What were the main features of the Nazi Dictatorship of Germany?
The Enabling Law changed Germany from a Democracy into a Dictatorship where Hitler had total control. The Nazis ruled through control, persuasion and propaganda. <ul><li>The SS </li></ul><ul><li>The Gestapo </li></ul><ul><li>Persecution (Jews/Religion/Church) </li></ul><ul><li>Nazi Education </li></ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda </li></ul>
1.The S.S Nazi Germany was a Police State. This meant that the powers of the Government were supreme. The Nazis used their powers not only to arrest criminals, but also those who disagreed with them or done something that they did not like. The organisation which enforced Law and order was the SS. It was originally Hitler’s private Bodyguard Unit as it played a major role in the removal of the SA in the Night of the Long Knives. Its powers were unlimited as they could search houses, confiscate property, arrest people without charging them etc. They were also in charge of the Concentration Camps where the special ‘Death Head Units’ controlled the killings of those people that the Nazis despised (Jews etc).
2.The Gestapo The Gestapo was a part of the SS which also had the power to arrest anyone it wanted. It mainly spied on people, read their mail and tapped their telephones. It encouraged people to report on their neighbours and their fellow workers. Children were even encouraged to spy on their parents. The Gestapo became the most feared organisation in Germany. The Police, SS and the Gestapo made sure that the Nazis remained in TOTAL CONTROL of Germany
NAZI EDUCATION Teachers were instructed to teach children about Nazi ideas. Those who refused were simply sacked. Hitler wanted the Nazis to last for a thousand years. He believed he could only do this if he controlled the way Germans were educated. Biology lessons were used to explain Nazi ideas on race, making it clear that the German Aryan race was the ‘Master Race’. PE lessons were increased as Hitler wanted strong and healthy Germans for the future. (??War??) Teaching people to believe something is called INDOCTRINATION.
The Hitler Youth The Hitler Youth Movement was organised and run by members of the SS. Its aim was clear; to indoctrinate young people into accepting the ideas of Hitler and the Nazis. Also, they wanted to make sure that young people were loyal to Hitler. By 1935 it was compulsory to join as every child had to be a member of it. By 1939 eight million people were part of the Hitler Youth.
Women in Nazi Germany The Nazis encouraged women to stay at home and have children. They encouraged people to marry and newly weds were given payments of 1000 marks. Money was also issued to newly born babies. Special homes were set up for unmarried Mothers to allow unmarried women to become pregnant, often by ‘racially pure’ members of the SS. The birth rate increased throughout the 1930s. Women were also encouraged to stay at home and look after their husbands. They were even given advice on how to appear – no make up and hair arranged in a bun or plaits.
PROPAGANDA (Trying to persuade people to do or believe in something) CINEMA The Nazis made hundreds of films that carried Nazi messages. Anti-Jewish films were also made. Because Cinema was very popular, Nazi messages were very effective. RADIO Goebbels (the man in charge of Propaganda) used Radio to broadcast Hitler’s speeches and Nazi messages. Foreign radio stations were banned. NEWSPAPERS Goebbels made sure that newspapers printed favourable stories about the Nazis. Those that did not were closed down. POSTERS The Nazis produced thousands of posters that were designed to persuade people to think or believe in the Nazis RALLIES These were impressive gatherings of German people who went to listen to Hitler’s speeches