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Home > History > Germany 1918 to 1945 > The Nazi state


The Nazi state

The content of this Bite is required at General and Credit levels. As soon as the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Nazis introduced measures which were designed to control all aspects of life in Germany. Here are some of the measures introduced by the Nazis.

Measures introduced

  • The Nazi party or NSDAP was the only legal party.
  • Trade unions were banned and replaced by the German Labour Front. This organisation imposed conditions of work on employees.
  • Education was controlled by the state. Teachers had to follow instructions or risk being arrested and sent to a concentration camp.
  • Newspapers, radio, cinema and the theatre were placed under Nazi control. Only books which agreed with the Nazi point of view were allowed. All other books were banned and liable to be burned.
  • Video clip - Nazi book burnings remembered:

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  • Young people had to join Nazi party organisations such as the Hitler Youth for boys and the League of German Maidens for girls.
  • Jewish shops were supposed to be boycotted i.e. non-Jewish Germans were not supposed to go to these shops. Often, stormtroopers would stand outside these shops, painting slogans on the windows and scaring off potential customers. Jewish professionals such as doctors, lawyers and local government officials were forced to give up their jobs.
  • The Nuremberg Laws were passed in 1935. Jews lost their German citizenship and were not allowed to marry other Germans.
  • Hitler increased the size of the German army to 550,000 by 1936, and to 850,000 by 1938. A further 900,000 men were trained as reserves. Also, he ordered the building of a modern air force and navy.
  • Unemployment figures fell rapidly partly due to the increase in the number of men in the armed forces. At the same time, many found employment in the public works schemes that were set up e.g. the construction of motorways.
  • Women were encouraged to stay at home and concentrate on 'children, church and the kitchen'.


Click the audio for a conversation about Nazi Germany.

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Children marching in the Hitler Youth.

Class Clips

Clip about how children were raised under Naziism


A Holocaust survivor.

Class Clips

Video clip - a survivor of Nazi concentration camps tells his story to school pupils

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