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Germany 1918-1919 Nazi Domestic Policies 1933-1939 Answers
1. Everyone in Germany had to go to school until the age of fourteen. Boys and girls went to separate schools. Nazis
controlled education through:
Teachers: They had to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler and join the Nazi Teachers' League. Teachers had to promote
Nazi ideals in the classroom, therefore Jewish teachers were banned. Children had to report teachers that did not support
Textbooks: these were rewritten to fit the Nazi view of history and racial purity. Mein Kampf became a standard text.
Curriculum: This was changed to prepare students for their future roles. 15% of time was devoted to physical education
because Hitler wanted a healthy, fit population. New subjects such as race studies were introduced to put across Nazi
ideas on race and population control.
Boys: The emphasis was on preparation for the military.
Girls: needlework and home crafts, especially cookery to help them become good homemakers and mothers.
Lessons: Began and ended with the students saluting and saying `Heil Hitler'. Nazi themes were presented through every
subject. E.g. Maths problems dealt with social issues, Geography showed how Germany was surrounded by hostile
neighbours and history lessons taught about the evils of the T of V and Communism.
2. The Hitler Youth allowed the Nazis to control the youth in their spare time. Boys joined the German Young people at the age
of ten. From fourteen to eighteen they became members of the Hitler Youth where they learned Nazi songs and ideas and
took part in athletics, hiking and camping. As they got older they practised marching, map reading and military skills. The
boys were being prepared to be soldiers.
To make sure that all boys attended all other youth organisations were banned and from 1936 membership was
3. Girls joined the Young Girls at the age of ten. From fourteen to eighteen they joined the League of German Maidens. They
did much the same as the boys except they also learned domestic skills in preparation for motherhood and marriage and
there was much less emphasis on military training.
4. It was successful because:
Many people enjoyed the comradeship of the Hitler Youth and the activities that took place
Huge numbers of young people joined the Hitler Youth and became firm believers in Nazi ideas.
It wasn't successful because:
There is evidence that by 1939 about 40% of German young people failed to regularly attend Hitler Youth meetings
Some young people formed gangs where boys and girls were played their own music and were free to be together. Many
grew their hair long, beat up members of the Hitler Youth and wore their own choice of clothes. They sung anti-Nazism
songs and daubed walls with anti-Nazi graffiti. An example of such gang is the Edelweiss pirates. By 1939 such groups had
a membership of 2000.
5. Women changed in the 1920s:
Politically: Women over 20 were given the vote and took and increasing interest in politics. By 1933 one tenth of the
members of the Reichstag were female.
Economically: many took up careers in the professions, especially the civil service where they earned the same salary as
men, law, medicine and teaching.
Socially: They went out unescorted, drank and smoked in public and were slim and fashion conscious, often wearing
relatively short skirts, had their hair cut short and wore makeup.
6. The Nazi ideal woman:
Did not wear makeup
Was blonde, heavy hipped and athletic
Wore flat shoes and a full skirt
Did not smoke
Did not go out to work
Did all the household duties especially cooking and bringing up the children
Took no interest in politics
7. The Nazi's brought in a series of measures to change the role of women:
Marriage and Family: Propaganda and the League of German Maidens promoted that it was an honour to produce large
families for Germany women who did this could receive awards, and marriage loans that did not have to be paid back.
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The divorce law was changed so that a divorce was possible if a husband or wife could not have children. The Lebensborn
programme allowed unmarried women to donate a baby to the Fuhrer by becoming pregnant by Aryan SS men.
Jobs: Women were banned from being lawyers in 1936 and the Nazis did their best to stop them following other
professions and going into higher education. Instead, women were asked to stick to the three `Ks' Kinder, Küche and
Kirsche (children, kitchen and church.…read more
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The cost of living increased during the 1930s. Food items were in short supply partly because it was government policy to
reduce agricultural production so as to keep up the prices for the benefit of farmers.
Hours of work increased from 42.9 per week in 1933 to 47 in 1939 and wages were still relatively low and there was no
way to negotiate on them because trade unions had been banned.