Structure and Hierarchy
In the Third Reich, the Nazi Party used a process termed Gleichschaltung (co-ordination) to rapidly bring all aspects of life under control of the party, and Hitler ruled Germany autocratically by asserting the Führerprinzip (leader principle), which called for absolute obedience of all subordinates. He viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex. Rank in the party was not determined by elections; positions were filled through appointment by those of higher rank. These principles were used to ultimately absorb all extant political parties into the state, and to set a precedent for the restoration not only of the House of Hohenzollern but also of absolutism respectively.
Top officials report to the Kaiser and followed his policies, but they have considerable autonomy. Officials are expected to "work towards the Kaiser" – to take the initiative in promoting policies and actions in line with the wishes and the goals of the House of Hohenzollern, without the Kaiser having to be involved too much the day-to-day running of the country. However, the Kaiser is expected to make the necessary decisions and delegate power clearly, to avoid any confusion regarding His Majesty's wishes. There is a system of checks and balances to settle opposing factions into niches to avoid them from competing from one another. Overlapping niches do exist when it is needed to create a system where "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing"
The traditional German states exist, ruled over by the monarch of said state as the head of state and the Reich Protector as head of government. However, their realms are ruled over by Gaue, who are all appointed by the central government. In theory, a Gauleiter merely functioned as a representative of the imperial government who served to "advise" the local government. In practice, each Gauleiter had unquestioned authority in his particular area of responsibility. The legal governmental establishment merely existed as a rubber stamp for the Gauleiter. Imperial control over the civil administration became institutionalized, as in many (but not all) cases the Gauleiter also held the supreme civil administrative post in his area. This could be as Reichsstatthalter in the states (Länder) or as Oberpräsident in the Prussian provinces. The Gauleiters of all Reichsgaue and of 11 Gaue in Germany proper also served as Reichsstatthalters. A second German mediatization ensured that Gaue were not split between states.
The highest authority in the land is the Kaiser (emperor), who is also the head of the House of Hohenzollern. In his role as head of state, the Kaiser is also styled the Führer des Großdeutsches Reiches (Supreme Leader of Greater Germany), the Führer der Nation (Supreme Leader of the Nation) and the Führer aller Germanen (Supreme Leader of all Germanics). Succession is normally by agnatic primogeniture, where rank in the line of succession is by age and male descendants are prioritized. The Kaiser is served by the following offices in his role as head of state.
Chancellery of the Führer - Chancellery of the Kaiser in his role as the head of state and chief executive, handling different issues pertaining to matters such as official judgments, clemency petitions and the monarch's personal affairs.
Office of the Imperial Chancellery - Private chancellery of the House of Hohenzollern which takes cares of matters regarding the ruling house.
Office of the Reich Chancellery - Office of the Reich Chancellor (Reichskanzler), the nominal head of government.
Privy Cabinet Council - Cabinet of Germany, which consists of the chancellor, the vice chancellor, and the cabinet ministers.
The Privy Cabinet Council is the current government of Germany. It is headed by the Reich Chancellor, but the ministers are free to meet without either the Kaiser and the chancellor if there is an urgent need, but either the vice chancellor or an official known as the leading minister is present.
In the cabinet, there is a position known as the leading minister. The role of the leading minister is to coordinate the day-to-day activities of the other ministers. Since the role of the vice chancellor is to fufill the duties of the chancellor in the case he is incapacitated, but the vice chancellor does not automatically replace him, the leading minister is also the top minister in the line of succession for the chancellor.
The head of the Chancellery of the Führer is a cabinet level offical known as the party minister. While there are no political parties in Germany, this title reflects the origins of his office.
The Aüswartiges Amt (Foreign Office) is the ministry that deals with the foreign affairs of Germany.
The Reichsministerium des Innerns (Reich Ministry of the Interior) deals with the internal security and governance of Germany.
The Reichskriegsministerium (Reich Ministry of War) controls the armed forces (Wehrmacht) and all matters related to the defense of Germany.
The Reichsführer-SS (Head of the SS) is the head of the Schutzstaffel, an organization that exists only to preserve the power of the government. Of the three historical branches, the only one still under the direct control of the SS is the Allgemeine-SS. The Reichsführer-SS also controls the Reichsicherheithauptamt (RSHA).
The Reichwirtschaftsministerium(Reich Ministry of Economics) deals with economic matters, as well as energy. Agencies with somewhat related concerns such as natural resources, materials research and metereology report to the Reich Ministry of Economics. The Reich Minister of Economics is also appointed the head of the central bank, and controls the Rentenbank ("Mortgage Bank"), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für öffentliche Arbeiten AG ("German Society for Public Works Inc.") and the Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H. ("Metallurgical Research Society LLC").
The Reichsministerium für Staatsicherheit (Reich Ministry for State Security) is a state security service. Together with other domestic intelligence agencies, the Stasi is tasked with spying on the populace.
The Reichsministerium der Justiz (Reich Ministry of Justice) is responsible for the administration of justice. Notably, the Reich Ministry of Justice exercises jurisidiction over the investigative police agency, the patents office and the penal system.
The Reichsministerium der Finanzen (Reich Ministry of Finance) is responsible for the finances of the state.
The Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment) is tasked with shaping public opinion, protecting Germany from enemy propaganda and developing German cultural life. It also controls the offical regulatory bodies for culture, the press and telecommunications.
The Reichsministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (Reich Ministry for Food and Agriculture) is concerned with the food supply, agriculture and consumer protection.
In addition to the cabinet, there are other key officials that report to the central government.
The Reich Commissar for Ideological and Intellectual Education is in charge of enforcing political discipline. This official is in charge of the Reichsüberwachungsamt (Reich Surveillance Office) and discharges his duties through this office.
The Reich Commissar for the Consolidation of German Nationhood is in charge of maintaining the demographics of Germany. This offical has the power to recreate the Lebensborn, to limit the number of births and to make immigration policies.
The Reich Commissar for the Scientific Application of Morality is an official who is tasked with the prevention of "social chaos". His duties include preventing "social-climbing", lowering the time preference of German society and reducing the esteem in which "degenerate" activities are held by he general populace. He discharges his duties through the Reichstugendsamt (Reich Virtue Office).
The Reich Preceptor is the state philosopher and the official lay spiritual advisor of the Kaiser and the imperial family.
The Reich Plenipotientiary for the Four Year Plan is tasked with developing economic "resilience" and "anti-fragility". His office is known as the Office of the Four Year Plan.
The Reich Plenipotentiary for the Total War Effort is supposed to maintain a baseline war capability for Germany in times of peace and to coordinate the civilian effort in times of war.
The German legal system is a civil law mostly based on a comprehensive compendium of statutes, as compared to the common law systems. In criminal and administrative law, Germany uses an inquisitorial system where the judges are actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as compared to an adversarial system where the role of the judge is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecutor or plaintiff and the defendant. There are two civilian court systems in Germany - one for ordinary crimes and another for crimes of a political nature. Notably, the political court system has jurisdiction over military servicemen who have committed offenses of a political nature, who are otherwise tried by the military justice system. Both court systems are nominally independent, and a defendant has the right to representation and fair trial in both systems.
The regular court system hears cases relating to criminal and civil law. The ordinary court system is structured as follows:
The supreme court of Germany is the Reichsgericht (Imperial Court of Justice) is the court of appeal for error of law from trial decisions of the Landgerichte and Oberlandesgerichte. It consists of 5 judges.
The Oberlandesgericht (Higher State Court) is the third-instance court and the court of appeal for error of law from certain decisions of Amtsgerichte. It consists of 5 judges.
The Landgericht (State Court) is the first-instance court for crimes meriting sentences of more than 4 years, life imprisonment or capital punishment, as well as economic crimes. Otherwise it is the second-instance court and the court of appeal for review of facts and law from the Amtsgerichte. This court consists of 3 judges.
The lowest court in the ordinary court system is the Amtsgericht (District Court). This court consist of 1-2 judges and is the first-instance for civil cases where the subject of litigation is worth 5,000 RM or less and criminal cases where a fine or a prison term of no more than four years can be imposed, as well as administration of several public registers such as the companies', the associations', the cooperatives' and the land ownership register.
The political court system has jurisdiction over political crimes. Both civilian and military political criminals are tried by the courts of political jurisdiction. The political court system is as follows.
Cases of high treason (Hochverrat) are heard only by the Vehmegericht (Vehmic Court), which serves as the first and last court for this purpose. It is equal in precedence to the Volksgerichthof and is composed of 5 judges. Trials in this court are held entirely in secret from the public.
The final court of appeal in the political court system is the Volksgerichthof (People's Court). It is equal to precedence to the Reichsgericht and is composed of 5 judges.
If a crime is deemed political in nature, the offender is tried by a Sondergericht (Special Court). The Sondergericht is equivalent to the Oberlandesgericht in terms of precedence and is composed of 3 judges.
There is a special court in Germany known as the Reichshofrat (Reich Council of the Empire) or the Aulic Council. The taks of the Aulic Council are judicial review and resolving disputes of succession. The Aulic Council can review any decrees instituted by Gauleiters, Reichstaathalters and Reich Ministers, as well as any piece of legislation, should the legislature be reopened. If these are found to not be in accordance with previous decrees, in letter or in spirit, the Aulic Council can invalidate these decrees. Furthermore, the Aulic Council can and must review any proposed constitution or basic law if it is in accordance with the existing imperial decrees and the "eternal principles" of Germany, and if such proposals are eventually adopted, the Aulic Council can reject any amendments on the grounds that they contradict the other articles. In addition to these powers the Aulic Council can make rulings regarding disputes of succession with regards to titles of nobility, and its president can select the regent in the case a ruling house is extinct, whether that of a German state or of Germany itself.
While the Kaiser wields absolute power in theory, by necessity, the government has a complex structure which allows it to carry out the will of the Kaiser and the day-to-day administration of Germany. However, while clear delegations of power and delineation of responsibility has reduced infighting and made the German government more efficient, there are cliques that exists within the German government that have become powerful actors in their own right. The primary cliques in Germany are based around a certain power base which can select for membership and/or initation to the conspiracy to some extent. These are not so much anti-government groups as they are interest groups - clique formation is preceded by policy or budget disputes. Some notable cliques include the following.
The Fighter Pilot's Circle is centered around the Luftwaffe inspector of fighters and arose in response to a dispute regarding corruption in the leadership Luftwaffe.
The Circle of Old Ravens was formed by C4ISR, radar, electronic warfare and air defense specialists in alliance with civilian think tanks in response to political maneuvering to have the burden of Luftwaffe budget cuts fall on these services rather than be spread equally.
The Oster Circle based in the Abwehr was formed in response to political fighting regarding pro-monarchist "conservative revolutionaries" and National Socialists among the various intelligence services. This organization is one of the most fanatical supporters of the monarchy.
The Black Orchestra (Schwarze Kapelle) is a group of senior aristocratic officers formed out of the fighting between ideological adherents of the "conservative revolution" and National Socialism to ensure the predominance of the former over the latter.
The Eden Circle was formed in the Nebeltruppen (Chemical Troops, lit. "smoke troops") to push for the development of chemical weapons, a first-use doctrine with regards to chemical weapons and even the weaponization of narcotics, which has attracted accusations of corruption, involvement in organized crime and even "secret quasi-religious doctrines" centered around the use of psychedelics.
The SeSiSo Club is a gentleman's discussion group of "people of all political persuations" to "analyze the political and cultural issues of the day from a neutral standpoint". The SeSiSo Club's political power is furthered by former members and associates and collectively these are known as the SeSiSo Circle or the Politics Research Group. The main accusation against this clique is that its mostly aristocractic membership is attempting to create a de-facto "caste system" in Germany.
The Cell of Order (Ordnungszelle) is centered around the southern Catholic state and Gaue administrations, and the military garrisons located therein. The "Cell of Order" was formed out of the cultural conflict between southern Germany, represented by Bavaria, and northern Germany as represented by Prussia, exacerbated by the inclusion of Austria into the Reich and the resulting "Großdeutsche Lösung".
Main article: Sonderweg
The current official ideology of Germany the Sonderweg (Special Path). The Sonderweg is a broad set of ideologies purporting to keep Germany from losing its "unique character" by being subsumed by post-modernity. The core theme of the Sonderweg is rabid and dogmatic insistence on aristocracy and hierarchy, expressed ultimately in treating anything less than enlightened despotism as an insult to the glory of the Kaiser and the glory of the state.