How effective was Hitler's control over every aspect of German life between 1933-1939?
The Nazi regime was "Hitler's regime, it was Hitler's policy, Hitler's rule of force, Hitler's victory and defeat - nothing else" Hans Frank, Hitler's lawyer. If the regime was to be Hitler's and no one else's then he would need complete control over every aspect of German life, from schools, churches, courts, and people. This essay will examine each of the aspects of every day life, what the nazi's did to take control of it and how successful they were.
After 1933 control of the radio was given to the Reich Radio Company. A new radio set was made, Peoples radios, these radios were cheap and with a license fee of only 2 marks a month they weailable to all. By 1939 70% of households owned one. Throughout the day radios installed in homes, schools, offices, factories and even streets broadcast propaganda extolling the virtues of Hitler and Nazi success while Nazi failures and reversals went unmentioned. Listing to the BBC was punishable under the stringent treason laws. Geobbles also used radio to transmit Nazi propaganda to the rest of the world, although the effectiveness of this was questionable, as it served more to assure the rest of the world that German citizens had been completely brainwashed. Whilst it may seem that the Nazis had considerable control over the radio network, 30% of the population did not own a radio. It is probable that a sizeable number of that 30% did not own a radio because they could listen while at work or at friend's houses. The remaining few would most likely be opposed to Hitler's regime.
Since TV's were experience and still in the very stages, cinema was very popular. Geobbles was convinced that it was a very powerful medium and could be used to control the masses. He was no novice when it came to films, he studied film technology as a hobby. Once in charge he removed all Jewish actors, directors and producers, but there were plenty of other professionals willing to work for him. It was his view that people wanted escapism not more propaganda. Geobbles made many films and they were very popular. Hitler decided that film was not doing its part to help with the propaganda campaign and ordered Geobbles to make pro-nazi and anti-Semitic films. The most famous of these films was the eternal Jew. Although exact numbers on cinema attendance are not available it is possible to say that large numbers did visit the cinema, especially since it would have been one of there only sources of entertainment which was not crammed full of propaganda, well until Hitler objected and films had to have some sort of pro-Aryan racial message in it.
Hitler and the rest of the nazi party knew that there were many members of society who would never be full nazi supporters, if these people passed there views on to there children then there could be a possible large scale resistance to the nazi's in the future. To combat this and to ensure a completely loyal generation the Nazis changed the school system, and the school curriculum. Jews were at first made to stand at the front of the class while the other pupils pointed out why they were inferior, later they were ejected from main-stream schools and had to attend Jewish schools, if they wanted any education. In school subjects the truth was "bent" to make the Aryan race superior. In biology pupils were taught that Aryans were physically superior to the Jews, and a new subject the Science of Race was introduced, where pupils look at detail what made a person worthy enough to be a citizen of the 3rd Reich. G. Mosse a pupil at the time explains;
Every subject was now presented from a national socialist point of view. Most of the old books were replaced by new ones which had been written and censored by government officials. Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" became the text book for our history lessons. Wee read and discussed it chapter by...
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