Life Under the Nazis

Life Under the Nazis

Formation and Consolidation of Power

  • Adolf Hitler was appointed as Chancellor in 1933, marking the end of the Weimar Republic and beginning of the Third Reich.
  • The Enabling Act was passed in the same year, giving Hitler and the Nazis the power to pass laws without the approval of the Reichstag.
  • Night of the Long Knives in 1934 saw Hitler eliminate potential threats within his party, consolidating his power further.

State Control and Propaganda

  • Joseph Goebbels, as the Minister for Propaganda, was instrumental in controlling media and implementing propaganda.
  • Use of mass rallies, control of radio broadcasts, censorship, and manipulation of arts and literature helped perpetuate Nazi ideals and control public opinion.
  • Initiatives like the “Strength Through Joy” campaign aimed to control leisure activities and promote Nazi ideology.

Persecution and Anti-Semitism

  • Nuremberg Laws (1935) systematically stripped Jews of their rights, marking the formal establishment of Nazi’s anti-Semitic policies.
  • Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass (1938) involved widespread violence against Jews and their property.
  • Holocaust (1941-1945) - systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews.

Economic Policies

  • Introduction of Four-Year Plan under Hermann Göring aimed for economic self-sufficiency (autarky) before the war.
  • Policies aimed to reduce unemployment (e.g. public works projects, conscription) were initially successful, but real wages did not increase.

Education and Youth

  • Education was manipulated to propagate Nazi ideals and shape the future generation of Germany.
  • Organisations like the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls trained children and young people in line with Nazi principles.

Opposition and Resistance

  • Despite Hitler’s absolute control, different forms of opposition such as the White Rose Group, Edelweiss Pirates and the July Plot by Claus von Stauffenberg took place.
  • However, these were often brutally suppressed and the fear of the Gestapo limited wider public resistance.

Remember, understanding the rise and rule of the Nazis involves exploring their methods of control, propaganda, persecution, and economic policies. Also consider the conditions that allowed for their rise to power, and how they influenced life in Germany through manipulation of education and suppression of opposition. Focus both on their domestic and racial policies in your revision.