As soon as Hitler came into power in 1933 he began to pump his ideological views and policies into the minds of the Germen people. This was essential to create a ‘volksgemeinschaft’ and to begin his process of Nazification in Germany with the purpose of controlling and gaining support of the German community. In order for him to do this he needed a way of getting through to the people of Germany and did this by creating the German Labour Front, arranging youth and women’s organizations and controlling religion and education throughout Germany.
The Nazis felt it was important to win the support of the working classes, as most unskilled workers had been committed to either the SPD or KPD. However, most skilled workers supported the Nazis before 1933.
One of the measures taken to establish a disciplined workforce was the creation of the DAF (German Labour Front). After May Day independent unions were abolished and replaced by the DAF, and the trade unions were ransacked and many taken into Nazi control. This was quite successful and its aim was to spread Nazi propaganda.
Organizations such as Strength Through Joy were set up as a way of giving people a chance to have fun by rewarding loyal workers with trips and holidays and at the same time keeping them busy with things to do. Also, Beauty Of Labour was created to persuade employers to improve working conditions to make the workplace a pleasant place to work in and make workers want to increase their working hours.
Although there were wage rises after 1933 and the number of hours did increase from 44 in 1933 to 60 in 1944, accidents and illnesses rose dramatically. This caused some strikes in 1936 and workers became bored and didn’t trust the regime.
The middle classes were Hitler’s most dedicated supporters, which consisted of small business owners, traders, craft workers, clerks and shopkeepers.
Most peasant farmers supported the Nazis, as their ideological views on them were that they were honest, racially pure and hard working. The Nazis put forward a policy of ‘blood and soil’ for the rural ‘volkgemeinschaft’ in order to provide cheap food for the cities.
The Nazi policies towards women were very stereotypical and their duty was to produce Aryan children and work in the home. Women were awarded the ‘Mother’s cross’ in 1939 if they had a large family.
The Nazis set up the ‘Women’s Front’ in May 1933 to bring women into line with Nazi ideology. It was because of this policy that many German women lost their jobs. Although, as the economic situation improved many women regained their jobs and by 1939 seven per cent of all doctors were women compared to the five per cent in 1930.
However, the Nazis couldn’t always base decisions on ideology as the regime persuaded many women to go back to work in 1939.
Hitler aimed to educate young people, as this was essential to create a Thousand Year Reich. The intention was to train them to have certain roles in the future.
From 1933 the boys aged from 10-14 joined the German Young People and when they were 14 they joined the Hitler Youth where they would take part in a wide range of activities to train them to become soldiers. It was made compulsory in the Hitler youth law of 25 March 1939.
At the age of 10 the girls joined the League of Young Girls and at 14 they became members of the League of German Girls. They were taught to accept the role of mother and wife in their future life.
The Nazis depended on education as the future for the Nazi Reich. They changed the curriculum to promote Nazi beliefs and fired all Jewish teachers. The curriculum prioritised sport, history and German Studies. The National Socialist Teachers’ alliance was formed to indoctrinate teachers with Nazi ideology.
There was a great deal of tension between the Church and the Nazis because if their contradicting ideologies. In 1933 Hitler wanted to ‘stamp out Christianity’ in Germany and endorse ‘positive Christianity’ which meant that he would discard Catholicism and Protestantism. The German Faith Movement was set up in 1934 to promote ‘positive Christianity’. It campaigned against Christian rituals in schools and its members paganised these rituals.
In consideration, Germany had been Nazified to the extent that they had managed to control most of Germany through their organizations and constant reminders of Nazi ideology. However, not everyone went along with the Nazi beliefs. I think that the Nazis changed the education in Germany more than any other area because it was the most important to maintain the Greater German Reich in the future.