German social life between 1933 and 1939 Essay
German social life between 1933 and 1939
Using all Sources and your own knowledge, assess the view that the Nazis successfully managed to control all aspects of German social life between 1933 and 1939 
The Nazis tried to control all aspects of German social life so that they would support the Nazi party thus giving them more power. This meant they wanted to control who the followers spoke to and who they were friends with. They did this with many different techniques; the main one being propaganda. The Nazis used propaganda to control the beliefs of the German people. The used many different ways to control aspects of a person’s social life to gain popularity and power. These included: radio, music, literature, art, film and festivals. Most of these are aspects of a German’s social life. They also tried to control who the German’s interacted with and who they had relationships with.
For example they would portray Jews as ‘bad’ people to stop others from socialising with them, thus pushing them out of society. They did this by showing the Jews as evil and influential to others on posters and other propaganda documents. But some people were not influenced by these techniques and if they didn’t up rise against the Nazi takeover, they just carried with their lives as usual. This is shown in Hitler Youth organisations, many of the children who joined didn’t actually ‘love’ the Furher like they were meant to and did not hope to serve the country; they joined purely because they wanted to have fun and join in with activities they couldn’t do at school. However, once they had joined most of them were indoctrinated and sucked into the Nazi lifestyle.
The Nazis knew that a majority of Germans listen to the radio and so gained control over it. In 1934 regional radio stations were removed from the control of the lander and the Reich Radio Company took over. This meant that any music or anything that was played on the radio had been accepted by the Nazis and so was probably Nazi-related. For example the radio was used to transmit Hitler speeches to everyone across the country. This is shown in source B where a journalist reports on the response of Germans to a Hitler speech in a Berlin cafï¿½. This implies that important things like this were played in local places so that everyone could hear.
This is an aspect of a German’s social life because they used cafï¿½s to socialise with people. The Nazis managed to control this by installing radios and loudspeakers so things such as the speech could be heard. This was successful because Hitler was a very good public speaker and managed to win over masses of supporters with his inspirational talks. In spite of this, source B suggests that this was not very successful. ‘No one else in the crowded cafï¿½ listened to Adolf Hitler’. This shows that although Hitler was an extremely good speaker, some people did not react to this and so this part of their social life remained uncontrolled.
Moreover, to gain control over the German people, the Nazis tried to get through their sub-consciousness. This meant using propaganda through things such as music and film. These were things that the Germans would watch or listen to and take in whatever information that was played, but this was done sub-consciously, as they were not aware of the information they were actually taking in. Source D shows this ‘National Socialist doctrine’ was in ‘every painting, film, stamp…, public building…, toys…, people’s houses, in tales and costumes…, songs…, poems…, in schools’ and ‘even in household goods.’ This source shows that this propaganda was literally everywhere , people could not get away from it. Therefore because it was everywhere the Germans would have sub-consciously taken in all of these things, and started to believe and support the Nazis. Source D also suggests how successfully they did this ‘everyone played a part. Discipline, obedience, self-sacrifice, loyalty, duty… The penetration of Nazi culture into every sphere of social life never ceased.’
This suggests that this technique worked; everyone was ‘indoctrinated’ by the Nazis and supported them. They did whatever they could for their country and Furher. However this source could be questioned as it was written in 1992, therefore the author: P. Adam, was not there at the time and the information he may have gathered may be false. In contrast to this as it is a book purely on the Nazis: ‘The Arts of the Third Reich’ the author would’ve researched for the book a lot. He would have made sure that all information was from a reliable source and that it was a true as possible. Both source B and D speak about the response to the Nazi propaganda. Yet, they contradict each other; source B talks about how the public showed no response to the speech that was being played in the cafï¿½. Whereas source D says that the Nazis successfully managed to win over everybody, and these people sacrificed everything for them and their country.
Another part of a German’s social life the Nazis took over was a child’s education. Source D talks about how ‘National Socialist doctrine’ was in ‘the songs and poems taught in schools,’ this shows how the Nazis tried to indoctrinate children while they were young. When they are young they are more vulnerable and more influential. This means the Nazis have more chance of making the children support them. This was successful because most children, when they finished school, were true Nazis. The boys became soldiers for their country and were willing to die for it. The girls became the perfect housewives and mothers. Nonetheless most of the children joined groups like the Hitler Youth because they thought it was fun; they could do activities that they wouldn’t usually do at school. This is another example of the Nazis controlling another aspect of a German’s social life.
However, the real question is whether this actually impacted on the German population. Source C shows it did; as it shows in the provenance that ‘99% of the 48 million votes cast in Germany and Austria voted in favour’ of the union of Germany with Austria. This shows that the Nazis had successfully completed the task of making people follow them; almost the whole population. However, many of these votes may have just voted for to follow the rest of the country. Moreover, the voters may have felt pressurised into voting which is also shown in Source C. The poster shows a lot of soldiers in uniform saluting.
This would make people feel intimidated because of the power the soldiers have over them; if instructed, they have the authority to take away anybody’s life. People may feel pressurised into following them, just to keep peace with the Nazis and just because everyone else is. This shows that although the Nazis were successful in controlling German social life, they were unsuccessful in gaining true followers. In contrast to Source C, Source B speaks how ‘No one else in the cafï¿½ listened to Adolf Hitler’ when his speech was played on a loud speaker. This shows the Nazis successfully controlling this part of the population’s social life. But it also suggests that some of the public were not swayed but this, and they just chose to go on with their lives a usual, and ignoring the changes around them.
In conclusion, Nazis did control almost all aspects of a German’s social life. They did this to gain popularity and more followers. Through controlling a German’s social life they were able to indoctrinate them, with the thought that the Nazi party was the best for the country, and to make them become a follower of them. Furthermore, the more fans they gained the more of the German population would follow their example. Overall the Nazis were successful in controlling all aspects of a German’s social life, which is shown in source D. In which a modern historian describes how ‘National Socialist doctrine’ was in literally every part of German social life. Although this shows they were successful in controlling the social life, it does not show whether this domination actually swayed the public into following the Nazis.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 3 September 2017
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