Patrick HoughtonOctober 24, 2004History 12BMr. KohlmanAfter the initiating of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in1933, life in Germany changed dramatically between 1933 and 1939. Thesechanges were crucial to bring about the Nazi ideology in Germany’s youngand old population. The changes of German life between the years 1933 to1939 were largely the product of the introduction to propaganda, rearmingof Germany, and the creation of different Nazi party organizations.
The concept of Propaganda was not new to the German population. Inthe First World War, Germans were displayed posters of ravenous Britishsoldiers, only interested in conquest and control. In the ‘modern’ world ofthe thirties, propaganda had taken a major leap from the printed word, tothe spoken and visualized word. The entire basis of the Nazi idealsdepended primarily on propaganda. In the years following the appointing ofHitler as Chancellor, the then small and ‘radical’ Nazi party was hangingby the small thread of propaganda. The party officials created poster withslogans attacking the Weimar Republic, political opponents, and theCommunist Party.
Nazi propaganda was the brainchild of Doctor JosephGoebbels, a failed writer and a fanatical Nazi. His first major goal wasthe persuasion of the German people to support the Nazi party. The Naziparty had done poorly even the early thirties, and required a suprememajority to take control of the Reichstag and eventually the whole nation.After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, he quickly appointedGoebbels Minister of National Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbelsresponsibilities no longer consisted of small party rallies and primitiveposters; he was able to expand into the area of radio and film. All ofGermany’s radio stations became under the Ministry’s direct control, andthe Ministry quickly developed new methods for expanding the Nazipropaganda. The Ministry created new companies to mass-produce”wirelesses”, at affordable prices so all German families could have aradio. A Nazi film enthusiast club was created, providing film andequipment to local hobbyists to film local Nazi rallies and glorify village’accomplishments’.
These two new types of propaganda were critical in thesurvival of the Nazi dictatorship for the near future; however, the classicrally still was one of the most spectacular. At the 1936 Olympics inMunich, the organization was centred on propaganda. This was Germany’s timeto shine. The Olympics was a superb success. Visiting countries wereimpressed by German ‘hospitality’ and redevelopment. Adolf Hitler was shownas a “…
quaint intelligent man with exciting solutions to the world’sproblems”1 German athletes won the most medals, and were rarelychallenged by other competition. Every August in Nuremburg, a mass rallywas held in the city to celebrate the cleansing of the old uselessdemocracy and the creation of the Nazi Reich. In one rally, 100,000 men,all three quarters of a metre apart, marched triumphantly past Hitler, withthe troops carrying 32,000 blood-red flags with the new emblem of theGerman Reich, the Swastika. None of these mass rallies could be carried outwith out the full participation of the largest military in the world, theGerman armed forces.
Following Hitler’s arrival as Chancellor in 1933, he was faced with amassive economic depression and severe unemployment. Hitler decided to usethis to his advantage, not only politically, but militarily. A new Ministerof Economy was installed, Hjalmar Schacht, a man who had stopped theexponentially increasing inflation of the early 20’s. He called for theemployment of hundred of thousands of men on new public works projects, themightiest of which was the new Autobahn, a span of highways across Germany,which had the hidden use of allowing military logistics to travel acrossthe nation with molecular efficiency and lighting speed.
This was not theprinciple creation of jobs in Germany. Re-armament of the German militarywas on the top of Hitler’s goals. In March 1935, Adolf Hitler announced thecreation of a new army, a new conscripted one of strong men and intelligentscientists. He saw the expansion of Germany’s limited army to a militarywith modern aircraft, mighty battle-ships, and the most efficient army inthe world. Against the Treaty of Versailles, he created the Luftwaffe, anew German air force to be equipped with modern German fighters and mightybombers.
He smashed the tonnage rules set by the allies and beganconstruction of mighty battle-ships, and even more deadly advanced U-Boats(Submarines). With the introduction of conscription in 1935, no man wasdenied work, and the German Wehrmacht grew to over a million men, notincluding those belonging to the SS or Gestapo. The introduction of new-steel mills and creation of synthetic materials allowed German industry tobegin construction of new armaments and vehicle. Tanks, first introduced ascumbersome slow machines of little use in WWI, became modern, fast, anddeadly weapons under the German name of Panzer.
Factories once dedicated tothe creation of small tools such as shovels and axes were turned into smallarms factories, where they began construction of new submachine guns, basedentirely on a new method of manufacture utilizing metal pressing andstamping. Small automobile companies were set under control of Volkswagen,a company once dedicated to creating affordable vehicles and now taskedwith the construction of armoured personnel vehicles and trucks. A wholenew industry was born in Germany, Aviation. For the first time, aircraftwere constructed in a similar manner to automobiles, utilizing an assemblyline and common parts. All of this was due to the hard work and dedicationof the German people, and their membership in exclusive organizations andclubs.The German during Nazi Germany was open to hundreds of specialinterest groups created by the government, each with its own set of goalsand tasks.
These ranged from infant care groups, to a deadly secret policeforce. One of the largest organizations and must influential to the commonwas the Hitler Youth and its partner organizations. Here young boys weretaught the ideals of Nazi life and respect for the Fuhrer and hissubordinates. Hitler youth were often tasked with hard labour, public worksprojects, and policing the youth. The Hitler Youth Organization consistedof 4 major organizations, two for boys and young men, and two for girls andyoung men. The Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People) was an organizationfor boys aged from 10 to 14. Here they would be given their basic trainingin Nazi discipline and teamwork. Upon reaching the age of 14, they werechannelled into the Hitler youth, an organization for young men aged 14 to18.
They would undertake in much more military training and hard labour.Girls began their introduction to Nazi life in the Jungmdelbund (League ofYoung Girls), where between the ages of 10 to 14 they would be taught theway of the house wife. After turning 14, they joined the Bund DeutscherMdel (League of German Girls) where they were given training on cooking,housework, and child care. The organizations were not limited to the young.
All workers were to join the German Labour Front, a Nazi controlledorganization that was supposed responsible to ensure workers rights. IF youwere looking for an organization with a more military flare to it, perhapsthe Gestapo would interest you. This secret police force was the supreme ofthe Aryan race. They were directly responsible for the upholding of Nazilaws, and were delegated to control of the infamous Nazi Concentrationcamps.
Here, millions of Jews, Gypsies, and Priests would die under thehands of the SS and the Gestapo. These organizations and others realresponsibility was to keep individual tabs on each and every signal German,and provide free and cheap labour and policing across Germany to withholdthe Nazi ideal.Despite the negative connotations toward the Nazi’s in this period ofhistory, German life was still of great expansion and growth. Thanks to thechanges brought on by propaganda, re-armament, and the creation oforganization, gone were the days of depression and sickness, every workerand employee had a decent wage, a safe country, and a bright future to lookforward too. No one knew however, the horrors that would ruin their oncegreat future.———————–1 William T Shire, Berlin Diary, Copyright 1944