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What was Hitler's opinion of Republicanism?

  1. Aug 17, 2009 #1
    What was Hitler's opinion of Republicanism?

    I was surprised to read in Hitler's table talk that he criticized Napoleon for making himself emperor, and believed aristocratic republic were the best government? Was the Third Reich considered a republic? Did Hitler see the Reich as a third way between republics and monarchies? I was so surprised by Hitler's table talk, where he claimed he supported an aristocratic republic like Venice, with a weak people's assembly, and an appointed senate that elected the Fuhrer. He also claimed to support a strict separation between executive and legislative branches, and military role in politics. While nearly all regimes call themselves republic, I would not have thought hitler would have valued republicanism even as a theory to aspire to. Does anyone have more details on this? I have not read Hitler saying anything similar in any other work. Is it possibly a forgery? This is the passage from Hitler's Table Talk I'm referring to:

    "As regards the government of Germany, I've come to the following conclusions:

    1. The Reich must be a republic, having at its head an elected chief who shall be endowed with an absolute authority.

    2. An agency representing the people must, nevertheless, exist by way of corrective. Its role is to support the Chief of State, but it must be able to intervene in case of need.

    3. The task of choosing the Chief shall be entrusted, not to the people's assembly, but to a Senate. It is, however, important that the powers of the Senate shall be limited. Its composition must not be permanent. Moreover, its members shall be appointed with reference to their occupation and not individuals. These Senators must, by their training, be steeped in the idea that power may in no case be delegated to a weakling, and that the elected Fuehrer must always be the best man.

    4. The election of the Chief must not take place in public, but in camera.<snip>
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Since the authenticity of the information in the book is in question, it's not viewed as a reliable source. Also, I edited your post to remain within "fair use" law.
  4. Sep 3, 2009 #3
    What exactly is a republic and what is "republicanism"? The word comes from the Latin res publica and means 'public thing'. There are several definitions:


    The most general of these definitions is a state where the office of head of state is not based on a hereditary claim. It doesn't necessarily mean democracy. In fact, a number of modern states with effective democratic constitutions are monarchies, not republics (UK, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, NZ and (barely) Australia.) while a number of modern republics are autocratic. The monarchy is not particularly popular in Australia and there has been at least one attempt to institute a republic, but there was a lack of agreement about how the head of state was to be chosen or what the precise powers of the office should be. This has virtually nothing to do with the continuity of democratic government in Australia. In all the other monarchies listed, the public seems generally satisfied with the arrangement (ministerial government with elected legislatures.)

    Hitler achieved power legally under a republican constitution. He was given the power to rule by decree by the Nazi controlled legislature under an emergency provision in the Weimar constitution.The constitution was never formally abrogated, but was effectively gutted under the one party state. Unlike Napoleon, Hitler never sought a crown. The German word Reich doesn't necessarily imply a monarchy. The term was used to describe the republican federal government during the Weimar period (1919-1933), but was dropped permanently after WWII.


    EDIT: The term "republic" is a formal designation that states adopt. It doesn't necessarily reflect how a state is really governed.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
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