Germany Section B

Nazi's Measurements to reduce unemployment

1.     The National Labour Service Corps (RAD): This was a scheme to provide young men with manual labour jobs. From 1935 it was compulsory for all men aged 18-35 to serve in the RAD for six months, men received very low pay and lived in camps.

2.     Job Creation Scheme:  Hitler spent millions on job creation schemes. The Nazi’s subsidised private firms especially in the construction industry they also started a massive road building programme as well as schools and hospitals.

3.    Rearmament: Conscription was reintroduced which took thousands of young men into military service and heavy industry expanded to meet the needs of rearmament. Billions was spent producing tanks, aircraft and ships.

4.    Invisible unemployment: The Nazi’s used others means to reduce unemployment. (1) Jews were dismissed from their jobs. (2)Unmarried men under 25 were pushed into National Labour Schemes. (3) Women were dismissed from their jobs or gave up work to get married. (4) Opponents of the Nazi regime were held in concentration camps.

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What did the Nazi’s do to control the workforce?

German Labour Front – DAF

  • This replaced the Trade Unions and had complete control over the discipline of the workers, regulated hours of work and rates of pay.
  • Under the new system, working hours increased and wages were frozen.
  • It was impossible to complain about the working conditions.
  •  In theory the DAF membership was voluntary, but any worker in any area of Germany would have found it hard to get a job without being a member. 

KDF – Strength Through Joy, an organisation set up to control the leisure time of workers.

  • The Kdf tried to improve the leisure time of German workers by sponsoring a wide range of leisure and cultural trips. These included concerts, theatre visits, museum tours, sporting events, weekend trips, holidays and cruises.
  • All were provided at low cost, giving ordinary workers access to activities normally reserved for the better off.
  • Beauty of work was department of the Kdf that tried to improve working conditions. It organized the building of canteens, swimming pools and sports facilities.
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What was the role of women in Nazi Germany?

Nazi Ideals: The Nazi’s had a very traditional view of the role of women which was very different from women’s position in society in the 1920’s. The Nazis’ ideal woman:

·          Did not wear make-up

·          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

What are the 3 Ks?

Kinder – Children,  Kuche – Kitchen, Kirche - Church

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Marriage and the family

·          The Nazi’s were very worried about the decline in birth rate. Therefore a massive propaganda campaign was launched to promote motherhood and large families.

·          ‘Law for the Encouragement of Marriage’. The law said that the government would give all newly married couples a loan of 1000 marks (about nine months wages). When the first child was born, the couple could keep a quarter of themoney. On the birth of the second child, they could keep the second quarter. They could keep the third quarter on the birth of the third child, and the entire amount on the birth of a fourth.

·          On Hitler’s birthday medals were awarded to women with large families.

·          In 1938 the Nazis changed the law on divorce. A divorce was possible if a husnband or wife could not have children.

·          The Nazi’s also set up the ‘Life springs’ programme whereby specially chosen unmarried women could ‘donate a baby’ to the Fuhrer by becoming pregnant by racially pure SS men.

·          Women were forced to leave their jobs and school girls were discouraged from going to higher education.

·          However, from 1937 the Nazis were to reverse these policies as German was rearming and men were joining the army more and more women were requires to go out to work.

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What was the Hitler Youth Movement?

  • Hitler placed such importance on the young people because they were the future of his Nazi policies. He wanted to make children believe in the superiority of the Aryan, the ‘master race’.


  •  He wanted young men to value the ideas of discipline, sacrifice and obedience.
  • The most important was Hitler himself - the Führer. All young Germans were taught to see him as a father figure who should be given unquestioned loyalty from his people.
  • Outside school, young people had to belong to youth organisations which taught them loyalty to Hitler and trained them in military skills. There were five organizations for youngsters to join. Together they made up the Hitler Youth Movement
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How did education change?

  • In schools, textbooks were rewritten to paint a good picture of the Nazis. The teaching of school subjects changed to indoctrinate pupils.


  • History was distorted to celebrate great German victories and all disasters were blamed on the Communists and the Jews.


  • Every subject concentrated on putting across Nazi ideas. For example Biology lessons were devoted to studying the differences between races, explaining the greatness of the Aryan race. An example maths problem can be seen on the right.


  • Teachers had to belong to the German Teachers League and were made to put across Nazi ideas in their lessons. To make sure they knew exactly what to do, teachers had to go on compulsory training during school holidays.
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How did Hitler keep control of Germany?

Terror state

  • Secret police called the Gestapo would spy on and arrest enemies of the state.
  • SS were responsible for running the concentration camps
  • Everyone was scared of being arrested by the Gestapo and being put in a concentration camp


  • Ripping up the treaty of Versailles
  • Creating jobs


  • Mass Rallies, Posters and Propaganda films
  • The Nazis controlled and censored the radio & newspapers.
  •  School children were indoctrinated with Nazi ideas at school
  • Hitler Youth & the Young Maidens
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How did the Nazi’s control the government

The cabinet

This was kept on by Hitler but lost influence. By 1938 all non Nazis had been removed and it only met once.

The Reichstag

The Enabling Bill transferred power of making laws from the Reichstag to the Chancellor. Only seven more laws were passed there.

The Civil Service

Many civil servants were happy to transfer power to the Third Reich as they did not like the Weimar Republic. All civil servants had to be members of the Nazi party

The Fuhrer

In the Nazi state all power came from Hitler. He had supreme authority in the Nazi state. Many laws were made by him and he had the final say in all key decisions.

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How were propaganda and censorship used?

Radio – All radio stations were placed under Nazi control. Cheap mass-produced radios were sold. Sets were installed in cafes and factories and loudspeakers were placed on the streets.

Cinema – Goebbels realised the power of cinema. Love stories and thrillers were given Nazi slants. All film performances were accompanied by a 45 minute newsreel which glorified Hitler and Germany.

Newspapers – Non-Nazi newspapers and magazines were closed down. Editors were told what they could print which meant that the German people only read what the Nazis wanted them to know.

Rallies – An annual mass rally was held at Nurenburg to advertise the power of the Nazi state and spectacular parades were held on other special occasions.

Books – All books were carefully censored and controlled to put across the Nazi message.

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How did the Nazi’s control the arts?

Music jazz was banned as it was ‘black music’ and seen as inferior. German folk music and classical german music was preferred.

Theatre The theatre was to concentrate on German history and political drama. Cheap theatre tickets were made available to encourage people to see plays with a pro-Nazi theme.

Architecture Hitler encouraged large buildings made from stone to show how powerful the Third Reich was.

Art Hitler hated modern art which he believed was unpatriotic and Jewish. He encouraged art which highlighted Germany’s past greatness and the strength and power of the Third Reich.

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What was Nazi racial policy?

Central to Nazi policy was the creation of a pure German state. This meant treating all non-German groups, especially the Jews, as second class citizens.

1.     Master race -  The Nazis believed that the Germans were a pure race of Aryan descent. They were all shown in art as blond, blue-eyed, tall, lean and athletic – a people fit to master the world.

2.     Subhumans Jews and Slavs were the subhumans. Nazi propaganda portrayed Jews as evil moneylenders. Hitler regarded the Jews as an evil force and was convinced of their involvement in a world conspiracy to destroy civilisation.

3.     Making the master race. Hitler believed that Germany’s future was dependent on the creation of a pure Aryan racial state. This would be achieved by: (1) selective breeding. (2) Destroying the Jews. Selective breeding meant preventing anyone who did not conform to the Aryan type from having children. The SS were part of the drive for selective breeding and they were only allowed to marry women of Aryan blood.

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Why were the Jews Persecuted?

1.     Jewish people have been persecuted throughout history this is because they stood as different in regions across Europe. They had a different religion and customs. Some Jews became money lenders and became quite wealthy. This increased resentment and suspicion from people who owed them money or were jealous of their success.

2.     Hitler had spent several years in Vienna where there was a long tradition of anti-Semitism ( Prejudice against Jews) Hitler resented the Jews in Vienna that had wealth. He used the Jews as scapegoats for all of Germany’s problems. He blamed them for Germany’s defeat in the First World War. Hyperinflation in 1923 and the depression of 1929.

3.     Hitler was determined to create a pure racial state. This did not include the 100,000 Jews living in Germany. He wanted to eliminate the Jews from German society.

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How were the Jews persecuted?

Anti-Semitism in schools – Young people were encouraged to hate Jews, with school lessons and textbooks putting across anti-Semitic views. School textbooks and teaching materials were controlled by the government Ministry of Education. Laws were passed to restrict the education of Jewish people. In November 1938 Jewish children were expelled from German schools.

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What were the Measures taken against Jews

1933 – (1) The SA organised a boycott of Jewish shops and businesses. They painted ‘Jude’ (Jew) on windows and tried to persuade the public not to enter. (2) A new law excluded Jews from government jobs.

1934 – (1) Local councils banned Jews from public spaces such as parks and swimming pools.

1935 – (1) Jews were no longer allowed in the army. (2) Restaurants were closed to Jews all over Germany. (3) Jews were no longer allowed to be German citizens.

1936 – Professional activities of Jews were banned or restricted – this included vets, dentists, accountants.

1937 – More and more Jewish businesses were taken over.

1938 – (1) Jews had to register possessions, making it easier to confiscate them. (2) Jews had to carry identity cards. (3) Jewish men had to add ‘Israel’ to their first names, Jewish women, the name ‘Sarah’ to further humiliate them. (4) Jews had to have the red letter ’J’ stamped on their passports.

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What was Kristallnacht (9th November 1938)?

On 8th November 1938 a young Polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, walked into the German Embassy in Paris and shot the first official he met. He was protesting against the treatment of his parents in Germany who had been deported to Poland.

  • Goebbels used this as an opportunity to organise anti-Jewish demonstrations, which involved attacks on Jewish property, shops, homes and synagogues across Germany.
  •  So many Windows were smashed in the campaign that it became known as Kristallnacht meaning ‘Crystal Night’ or ‘the night of the broken glass’. About 100 Jews were killed and 20,000 sent to concentration camps.

Many Germans were disgusted with what happened and so the Nazis portrayed it as a spontaneous act by the German people.

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How did the persecution continue in 1939?

The SS had the responsibility of eliminating Jews from Germany by forced emigration.

Jews were required to surrender precious metals and jewellery.

Jews were evicted from their homes and forced to designated Jewish accommodation or ghettos.

Jews were forced to hand in their radio sets so they could not listen to foreign news.

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How did Nazis relations change with Catholic churc

Nazi ideals were opposed to the beliefs and values of the Christian Church.


Nazism                                                                  Christianity

Glorified strength and violence                          Teaches love and forgiveness

Despised the weak                                               Helps the weak

Believed in racial superiority                              Respect for all people

Saw Hitler as god-like figure                               Belief in God


Hitler did not immediately persecute Christianity because Germany was a Christian country. Almost two-thirds of the population was Protestant. Many saw Nazism as a protection against the atheism (not believing in God) of communism.

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The Catholic Church

Ø  Catholics put the Pope first and not Hitler, this meant they had divided loyalties.

Ø  Catholic schools and youth organisations had different messages from the Nazi ideas.

Hitler made an agreement with the Pope that the Church would not be involved in politics as long as Hitler did not interfere with the Church. Hitler went back on this agreement:

Ø  Priests were harassed and arrested.

Ø  If a priest criticised the Nazis they would be sent to a concentration camp.

Ø  Catholic youth movements were closed down.

Ø  Monasteries were closed down.

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The Reich Church

Ø  Some Protestants admired Hitler. They were called the ‘German Christians’ They wore Nazi uniforms and gave the German greeting ‘Heil Hitler’

Ø  All the Protestant Church groups were forced to unite under the ‘National Reich Church’

Ø  The Bible, cross and other religious objects were removed from the alter and replaced with a copy of Mein Kampf and a sword.

Ø  Church schools were abolished and the Nazis aimed to influence young people by promoting the Hitler Youth rather than the Church youth groups.

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