Jewish people were not the only people affected by Hitler during World War II. Germans were also greatly affected and influenced by the Nazi propaganda. Hitler spread his message by integrating propaganda into schools to influence and manipulate children. The Peoples Radio was another tool used by the Nazis to spread their ideas. Those who did not conform to Hitler’s ideology were persecuted and punished severely. In the The Boy Who Dared, author Susan Campbell Bartoletti introduces several fictional characters to demonstrate how easily the Germans were manipulated into supporting Hitler’s ideology about Germany and its future.
Helmuth is the main character in this book. He is a young boy who lives in Hamburg, Germany along with the rest of his family. Throughout the book, he is reflecting on his past as a child when Hitler was the ruler of the fatherland. He is conflicted between following Nazi propaganda that he questions, or taking a stand for what he believes in which may result in dire consequences.
In The Boy Who Dared, Helmuth dared to speak out for what he believed in even if it meant walking into the hands of death. Helmuth decided to spread his views on the way the Nazi Party deceived and manipulated the Germans. The Nazi Party started indoctrinating the youth of Nazi Germany by teaching the Nazi ideology at a very young age. One major ways Hitler did this was through the Hitler Youth. The Hitler Youth was founded in the 1920’s. The main goal of this organization was to eliminate the inferior and strengthen the youth. In Hitler’s words, “The weak must be chiseled away. I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp’s steel.” (“Hitler Youth Movement”). In 1936, membership in the Hitler Youth became compulsory. The Hitler Youth was very successful in manipulating young children and indoctrinating them into Nazi ideology.
Another common way of indoctrinating the youth was by integrating Nazi ideology into the school systems. The scholars and educators of Nazi Germany were made to idolize Aryan races and disparage inferior people such as Jews. The schools played a very significant role in spreading Nazi ideology to the German youth. For example, educators were required to instill ideas of racism, discrimination, and obedience and love for Hitler into the young minds of the students. In the book, The Boy who Dared, Helmuth’s educators attempted to influence him into accepting the Nazi ideology. They forced him to write papers praising Hitler and promoting Nazism. Using these methods, Hitler was able to effectively spread Nazi propaganda to most of the German youth.
“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach” (Koch 204). Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. It was his idea to distribute cheap radios to the German Public. This would provide...