Table of Contents
Table of Contents – page 2
Abstract – page 3
Introduction – page 4
Depiction and Targeting of the Youth – page 5
How the Nazis were Manipulative – page 6
How were the forms of Propaganda used?
i. The School Environment – page 8
ii. The Professors and Teachers – page 9
iii. The Curriculum and Textbooks – page 11
Conclusion – page 13
Bibliography – page 14
To what extent was the Nazi propaganda seen in the education system successful in the indoctrination of the youth? This will be measured by the aims of the Nazi party against the results that they achieved. The essay explores the methods of indoctrination used by the Nazi Party that were seen in the education system. It looks at the extent to which the youth were convinced by the propaganda that was put in place, and this appears in forms such as new rules and laws that were put in place and displays in the environment around them. The types of sources used in the research were textbooks, biographies and posters. The major historians in the paper are David Welch, Lisa Pine and Gerhard Rempel. Ultimately, the Nazis had made schools into training camps for the youth and spread their ideologies through the education system. In order to create loyal students that followed the Nazi ideology, they forcefully placed into the minds of the German youth and did in fact manage to fool an entire country through the method of indoctrination.
In the early 1920s, the Nazi Party that was lead by Hitler had targeted the German youth to introduce a movement led entirely by the group called the Hitler Youth or Hitler jugend, to create a prosperous future for Germany. The ultimate goal was the creation of a Volksgemeinschaft, a united people’s community based on race and blood1 where everyone shared the same views and opinions. Hitler expected not only loyalty from his people about the Nazi ideology, but also expected them to be fit, healthy and of the Aryan race. In order to achieve this goal, he realised that the future depended on the youth, not the older generation. This essay will firstly consider the portrayal of the youth in Nazi Germany. It will include details on the methods Hitler used in order to achieve a 1000-year Reich and will also include information on how the youth were depicted. Following this, the essay will discuss the rationale for the indoctrination, the uses of propaganda in recruiting students and embedded in the curriculum as well as the treatment of opposition will be considered. It will become evident that the Nazi ideology appeared favourable because of its promise of creating a perfect society and the sense of belonging that it provided for the youth. The propaganda present in schools was drilled into the youth’s minds, and lead to a whole generation to be fooled by the state because of indoctrination.
Depiction and Targeting of the Youth
One section of the population that proved particularly receptive to the notion of a ‘national community’ was the German youth2. To create a strong future Germany, Hitler realised he had to win over the hearts and minds of the German youth to ensure his dream of making a 1000-year Reich because they would be the citizens carrying the German race. In 1939, Hitler said in a public speech, “We older ones are used up… We are rotten to the marrow.”3 The reference to elders showed adults were useless as they already had experience to determine what was beneficial for the country. The older generation could not provide him with what he needed with respect to creating the 1000-year Reich, because their independence and knowledge could be destructive to the regime. However the children who would be taught to stay loyal to the party would respect what the Nazis taught them from the start and would not question them. He wanted to make the youth feel as if the Nazis were a trusting community...
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Buller, Ernestine Amy. Darkness over Germany. London: Longmans, Green, 1943
Calvin German Propaganda Archives
Hite, John, and Chris Hinton. Weimar & Nazi Germany. London: John Murray, 2000.
Hunt, Irmgard A
Lepage, Jean-Denis. Hitler Youth 1922-1945: An Illustrated History. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2009.
Lewis, Brenda Ralph. Hitler Youth: The Hitlerjugend in War and Peace 1933-1945. Staplehurst: Spellmount Limited, 2000.
Pine, Lisa. Education in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford International Publishers Ltd, 2010.
Rempel, Gerhard. Hitler 's Children: The Hitler Youth and the SS. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
Roberts, Stephen H. The House that Hitler Built. New York and London: Harper & Bros, 1937.
Welch, David. Nazi Propaganda: The Power and the Limitations. Totowa: Barnes & Noble Books, 1983.
Welch, David. Nazi Propaganda and the Volksgemeinschaft: Constructing a People’s Community. New Delhi: SAGE publications, 2004.
Stachura, P.D. "The Ideology of the Hitler Youth in the Kampfzeit.”. 1973.
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