History GCSE, life in Germany: The Social Impact of the Nazi State

Revision cards about the social impact the nazi state had on people living in Germany during Hitler's dictatorship.

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  • Created on: 19-04-12 20:57

Women in the Weimar Republic

Women in the Weimar Republic had been given the vote.By 1933, almost 10% of Reichstag deputies were women.Many women worked, including in proffesions such as law and medicine. Some had equal pay to men.

Nazi views on women: Nazis thought women should focus on the traditional kinder, kuche, kirche (children, kitchen, church). They frowned on women working, or wearing make-up or trousers, as many women did in 1933.

Women and work: Nazis pushed women out of professions such as law and teaching = made more jobs for wen and reduced unemployment. During war and 1936 Nazis had to call women back when there was labour shortage.

Women and marriage: The Law for the Encouragemtn of Marriage: lent couples who married 1,000 marks if the wife left work. For each child, they were left a quarter of the loan. This boosted marriage, large families and women staying at home.

Women as mothers: Nazis gave medals to women with children on Hitler's mother's birthday. 4 children = bronze   7 = Silver     8 or more = gold.

Obeying the Nazis: The German Women's Enterprise had 6,000 members, and marriage and the birth rate rose under the Nazis, while the number of working women fell until the Nazis needed them for war work. But only a small proportion of women had more than three children.

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Nazi Education

Nazi education was planned to make Germany strong. Hitler wanted children to grow fit and healthy; girls to be good wives and mothers,; boys to be soldiers. He said the prupose of education was 'to create Nazis'. Lessons began and ended with the 'Heil Hitler' salute.

Nazi schools: All children went to school until they were 14. All schools had the same curriculum: PE took up 15% of school time. Lessons taught Nazi views. Boys learned science and maths, while girls learned to sew and cook.

Propaganda in schools: From 1935, all textbooks had to be Nazi-approved and new ones were full of Nazi propaganda. Teachers had to join the Nazi party. History books glorified the Nazi rise to power and blamed exonomic problems on the Jews. 

Nazi Youth Movements: Young German Folk, 10-14 and Hitler Youth, 14-19 were training boys for the army. Young Girls, 10-14 and League of German Maidens were for girls and taught homemaking. Everyone kept fit.

Hitler Youth Laws: made it difficult not to join, then cumpulsory to join, a Hitler Youth Group. Membership rose from 5.4 million in 1936, to 8 million in 1939. During the war, they worked to raise money for the war and for charities and helped in the emergency services.

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The New Plan (1933): Run by Hjalmar Schacht, aimed to make Germany self-sufficient. He limited German imports and ade trade agreements for countries to supply raw materials to Germany and buy German goos. By 1935, Germany's productions was up 50% on 1933.

The 4-year Plan (1936): Hitler wanted Germany ready for war in 4 years, so the economy focused on rearmament and the raw materials of war: rubber, oil, steel, cloth and fuel. Factories tried, not very successfully, to make them synthetically (e.g. pertrol and rubber from coal, cloth from pulped wood).

Expanding Industry: From 1936, Herman Goring came to control German economic policy. New industrial works were built all over the country for rearmament, mining and metalworking. All these new industries needed workers, many came as forced labour from concentration camps.

Unemployment figures: For January were 6 million in 1933, 3.8 million in 1934, 2.9 million in 1935, 2.5 million in 1936, 1.8 million in 1937, 1.1 million in 1938 and just over 300,000 in 1939.

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Emplyoment came from state public works (e.g. autobahns); taking jobs from women and Jews(not included in unemployment statistics); sending opponents to camps; expanding industry for self-sufficiency and rearmament; building a huge army.

The National Labour Service (RAD): was begun by the Weimar Republic. From 1935, all men ages 18-25 had to do 6 months' low-paid work in the RAD. They did public works e.g. draining marshes from farmland, building public buildings. By 1939, they had built 7,000 miles of autobahn.

The German Labour Front (DAF): was the state-run Nazi replacement for trade unions. It set working hours and wages and encouraged workers to work together for Germany, ratehr than thinking of their own situation. Under the DAF, working hours went up by an average of 6 hours a week. 

Standard of Living: Wages rose 20% but the price of food rose too (most people were eating less in 1937 than in 1927). More people were working, but they worked longer and had few rights. 

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Employment 2

Farmers: Some farmers had help from RDF-schemes and all benefited from the Nazis keeping production low so prices rose. However, some farmers lost workers to the factories and the army.

Businesses: Small businesses had supported the Nazis. Some benefited from the Nazis closure of Jewish businesses. Big businesses benefitted most. There were no trade union problems and rearmament led to extra production. However, the state controlled wages, profits, and what was produced.

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Nazi Views on Race etc

The Nazis had a raciel lhierarchy. 'Pure' Aryans (Hitler's invented race) were blond-haired, blue-eyed Europeans. Then came races such as easten European Slavs. Below them came black people, gypsies and Jews.

The Master Race: The Nazis wanted to build a 'master race' in Germany, weeding out all groups buy Aryans and weeding out the unhealthy Aryans too. They also controlled Aryan breeding. The SSS, chosen for Aryan characteristics, were only allowed to marry women with similar characteristics.

Burdens on the community: The Nazis wanted everyone to contribute to society. People who were mentally or physically disabled were taken from their families and put into 'care homes'. This institution first ill-treated, then killed, their 'patients'. Vagrants were put to forced labour.

Early Prosecution of Jews: In 1933, the Nazis organised boycotts of Kewish businesses and began to 'Aryanise' them. Jews could not work in the government. They were banned from restaurants and public places (e.g.parks, swimming pools).

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The Nuremberg Laws (1935) said Jews were not German citizens, so could not vote of have passports. They could not marry Aryans. Later, Jews could not join the army. From 1936, they had to carry identity cards and have 'Jewish' names. Jewish professionals (e.g. doctors) could not have Aryan clients.

Kristallnacht (the night of Broken Glass): Over the night of 9 November 1928, the Nazis took revenge for a young Jew shooting a Nazi official in Paris. The Gestap, SA, SS and Hitler Youth all took part in raids on Jewish homes, synagogues and buinesses. 

Effects of Kristallnacht: Nazi statistics say 815 shops, 191 synagogues and 171 homes were damages; 76 synagogues demolishes; 91 Jews killed; 20,000 Jews sent to concentration camps. The Jewish community was fined 1 billion marks;Jews were banned from owning or running businesses.

The Second World War meant the Nazis could be extreme in their treatment of the Jews (world opinion mattered less). As Germany captured Poland and other countries it faces a bigger Jewish population (there were 3 million Jews in German- occupied Poland).

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More about Jews...

Ghettos: In 1939, all Jews had to move into ghettos: walled-off areas of cities, kept apart from other people. The Nazis kept ghettos overcrowded and poorly supplied with water, food and electricity. Warsaw ghetto (Octobo 1940-April 1942) had a population of 140,000 - 340, 000. Abount 5,000 died every month.

Einstatzgruppen: Germany invaded Russua in June 1941. Special murder squades (Einstatzgruppen) followed the army as it advances, rounding up and killing whole villages of Jews, who were forced to dig a mass grave before being shot. By 1943, they had murdered about 2 million people. 

The Wannasee Conference (January 1942) laid out the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem'. Death camps were to be set up, all in Poland, none in Germany. Jews were to be taken there from ghettos, concentration camps and labour camps and murdered. the first of these was Belzec (March 1942).

Death camps: There were four death camps (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinks and Chelmno) and two death camps with a nearby labour camp (Auschwits- Birkenau and Majdanek)

Camp deaths: By the time the camps were liberated in 1945 about 6 million Jews, 500,000 gypsise and countless other prisioners had been starved to death, worked to death, gassed or shot by the Nazis.

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Section Summary

The Nazis had clear ideas about the state they wanted to build/ Women would be wives and mothers. Men would be workers and coldiers. Children, long term future of the state, were to be brought up to obey the state willingly and to be completely loyal to it, valuing it even above their parents.

The Nazis wanted to reduce unemployment rapidly, and did to by creating work through their rearmament programme and by building a growing number of 'invisible unemployed' through their policies towards women, Jews and other groups.

Nazi racial polocies, especially their division of society into Aryans and 'undesirables', meant that there were many groups in Germany that the Nazis did not welcome and actively persecuted. Once Germany was at war their level of persecution increased, especially that of Jewish people, who they attempted to wipe out in their 'final solution'.

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