As in any country, the support of the working classes was essential for Hitler to maintain the power he had over Germany. Hitler’s use of ‘Strength through Joy’ holidays is the discussed topic in the given sources. Whilst all sources show different opinions on this topic, they all agree that, to a certain extent, that Hitler’s use of ‘popular policies’ was instrumental in his enormous support base. Despite all sources coming from accredited historians it must also be considered that there will always be an element of bias in people’s work, and their opinions should not be taken as fact.
Source Y, written by Hans Dieter Schafer, suggests that Hitler played on state paternalism, by vastly improving working conditions; sourcing cheap cars and radios, holidays were provided, both sporting and cultural and political lectures were given to encourage to loosening of the working classes stereotype, and more importantly their ties with trade unionism. In many ways this was not just symbolic, but ideologically manipulative. By giving the people what they desired, making them feel like more middle class citizens However, Schafer does not ignore the lack of political lectures given to the working classes, they received talks about “crossing the Atlantic on a sailing boat and colour photography”, but very little was said in terms on policies and the political context of the time. This suggests that the upper classes, mainly Hitler and his Nazi officers, had not lifted their preconceptions of the lower classes (a theme which is carried on in source Z, Hitler branded the lower classes as unthinking and easily placated by ‘bread and circuses’). But, by encouraging a feeling of content by improving quality of lives, Hitler was rarely questioned.
Source Z, written by Joachim Fest takes a similar but much more negative approach to Hitler’s popular policies. Fest is clear about what he feels was the ‘true nature’ of the programme, seeing it as a way of controlling and...
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