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Did the Nazi's succeed in controlling The hearts and minds of German youths?

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Introduction

James Fletcher Did the Nazi's succeed in controlling The hearts and minds of German youths? After Hitler had won the election in 1933 his main aims consisted of making a racial Germany, a strong Germany and a Volksgemeinschaft (peoples community). To do this he had to win over the hearts and minds of many German youths, to ensure that his dream of making a 1000-year Reich was fore filled. The 'hearts and minds' of people just meant that Hitler wanted all youths to think the way the nazis did and feel the way the nazis did and have the same thoughts that the nazis did. Hitler wanted to make youths feel as if the Nazis were a close, trusting, sharing community. Hitler wanted to create a volksgemeinschaft, where everyone worked together for the good of the country, and where everyone was the same race with the same thoughts and feelings. He wanted the members of the volksgemeinschaft to be healthy, fit, loyal to him and to be Aryan. The volksgemeinschaft was so important to Hitler because it united all people in the country, ready for the nazi plans for war. Hitler also wanted to create a 1000-year Reich. This is why he saw children as the most crucial element for nazi success. They would be the citizens that would be carrying on the German race, not the adults. In 1939 Hitler said in a speech, "We older ones are used up...We are rotten to the marrow" This shows that Hitler felt that he didn't need the older generations because the could not provide him with the things that he needed, they were useless to him in the respect that he wanted to create a 1000-year Reich. ...read more.

Middle

In school the Nazis could not really have pupils taking part in fire jumping. By 1933 all youth groups had been taken over by the Hitler youth, and it was compulsory to join by 1936, which made it seem like a chore and therefore made it a little less successful. The Hitler youth was split into the ' Hitler youth boys' and the 'league of German maidens girls'. At the age of 13 the youth became eligible for the Hitler youth, from which he was graduated at the age of 18. At the age of 18 he became a member of the Nazis and served in state labour services and armed forces until he was 21. German girls were trained for comradeship, domestic duties and also motherhood. The Hitler youth boy's activities were fitted directly to the nazi aims. The activities involved sport, Military activities, hiking, camping, fire jumping, and even practising funerals. This was to prepare them for Hitler's war plans. The league of German maidens took part in activities that would make them a good mother such as bed making, and also were made to do exercise so that they would produce perfect Aryan offspring. To begin with, the Hitler youth was a roaring success. Many youths joined because they were, "Fired by high ideals such as comradeship, loyalty, honour..." As Anton Klonne, a former Hitler youth remembers. Youths were actually joining for the reasons that Hitler wanted them to join for - they wanted to be part of a Volksgemeinschaft. Some youths however joined because they wanted to do the activities that were on offer, not because they were interested in the Nazis and Hitler. ...read more.

Conclusion

All there needed to be was one small group to stand up, or express their feelings towards the Nazis. I believe that the turning point and the very start of the Nazis downfall was when various groups such as the Edelweiss pirates, the swing movement, and White Rose began to become noticed. If one person speaks out and many other people have the same views this has a snowball effect, and more people become confident to express their feelings. When the Nazis made the Hitler youth compulsory was another factor that encouraged youths to rebel. As soon as anything is made compulsory it is natural for anyone, especially a youth to rebel. The fact that more and more people joined anti-Nazi groups is my evidence that supports the fact that people were scared to speak out - as more people spoke, more people joined the groups. A factor that makes it very hard to determine whether the hearts and minds of German youths were won over is that many people will lie about whether the Nazis won them over or not because the Nazis failed. There are many memoirs etc, but there are very few sources written in the time that Hitler ruled. In the response to the question, "Did the Nazi's succeed in winning over the hearts and minds of the German youth?" I would probably say no. I believe that Hitler controlled the minds of the German youths but did not win them over. There is a very big difference between controlled and winning over, but on the front they can seem very similar and I believe that Hitler thought that he was succeeding up to the point where youths began to take action against the Nazis not when they began to rebel. ...read more.

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