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Harry Jordan 12RO History
Volksgemeinschaft, or `People's Community', responded to the yearnings for national unity
but ultimately aimed to create a unified, classless racial community of pure Aryan Germans.
Jews, aliens, deviants, the mentally sick and the incurably ill would be excluded.
Although the policy was theoretically equal, big businesses and industry prospered; making
huge profits but the workers' wages were strictly controlled.
Despite this, workers appreciated the job security and the young workers took advantage of
the retraining offered by the Hitler Youth and transferred to more skilled jobs.
Material benefits like longer holidays, low heating and lighting costs were popular.
The Volksgemeinschaft was consolidated by Hitler's popularity, thanks to economic and
foreign policy successes, and the Anschluss of Austria in 1938.
Middle Class and Agriculture
Mittelstand (German lower-middle class)
The Nazis had directed much of their electoral propaganda at the Mittelstand.
Small shopkeepers hated big department stores that could sell cheaper goods. Artisans with
small workshops and peasants with small holdings were undermined by large competitors
such as factories and agricultural estates.
The Law of the Protection of Individual Trade prevented chain stores from opening new
branches or maintaining self-contained departments.
The purchase of marriage loans for furniture or household equipment could not be spent in
the department stores.
Despite this, big businesses were needed to kick-start the economy:
Hjalmar Schacht, head of the Reichsbank, was responsible for ensuring that job creation
schemes did not lead to inflation.
Big businesses continued to expand at the expense of smaller enterprises.
Department stores were supported rather than closed down to prevent huge job losses.
Farmers received more support from the Nazis:
Food shortages had greatly contributed to Germany's defeat in the Great War. Therefore a
special department was set up in 1936, as part of the Four Year Plan, to ensure that Germany
was autarkic in food production for the next war.
The `blood and soil' policy recognised the importance of the peasantry as the means to raise
strong young men to fight for the nation and safeguard Germany's racial heritage.
Hugenburg, the Minister for Economics and for Food relived agricultural problems by:
o Placing a moratorium until October 1933 on peasant's debts.
o Increasing tariffs on key agricultural imports.
o Assisting dairy farmers by directing that butter must be added to margarine.
His successor, Darré, set up the Reich Food Estate to take responsibility for food production.
o Prices at which produce was sold were fixed to boost prices.
o Price controls were imposed in 1935 to stop farmers benefitting from food
o As a result, agriculture remained relatively unprofitable.

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
Darré's second reform, the Reich Entailed Farm Law of September 1933, aimed to make
small farmers more secure by ruling that farms of 7.5-125 hectares could not be sold or
o The policy hindered the development of large-scale, more efficient, farms.
o Also unpopular with the peasantry as it prevented farmers dividing up their land for
their children etc.
Darré also planned to resettle farmers without inherited lands to bankrupt Junker estates.…read more

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
Those who worked overtime or had jobs in
the armaments industry enjoyed large
material benefits
From 1942-43, the military situation and material
conditions deteriorated and so so workers' mood
and morale went down.
The landed classes were initially suspicious but soon learn to live with the Nazi regime.
The large landed estates were not redistributed.
Big Businesses
The largest firms, particularly in the armaments industries, benefitted from the rapid
economic expansion even though the Nazis increased control over big businesses.…read more

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
o The Bund Deutscher Mädel (German Girls League), 14-18.
HJ members were indoctrinated under the `Jewish threat' and `Hitler's heroism'.
Boys engaged in sports and war games whilst girls were taught traditional domestic skills,
physical fitness and personal hygiene. Older girls learned military nursing and air raid duties.
Demand heavily increased with the war so 600,000 boys and 1,400,000 girls helped with
the harvest.
By the late 1930's, the HJ became a heavily bureaucratic organisation and compulsory
membership drew resentment.…read more

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
o Enforcing anti-abortion laws.
o Restricting contraception facilities.
o Propaganda campaigns to enhance the status of wives and mothers, such as the
introduction of the Mother's Cross for women who had large families.
Racial Policy
To ensure a racially pure community, children with congenital deformities were euthanized in
the winter of 1938-39.
Following becoming public knowledge, the practice was halted after the Bishop of Munster
condemned it in 1941.…read more

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
In 1933, the Nazis staged boycotts of Jewish shops and businesses and Jews were prohibited
from owning land.
Jews were excluded from health insurance in 1934 and banned from the military in 1935.
On September 15 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were passed to deprive Jews of their
In 1938, the SS was placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria and Himmler established a
concentration camp near Linz. 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany are
arrested.…read more


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