National Socialist Germany As A Unitary State
By Dr. Wilhelm Frick
Reich Minister of the Interior
Germany has been centuries behind Great Britain and France in achieving her national consolidation; and many struggles, both internal and external, have been required to attain it. At a time when the principles of unification had long established themselves in the governance and administration of other European countries, Germany was still divided into a huge number of secular and ecclesiastical principalities, considerably differing in size, whose rulers were eagerly intent-even at the time when the medieval Empire was at the zenith of its power-upon their own aggrandisement at the expense of the Emperors. It was of great help to them, in that connection, that the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation rested on an elective – as opposed to an hereditary – foundation, which made it all the easier for them to impose their own will upon the wearers of the Imperial crown. The Thirty Years War destroyed even the outward semblance of power wielded by the Emperors. What was left was a “shadow Empire,” an utterly impoverished nation, and an almost innumerable number of rival States which, in time, became mere pawns in the political game of the non-German powers. Large tracts of country inhabited by a purely Germanic population, stretching from the Netherlands to Switzerland, detached themselves from the Empire, some permanently and some temporarily.