War and its impact on life in Germany, 1939-1947
June 1941: the start of the Barbarossa campaign - the attack on Russia. The turning point came in 1942 with Germany’s defeat in Stalingrad. This was a shock for the people of Germany, as the war propaganda had said that they were winning.
It was therefore clear that the war wasn't going in Germany’s favour. Every aspect of Germany's economy and society was contributing to the war campaign. As a result, there were no:
There was no shop opened that didn’t help with the war effort. Exchange centres were opened and more women were working in the factories. Working hours increased.
The Hitler Youth Movement arranged for children to be moved to Austria and Bavaria.
The aim of the Allies' intensive bombing programme in May 1943 was to kill people's spirits and force the war to end. Germany's large cities were bombed:
Around 800,000 civilians were killed by Allied bombing raids, despite the fact that they were not very accurate. Around 50 per cent of the bombs fell on residential areas, and 12 per cent on factories and war industries.
The effect of the bombing:
Therefore, support for the Nazis was weakening in the villages.
1944 – the Volksstrum was just propaganda, and its aim was to raise the Germans’ spirits. The members were inexperienced, untrained and were either too old or too ill to join the Wehrmains.
The members' duties:
Boys - working with the fire service, postmen, distributing ration cards, guides during blackouts, collecting metals, bones, kitchen waste, clothes.
Girls - helping out in kindergartens and elderly people's homes, distributing coal and food for homeless people, widows and refugees, singing in choirs to provide entertainment to ill and injured people.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.