Hitler's Control of Youth: Was Propaganda The Most Important Factor?

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GCSE HISTORY

LIFE IN NAZI GERMANY.

DO YOU AGREE THAT PROPAGANDA WAS THE MAIN REASON THE NAZIS WERE ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY CONTROL YOUNG PEOPLE AFTER 1933?

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by Francesca Harpham

(this is literally an essay homework I've lifted and published in case anyone else needs it)

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In this essay I will discuss and evaluate the impacts of various factors on the control of the youth of Nazi Germany.  Some factors I will discuss are: propaganda, youth organisations, education and the Gestapo.

Propaganda

I think it is possible to say that propaganda was not only a massive part in controlling the youth of Germany during the Nazi regime, but that it was a massive part in controlling the entire nation. The constant stream of propaganda from Goebbels and his subordinates led to the nation (including the youth) to be brainwashed. Hitler said himself “We don’t need you; we already have your children.” when referring to those who didn’t support him and the Nazis. One way in which propaganda appealed to children was through the Hitler Youth posters. For example, this poster advertising the Hitler Youth says “Youth Serve The Führer” along the top and “All 10-year-old’s in the HJ (Hitler Youth)”. The poster was created in 1936, after membership became mandatory. The Aryan boy featured not only persuades the young boys to join the Hitler Youth, but also represents the Nazis racist views, which also subtly brainwashes those who see it to agree with the Nazis view of a ‘master Aryan race’. By placing the boy in that position, he’s looking up to Hitler- this creates a positive, almost God-like view of ‘the Führer’ which again influences the thinking of those who would have seen it (as it would most likely have been placed around public areas, the number of those who saw it would almost certainly be high).

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Another way propaganda helped control the youth was through children’s storybooks and fairytales. A famous example of anti-Semitic propaganda aimed at children is ‘The Poisonous Mushroom’. This was a storybook aimed at children and it was published in 1938. ‘Der Giftpilz’ (as it is in German) is a story that begins with a mother explaining to her child how mushrooms are somewhat like people - some are good and some are poison. The book then expands on the comparison by equating Jews to poison mushrooms. This shows that the Nazis are starting to control the population of Germany from when they are at a very young age-by putting their ethos into children’s stories, they could bring these children up with their ideas. This means that they have the next generation of Nazi supporters already guaranteed from a young age, which would obviously be one of their aims so that they do not lose power in the future.

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These are just a few of the ways that the Nazis used propaganda to control youth- this shows that the Nazis were adamant that they were going to control the next generations of Germany.

Nazi

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