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Published byShane Hubbs Modified over 8 years ago
YOUTH AND EDUCATION BEN LESTER
AIMS A manual for teachers issued in Nazi Germany said “The Chief purpose of the school is to train human beings that the state is more important than the individual, that individuals must be willing to sacrifice themselves for Nation and Fuhrer. Education was the primary means by which the Nazi regime could indoctrinate the nation’s youth. In the Third Reich, all school textbooks had to be vetted for ideological correctness. Youth were very impressionable; the Nazis believed that instilling their ideals and principles on them at this young age would aid them in becoming supporters when they grew up; if they were taught of the Nazi’s “greatness” by their teachers, they would believe it as fact.
MANIPULATION OF EDUCATION The Nazis utilised the education system to influence Germany’s youth: - Math problems were worded to promote Nazi ideologies (e.g. calculating the cost of treating the mentally ill versus building workers’ housing). - Essay writing involved Nazi themes such as “The Reich Labour Service” and “The Jews are our misfortunate”. - Geography developed awareness of the concepts of Lebensraum, and the traditional ideals of ‘blood and soil’; atlases implicitly supported the concept of “one people, one Reich”. - In biology there was a stress on race/heredity, and the superiority of the German race. There was also an emphasis on evolution and the survival of the fittest. - Girls were obliged to study needlework and homecraft to prepare them for their role as mothers and homemakers. - Sex education was banned; the emphasis in moral messages was that individuals had a duty to have as many children as possible.
HITLER YOUTH The Hitler Youth was the sole official youth group in Germany from 1933-1945; members were male, aged 14-18; there was also a separate group (The League of German Girls) for females. Membership in the Hitler youth was not mandatory but many joined by choice; young teens were inspired by impressive Nazi rallies and so wanted to join in the glory. However, after December 1936 membership did become compulsory of Aryans. The members of the Hitler Youth were viewed as future "Aryan supermen“ and were indoctrinated into racism. One aim was to instil the motivation that would enable its members as soldiers, to fight faithfully for the Third Reich. There was more emphasis on physical and military training than on academic study, including activities such as rifle practise.
THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL This was a 1935 propaganda film about the Nuremberg Rally; the rally was made to look grand and impressive in order to show the world the great strength of Nazi Germany. Hitler was portrayed as a grand and powerful figure, and his SS and SA men were displayed moving in perfect coordination under Hitler’s direction. The film was in fact made despite opposition from Gobbles who believed it too blatantly propagandist; however, Hitler himself directly chose to commission the film, and it was a great success, becoming one of the top three most profitable films of the year.
EFFECTIVENESS The National Socialist Teacher’s league was founded in 1927, and was responsible for all political indoctrination of teachers by sending them on political education courses. After January 1933, there was a rapid increase in membership as teachers tried to protect their career prospect, and by 1936, 97% of teachers had joined. Membership of the Hitler Youth exploded after the Nazi’s gained power, with nearly 8 million members by 1938; of course, this was helped by making it compulsory for all Aryans aged 14-18 in 1936. The Triumph of the Will raised over 800,000 reichstag mark within two months of its release, and had been seen by millions of people. Riefenstahl was awarded the German Film Prize for her efforts.
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