History Topic Revision Sheet on Life in Nazi Germany Essay

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History Topic Revision Sheet – Life in Nazi Germany

Methods of control
Ideal Nazi Germany: Strong, racial and Volk
To achieve this, Hitler uses:
a) Terror
1) The SS
Formed in 1925
Stands for Schutz-Staffel (protection squad)
Responsible for the Night of the Long Knives in 1934 – purged all SA
Led by Himmler
SS men had to be Aryan, fit, physically perfect, highly trained and loyal to Hitler
Main terror organization after the Night of the Long Knives
Terrorized and intimidated Germans into obedience
Unlimited power – arrest without trial, search houses, confiscate property
Waffen-SS – military branch (conflicted with regular army)
Death’s Head – Concentration camps, slaughter of Jews
2) The Gestapo
Secret Police
Most feared institution
Commanded by Heydrich
Sweeping powers – arrest and send to concentration camps without trial, tapped telephones, intercepted mails, spied on people
Network of informers
3) Police and courts
All supported the Nazis
High ranking Nazis took top jobs in local police forces, reported to Himmler
Judges swore loyalty to Hitler, therefore no fair trial to opponents
Minor crimes were punished by death
4) Concentration Camps
Ultimate sanctions
Started in 1933 – Makeshift prisons but then became purpose-built
Run by SS Death’s Head Unit
Hard labour, harsh discipline, limited food, frequent beatings and execution
Jews, businessmen, churchmen, critics and homosexuals
Later became spots of mass genocide – Holocaust
Case Study
Northeim – took control by persecuting Jews, coordination, terror, taking over the council, tackling unemployment and through propaganda (Refer to notes for more details)

b) Propaganda and indoctrination
Ran by Goebbels
1) Newspapers
Nazis took over most of the publishers
Control of what journalists could right
Introduced full censorship
Some Nazi newspapers threatened people if they attempted to stop subscription

2) Radio
Reich Radio Company controlled all radio stations
Produced millions of cheap radios – ‘People’s Receiver’
Only played pro-Nazi programmes
3) Films
Comedies and romance as propaganda
Admission only at the beginning because it is a German news reel before the movie
E.g. Jud Suss
4) Festivals and celebrations
1936 Olympics – modern technology, media attention from 49 countries, all athletes were full-time, 1 Jew in team to show diversity, Germany won most medals
Nuremburg Rallies – 1 week/year, arms forces gathered
Others: Jan – The Day of Seizing Power, Feb – Founding Day of Nazi Party, March – War Heroes Day, April – Hitler’s Birthday
5) Art and Culture
Hitler supported traditional and conventional art, preferably portraying perfect Aryans, families and agriculture
1937 – The House of German Art (approved art)
Exhibition set up to show degenerate art (e.g. abstract, mock Germany) but 5 times as many people ended up going to see these art instead of the House of German Art
Architecture: Supported monumental public buildings and houses of country style, hated modern designs of the Weimar Republic (e.g. Bauhaus)
Music: Hitler like traditional, military and classical music. He did not like jazz or black music.
The Cult of Hitler
A lot propaganda just focused on Hitler, presenting him as the father of his people, man of destiny and embodiment of Germany

c) People genuinely like the regime
The Nazi regime provided jobs through their various projects and programmes
Hitler overturned the Treaty of Versailles
Hitler was a strong leader with strong views
Some people liked the revert to more traditional and conventional social values
Anti-communism and anti-Semitism

- Opposition
4 forms of opposition: A lot of private grumbling, common passive resistance, infrequent underground resistance and rare attempted coup d’état
No open opposition because:
Afraid of police as dealing with opposition was their main cause
Divided opposition – moderate + extreme left wing
Censorship and propaganda
Pleased with Nazis – economic recovery + national pride
Minor criticisms