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Impact of Nazi Rule on German Citizens

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Topics: Nazism, Nazi Germany
Impact of Nazi Rule on Citizens
“Totalitarianism has had a significant impact on the lives of ordinary people.” With reference to one right-wing regime, evaluate the validity of this statement.

The totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany did have a major impact on the everyday lives of many Germans because the state controlled so many aspects of everyday life. At the same time, some people just continued on with their everyday lives despite the government’s policies.
Definition of totalitarian state as relevant to the impact on ordinary lives of people: page 358
“ A country where the government seeks to control nearly all aspects of life to ensure that the people become committed members of the state”
The government wanted to control as much of peoples lives as they could.
“Aimed to establish a totalitarian state and created a series of organizations to control the people.” Page 358

In the case of Nazi Germany, totalitarian control of everyday life was expressed by the concept of Volksgemeinschaft - ‘community of the people’(pages 357 - 369)
Volksgemeinschaft-creation of a new united German nation; this was not completely successful.
They had certain expectations for the women-blonde hair-blue eyes-long skirts-family devoted.
-Hitler was absolute because of the will of the people
-The nazi rule satisfied people’s emotional need for a strong government
-Hitler portrayed himself for having the feelings of selfishness devotion, sacrifice, and passionate commitment to the people of germany.
-Basic individual freedoms were removed in 1933.

The Nazis used their control of the school curriculum,teachers and youth movements to indoctrinate children.
-Nazi influences on children: NSF(National Socialist Women’s Organization), Faith and Beauty, BDM(league of German girls), Jung Mädel(Young Girls), NSDAP, DAF(German Labor Front), Media, Schools, Wehrmacht (army), RAD(Reich Labour Service), German Students’ League, Hitler Youth, Deutsches Jungvolk(Young German Boys), Pimpfen(cubs). [possible other influences include: American films, Friends, Church, and Family.] look at page 227.

Nazi Aims for Both Boys and Girls
-Be obedient
-Do everything possible to strengthen the health and racial purity of the German nation -Idolise the Führer
-Be physically fit
-Sacrifice self for the national good
Boys: Be a strong fighter
Girls: Bear many children!

Direct control: The Nazis attempted to create a Volksgemeinschaft, and to exclude unwanted groups. Jews and other minority groups were increasingly harshly treated,culminating in mass murder from 1941.

-Thousands of germans were rounded up into concentration camps
-There was no authority that could protect individuals from the secret police
-Citizens died in the night of the long knives

there is still debate as to how far most Germans absorbed the Nazi view of the Volksgemeinschaft.

-Women were seen primarily as childbearers and services were provided for them.Nazi policies for women were not fully consistent, and their impact was limited.
Nazi attempts to replace the influence of Christianity failed. The churches criticized aspects of Nazi policy directed against them, but apart from a few individuals,generally co-operated. there was a wide range of fairly minor opposition activities, but resistance rarely developed into a serious threat to the regime.

Notes/Other points to possibly make about effects on everyday people:
Encouragement of German Faith Movement
Stress on social Darwinism
Pressure against foreign and experimental art forms
From political cartoon with Hitler making a speech and below his podium are six people tied up with signs on them saying: “Religious Freedom: Suppressed” , “Academic Freedom: Suppressed” , Labor Unions, Fraternal Organizations, Opposition Parties Freedom: Suppressed” , “Women’s independence Freedom: Suppressed” , “Freedom of the press Freedom: Suppressed” , “Judicial Integrity Freedom: Suppressed”.
The state controlled the arts as much as they could and were aware of the power art had, especially architecture banned “degenerate art” promoted “great german art”, which showed the characteristics the government wanted people to conform to. influenced businesses ex. Nordseebad Norderney ist judenfrei “Nordseebad Norderney is jew-free”
Bavarian Motorworks (BMW) report to SOPADE reflecting the speeches in the factory and how factory workers, including Nazi supporters, believe that the speeches in the factory do more harm than good, as well as how non-Nazi supporters will not be influenced by National Socialism.
They used propaganda to fabricate what they wanted people to know by, putting it into films, art, radio, press, photographs and sports. didn’t use fact as persuasion, but instead general emotions and ideas used to help support the Nazi Party ex. economically: poster saying “You have to save 5 marks a week, if you want to drive your own car!”

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