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Lecture 6

Nazi Lecture 6.docx

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Western University
History 2147A/B
Julia Berest

13 Feb 2013 1 6: Constructing “National Community” in Germany Methods of Political Control  1933- Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda  “Reeducating” Germans. Nazism as a revolutionary movement.  “National Socialism is not only a political doctrine, it is a total and all-encompassing general perspective on all public matters. So our entire life has to be based on it as a matter of natural assumption… People must get used inwardly to this way of behaving, they must make it into their own set of attitudes”.  Nazi social engendering: devotion to German nation and the Fuhrer.  Eradicating ‘bourgeois’ individualism  The individual will be replaced by the community of the people.  “superior” nation: honor and responsibility  A person only acquires worth if they contribute meaningfully to the nation  Nazis tried to combine collectivism and capitalism (didn’t see the contradiction between the two)  Propaganda was continuous and all pervasive – penetrated into people’s homes and all facets of life o Controlled all aspects of public life (radio, tv, posters, film, theatre, music, literature) o Swastika and Hitler’s picture- in all public places.  Radio allowed the Nazi’s to penetrate into people’s homes- “the sharpest of propaganda weapons” o Strategy was always good news o “Propaganda does not have anything to do with truth! We serve truth by serving a German victory”.  With radio propaganda could be overdone – had to mix entertainment with propaganda to stop people from turning off their radio  Promoted communal listening to the radio (loud speakers in public places)  10 May 1933- the burning of books across Germany o Books became sensitive to censorship Indoctrinating German Youth  Important use of propaganda was to indoctrinate the youth – they were his future  The carriers of the “New Racial Order” o Easiest social group to penetrate (under educated and did not think critically) o Children were tabula rasa – impressionable and the Nazi’s could write their ideas on the minds of the children o “I am beginning with the young. We older ones are used up… We have no unrestrained instincts left. We are cowardly and sentimental. We are beaing the burden of humiliating past… But my magnificent youngsters!... Look at these young men and boys! What material! With them I can make a new world.”  Textbooks were rewritten to keep in line with Nazism.  New curriculum- emphasis on history, biology, geography & German.  Racial science – learned how to distinguish between Jews and Aryans o Child jews in the classroom were used as living examples  Children had to be physically strong because racial superiority was shown in physical strength over intellectual strength 13 Feb 2013 2 6: Constructing “National Community” in Germany o Boxing encouraged in many schools  development of healthy bodies  Goebbels paradox – physically weak and short but was very intelligent but he propagated ideas of being healthy and strong Political Lessons in schools  Political films & lectures: self-sacrifice, colonial expansion & racial superiority of Germans.  Once a month children had to watch political themed movies or documentaries – only in public schools  1938- private and denominational schools transformed into state schools.  Private schools and catholic schools had their own curriculum until 1938 o After 1938 all schools were turned into state schools (could still teach religion but had to be more in line with Nazi ideas)  Decline in the quality of education – emphasis away from science and towards the humanities  students were not as well prepared for university as they had been before Schools for the new elite  Some schools functioned as boarding schools; be ready to die and kill for the Fuhrer. o Separate the children from the parents and treated as little soldiers o Supposed to undergo training and learn the idea of self sacrifice o Most children went right from this school to the SS (most gruesome tasks in the name of the regime)  Napola schools – were supervised by Himmler (direct pass to SS membership and military elite)  Adolf Hitler schools – student learned many languages and military subjects (direct pass to political elite) Hitler Youth  Founded in 1926. Boys aged 10-14; 14-18  1933- 50,000, 1934- 3 million  Hitler Youth resembled boy scouts  Survival skills, military drill, political education, no class distinction, comradeship, sense of self-importance, opportunity to travel, camp life, career advancement. o Unlike boy scouts Hilter put more emphasis on political education and military training o Everyone was treated equally, there were no class distinctions between the boys o Could develop camaraderie o Each boy was made to feel important – Hitler told them they were the future of Germany o Poor boys were given the opportunity to travel if they were selected to attend rallies around Germany  1936- all competing organizations disbanded  Hitler youth was mandatory by 1939 for all boys o Parents could be fined or investigated by the Gestapo if they didn’t 13 Feb 2013 3 6: Constructing “National Community” in Germany  Until it was mandatory it only included boys who were enthusiastic o After it was made mandatory not everyone who took part were crazy about being in the organization o Intellectual youth – thought it was a total waste of time for them. They saw the older Hitler Youth functionary as the drill sergeant type: barking orders, scouting exercises, general slogging… o Religious youth – hard for them to value physical attributes instead of humanity… Humanitarian values were drummed out of them. o Many boys had to fake enthusiasm o Self defeating – lead to the destruction of the Youth because most of the children didn’t want to be there o Hitler Youth- eroded from within  Social consequences:  Parents began to resent the organization because the children were totally alienated from their parents. Parents felt like their son was a spy in the family. o Defied their parents o Disruption of classes.  Activities of the Youth took the boys out of classes up to twice a week so the academic performance suffered greatly Nazism & Women  Racial community – women were encouraged to have as many children as possible in order to propagate the Aryan race o “Cult of Motherhood” o Make women feel important o Held responsible for bringing their children up with the ideals of Nazism o Responsible
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