In What Ways did Nazi regime seek to Control and Influence German Youth?
In What Ways did Nazi regime seek to Control and Influence German Youth? (20 Marks)
The Nazis used a number of strategic methods to easily influence the German Youth, for example, the use of propaganda, nazifying schools and introducing laws and restrictions.
The Nazis soon figured out that to win total support and popularity, that they would need the German Youth on their side. They did this by a number of different means. Firstly, the Nazis Nazified schools and textbooks, stating anti – Semitic policies and the Volksgemainschaft. Schools taught students that the welfare of the state and community were more important than social life and family. The Nazis also changed the curriculum to suit their needs and policies. More physical exercise was introduced to get the youth healthier and fitter and to be “the perfect German”. From 1935, new textbooks were produced, reflecting Nazi values. Segregation was used in that Girls were taught needlework, cooking and housekeeping whilst boys were taught combat, survival and exercise. The Nazis used the school system they inherited, and supplemented it with new Nazi institutions.
This is a preview of the whole essay
The establishment of the Hitler Youth and the Girls BDM (League of German Girls) dramatically influenced both German boys and girls. The Nazi’s offered exciting activities so that children would attend regularly. The Hitler Youth was introduced in 1926 and soon increased in membership. Organised camps, sporting events, competitions and military exercises attracted many German boys. The idea of holding a gun and hand to hand combat somewhat provoked young fourteen year old German boys to attend. The BDM (League of German Girls) was a Hitler associated organisation which was just for girls aged between fourteen to eighteen. Their role was to learn how to cook, serve their husband, look after their family, sew, and most importantly, learn about their role and child birth. Both organisations held regular meetings (sometimes daily) and both were issued smart uniforms. This gave children a sense of importance and gave them a role within society. Yet they knew that they were being bred for war!
One Nazi policy was to instill the motivation that would enable Hitler Youth members, as soldiers, to fight faithfully for the Third Reich. The Hitler Youth put more emphasis on physical and military training than on academic study.
The Nazi’s used their regime and policies to indoctrinate the younger ages of society. To some extent this was extremely successful. In 1923, the organization had a little over one thousand members. In 1925, when the Nazi Party had been re-founded, the membership grew to over 5,000. At the end of 1933, the Hitler Youth had grown to 2,300,000 members.
These figures can support the theory that the Nazi’s did use the regime to successfully indoctrinate the Youth.
Simply by sheer determination, the Nazis managed to successfully indoctrinate the youth with the regime and Nazi policies. They soon found themselves in a position where they controlled and had easy influential decisions on the German Youth. The establishment of the Hitler Youth and the girls BDM proved to be a significant change and a path to success. By modifying schools and making them more “Nazified “, this allowed the Nazis to express their attitudes and beliefs to the “outside” world. If the Nazis had not done this, then it may have proved to be a harder challenge for the Nazis to control the German Youth.