Life in Nazi Germany
Propaganda and Censorship
The Terror System Economy Life in Nazi Germany Opposition Church Racial Policy Women Young People
How Did the Nazis Control Germany?
Aims: Examine how the Nazis terror system was used to control Germany. Identify how propaganda was also used to control the German people
The Nazi Terror System Police State
A dictatorship is often known as a police state as the police/armed forces are used to ensure that everyone obeys the dictator. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, although they were the most popular political party only 43.9% of the German people voted for them. They used three main methods to control the population. 1. Terror – those who could not be won over would be frightened into obedience. 2. Censorship – would stop the spread of dangerous ideas. 3. Propaganda – would win people over and stop the spread of dangerous ideas.
How It Controlled the People
Name of Organisation Purpose How It Controlled the People Gestapo Police/Courts SS Concentration Camps
Propaganda Propaganda Something which tries to persuade people
to think or act in a particular way. Dr Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of National Enlightenment and Propaganda. He had played a key role in the Nazi Party’s election campaigns. Nazi propaganda had two key elements – simple messages and appeal to the masses. Nazi propaganda appeared in every area of peoples’ lives.
Propaganda in Nazi Germany
Newspapers Radio Films Propaganda in Nazi Germany Mass rallies Books, theatre and music
Censorship Censorship To ban information or entertainment which a
government thinks is harmful. Media e.g. radio, newspapers were censored and not allowed to print or broadcast unauthorised material. Jazz music was not allowed because it had its origins among the black people of America- an inferior race Films were censored e.g. Tarzan and Jane because Jane was scantily dressed. Students were encouraged to burn books written by Jews and Communists. In 1933 students in Berlin destroyed 20,000 books in a bonfire. Even Anti-Nazi jokes were forbidden and the penalty was death.
Impressions of Adolf Hitler
Aims: Identify how Hitler used people’s fear and prejudices to gain support. Explain why Hitler’s image was important for his popularity.
Hitler the Demagogue Demagogue
A political leader who appeals to the prejudice and passions of huge numbers of people Hitler was able to arouse fanatical support among ordinary Germans – he inspired thousands of loyal supporters. He appealed to their prejudices – their dislike for certain groups of people or situation (Source E). He also appealed to their passions – particularly their desire for Germany to have a strong leader and be a strong nation (Source C).
Hitler’s Image As we have already noted the Nazis were the most popular political party in Germany in the 1930s. Hitler managed to maintain his popularity among the German people for many years because of the image that he created. In an era when most people got their information from the radio, newspapers and cinema, photographs and newsreels were used by the Nazis to project a positive image.
Group Task Aims: You will each be given a photograph or picture of Hitler to study. Look at the image carefully and then write down your answers to the ‘Stop and Think’ questions.
Who Was On Hitler’s Hate List?
Aims: Examine which groups of people were regarded as ‘undesirables’. Identify the main ways that Jews were persecuted in Nazi Germany.
Who Was On Hitler’s Hate List?
Hitler often called the German people the Aryan race and he believed that they were a ‘Master Race’. Hitler believed the German nation had the right to rule and dominate inferior races such as Jews, Gypsies and Blacks. There were many groups who did not fit in with Hitler’s ‘Master Race’ and they were all persecuted (unfairly treated) in various ways.
Who Was On Hitler’s Hate List?
Tramps, beggars, alcoholics were sent to concentration camps and worked to death. Hitler believed they offered nothing to the German nation. Prostitutes, homosexuals and problem families did not fit in with the Nazi ideal of secure and stable families with two parents. Those with strong religious and political beliefs were a threat because Hitler wanted all Germans to be absolutely loyal to their Fuhrer. Physically and mentally disabled men and women were sterilised to stop them passing on their deformities to their children. From 1939 the Nazis began to kill them in specially built ‘nursing homes’.
Anti-Semitism Hitler’s hatred of Jews is also known as Anti-Semitism.
In 1933 there were 500,000 Jews living in Germany. Most were German citizens – 100,000 had fought for their country during the Great War. From the moment the Nazis came to power they began to isolate Jews from German society and prevent them mixing with ‘true Germans’.
Hitler regarded the Jews as an evil force out to take over and destroy the world.
He blamed the Jews for Germany’s problems e.g. defeat in the war, the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. There was a great deal of prejudice towards Jews in Germany and Hitler played on peoples’ fears to win votes. He wanted to eliminate the Jews from German society but when he came to power he had no master plan to achieve this. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the State. Only those of German blood, regardless of religion, may be members of the nation. Thus no Jew may be a member of the nation The Nazi 25 Point Programme 1920 Was there any form of filth and crime….without at least one Jew involved in it? It you cut continuously into such a sore, you find like a maggot in a rotting body, often bedazzled by the sudden light – a Jew ‘Mein Kampf’ (1924)
History File – The Master Race
Describe the ways that the Nazis persecuted the Jews after they came to power in 1933. How did the Nazis turn people against the Jews? Which law was passed in 1935 and what did it prevent? What was ‘Kristallnacht’? What did many Jews do after Kristallnacht? How did the government make it difficult for Jews to leave Germany? What other restrictions were placed on Jews? What was a ghetto? What was the ‘Final Solution’?
The Persecution of the Jews
Copy the wise up words from page 49 and their meanings into your glossary. Using the Factsheet ‘The Persecution of the Jews’ and the list of dates draw a timeline to show some of the key anti-Jewish measures introduced by the Nazis after 1933. Complete questions 2 and 4 from page 49 of your textbook.
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