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Youth Organisations in Germany

By mad4uapricot Mar 22, 2011 598 Words
During Nazi Germany, 1933 to 1939, propaganda, terror and repression within Germany through Youth organisations had an extensive impact upon everyday German life. In response to the Wall Street Crash around 1929, began the Great depression triggering the rise of Nazi youth organisations of the right-wing parties such as the “Jungstahlhelm, Scharnhorst Jugend and many others” during the 1930s. Youth organisations imposed fear upon German life through propaganda containing various symbols of patriotism and moral enforcement such as “aristocrats who would never soil their hands to support the proletariat in its struggle” and “National Philistines”. Such propaganda was aimed at middle-class youth who were ignorant to Hitler’s regime as they were the most unaffected by The Great Depression; hence this demoralising factor contributed to changing attitudes of German life with increased patriotism leading to repression and terror seen in: “Those who attempted to resist the rising flood were easy prey for the fanatical, savage and one-sided Nazis. Some groups were attacked by the Hitler Youth in their camps, on excursions, or in their town centres”. Also, an emphasis was made by Hitler in his Triumph of the Will Speech at the youth rally where he states “We want to see no more class divisions!” Among the youth, a growing sense of “strong beliefs in anti-Semitism” and “competition… [between] youth to be more like their [Fuhrer – Hitler]” impacted greatly upon everyday German life where neighbours became enemies evident in “People moved apart, because they had different religion, but could be friends even when one had money and others did not, he [Hitler] brought together some and moved apart others”. Strong anti-Semitism ideals were reinforced upon youth at an early age through education hence increasing Hitler youth recruitment. Such education included Hitler Youth handbooks consisting of heavy propaganda related material such as “Genetic and Racial Hygiene” producing statistical, analytical reasoning upon anti-Semitism- “It is no wonder that in Germany today we have: 1,000,000 feeble-minded; 250,000 cases of genetic mental deficiency; 90,000 epileptics and 40,000 inherited cases of physical handicaps”. Such clear indoctrination reinforced the foundations of Youth organisations and supposed terror over the possible non-anti-Semitic German life as Hitler himself made an anti-Semitic statement “We carry the best blood and we know this”. In order to bring discipline to German life under the rule of Hitler, the Hitler Jugend and also “Bund Deutscher Mädel" (The League of German Girls) were created in order to attain power over all aspects of German life in order to impose ideologies and repress opposing individuals . The Nazi party believed that it was necessary for all aspects of life to be integrated with Nazi ideology hence the involvement of religious youth movements and economic movements by the end of 1933. This belief was described by the party as "Gleichschaltung" ("making the same") and enabled the regime to achieve a totalitarian state led by Nazi principles under the Führer Adolf Hitler. In order for unity, political stability was required hence Hitler “… attempted to create an independent copy of the Nazi state within the Hitler Jugend [Hitler Youth]… this meant… channelling the influence of the NSDAP and… usurping greater areas of education. Cooperation with the party, army, SS, SA, ministry of education… was regulated by contracts.” Through this, “the political education of the German in the National Socialist sense is… conceived as a unity of thinking, feeling, willing, and action, one which will determine the face of the Third Reich, the lines which compose the picture of the future Germany.”

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