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Alternative title:

A critique of democracy in Adolph Hitler’s ideology

Subject and Keywords:

Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945)   democracy   referendum


Kontynuacją tytułu są: Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis. Studia nad Autorytaryzmem i Totalitaryzmem ; t. 34- ; ISSN 2300-7249


Hitler did not hide the fact that he was a firm opponent of democracy. The analysis of his many statements indicates that he substantiated his anti-democratic argumentation with various contentions. He primarily accentuated crucial role played in national life by great individuals. He constantly repeated that great inventions are a result of great personalities’ efforts and not a consequence of majority’s endeavor. Democracy is nothing but a rule of the mediocre and the average; it destroys personality. He also claimed that parliamentarian democracy is closely linked with Jewry. The analysis of this fragment of Hitler’s rhetoric shows that he employed arguments which had been well-known for a long time for example Plato’s statement that it is difficult to choose boat’s helmsman by vote. The prevalent majority of these arguments can be found on the pages of textbooks on history of political philosophy. Hitler only put them forward in much more primitive, or even brutal, form. Against the background of the above-mentioned arguments, Hitler’s attitude towards the institution of referendum during the Weimar period is provided. Hitler and NSDAP were involved with the referendum initiative concerning the rejection of the Young’s Plan but refused to participate in the referendum initiative which was supposed to lead to the strengthening of presidential powers. According to Hitler, referendums should only be employed to gain approval for already committed deeds. That was a meaning of referendums organized in 1933, 1934, 1936 and 1938 which Hitler linked with popular elections. They only provided elements of democratic decorum but they were of no account as far as Hitler’s activities were concerned. They were nothing more than a useful propaganda tool. By invoking referendums, Hitler attempted to secure for himself – mostly in the eyes of foreign countries – recognition as a national leader who enjoys his people’s support.

Place of publishing:



Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Date issued:


Date copyrighted:



ISSN 0239-6661   ISSN 0137-1126


PAd P 101182 II


ger   eng   pol


Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis, ISSN 0239-6661, No 3240. Studia nad Faszyzmem i Zbrodniami Hitlerowskimi, ISSN 0137-1126. 2010, 32, s. 75-92

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Czasopisma Naukowe w Sieci (CNS)

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