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To what extent did Nazism change society 1933-45?

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Shelley Michaels 12/10/03 To what extent did Nazism change society 1933-45? From the ashes of the old, rose a new German society, in which the Germany community as a whole prospered, and not the individual. The in impact of nazism resulted in many social changes: discrimination of women and ethic minorities, unarticulated public opinions, suppression of opposition, lack of political involvement etc. However, this to the majority of the German people seemed a small price to pay for economic security and an increase in living standards. Although, on the other hand, it could be argued that Hitler's vision of volksgemeinschaft was simply a propaganda gimmick, and in truth, nothing had changed. The German people still lived in a society where the class and not ability determined self worth. Thus, one is left to speculate the extent to which German society changed, if at all, due to Nazism. The elimination of ethic minorities was the most important social change felt not only by Germany, but also territories occupied by Germans. For no Regime before or after the Nazi Regime had ever taken Anti-Semitism to such an extreme. Jews were used as scapegoats, by blaming them for all the "ills", which had affected society before Hitler's arrival into power. This created a new sense of unity amongst the German people which had not existed before the Nazi regime; and thus signifies social change in respect to peoples attitudes. ...read more.


On the other hand, A. J. P Taylor claims that Hitler's anti-Semitism policies were a substitute for social change. However, ethic minorities were not the only once who were discriminated against, women to an extent suffered also because of the regime. Women's role in society changed dramatically as a result of Nazism. Women in the highest professions found themselves unemployment, when females were dismissed from medical and the civil service. girls taught separately from boys, for they need to learn that "the world of woman is smaller. For her world is her husband, her family, her house". Furthermore, Nazi propaganda aimed at women also result in a dramatic decline in the number of female students. however it could be said that the that the decline of women in universities was a short social change, since by 1939 females made up 49% of the student body at university. Moreover, Nazi ideology that encouraged women to take on more traditional roles, and was often emphasised by popular slogan such as "Kinder, Kirche, Kuche", conflicted with external social trends, i.e. female emancipation. In this respect Nazism impact on social change was limited. A great social changed was marked by the rise of birth rate. However, arguably, it is hard to judge the extent to which Nazism was responsibly for this social change. ...read more.


The farming community's hopes of social change had been based on Hitler's emphasis on the importance of agriculture an the German peasant as the "essential pillar on which all political life must rest". Despite the peasantry's expectations, the regime failed to change society, in respect to creating a community based on a stable class of landholding peasants. It could be argued that schemes of rural resettlement were bound to fail because they conflicted both with Hitler's plans for expansionist plans and with the long term trend of a rural drift to the towns. In order for Hitler to maintain his power he supported the elites, and therefor it could be argued that there wasn't any social changes in the respect to social class. Numbers of vast states were not curved up, but instead by the inclusion of polish territory. So there was no only no substantial change in their position , it was was made worse by 1939.The Junker continued maintain their status, for which the peasantry paid the ultimate price. It could be concluded that , that there was social revolution in the terms that there was a change in the structure of social class, but rather a "revolution of form and not substance", stemming from Hitler's desire to "deceive" the German people. On the other hand, if a social revolution was achieved, it came from as a result from elimination of some many people: jews, elites involved in plots to assassinate Hitler, priests e.tc. ...read more.

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