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Nazi Germany - youth and educational policies

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This page discusses actions that the Nazis took to control and influence young people in Germany.

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Nazi Germany - youth and educational policies

  1. 1. Youth and educational policies
  2. 2. Hitler’s goal was to build a Thousand Year Reich. A key part of the Nazis’ plans was to win the support of young people, to continue the regime through the generations. Nazi youth actions targeted in children in education and free time as well, regardless of what parents wanted.
  3. 3. Boys and girls were generally divided into different groups, reflecting the Nazis’ views on the roles of men and women. Boys’ groups were focused on creating strong young men to become workers and soldiers. Girls’ groups aimed to produce the mothers and wives of the future.
  4. 4. Boys joined three groups: • 6-10 - Cubs • 10-14 – Young German Boys • 14-18 – Hitler Youth Once they were men, German males would join organisations such as the army, German Labour Front or German Students’ League.
  5. 5. Girls joined three groups: • 10-14 – Young Girls • 14-18 – League of German Maidens • 18-21 – Faith and Beauty Once they were women, German females occasionally joined the German Labour Front or German Students’ League, but were encouraged towards the Nazi Women’s Organisation.
  6. 6. The Nazis aimed to influence the young people to back them. This included targeting them with propaganda at school and in their youth groups. However young people could also still be influenced by other factors such as family, friends, and churches. American films had an impact too.
  7. 7. At school, children were educated from a Nazi perspective, by teachers who were members of the Nazi Teachers League. By 1937, 97% of teachers had joined this group. Teachers themselves had to attend month-long Nazi training courses.
  8. 8. Lessons were shaped to give a Nazi viewpoint, whether in terms of world history, or the idea of the master race being espoused in Biology lessons. Within schools, boys and girls were also divided. Girls’ lessons focused on homemaking activities such as cooking and sewing.
  9. 9. Historians’ views • Detlev Peukert: Towards the start of World War Two, many young people in Germany had started to rebel against the groups they were forced to join. • George Mosse: Nazi attempts to educate young people had a limited effect; the success of the indoctrination depended on the specific school and teacher. • Klaus Fischer: Nazi indoctrination influenced a generation of Germans but 12 years was not long enough to break down all previous cultural heritage.

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