"How Successful Was The Indoctrination Of The German Youth Under The Nazi Regime?"

1462 words - 6 pages

How Successful Was the Indoctrination of theGerman Youth Under the Nazi Regime?Hitler expressed the need for indoctrination in many speeches from the beginning of his leadership. This is shown in a quote from a meeting with radio officials on 25th March 1933: 'the mobilisation of the mind is as necessary as, perhaps even more necessary than, the material mobilisation of the nation.' The Law on the Hitler Youth also emphasised the indoctrination of the youth: 'All German young people...will be educated in the Hitler Youth physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism'. However, although the need for indoctrination was stated, it was not wholly successful. This view is supported by historians including Peukert, Lee, Noakes and Pridham. Small elements of success were present, but resistance showed it could not have been fully successful. Hitler attempted indoctrination of the youth in many ways: through the Hitler Youth, education and propaganda.Indoctrination of Youth OrganisationsStephen J. Lee confirms this by stating that, 'indoctrination as a long-term process could be most effectively applied to Germany's Youth'. This reflects Hitler's aim to indoctrinate the whole of the youth in preparation for a Nazi state. The main form of indoctrination and inclusion in Nazi Germany was the Hitler Youth. The government appealed to the youth to encourage them to join the Hitler Youth (before it was made compulsory in March of 1939). This is shown by the speech made by the German Young People leader before a child's vow to the Fuhrer: 'this hour in which you are to be received into the great community of the Hitler Youth is a very happy one...with your vow and your commitment you now become a bearer of German spirit and German honour'. This would have made the child feel patriotic and like they were participating in something great. The popularity of the Hitler Youth is confirmed by the huge increase in membership between 1933 and 1938. In 1933, only one percent of all youth organisations were Hitler Youth, which increased to two hundred thousand by 1932 and seven million in 1938. The aim of the Hitler Youth was to prepare the next generation for war and for a successful and elite nation. The Hitler Youth focused on physical and military activities whereas the League of German Girls focused on domestic and maternal tasks to prepare them for the life they will lead when their husbands are at war and home life in general. The youth also saw the Hitler Youth as an opportunity to escape from the adult world and what was expected of them as youths. However, it also gave them a sense of authority and maturity, because they were able to partake in similar activities as their parents. The Hitler Youth prepared physically for war, however, the ideology of Nazism needed to be taught to them and this could only be achieved through education.Indoctrination through EducationA system of elite schools was set up, all of which emphasised...

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