To What Extent Did the Nazis Achieve the Aims of Their Social Policies?

Topics: Nazi Germany, Nazism, Adolf Hitler Pages: 5 (1853 words) Published: April 24, 2013
From 1933 to 1939 Hitler aimed to achieve a "social revolution" in Germany. He aimed to achieve such social policies within the Youth and Women but particularly through his concept of volksgemeinschaft, meaning 'people's community,' he hoped to transform Germany into a strong country based on traditional peasant values." David Schoenbaum has argued that Hitler's "social revolution" was a fake, and perceived as being real, due to the influence of Hitler's propaganda. Hitler effectively aimed to unify the people into a united classless racial community and introduce a degree of loyalty to Hitler and the Nazi Party. In addition to this, Hitler, through domestic social policy and propaganda, aimed to change the role of women in society such that their purpose was to lift the declining birth rate in an attempt to create the Aryan ‘master race’ and to effectively be a house wife. Finally, the Nazis took advantage of the need for German youth groups and used what teenagers wanted to slip in Nazi ideals, took over the education system to portray Nazi views, and used the school system to glorify war; they also often alienated children from their parents.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they attempted to implement a brutal and coercive system. Part of implementing this system was creating a Volksgemeinschaft, a racial or people's community. Hitler attempted to institute the Volksgemeinschaft so that he would have less resistance as an absolute ruler, and he enforced it mainly through the actual and perceived presence of the Geheime Staatspolizei, or the Gestapo. The implementation of the Volksgemeinschaft was largely effective, though there were some unexpected and unwanted consequences as a result of Nazi methods. The people's community of Nazi Germany was an attempt to unify the German people, or what was seen as the German people, and excluding, or to even greater measures expunging, non-Germans. The largest group that was alienated and purged from the Volksgemeinschaft was the Jewish population. The racist ideology of the Nazis raged against the Jews as a separate race instead of a religious ideology. In order to ensure that his racial community formed, Hitler enforced it a number of different ways. The most forthright and forceful way of enforcing his views of a racial community was through the Gestapo. The Sturmabteilung, a paramilitary organization that was a precursor to the SS and the Gestapo, were especially important to Hitler during the consolidation of his power. More significantly, the Sturmabteilung was able to conduct their terrorizing methods on opponents while Hitler still remained dissociated from the violence. After Hitler's election, the German citizen had little ability to actively participate in politics and the government. There were harsh restrictions on political activity, and the results of any "token elections" were already "foregone conclusions." [20] Because of this limitation, it is difficult to fully assess the effectiveness of the ideology of Volksgemeinschaft on the German people themselves. Though they were not able to actively participate in politics unless they were a part of the Nazi party, they found other informal ways to participate in the racial community, such as reporting to the Gestapo. The enforcement of the Volksgemeinschaft could be seen as effective because of this restriction on citizen rights and voting, because it then allowed Hitler to implement his policies for the racial community with less resistance. To Hitler and the Nazis, the Volksgemeinschaft was a people's or racial community, and they defined it by the attempt to unify Germans by race and blood, to create a common Nazi world view, to overcome divisions in society, and to purge those who were not in the community. In order to enforce this Volksgemeinschaft, Hitler relied on the police, the storm troopers and the Gestapo at first to get rid of enemies of the state, but after a while active participation by...
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