The Big Questions 2

The Big Questions 2

Nazi social and Economic Reforms

It is important to have a good understanding of the main economic and social policies deployed by the Nazis, the rationale behind them and their effects. The essential pieces of this are:

The Nazi Party - AS Level Revision* The economic goals of autarky and re-armament.

* The successes of Nazi economic policy during the 1930s, above all the overall fall in unemployment and rapid industrial growth and the development of an armaments industry.

* The failures of Nazi economic policy such as the failure to bring about autarky.

* The contradictions between some of the Nazis’ key ideals (eg. a semi-rural society, women as full-time mothers) and the demands of the regime’s economic goals (eg. rapid industrialization and the need for women to work due to demand for labour).

* The labour reforms and bodies introduced by the regime and the ideas behind initiatives such as Strength through Joy, and the effect of the reforms on the working conditions and real incomes of German workers.

* The regime’s relations with the Catholic and Protestant churches and the tensions between Nazi ‘religion’ and Christian worship.

Hitler Youth - AS Level History* The goals of the Nazi education system and groups such as the Hitler Youth, in particular their attempts to provide a thorough indoctrination of children and young people with Nazi ideology.

* The regime’s policies on women, especially the goal of making women aspire to the ideal of being child-rearers for the benefit of the Aryan race through propaganda and organizations such as the League of German Maidens.

* The idea of ‘blood and soil’ and the attempts of the regime to realise it through agricultural reforms, and the links between the ideal of blood and soil and lebensraum.

* The existence of opposition groups to the Nazis and the use of the Gestapo, SS and concentration camps to suppress them.

* The overall aim of the Nazis to inject Nazi ideology into any and every aspect of the population’s daily lives.

The Nazi Propaganda Machine

To understand the campaign unleashed by the Nazis to indoctrinate the German people and its successes and failures, you need to know about:

Nazi Propaganda - AS Level History* The way that the Nazis key policies and visions of the world (eg. foreign policy, racial ideas, the role of women) were articulated through propaganda.

* The role of Goebbels at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine, and in particular his ideas on the functions of propaganda.

* The groups that were given an idealized, nazified representation in propaganda (eg. women as mothers).

* The extent to which Hitler was personally glorified by Nazi propaganda as part of the creation of the ‘Hitler Myth’.

* The groups that were demonized by the propaganda machine (eg. Communists, Jews) and the function that these representations played.

* The different sorts of propaganda that were deployed, ranging from posters and broadcasts to mass rallies and events such as the Olympics.

* The regime’s presentation of its apparent successes, such as its claims to have eliminated unemployment.

* The main successes and failures of Nazi propaganda campaigns.

*The intensification of propaganda output and the changes in propaganda content brought about by the start of ‘total war’ from 1941 onwards.