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What was life like in Nazi Germany?
Hitler's aims for Germany:
Strong Germany with a strong army, strong economy and strong leader (the Führer)
Racially-pure Germany full of pure Aryans. The Nazis believed Germany's problems since World
War I were caused by inferior races mixing with and weakening the Aryan race.
The Volk (people's community) in which people were loyal to the Führer above all else.
History concentrated on the rise of the Nazis and their greatness
Biology lessons taught children about superiority of the Aryan race
PE increased to get boys fit for the army and girls fit to be mothers
Geography taught children about the need for Germany to conquer more living space
Jews and other minorities:
Mentally & physically disabled were viewed as unable to contribute to rebuilding Germany and a
burden on society. The Nazis began sterilisation and euthanasia programmes to remove them.
Jews and Gypsies were viewed as `racially inferior'. The Nazis feared they would contaminate pure
Aryan blood if they mixed with Aryans.
Prostitutes and homosexuals were viewed as a threat to the traditional Aryan family. They were
put into concentration camps.
Kristallnacht (November 1938)
Why did it happen?
Anti-Semitism the Nazis blamed the Jews for Germany's problems and wanted to take their
wealth and property.
Hitler's control was strong enough to allow him to carry out some of his more extreme ideas
Goebbels' was keen to win favour with Hitler and persuaded him that Kristallnacht would be
popular with hardline Nazis.
The SS attacked Jewish property and synagogues. Hundreds of Jews were killed and thousands
were taken to concentration camps.
What impact did it have?
By 1939 nearly all Jewish businesses had closed down or been sold
Nazis and women before 1937:
To build a strong, Aryan Germany, the Nazis wanted women to:
Be healthy, fertile mothers.
Have more children, the future workers and soldiers of Germany
Contraception & abortion were banned to increase the birth rate
Loans were given to new brides who agreed not to get a job
Many women teachers and doctors were sacked
Medals were introduced to women who had 4, 6 or 8 children
Women were encouraged to give up smoking and do more sport
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Nazi women after 1937:
As World War II approached and Germany began to rearm for war, the Nazis needed women to:
Replace men in the workplace who had left to join the army
Continue to have more children, the future soldiers and workers
Abolished marriage loans so new brides had to get jobs in factories. Pay was low and conditions
All women who got a job had to do a compulsory `duty year'.…read more