Nazi social, religous and Racial ideology and policy- booklet 5


How and for what purpose did the Nazis change the

The purpose of education in Nazi Germany was to ensure the long term survial of the regime.

Education was to indoctrinate the youth of the state so completely with the principles and ethos of National socialism that the 'New Order' would never be challenged.

The Reich Ministry of Education and Science= in 1934 a law took control of education from the lander and centrailsed it.

The minisry adapted the exsisting system to suit Nazi purposes by making a number of changes:

  • Teachers were Reconditioned
  • All curricula and syllabi were adapted.
  • Creation of elilte schools.
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Changes made to Education

1. Teachers were 'reconditioned'.

  • polically unreilble individuals were removed and special courses were arranges for those not conviced of the new arrangments.
  • The influenced of the Nationlist Socialist Teachers League was increased- by 37, 97% of all teachers.

2. All Cirricula and syllabi were adapted.

  • Greater emphaise was placed on PE- 15% of school time given to it.
  • The study of German Language and litreture was considered vital in creating a 'consciousness of being german'.
  • Biology became the means by which to deliver Nazi racial theory.
  • Ethinic classificaton, popular policy and racial genetics were alll intergrated into the syllabus.
  • History was given a special place in Nazi cirriculum.
  • Text books were modified to inculde exersizes which were clerly linked to other aspects of the states policy.
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Elite Nazi schools

The third part of Nazi educational policy involed the creation of various types of elite schools, which were intened to prepare the best of Germany's youth for future political leadership.

21 NAPOLAs (national political education institutions)

10 Adolf Hitler Schools - (both for boys of secondary school age)

Ordensburgen, for boys of college age:

  • All emphasised phyical training, para-militray activites and politcal education.

Hitler told Rauschning 'My ordensburgen will molud a youth from which the world will shrink in terror'.

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HIgher Education

There wer fewer changes in the nature of higher education.

Most significant= contraction in sudent numbers- 113,000 (33) to 57,000 (39) which reflects the Nazi downgrading of acidemic education.

Thereafter, numbers rose to 82,000 by 1944, mainly due to a large increase in female sudents.

In general the government did not interfre with universities.- They did try to ensure that lecturas were brought into some sort of order.

  • April 1933, 1200 university lecuraers were dissmissed of this 33% were dissmissed for racial reassons and 56% for politcal reasons.

There was little reaction to the purge in which the universities lost some of their greatest thinkers.

  • November 1933- uni lectuers were made to sign a 'Declaration in support of Hitler and the Nationlist socialist state' and join the Nazi Lectuers association.
  • New appointees had to attend a six week ideological and physical training camp.
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Youth Policies

They nazis hoped that a wide array of organisations would predominate over tradtional and possibly hostile influences of parents and the church. 

Baldur von schirach was given the responsiblity of coordinating all youth groups and bringing them under control of the hitler youth

  • it foucsed on offering fun and action to the young
  • created in 1926 but expanded rapidly after 1933 with the support of the government.
  • it organised a varitey of actitives such as camps, sport and miltary training

1933= all other youth oraginsations (expect catholic ones) were taken over by the hilter youth and after 1936 all other youth orgainsations were banned. 

  • membership of hitler youth became compulsarly however many young men managed to aviod it espicallly after they left school at 14
  • some rival groups were set up which the authories failed to supress

As membership becamme more widespread hitler youth became less succesful because it inculded less commited youngsters and because there developed an increasing stress on military preparation at the expense of more popular activies. 

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The structure of youth groups


6-10 were entrolled in the pimpfen (little fellows/cubs) they were taught to enjoy exersize, hiking and camping and were introduced to hitlers ideas

10-14 joined the Deutsche Jungvolk (german young people) in which they swore an oath of personal allegiance to hitler and became more familr with military disiplined and music

14-18 boys were expected to devote themselves to the Hilter Jugend (hitler youth) which placed the most emphaise on military training along the lines of the SA 


up to 14 belonged to the Jungmadel (young maidens) in which they trained in health and motherhood

14-18 the Bund Deutscher madel (league of German maidens)

18-21 Glaube und Schonheit (faith and beauty)

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Membership of Nazi Youth Movements, 1932-8

Hitler Youth

1932- 55,400   1936- 1,168,700   1938- 1,663,300


1932- 19,200  1936- 873,100   1938- 1,448,300

Total number of membership of Nazi youth movements

1932- 108,000  1936- 5,437,600   1938- 7,031,200


The teaching professtion felt under threat- the anti-acidemic ethos & indoctrination alienated many. Standards in tradtional subjects fell- particular case in elite schools , where the emphiaes on Physical education was predominated.

The Hitler Youth suffered from over rapid expansion which made for inadquate leadership- emphasis on miltary drill was resented by many young people- resech suggests that German youth had not been won over by 1939.

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How did the Nazis view the position of women & the

Nazi anti-feminism has been described as a kind of secondary rascism.

Nazis reguarded women as 'Differant Not Inferior'- what this amounted to in practice was a 'Womens place was in the Home'

  • A womens devotion should be the 3 K's- 'Kinder,Kuche, Kirche'

These views were all established within the party long before 1933:

  • There was not a single female Nazi deputy in the Reichstag
  • Party regulations 1921 exculded all women from all senior postions within its structure.

Nazi womens policy was closely allied to racial policy & parties attempt to establish a pure Ayran race- role of women was crucial. 

The party wanted Lebsensraum, however population was leveling out so the role of women was considered to be cruical to the production of the next generation. 

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Nazi polices for Women.

1. 1933-36 married women were barred from careers in medicine, law and the higher ranks of the civil service.

2. Number of female teachers & univesty sudents was reduced massively

3. From 1933 interest free loans of 600RM were given to young women who withdrew from the labour market in order to get married. 

4. Employers were advised to discriminate positively in favour of men during job interviews

  • Law for the Encouragement of Marriage, 1933- gov would give all newly wed couples a loan of 1000RM- equivlent to 9 months of wages- when the first child was born they could keep a quater of the money, 4 childer & kept whole amount. 
  • Policy backed up by huge Propaganda campagin which glorified motherhood & large famillies
  • Rewards inculded- Hounor Cross of the German Mother (8 kids=gold)
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Women and the Ayran Race

Nazi policy was not just aimed at quantitave increase but also a qualilative increase improvement in the population- tied in with Aryan Ideal

  • Eugenics poliy was aimed to limit by sterillisation the reproduction of those people with Hereditary diseases or anti-social behavoiural problems.
  • by 1939 375,000 people had been forceabliy steralised

Usual part of policy was the social engineering:

The Lebensborn was an institution which normally cared for unmarried mothers of good racial backgrounds.            

They also operated brothels where arragments could be made for girls to 'meet' racially pure members of the ** with the aim of producing perfect children. 

Nazis wanted women to fulfill a tradtional role as homemakers and child bearers. The Nazis also implmented welfare schemes that supported women and childern. 

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Welfare Schemes for Women & Children

  • Jung Madel (young girls), BDM (league of German Girls), Faith and Beauty, NSF (national socialist womens orgainisation)
  • NSF= coordinated all womens instutions to Nazi ideals and ran Reich Mother Service, which trained Housewives and Midwives
  • DWF (German's womens enterprise)= set up to develop an elite of women commited to Nazi ideology
  • RAD and DAF womens sections
  • The welfare orgainsation NSV (national socilaist people's welfare) relied greatly on paid and volunteer female labour. 
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What was the effect of these policies?

  • proportion of women in employment fell between 1932 & 1937 from 37% to 31%. 

However, by 1937 Nazi ideological convictions were being threatened by the pressure and economic nessciaty. 

  • Introduction of conscription & the rearmerment declaration in 1935 soon led to increasing shortage of labour. 
  • The anti-femmisim policy could only be supported if lower economic growth was accepted 
  • This Hitler refused to sanction and the realtive decilne in female employment was reserved

From 1937 to 1939 the total of women in employment increased from 31% to 33% . 

Comment & Conclusion:

Nazi views on women were irreconcible with realties of 20th centry Germany. 

Their views clearly clashed with other more important objectives such as rearmerment and military conquest....Nazi policy towards the familiy was controdictary and incoherant. 

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Key Interpretations linked to Social Policy

Purpose of Hitler Youth

  • Indoctrination
  • preparation for motherhood and military
  • Reduce any negitive influences outside of school
  • Bulid a sense of solidarity and unity for the 'good of the nation' above the individual. 

Womens Policy

  • Provoked to be popular with women and men
  • Policy had to be limited due to negitave effect on economy eg. women leaving labour market was reserved 1937-39
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