses: it was a restoration of the great nation-state, the transformation of a failed democracy into a National Socialist “utopia.” In an attempt to uncover the foundations for the “acceptance” or “toleration” of racism in this utopic society, I will argue that Hitler’s Gleichschaltung of government, the arts, the media, and private spheres of life exposes the ideological convergence of culture and politics—the intertwinement of the two function as the basis of Hitler’s utopic model.
Lichtenberg, Emma, "Hitler’s “Utopia”: An Analysis of Gleichschaltung in the Third Reich, 1933-1939" (2017). The Expositor: A Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Humanities. 11.
The Expositor: A Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Humanities