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Did Hitler succeed in winning the hearts and minds of Youths

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Introduction

Did Hitler succeed in winning the hearts and minds of Youths? During Hitler's rule, he attempted to gain as much support as possible and impose Nazi values into everyday life. Hitler aimed a large amount of propaganda at women but he also targeted at the youth generation. Similarly to women, it's very difficult to determine their true feelings or if the evidence obtained is genuine. It is also debated whether or not Hitler actually won over the hearts and minds of the youth or if he only controlled them. This essay will consider whether Hitler 'won' the hearts and minds of German youths, or if he just controlled them. Another interpretation could be that he did not win over the hearts and minds of the youth at all. In order to begin to win over the 'hearts and minds' of German youths, Hitler introduced Youth Groups which attracted children with adventurous activities. Initially, groups such as Hitler Youth and League of German Girls proved to be a success with large numbers joining. However, this gradually declined which meant pressure to join increased until membership became compulsory by 1936. Showing that the numbers of hearts and minds Hitler had 'won' did not satisfy as he felt the need to take away the choice to join the groups. By taking away the liberty to make their decisions, Hitler showed that he wasn't succeeding in his Youth campaign. ...read more.

Middle

In areas such as employment Hitler intended for females to stay at home and the males to provide for their families or to join the army. Several bans were put on women in work, for example in 1933 women in top civil service jobs were dismissed and in 1936 banned from being judges or lawyers. Here Hitler did not win over the hearts of the Youths who had had goals in life because they were being turned down before they had a chance to try. A young girl who wanted to become a judge would appear to be happy as a housewife but her heart would not be with her duties. It could be interpreted that Hitler did not win over the hearts and minds of German youths, but a better description could be that he controlled them instead. With a series of indoctrination, reforms to the education system and propaganda Hitler was able to control their minds. As Hitler managed to control some of their minds, this led to the control of some of the hearts because they were vulnerable to Hitler's persuasive powers. Despite evidence, demonstrating how Hitler did not win over the heart or minds of German Youths, there are some sources, which display a contrast. Hitler had to target the minds of youth before he could successfully accomplish their hearts, which is why intellectual learning was scorned. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is important to understand that not all youths thought and believed in the same things and are each individual. Therefore in some respects Hitler succeeded in winning the heart or the mind of youths or both, and with other youths he did not. He mostly won over the heart or the mind for a short period, until youths felt suffocated by his rule and created their own groups that promoted anti- Nazi beliefs, despite the high risk of getting caught. As in other aspects of the Third Reich, it is difficult to assess to feelings of the youth as many children were scared to speak up or were silenced by their parents. However, it appears that at the beginning of Hitler's rule he was successful in winning over the minds from children of the age of four. Although as they grew up they began to rebel with Swing Groups that resisted Hitler's rule. In schools it can be said that Hitler won over minds by manipulating school subjects to comply with his ideology, but the hearts were not won because as they grew, youths did not all want to become housewives or military men. Hitler had not successfully installed in them his own beliefs. In some cases Hitler only controlled the heart and minds of the youths, this was done through indoctrinating what pupils were taught into Nazi ideology. The establishment of the rebellious youth organisations such as the Edelweiss Pirates and the White Rose provides evidence that Hitler did not control he hearts or minds of all German youths. Jess Weeden ...read more.

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