Nazi attempts to win the support of young people were successful. How far do you agree?

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‘Nazi attempts to win the support of young people between 1933 and 1939 were very successful’. Do you agree? Explain your answer. (16)

I agree that the Nazis were successful in winning the support of some young people but were not successful in winning the support of all young people.


One success  was the numbers of young people who joined the Hitler Youth Movement. The Hitler Youth had been set up back in 1926 but became more important when Hitler came to power in 1933. Young people were under a lot of pressure to join and took part in evening and week-end activities where they were indoctrinated in Nazi ideas. There Were different branches and levels for boys and girls. The education system was also successfully controlled by the Nazis. Textbooks were changed to conform to Nazi ideas. School subjects were used for the purposes of indoctrination e.g. in history lessons pupils were taught about the unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles. In geography lessons pupils learnt about the importance of Germany extending its borders to create living space for its growing population. Science was used to teach pupils about Nazi racial ideas. Special schools were also set up to produce future political and military leaders. These schools were called Naploas and Ordensburgen. Most young people went along with Nazi ideas, which could be considered a success. Some were so successfully indoctrinated that they even informed on their anti-Nazi parents

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There were also failures. The Nazi focus on indoctrination led to a drop in academic standards. Also, despite the huge pressure to join the Hitler Youth some young people still refused to join. Some young people actively opposed the Nazis, even setting up their own rival groups e.g. the Edelweiss Pirates and the Swing Youth. The Edelweiss Pirates tended to be working class and opposed Nazi ideas. Some were involved in distributing anti-Nazi leaflets and attacking Hitler Youth members. Swing Youth tended to be middle class young people who resented Nazi control of their lives. They disliked all the ...

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