Fascism in Nazi Germany Documents Extra Credit Document 1 Source: Michael Berenbaum, The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Little, Brown and Co.
. . . On the night of May 10, 1933, thousands of Nazi students, along with many professors, stormed universities, libraries, and bookstores in thirty cities throughout Germany. They removed hundreds of thousands of books and cast them onto bonfires. In Berlin alone, more than twenty thousand books were burned. The book burnings were part of a calculated effort to “purify” German culture. Since April 12, the Nazi German Student Association had been purging libraries, working from lists of books deemed “un-German.” The authors of some of the books were Jews, but most were not. . . .
According to Michael Berenbaum, what was one way the Nazi Party attempted to control the thoughts of the German people?
Document 2 Source: Chartock and Spencer eds., Can It Happen Again?, Black Dog & Leventhal
. . . The Hitler Youth movement was formed for the express purpose of creating loyal subjects to the state. By 1935, over three million boys and girls aged 10 and older were enrolled. “We were born to die for Germany” was one of their popular slogans. In addition to a strenuous physical fitness program, they received training in the use of weapons and heard lectures on Nazi ideology.
According to the editors of Can It Happen Again?, what was one method used by the Nazi Party to influence the thinking of the young people of Germany?
Document 3 Source: Horst Krüger, A Crack in The Wall: Growing Up Under Hitler, Ruth Hein,
In this excerpt Horst Krüger, a German author and prisoner of war, describes his reaction to reading a
newspaper account of Hitler’s death. He is reflecting on the state of the press while Hitler was in power.
. . . When I first began to read the newspapers, he was already in power. I knew nothing but a subservient [obedient], bellicose [hostile], boastful press. I always felt it was a proven fact that Hitler had also conquered and occupied the German language, and my parents had always told me, “What you read in the papers isn’t true, but you musn’t say so. Outside, you must always act as if you believe everything.” The German language and lies had become one and the same thing to me. Home was the only place where you could speak the truth. What you read in the papers was always a lie, but you weren’t allowed to say so. And now I was holding a newspaper that was in German and that did not lie. How was it possible? How could language and truth coincide? How did it happen that you could believe something you saw in print? It was the first free German paper of my life. . . .
According to Horst Krüger, what was one impact of the Nazi government on German society?
Document 4 -- from “Life in the Third Reich” by Hannah Vogt,
Still more pernicious was the way in which an ever increasing number of people were tortured or executed without trial or sentence for no worse crime than unorthodox opinions or "impurity of race." This development took place before the eyes of the entire German people. What, then, of concentration camps? When they were established, people might have believed in good faith that they were needed for the "restoration of public order and security," to quote Article 48 of the Constitution. However, when the Nazis had firm control of all effective power--the police, the armed forces, the civil service--after all political opponents had totally disappeared from public life, after elections had "proved" that 98 percent of the people favored Hitler--why were concentration camps still kept up? Why were they even increased in number?
. . .It was not due to either negligence or accident that concentration camps continued to exist past the time when people no longer had any reason to fear the "Red danger." They formed a well¬ calculated part of the system. To quote Hitler:
Terrorism is an effective political tool. I shall not deprive myself of it merely because these simple-minded bourgeois "softies" take offense. These so-called atrocities render it unnecessary for me to conduct hundreds of thousands of individual raids against mutinous and dissatisfied people. People will think twice before opposing us, if they know what awaits them in the camps.
Why were people in the Third Reich being tortured and executed?
Why did the Nazis establish the concentration camps?
How did the Nazis prove they had massive support? Document 5 Excerpt from Restless Days: A German Girl's Autobiography (1935)
Hitler stood unmoved...The audience was breathless under his spell. This man expressed their thoughts, their feelings, their hopes; a new prophet had arisen- many saw in him already another Christ, who predicted the end of their sufferings and had the power to lead them into the promised land of they were only prepared to follow him. Every word he said was true. They had won the war-yes. Been deprived of the reward for their heroism by a number of traitors-yes. Had suffered incessantly ever since-yes. Been enslaved, suppressed, exploited-yes, yes, yes. But the day had arrived when they would free and revenge themselves.
Provide one example that illustrates Hitler’s control over the people of Germany.
According to the document, to who do the people of Germany compare Hitler to?