Young People in Nazi Germany
Education in Nazi Germany
Aims: Identify how and why the Nazis tried to control the education of young people in Germany.
Nazi Policy Hitler wanted to use the education system to turn young people into loyal Nazis. This would ensure that Germany remained under the control of the Nazis in the future. Young people were indoctrinated – they were continually taught Nazi ideas and beliefs at school. ‘The whole purpose of education is to create Nazis’ Bernhard Rust, Nazi Minister of Education
Nazi Education Policy All teachers had to belong to the Nazi Teachers’ League and attend training courses on Nazi ideas. Textbooks were rewritten so that Nazi ideas were taught in subjects likes maths, history, geography. New subjects were introduced such as Eugenics or Race Studies and pupils had extra PE to ensure they were physically fit. Special schools known as Order Castles or Adolf Hitler Schools took the best students. They became future Nazi leaders in the government and SS.
Hitler Youth Aims: Identify the reasons why millions of young Germans joined the Hitler Youth. Examine how some young Germans opposed the Nazis
Hitler Youth The Nazis wanted to control all areas of young peoples’ lives It was vital to win over the young so that they could be indoctrinated to be loyal followers of the Nazis. As well as controlling their education, the Nazis sought to control the leisure time of young people.
Hitler Youth “All German young people….will be educated in the Hitler Youth physically, intellectually and morally in the spirit of National Socialism to serve the nation and the community” There were different branches of the Youth Movement for boys and girls of different ages. Boys The Little Fellows (Pimpfen) The Young Folk (Jungvolk) The Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) Girls The Young Girls (Jungmadel) League of German Maidens (Bund Deutsche Madchen)
Young people would attend the Nazi Youth groups after school, often several times a week. There would also be weekend camps and special summer camps. For children from poor families this was they only holiday that they got For boys there was huge emphasis on physical fitness. They would be taught how to march, fire a gun, play different sports, map-reading skills. They would also receive lectures on Nazi ideas. Girls were also trained to be physically fit so that they could be good wives and mothers for the future. They would be taught how to cook and look after babies.
Tasks: Copy the Wise Up Words from page 59 into your glossary.
Describe the different groups which boys could belong to and the types of activities they would take part in. Describe the different groups which girls could belong to and the types of activities they would take part in. Explain how young people were encouraged to be part of the Nazi spy system. Study Source C. What evidence is there that the Hitler Youth movement was popular? Why should historians be careful when studying these figures? Why do you think the Hitler Youth attracted so many young people? Give examples of groups of young people who did not join the Hitler Youth movement. Why do you think Hitler and the Nazis put so much effort into organising the lives of young people?
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