The process of gleichschaltung in relation to different groups in society.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 21-05-13 16:45


  • A number of teachers were dismisssed for being Jewish or 'politically unreliable'
  • Teachers were pressured into joining the National Socialist Teachers League. (97% were members) This sent them on one-month training courses which indoctrinate nazi ideology and emphasised physical training.
  • Although no direct surveillance, teachers were aware they could be denounced to the authorities by pupils.
  • Textbook vetting
  • Schools run on fuhrerprinzip.
  • Napola + Adolf Hitler Schools created. (The latter intended for future Nazi elite)
  • 15% of University staff dismissed.
  • All University teachers were made to sign a 'declaration in support of Hitler and the National Socialist State.
  • Students had to join the German Students League, 25% managed to avoid it.
  • Ciriculum modifed.
1 of 8


  • In 1933, All youth organisations were banned or taken over by the Hitler Youth. (except those linked to the Catholic Church, these were banned in 1936)
  • By 1936 the Hitler Youth had a monopoly over sports facilites.
  • In 1939 Membership was made compulsory for the Hitler Youth. (And the League of German Girls)
  • Constant diet of of political indoctrination and physical activity, and had to swear an oath of alliegance to Hitler
  • They were taken on hikes and camping trips, sang Nazi songs and focused on Military drills.
  • Attractive to boys, for whom this environment was the norm.
  • Children joined against the wishes of their parents and was an outlet for teenage rebelliousness.
  • By the late 1930s enthusiasm began to wane as it became more burecratic and an increase on military drill emphasis. This was shown by poor attendance.
  • The League of German Girls prepared girls for their future roles as housewives and mothers & emphasised volksgemeinschaft. Girls were taught that they had a duty to be healthy as their bodies belong to the nation and they needed to be fit for their future roles.
  • They were instructed on matters of hygiene, cleanliness and healthy eating. They participated in dancing, gymnastics, handicraft,sewing and cooking aswell as sessions for political education and racial awareness.
  • Girls could escape from the constraints of home bu after 1934 Girls were expected to to a years work on the land or in domestic service. This was unpopular with city girls and was made compulsory in 1939.
2 of 8

The Working Class (background)

  • Support was needed by political parties as they were the largest socio-economic group in German Society.
  • In the 1920s and 30s, they supported the SPD and a few supported the KPD, as trade unions were an important and powerful force in industry and there was a strong link between social class and voting. This was damaged by high unemployment in the early 1930s.
  • Nazi's changed their names to National Socialist German workers party, and although their working class support grew, the majority did still not vote for Nazis.
  • Industrial workers presented the greatest challenge with gleichschaltung and volksgemeinschaft, due to their strong links with trade unions.
3 of 8

Working Class (German Labour Front)

  • DAF established in May 1933, the same month that Trade Unions were banned.
  • The DAF took over the assets of the Trade Unions, and membership grew rapidly as it was the only organisation representing workers
  • Its aims were to win workers over into volksgemeinschaft and to encourage workers to increase production.
  • Organised on fuhrerprinzip. It replaced trade unions, but had no role in bargining over wages.
  • It did have its own propoganda department to spread Nazi ideology amongst working class Germans.
  • Established the Strength Through Joy organisation which organised leisure for German Workers.
  • Workers came under increasing pressure to work harder and harder, whilst accepting low wages and living standards. 
  • Extended to women in 1939 which provided six months compulsory labour for Young women.
  • The German Women's League coordinated all women's groups under Nazi control.
  • The National Socialist Women's Organisation was an elite organisation to promote the volksgemeinschaft.
  • The Reich Mothers Service offered motherhood training sessions.
4 of 8

Working Class (Strength through Joy and the Beauty

  • Organised the Leisure time of workers.
  • Workers who were refreshed by holidays, sports and cultural activites would be more efficent at work.
  • Aimed to encourage volksgemeinschaft, social equality, participation in sport and competion & ambition.
  • Offered holidays, activities, hikes, theatre, cruises, cinema visits and concerts.
  • 'Beauty of labour' was the department dedicated to improving conditions at the workplace.
  • Pre-occupation with health and fitness.
5 of 8


  • German peasants were regarded as a racially pure group which had retained traditional attachment to the German soil. They were the nucleas of Volksgemeinschaft.
  • The Nazi's wanted to reverse the drift of the population towards the cities and to relieve farmers of their debts.
  • To coordinate the peasants the Reich Food Estate was created. It was based on fuhrerprinzip.
  • Its aim was to link producers, wholesalers and retailers of agricultural products in a single chain under an organisation. This would ensure fair deals for the farmers, and reenforce the sense of community.
  • Nazis spent 650,000,000 RM to clear farmers debts, but this went to large and medium-sized farms.
  • Farmers income increased by 41%, but profits of the industry increased more.
  • Price controls prevented farmers buying expensive machinery.
  • After 1936, the regime had the power to force the merger of smaller farms into larger more efficent units which conflicted with 'blood and soil' and angered farmers, but was economically justfied
  • Wages of labourers increased slowly, but their wages were far below that of industrial workers which increased the drift of population towards the cities.
  • Conflict between rearmament and autarky. Conflict between generations.
6 of 8


  • The Nazi's saw the protestant churches as an oppertunity to unite Germans into one national church or religion
  • Many protestants were anti-semetic and anti-communist, which lead Nazi support to be higher in protestant areas.
  • Abolition of Church schools and pressures to join the Hitler Youth.
  • 5% of the population 'god-believers' but had no membership of the church
  • Storm troopers could not wear uniform at services
  • Priests and Pastors could not play a part in party affairs.
  • The German Christians were a pressure group of Nazi supporters within the church. They described themselves as 'the SA of the church'. They wore SS uniforms while conducting services and hung nazi flags in the churches.
  • The Reich Church was the coordination of all 28 state churches into one. Muller (A nazi) was appointed as a bishop and the church was reorganised under fuhrerprinzip. All pastors who had not declared alleigance to the regime would be dismissed.
  • The confessional Church was a group of dissident pastors which resisted state interference and reestablish a theology based purely on the bible.
7 of 8

Roman Catholics

  • Catholics are part of an international church, which makes them harder to coordinate, but they wanted to be recognised as a part of the German nation. They were also traditional, anti-semitist and anti-communist.
  • The German Faith Movement was an attempt by leading Nazis to create a new national religion based on pre-christain paganism, which they believed was 'more German'.
  • The church opted for compromise with the concordat where both bodies promised not to interfer with each other.
  • In 1933 the Nazis started breaking this agreement. They seized the property of Catholic lay organisations and forced them to close. Catholic newspapers had to drop the word 'catholic' from their name. Surveillence on Priests was carried out by the gestapo and SS. In the Night of the Long Knives leading catholics were executed.
  • In 1935-1936 some priests began to speak out against the Nazis, and in response the Nazis restricted permission for public meetings, censored catholic press heavily, propoganda campaigns against financial corruption in catholic organisations meant their funds were seized and membership of the Hitler Youth was made compulsory.
  • In 1937 the pope issued a 'letter of burning grief (or) concern' in which he condemmed the actions of the Nazis. In response, spies were placed inside churches, there was further tightening of the catholic press, pilgramages were restriced, Youth Groups were closed down, Monastries were closed down, crucifixes were removed from catholic schools, false sex scandals were publicised about priests and church schools were shut down.
8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »