The Nazi Party Essay

2596 words - 10 pages

The Nazi Party

During the 1930s, the Nazi Regime attempted to construct what it believed to be a utopian society. The Nazis’ rise to power can be viewed as a modern revolution, in which their objective to create an ideal Nazi Volksgemeinschaft (community of people) was achieved by highly regulating all areas of German life. From the arts and literature to sexual activity and race relations, the Nazi Party implemented legislation that restricted what the German public could see, hear, read, do and even think! The Nazis were able to maintain control over the masses through propaganda, codified and unwritten values, and destructive actions (Night of Broken Glass) that actually determined the conditions under which individuals had to live. The Nazi Party ensured its own strength and continuance not only through legal measures (such as eliminating other parties) but also by shaping a society that excluded certain groups from having political influence, particularly women and Jews. Adolf Hitler, chancellor of the Third Reich, gives two speeches that exemplify the Nazis’ efforts to separate and even remove women and Jews from public life and discourage them from participating politically. In the first speech, given on 8 September 1934, Hitler addresses the National Socialist Women’s section and expresses the Nazi opinion that a woman’s most fundamental role is a domestic one and her proper place is in her home. On 30 January 1937, Hitler gives a speech in Berlin concerning the importance of racial purity and ultimately the omission of Jews from German life. Although these two speeches are in many ways explicitly different, they share a number of intriguing similarities. I will argue that these similarities are not merely coincidental, but instead signal the existence of an underlying logic that stems from commonly held notions about gender. Many Germans were already used to segregating men and women based on their gender differences by placing them into traditional, yet separate, roles. Hitler uses the public’s tendency to create a social divide between males and females as his reasoning, or logic, for creating a more extreme barrier between Aryans and Jews. Some of the similarities of Hitler’s two speeches are as follows. In both speeches, Hitler makes a clear distinction between two groups of people, emphasizes the separation of these groups (women from men, Jews from Aryans), and claims that this separation will in both cases lead to a heightened understanding between the groups. Both speeches illustrate and support Nazi ideology on grounds of nature. Both are nation-oriented. And finally, in both speeches Hitler attempts to eliminate one of the two groups (women in the first speech, Jews in the second) from the public sphere and political arena. Moreover, the characteristics that these two speeches have in common function in a way that endorse Nazi ideals and illustrate Hitler’s oppressive control over Germany, while preserving an image...

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