Failure Of The Volksgemeinschaft Essay

1279 words - 5 pages

During the rise of the Third Reich, the Nazi regime poured all of their effort into creating the utopian Volksgemeinschaft, or people’s community, in order to rectify the economic collapse and dispirited morale in Germany after being defeated in World War I. The start of World War II however, made the realization of the Volksgemeinschaft problematic. Some of the problems that arose during this time that made this idea difficult to put in affect included the overestimation of Germany’s capabilities while underestimating those of her enemies, the lack of trained soldiers, the lack of labor, shortages in raw materials, and the “internal enemy”.
One problem that arose during this time was the Nazi regimes overconfidence in German military and military tactics. In Professor Hongs lecture, she explained that the Nazis believed that if they kept annexing smaller countries they could use that countries’ natural resources, factories, and labor to fund the next country they could annex. Until the start of World War II, German officials had stockpiled materials and equipment to make up for the losses suffered from the Treaty of Versailles. In Professor Hong’s lecture, she stated that while Germany had been able to gain sufficient military equipment for defensive purposes by the start of World War II, the German military was not ready for an all-out offensive war, especially one that was fought on multiple fronts. This fatal flaw would only be realized later near the end of the war. According to Peter Fritzsche, the Nazi regime tried to invade Britain in 1940 while simultaneously annexing several other countries (Fritzsche pg. 177). This plan to overtake Britain failed and as a last ditch effort, due to a shortage in supplies, they then tried to invade the Soviet Union. This endeavor was far beyond Germany’s capability to do and ended catastrophically. In Professor Hong’s lecture, she explained that due to a lack of supplies and soldiers, this multi front war compromised many of the already thinly spread divisions of soldiers leading to the deaths of thousands of these trained soldiers and ultimately the downfall of Nazi army.
Another problem that the Nazi regime faced during World War II was the lack of trained soldiers. Before the start of World War II, young boys joined the Hitler youth to be a part of the Volksgemeinschaft where they would learn things such as military training. Many of these young boys joined the Nazi army and willingly gave up their lives for the Volk. However, as the war progressed many of the soldiers were killed and Nazi leaders started taking younger and younger members of the Hitler Youth to replace the soldiers that had been lost. In professor Hongs lecture, she explained that by the end of World War II most of the older children from the Hitler Youth went to the front lines while the youngest found themselves helping elsewhere. At this point even the League of German Girls helped at home. According to Fritzsche, due to...

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