Events of the third reich sources pg 164 1a The role of Hitler and the view of Germans

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What are Hitler’s premises towards the Four Year Plan?

What’s his view of capitalism in relation to his political objectives?

What are some of the practical points of the program?

What kind of irrelevant ideological obsessions does he reveal?



  • ‘Emergency Power Decree of Feb 1933’ (permanently enforced) to take suspects into ‘protective custody’.

  • Night of the Long Knives – weakening of the SA.

  • Feudal nature of the organization → Himmler’s success.

  • Impression that the SS were EVERYWHERE (Orwell’s ref). In fact 50-80% of all denunciations were volountary – Climate of Greed.

N & P

  • Best of both worlds – not tied by legal restraints that old institutions were stuck to – BUT, could also work in association with the legal system if needed.

  • 1933 – Appoints Heydrich as deputy (made to SD – therefore intelligence of the SS) as a duopoly.

  • After power gained in Bavaria, moves on to Prussia.

  • Himmler vs. Goring and Frick *

  • 17th June – Hitler intervened to make him Chief of German Police.

Goring and Frick ended up canceling each other out.

  • Goring didn’t want Himmler as an enemy and an ally with Frick therefore 20th April 1934, replaced Diels with Himmler as ‘Inspector of Gestapo’. However, still subordinate to Goring.. Night of the Long Knives – weakened the SA and showed the SS’s importance to Hitler.

  • Frick became frustrated by their competition and called for regulation over the police control – Hitler obliged, but in favor of Himmler.


Concept of ‘National Community’ (Volksgemeinschaft). – historians divided.
Seemingly social change made due to ‘raising expectation’. E.g.:

  • Bosses eating in de-segregated canteens.

  • Big chambers of NSDAP collecting for charity, etc.

Big Business

  • Characteristically one would expect business and the right wind to have strong links.

  • Like stability – secures profits and investments.

  • Those that could offer the NSDAP things that were geared for war and were willing to work alongside the state.

  • Exporting organizations, consumer goods etc. were depressed in their business by the fact that the state only supported business geared for war.

  • Coal industry didn’t meet eye to eye with the state – although key to Ersatz oil, previously much coal was exported.

  • Made more economic sense to export oil and import high-grade iron; but Ersatz was seen as a key to war.


Economic conditions of workers, farmers and mittelstand:



Mittelstand (lower-middle class)

+ Regular work

+ Stable rents

+ Nazi KDF (recreation through culture, sports, etc.)

- Loss of bargaining rights

- Demands from government.

- Had to accept DAF (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) & therefore accept its working conditions.

- Average worker’s wages only rose to 1929 level in 1938.

- Average working week 43 hrs in 1933, 47 hrs in 1939.

+ Nazi ideology of helping the farmers who appeared the most racially pure – ‘blood and soil’

+ Substantial no. of farm debts written off.

+ increase in prices 1933-39

- Reich food estate – controlled every aspect of agricultural production and consumption.

- Reich entailed Farm Law of 1933 (gave security to medium sized farms) was resented – Forbade division of farms (Only eldest son)

- Raw materials being decreased as imports and the majority going to big business.

- EXPECTED big success and consequently heavily supported NSDAP to start with.

- Limited attempts at implementing original promises.

- ‘Nazi betrayal of one of their biggest supporters’ – PH

- Squeezed out by other industry.

The Small Business – MITTELSTAND
Doc 199
‘The helthy core of the nation’ – how well did they do? In essence, not so well.

  • Vital slivce of economy.

  • Vital to consumers.

  • Party rank and file.

  • No new department stores.

  • No expansion.

  • Strict controls on door-to-door sales and mail order.

  • Jewish shops provided ‘windfall’.

  • Guilds / qualifications.

Therefore good for some and promised in propaganda.

R. Darre – Reich peasant leader.

HIGH PRIORITY ISSUE – the backbone.

  • Reich food estate – prices, food, distribution via Reich Agencies.

  • Reich entailed Farm Law – guarantee future of medium-sized farms.

READ: Doc 209 – concept of ‘Entailed Farm’

Reached 700,000 farms (22%)

85% 20-50 hectares

6% >50 hectares

Lost freedom to mortgage or sell.
Doc 210

Loss of credit – not able to get a loan.

What did Nazis say about the role of women?

  • ‘Kinger, Kuche, Kirche’

  • ‘Woman is entrusted in the life of the nation with a great task, the care of man, soul, body and mind.’

  • ‘Ruled only by emotion’.

  • Comparison of man’s big world and the woman’s ‘smaller world’ – based around the home and children… therefore forming part of the larger world through domesticity.

  • Being a ‘womanly compliment of man’.

  • Child bearers – purity of race.

  • Marriage.

  • Natural beauty.

  • ‘The female bird pretties herself for her mate and hatches eggs for him’ – Goebbels.

  • ‘With bigomy, each wife should act asa stimulus to the others so that both would try to be hteir husband’s dream woman’ – Himmler – possibly not representative?

An ideal woman?

  • Blue eyed, large hips, blonde hair, athletic.

  • Traditional role, peasant, not frivolous, no make-up.

Women and employment.

  • 1933 Women in top civil service and medical jobs dismissed.

  • 1936 Banned from being judges, lawyers.

  • Incentives financially – marriage loans and birth grants.

  • University enrolment limited to 10%

  • Contraception of ‘undesirables’.

  • Increased taxes on childless couples.

  • Tighter contrasts on contraception – pleased church?

  • Women’s organizations establish: NSF (Nazional socialistische Frauschaft), DFW (Deutsches Frauenwerk)

Nazi policy towards women and the family was contradictory and incoherent, one did little to affect the ongoing sociological trends of an industrialized society.







NAZI YOUTH POLICY (Refer to Sheet)


  • Education, training and indoctrination? Lowering the education standard due to incr4ease in indoctrination. Work against one another and perhaps decrease in discipline – fear of informers. 1937 – 97% of teachers had joined the NSLB (NS Teacher’s League) under pressure, 30% had joined the Nazi party voluntarily by 1936.

  • Curriculum (1936) 2 hours a day of PE, Nazi ideas heavily incorporated into Biology and History. Religious Education was eventually replaced. Gender differences were clear – i.e. needlework etc. for girls.

  • Not focused on major structural reorganization. Most of the system was inherited and therefore new schools to train the Nazi elite were created.

  • NAPOLAs (National Political Institutes of Education) introduced by Rust in 1933 for boys aged 10-18 to develop future leaders. 1936 NAPOLAs taken over by SS, 21 by 1939 and 39 by 1943.

  • Adolf Hitler Schools – partly designed to rival the SS’s NAPOLAs and to avoid Rust’s interference.

  • Worthy Nazi Youths could progress to 3 new Ordensburgen (Castles of Order).

  • University remained largely not interfered with comparatively.


  • Hope the dominance of youth groups would take over the traditional and possibly hostile influences of parents and Church.

  • 10-18 year olds.

  • Gender specific.

  • Discipline and honour seen as paramount.

  • Popularity first sense of nationalism and activity interest etc.

  • Later decrease in popularity – too involved in personal life and decrease in attraction of compulsory membership.


  • Wasn’t a youth movement in the sense that it was a stable youth organization.

  • The competitive nature of the HJ could be seen in all activities, therefore introducing an element of unrest, inflaming their drive for action.

  • This caused a form of restlessness that unsettled the HJ.

  • The managers of the HJ were similarly subjected to the same restless and compulsiove atmosphere, acting in a similar way to the youth themselves.

DOC 296

  • Old vs. new manhood. (Old – how many beers? New – how many blows?) militaristic / state contrast..

DOC 297

  • Early start in organization – 10 years and up.

  • Therefore saturate throughout with ideals.

DOC 303

  • Vow – prayer like.

  • Loyalty to the Fuhrer.

DOC 305

  • HO camps – password used to indoctrinate i.e. ‘Adolf Hitler’, ‘Blood’, ‘Honour’, etc.

  • Songs, flags, etc.

DOC 307

  • Perspectives on boy being in HJ.

  • ‘Broke class barriers’.

  • Sport / comradeship.

  • Later saw the compulsion for obedience as unpleasant.

DOC 308

  • Disliked HJ – militaristic ideals and physical demands.

DOC 309

  • Teachers complacent over HJ – lack of commitment in school, etc.

DOC 316

  • Official math exam questions – subliminal messaging with indoctrination.


The word comes from the word ‘propagate’. It means the organized spreading of information to promote the views of a government or movement with the intention of persuading people to think or behave in a certain way.
The views on propaganda of Goebbels and Hitler:

  • ‘Propaganda was our sharpest weapon in conquering the state, and remains our sharpest weapon in maintaining and building up the state’ – Goebbels 1934.

  • ‘The best propaganda is that which works invisibly… in such a way that the public has no idea of the aims of the propaganda.’

  • The task of propaganda was ‘to simplify complicated ways of thinking that even the smallest man in the street may understand’ – Goebbels.

  • ‘The propagandist must understand how to speak not only to the people in their totality, but also to individual sections of the population’ – Goebbels.

  • ‘The capacity of the masses for perception is extremely limited and weak. Bearing this in mind, any effective propaganda must be reduced to the minimum of essential concepts, which themselves must be expressed through a few stereotyped formulae’ Mein Kampf.

  • ‘Only constant repetition can finally bring success in the matter of insulting ideals into the memory of the crowd.’

  • ‘The Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda is responsible for the entire area of spirituality influencing the nation, through propaganda on behalf of the state, through cultural and economic propaganda and through enlightening the people both at home and abroad.’ – The Ministry’s description of its role.


Nazis recognized power of film and radio – making around 100 films per year.

  • Realizing power of mass activity, appeasement and subliminal messaging.

  • Didn’t want to make direct films about the Fuhrer, instead drawing parallels with other great leaders.

  • Newsreels that preceded films were broadly propaganda based.

Radio not only use at home but also public speakers for mass listening.


  • Argument over whether propaganda was most important in gaining power or reinforcing the regime.

  • Ovary says ‘General Nazi propaganda… was most successful where it could play upon the traditional prejudices and values of German middle-class society, upon issues such as nationalism, anti-Semitism, family values… But where the regime opposed traditional loyalties, it was far less successful.’

  • SOPADE could be useful to judge – searching for suppression with a bias towards excusing the people perhaps?

  • Gestapo records would highlight uprising but would be biased towards finding anti-Nazis.

  • Church provided a different ‘Weltanschauung’ and anti-Christian propaganda therefore proved less successful since it went against the grain of German culture.


  • 1st April 1934 ‘Reich Radio Company’ created – drawing radio stations under the state umbrella.

  • Goebbels described it as ‘the spiritual weapon of the totalitarian state.’

  • Great extension of audience – production of subsidies ‘people’s reciever’. 1935 – 7 million sets, 1943 – 16 million. 1939 70% households owned one.

  • Key speeches announced by sirens and work stopped so all would listen.


  • Nazi publishing house – Eher Verlay.

  • Strict control over journalists – state controlled press agency and directives issued at daily press conferences.

  • Goebbels became the ‘early architect of spin’ – eg after Night of the Long Knives he came to talk to the British press in Berlin.

  • Max Amam made chairman of German Publisher’s Association (VD2v) – previously Hitler’s general in WWI.

  • Goebbels inherently successful in his power due to nature of his relationship with Hitler.

  • By 1939 the Eher Verlay controlled directly / indirectly two thirds of the German newspapers – papers kept some titles and publishing in [prints so that readers were unaware of ownership.


  • Context – 1870s Kulturkampt (1)

  • Definitions

  • Key Highlights

Prussia – origin of Christian split – i.e. protestant rejection of Catholicism in 16th Century, they rejected the corruption in the Church. Austria was heavily Catholic.

  1. KULTURKAMPT – persuaded by Bismark – downgrade the power of the Catholic Church to create a nationalist Protestantism.

Eventually cancelled by Bismark – realized the suppression strengthens Catholicism and Communism had become more of an issue – Catholicism needed to fight this.

Catholic Church:

  • 32% population (mostly in the west and south).

  • Range of bodies (youth organizations, schools, charities).

  • Z and BVP parties regularly received a fifth of votes in Weimar elections.

Protestant Church:

  • 58% population.

  • Mainly Lutheran (Evangelical) and Calvinist.

  • Organized separately in 28 state-based Churches.

  • Youth organizations with 0.7m members.


  • The Reich Church – new umbrella organization of the Protestant Church. In this the German Christians grew, but attempts at state control caused a reaction and the Confessional Church broke away.

  • German Churches – ‘SA of the Church’ – New racially based brand of Christianity wanted.

  • Confessional Church – 1934 broke away from Reich Church. Not specifically anti-Nazi but wanted to avoid state interference.

  • German Faith Movement – reject Christianity for Pagan faith under Hitler. Faith Movement Journal – ‘Jesus was a cowardly Jewish lout who had certain adventures during his years and indiscretion.’


1933 July – Concordat signed

- Government supports creation of Reich Church.

November - German Christians call for ethnic cleansing.

1934 - Confessional Church breaks away.

Autumn - 2 Protestant bishops arrested, released after outcry.

1935 - 700 Protestant ministers arrested for condemning Nazi neo-paganism.

1936 - Bishop of Munster thanks Fuhrer for remilitarizing the Rhineland.

- NSLB (National Socialist Teacher’s League) encourages less religion teaching.

June - Confession pastors sent to concentration camps after circulating message criticizing Nazi ideology.

1937 -Crucifixes banned form classrooms, but later cancelled under public protest.

- Pope criticizes racism and Fuhrerprinzip.

19th Dec - Churches welcome the German attack on the USSR.


Catholic Church – Bishop Galen, Pope Pius XII Catholic

Reich Church - Bishop Ludwig Muller Protestant

Confessional Church – Pastor Niemoller, Pastor Bonhoffer Protestant

German Christians – Ludwig Muller Protestant

Faith Movement – Alfred Rosenberg. Pagan


Collaboration or Resistance?

  1. Explain the attitude of the Christian Chuches to the establishment of the Nazi’s regime in 1933.

  2. Why were the Churches never ‘coordinated’ like other major institutions in Germany?

  3. Examine and explain the changing relationship between the Christian Churches and the Nazis.

  4. Would oy agree that the churches failed to offer adequate resistance to the Nazis?

    • Hitler publicly acknowledged the role of Christianity but because of its opposing values, privately vowed to eliminate it.

    • Many Christians supported Nazism beucase of its anti-Communim and respect for traditional cultural values.

    • The Nazi approach was initially to try and control the churches, then weaken them and finally replace them.

    • Reich Church created to control Protestentism, but the break away Confessional Church rejected government interference.

    • Catholic Church signed on agreement with Hitler but became increasingly concerned with the government;s actions.

    • Christian faith remained strong, despitre some arrests and threats to Church astonishing. Increased again during WWII.

    • Introduction of German Faith Movement failed.

    • Churches were more concerned to defend their institutions from Nazi attack than challenge the government on a BROAD FRONT.

    • More opposition on INDIVIDUAL fronts.

    • Could be said that Churches compromised in order to survive.

‘Catholic population… taking part in churche celebrations… of such a size that have hardly been seen…The reason is that people who disapprove of the measures taken against Catholic organizations want to make a show in public that they are loyal to the Catholic Church.’ Police report, Cologne, March 1934.

‘The danger which threatens our parishes is of being ground down, … The vast majority of parishes will not be voluntarily unfaithful to their Christian beliefs, but they continue to believe that ‘one cannot do anything’ against the new forces, and give up’ – 1939 Protestant Church report on visits to Bavaria.
‘In many areas the events put on by the state youth organizations take less and less account of the Parish Church services and what would have been inconceivable in 1935 has become the norm in some places in 1939. Above all, youth is losing the habit of going to Church regularly’ – As above.
‘Churches were the only institutions which both had an alternative ‘ideology’ to that of the regime and were permitted to retain their own organizational autonomy’ – Noades and Pridham 1984.
‘Institutional self-interest, agreement with certain aspects of Nazi policy and yet also principled opposition was to be found in German Churches… In general the church hierarchy sought to avoid conflict with the regime without endorsing all aspects of its policies’ – R Geary 1993.
‘Whatever the reason [for acceptance of Nazism], the church’s overall response to National Socialism was timid and half-hearted and helped erode their influence on German life.’ – A. Wilt 1994.
‘The purpose of the Church opposition was self-defense, not a wider political opposition’ JRC Wright 1970s article.


  1. Concepts – definitions

  1. Evidence – methodology issues (where sources come from)

Naturally a lack of many sources – written data available from key institutions – top to down view on history? Not relevant to the individual.

Therefore oral history can be considered – more bottom up view. However, bias can be seen through feelings of guilt, exaggeration etc. and lack of broad representation.

  1. Key Data – Layton

Passive (Churches, Youth,m TUS)

Active (KPD, White Rose student movement, Kriedan circle- elite army officers)

  1. Interpretations / Evaluation

Effective resistance?
Protest, Resistance, nonconformity, Opposition

Acceptance, Indifferent

Participation, commitment, enthusiasm. Supportive
Protest – printing opposition literature, spontaneously protesting in public.

Resistance – hiding Jews, going on strike.

Nonconformity – refusing to join Hitler Youth, listening to America Jazz..

Kershaw’s idea that it takes a ‘quantum leap’ to move from dissent to resistance.


‘Resistenz (Resistance) Mommsen and Huttenberger

Like definition in physics? Any sort of rejection of Nazism.

(flow of current reduced) Involving personal risk?

In essence, evident that resistance never materialize, no unification amongtst groups.

Defended themselves but didn’t attack the regime.


  • Ludwig Bech (General) 1880-1944. Opposed Czech invasion / attack in 1938 – thought Germany wasn’t ready. Involved in bomb plot.

  • Army officer: Colonel Claus Sheak Gruf von Stauffenberg, 1907-44. Aristocratic soldier – had monarchist distaste for Hitler. Attempted to blow up Hitler three times but resisted due to absence of Goring and Himmler.

  • Army officer: General Hans Oster, 1887-1945. 1938 – Sent Germany’s military plans to Britain, involved in 1944 bomb plot.

  • Civil servant: Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, 1884-1945. Disillusioned by Hitler’s aim for war. Travelled abroad with anti-Hitler message.

  • Dielrich Bonhoffer 1906-45. Believed Nazism as incompatible with Christianity.

  • Student: Sophie Scholl 1921-43. Joined White Rose anti-Nazi group (out of course).

  • Journalist: Carl von Ossielzky 1889-1938. Wanted to defend democracy in Germany. Criticized NSDAP throughout Weimar Republic.

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