Essay: Ensured the Success

Pages: 3 (1346 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] As in the Soviet Union, thousands of books, plays, and films were banned, but an entire body of pro-Nazi culture was created to take their place. (Shirer, 241-243) The active promotion of this culture, which glorified Germany and the Aryan worker, served as both entertainment for the masses and propaganda for the state.

Of course, all these social programs cost money. Rearmament required all spare state funds, so the government established programs of "voluntary" donation and wage deduction, through which the people could fund their own enlightenment.

With the Gestapo handy to encourage reluctant donors, participation in these programs was nearly universal. (Frei, 83)

Hitler's government had achieved nothing short of a public relations miracle. Not only had the Third Reich implemented an ambitious array of morale-boosting social programs, the citizenry had happily footed the bill. With such a strong social fabric in place, the Third Reich looked as if it could achieve anything.

III. The foundations of a strong society in place, the leaders of the Third Reich set about preparing the next generation of Nazis. In order to keep alive the fervor and devotion that had been so essential to the initial success of Hitler's regime, it would be necessary to indoctrinate the nation's youth with the core values of Nazism. Ideally, education would begin at a very young age.

Germany was already known for its intellectual tradition. Most of Europe began introducing mandatory schooling for children in the 1870s, but in parts of Germany, the same laws had been in place since the sixteenth century. (Eksteins, 71) During the nineteenth century, German scholarly works reached such renown that proficiency in the language was considered essential among Western academics. (Eksteins, 71) Thus, when Hitler came to power in 1933, Germany's educational framework was outstanding at all levels.

The Nazis bent this venerable system to their needs, while leaving most of the infrastructure intact. Character was of utmost importance in the Nazi education, as the sacrifices required of German men and women would not come easily to the undisciplined or morally soft. Hygiene and physical fitness were also areas of emphasis, as were studies of race and Aryan culture. (Frei, 87-88) In order to curtail the intelligentsia, by nature a skeptical group, and strengthen the party's power base in the working class, access to higher education was limited after 1933. (Childs, 65) From the lowest levels to the highest, the Nazi educational system was designed to produce capable, dedicated soldiers, workers, and civil servants.

Perhaps even more important than the schools in the creation of young Nazis was the Hitler Youth. Germany's Youth Movement had taken root at the turn of the century. The Nazis recognized its potential for indoctrination, and molded the institution to conform to the ideology of the state. At first, the Hitler Youth was attractive to young people as an outlet for their energies and a chance for group identity. The group's numbers swelled until, in 1939, membership was made mandatory. (Frei, 85) As war grew imminent, the Hitler Youth were deployed to assist in the mobilization effort. Their training consisted of martial arts and ideology, and they provided free labor for such necessary tasks as the harvest, and scrap material collection. (Frei, 86)

While the next generation of Nazi youth never came to fruition, Hitler's regime had in place two strong institutions to ensure their competence and devotion. The German educational system and the Hitler Youth combined to mold generations of future Nazis with clear ideology and strong character.

Bibliography

Brady, Robert A. The Spirit and Structure of German Fascism. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937.

Childs, David. Germany Since 1918. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980.

Eksteins, Modris. Rites of Spring, The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989.

Frei, Norbert. National Socialist Rule in Germany. Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1993.

Mosse, George. The Crisis of German Ideology. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1964.

Nolte, Ernest. Three Faces of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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