KQ2 Revision Notes: To what extent did the Nazis transform German society?

Revision Notes on Key Question 2 of the course Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933-63

Specifically for AS OCR History A Unit F964 Option B

Study Topic 4: Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933–63

[Sepcification for my course on pg 63 of:http://www.ocr.org.uk/download/kd/ocr_9582_kd_gce_spec.pdf]

Thanks to this member whose notes helped me: http://getrevising.co.uk/resources/ocr_germany_1933_63_kq_2

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To what extent did the Nazis transform German
society?
Volksgemeinschaft
Nazi ideology was based on racism, nationalism and authoritarianism.
Hitler claimed that Nazi ideology was a way of life, not just a political ideology ­ set about changing German
society.
Aimed to get people working together for the nation by promoting traditional values: `blood and soil'.
Education and Youth
Methods Successes Failures
Schools: 1934 Reich Ministry of Education, 1936 ­ 32% of all Teaching profession felt under
Culture and Science established to teachers were Nazis. threat.
centralise education system. Anti-academic ethos and
Politically unreliable teachers indoctrination alienated many.
removed. Academic standards fell.
Women encouraged to leave jobs. Shortage of teachers.
NSLB (National Socialist Teachers' War halved the number of
League) set up to indoctrinate children in Higher Education.
teachers on month-long courses ­
by 1937 97% had done this.
Altered syllabuses to emphasise
physical education, History, German
and Biology.
Created elite schools (e.g. Napolas)
to train German youth for political
leadership.
Hitler Range of youth groups for boys (DJ, More activities Failed to indoctrinate many ­ had
Youth HJ) and girls (JM, BDM). provided than in to set up a youth section of the
(HJ): Parents pressured to enrol children, other European secret police and a special youth
and then it became compulsory. countries. concentration camp in Neuwied.
Prepared for future roles in the Opportunities for Rapid expansion and inadequate
Reich. poorer children. leadership.
Boys ­ physical/military. Difficult to run during the war.
Girls ­ domestic tasks. Youth groups such as the Swing
Kids and Edelweiss Pirates grew.
Religion
Aims: Most Germans were Christians and the Church was a potential obstacle for the NDASP. Hitler avoided directly
attacking churches but still tried to undermine their authority.
Nazi Policy:
1933-5: Control 1935-45: Attack
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Hitler supported Churches in speeches and SA Limited success in controlling the churches.
encouraged to attend services. Ministry of Church Affairs established to undermine
Tried to give the impression that Protestantism could Churches through:
be accommodated for. Closing church schools
Signed concordat stating that Church wouldn't Undermining Catholic youth groups
interfere with politics and vice versa.…read more

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Only 10% university students Government had to end
could be female. the marriage loan scheme
Depression ­ campaign to get to do this.
unemployed men back into work. Women not exploited
Labour exchanges told to enough in munitions
discriminate against women. factories ­ poor economic
Women excluded from mobilisation ­ appeal for
government. women to do war work
Nazi women's organisations (NSF unconvincing.
and DFW) propagated Women traditionally
anti-feminist ideology. involved in agriculture ­
shortage when male
labourers were
conscripted.…read more

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Asocials: Anyone who behaved unacceptably e.g. alcoholics, prostitutes, criminals, tramps, workshy,
homosexuals. Those who were `orderly' were organised into a compulsory labour force and those who were
`disorderly' were imprisoned and sometimes sterilised/experimented on. 1936 Reich Central Office for the
Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion established ­ 10-15,000 imprisoned. Lesbians not prosecuted in
this way.
Propaganda and Control
1933 set up the Ministry for Propaganda and Enlightenment headed by Goebbels. Used as a vital tool for maintaining
the Third Reich.…read more

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P Messages ­ loyalty to the Rieich, Production controlled by Simplicity ­ flexible enough to
o Hitler Myth, anti-Semitism etc. Office for Active Propaganda. promote all aspects of the
s Four copies of all political Weltanschauung.
t material had to be submitted
e
in advance and unapproved
r
materials were confiscated.
s
L Book burnings in 1933. Universities hardly protested. 2,500 writers left Germany.
i Destroyed 20,000 books. Regime made to look
t reactionary.…read more

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Racial Purity and Anti-Semitism
Background
Anti-Semitic social tradition ­ not purely a German tradition. Grew due to German nationalist and imperialist ideas
before the Nazis and linking with intellectual theories of Social Darwinism. Stereotype of Jewish people as being
privileged and physical stereotype as most of them were eastern European immigrants. Scapegoat for social
discontent. BUT many members of the NDASP in 1934 didn't cite anti-Semitism as a reason for joining.…read more

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The Nazi Economy
Background
Before 1933: Hitler hadn't tied himself down to a specific economic policy ­ told cabinet in February 1933 not to
make detailed statements about an economic programme. Knew that his position depended on bringing Germany out
of depression.
Germany was dependent on exporting manufactured goods (but depression had reduced trade), confidence in
industry was falling, there was long-term unemployment, an agricultural depression, war debts, reparations, inflation
and little investment.…read more

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Increase production of Quality of armaments pursued over
olds. raw materials to reduce quantity.
Investment in rearmament, imports.
construction and transportation. Develop ersatz
Total War
Growth in jobs and fall in (substitute) products.
End of 1941 ­ Germany at war with
unemployment. Under control of
Britain, USSR and USA.
Maintained high taxes to fund Goering.
Armaments production inferior to Britain.
deficit.
Rationalisation Decree in 1941 ­ reform
Strict price/wage controls
Outcomes economy to eliminate waste.
prevented inflation.…read more

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May 1945 ­ Germany in ruins ­ German state ceased to exist and Nazi leaders committed suicide, fled or were
captured ­ central government broke down and replaced by the Occupying Powers ­ `Stunde Null' (Zero Hour).
Population Displacement:
12m German refugees fleeing from the east after the changing of frontiers.
10m displaced persons who had been in Nazi camps.
Families torn apart by war.
11m German soldiers taken as prisoners of war ­ 3.3m kept by the USSR until the 1950s.…read more

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