To what extent did the Nazi leadership rely on terror to maintain their authority in Germany 1933 – 1945?
At its core, the Nazi state was indeed a terror state. It is important to remember that Hitler only won so much support through propaganda. There were still those in Germany who were opposed to Hitler’s ideals, or did not conform to his own qualifications. As such, Hitler turned to Heinrich Himmler, the Chief of the German Police and head of the SS.
Already in a position of power, it was Himmler who opened the first concentration camp at Dachau. Maned with SS troops, by the end of the war in 1945, there were fifteen more such camps scattered across German occupied territory. It was to these camps that Hitler had sent a wide variety of people. Be they common criminals, political opponents, Jews or homosexuals, anyone who stood in the way of what Hitler saw would be his perfect Germany, or challenged his view, found themselves arrested and quickly transported to a concentration camp….