Youth in Nazi Germany
- Hitler was obsessed with the youth of the country.
- He believed that only by teaching Nazi ideology to children could a strong Nazi society be established.
- In schools under the power of Nazism, teachers who were Jewish or perceived to be ' politically untrustworthy' were fired.
- Children were first segregated : Germans and Jews could not sit together or play together.
- As a result, ' undesirable children' such as Jews, the physically disabled, and Gypsies were expelled from schools.
- Racial science was introduced to justify Nazi ideas of race.
- Youth organizations were made responsible for educating German youth in the ‘the spirit of National Socialism’.
- At the age of 14, all boys were required to join the Nazi youth organization, Hitler Youth, where they learned to worship war, glorify aggression and violence, condemn democracy, and hate Jews, and communists,
- They usually joined the Labour Service at the age of 18 after a period of rigorous ideological and physical training.
- They were then required to serve in the armed forces and join one of the Nazi organizations.
- In 1922 , the Nazi Youth League was established.
- All other youth organizations were systematically dissolved and eventually banned in order to unify the youth movement under Nazi control.
The Nazi Cult of Motherhood
- Boys were taught to be aggressive, masculine, and steel-hearted , while girls were taught to be good mothers and raise pure-blooded Aryan children.
- Girls were expected to maintain the purity of the race, distance themselves from Jews, care for the home, and i nculcate Nazi values in their children.
- Hitler stated in 1933, "The mother is the most important citizen in my state."
- However, in Nazi Germany, not all mothers were treated equally.
- Women who gave birth to racially undesirable children were punished, while those who gave birth to racially desirable children were rewarded .
- They received preferential treatment in hospitals and were entitled to discounts in stores, theatre tickets, and train fares.
- Honour Crosses were given out to encourage women to have a large number of children.
- A bronze cross was given for four children , a silver cross for six, and a gold cross for eight or more.
- All ' Aryan' women who broke the prescribed code of conduc t were publicly condemned and severely punished.
The Art of Propaganda
- The Nazi regime used language and media.
- In official communications , the Nazis never used the words "kill" or "murder. "
- Special treatment , final solution (for Jews), euthanasia (for the disabled), selection, and disinfections were all terms used to describe mass killings .
- The term "evacuation" r eferred to the deportation of people to gas chambers.
Role of Media
- The media was used strategically to gain support for the regime and popularise its worldview.
- visual images, films, radio, posters, catchy slogans, and leaflets were used to spread Nazi ideas.
- German enemies were depicted as evil on posters.
- Socialists and liberals were portrayed as weak and corrupt.
- Propaganda films were created in order to convey hatred for Jews .
- Nazism manipulated people's minds , exploited their emotions, and directed their hatred and anger at those labeled as 'undesirable.'