The Nicolai Era

  • V. M. Housden


The democratic period prior to the Machtergreifung was marked by turmoil and a dearth of competent government. Once the Nazis had gained power they had to improve on the republican failure by creating a viable alternative. Clearly in a period of financial crisis the economy and employment would be crucial, but, as should by now be clear, much interest was taken throughout the Reich in the constitution of the new state too. Some advocated a state built on the existing system of government and administration, others less formal approaches. Should the National Socialist Revolution be shaped by the Ministries or the Gauleiterl Germany was a melting pot of possibilities, and in this environment the Reich Ministry of the Interior experienced what Schulz has termed ‘the Nicolai era’.1 From November 1933 until his cataclysmic fall from grace a little over twelve months later, the man who had felt himself superfluous in the Brown House represented the strongest driving force of the Ministry. Now at the forefront of the most controversial areas of planning, he was trying to construct not so much a ‘Hitler’ as a ‘Nicolai State’.


Civil Servant Institutional Context Lander Government Senior Civil Servant Regional Party 
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© V. M. Housden 1992

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  • V. M. Housden

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